The reason we write our blogs is to impart our experiences and loves with every one of our readers, and while it's fun to trawl through pages of blogs to get the best review of a product you're staring at in Boots, you get a fair few strange looks from the security.
The reason behind this post is my plight in Boots the other day as I was eyeing up the Rimmel Apocalips, I was searching some blogs for swatches of a shade, and the security man decided to stand right behind me and read over my shoulder, all the while keeping his eyes on the items in my hand that I was pondering over.
I realise this kind of treatment is most probably because of the way I look, security often judge me for the black leather, the blank look on my face, and of course, my jittery actions because I'm fearful I'll look like I'm shoplifting when in fact I'm just deciding on a lipstick. The Very British Problems Twitter page confirms this isn't just me, it's a British thing to make sure our hands are in view at all times so we're not accused of shoplifting.
It's by no means just a Boots situation, in Debenhams once I had to ring my mum to ask about a product, and the staff swarmed around me like I was doing something horrific. Apparently I can't even call someone in a shop without an entourage.
In Superdrug I'm often looking at my notes on my phone to make sure I'm getting the things I need, and I'll have a sales assistant come up and ask if I need any help. If I need help, I'll ask. I'm aware it's your job, but just because I look like a lost Hells Angel, it doesn't mean I'm about to hold the place up at gunpoint while calling for backup on my iPhone. Believe me, even if I wanted to, I wouldn't know how. I'm a 20 year old student, not a terrorist. If this is what your conventional terrorist looks like, then I want to leave the country.
In HMV, I always have my phone out to check my wishlist while also checking if things are cheaper on Amazon. I once had a shop assistant look over my shoulder and tell me where to find the DVD I was looking up. What the fuck are you reading my phone for?! What happened to privacy? What happened to just wanting to enjoy the shopping experience and find things for myself? I wouldn't have minded his interjection if I'd had a face like a lost child in the supermarket, but I was stood in an aisle letting an elderly lady past me in the small aisle. Courtesy clearly isn't acceptable nowadays. I can't be the only person that does that, surely?
The problem is, this assault doesn't just end as you exit the shop doors. In my city, charity touts and Big Issue sellers are around every corner, to the point I purposefully avoid the high street as soon as I see one on the horizon. Thankfully if I am caught by charity guys, I still get away with the excuse 'oh I'm 17, I'm too young to donate sorry' and I can walk away painlessly. But there are times when they get too persistent. One was determined to make sure I was lying about my age by keeping me talking beyond my 'sorry I'm running late for my bus' pleas. I missed the bus and ten minutes later I had enough and started walking away. My problem there is that I'm too polite. I won't tell someone to outright leave me alone, it's physically impossible.
I'd love to know if you have similar experiences so I don't feel like it really is just me looking like a trainee terrorist/amateur shoplifter. Experiences such as this make me anxious to even go shopping, to the point I'll avoid an aisle if a security guard is near, even if I do need something from there. I'm half tempted to learn an obscure language, say Swahili, so I can tell them where to stuff it without feeling quite so guilty.