Okay, first let me say this:

I could have handled this better.

I completely realize that venting my spleen to underlings was not the best course of action available to me.

HOWEVER…

I still don’t think I was wrong to be insulted and disgusted. And here’s why:

1. This store has been around for forty forevers. And in the time I’ve been going in there (since high school, so 20+ years), their tech hasn’t changed much at all: manual cash register, prices on old-fashioned stickers applied with price guns.

2. The security at this place is laughable. It’s narrow aisles are crammed ceiling-high with all sorts of stuff piled on top of each other, no bar codes or electronic theft deterrent devices, etc. And if they do have cameras, there’s no way they’d be effective because of the clutter. I shudder to think at having to do inventory there.

3. We live in a college town and backpack checks are standard operating procedure. College bookstores have cubbies at the front where backpacks and tote bags have to go, but even they don’t expect a woman to leave her purse there, unattended.

4. I had been in the store a few weeks earlier (Memorial Day weekend, if I recall correctly) when they claim the rule was already in place. I talked with a worker for quite a while on that visit and no one said boo about the purse on my shoulder, so I claimed precedence.

5. I explained that I was in there for 1 thing, could I just leave my purse at the counter if it was that big a deal. Their response? ‘No, we can’t take that responsibility.’

6. This is very near campus and right on the bus route. I’m willing to bet a lot of their client base is made up of students. Students with backpacks and no cars. And they just expect them to what? Leave their stuff out on the benches in front. There’s also a fairly high vagrant population in the area–it is really smart or considerate to leave things out front for easy pickings?

But the biggest thing, the thing that pisses me off even more than that old woman with the white hair, and white t-shirt, and her finger waggling in my face, accusing me of being a shoplifter, is that they’d rather treat everyone who walks in their door as a criminal instead of a customer. That’s just not cool.

And it’s why I will never shop at the Magic & Fun Costume Shop in Tallahassee, Florida ever again. And it’s also why I refuse to recommend them to anyone I know. I generally like to support local businesses but not when they lose sight of their priorities. They made it easy for people to shoplift and, rather than change that, they made it hard for people to shop. How they stay in business is a mystery.