Collect memories, not things
- Mar 29, 2008
after high school (2001) I worked at old navy. Shoplifting was always an issue and always a topic at morning meetings.I don't know if I've told my experience while shopping with an African American co-worker. I worked on 34th Street until 2014. My co-worker and I would shop on our lunch hour. She'd be dressed in professional clothes while I was usually in jeans and a solid color tee shirt. (our workplace was very casual) She'd be wearing dressy shoes while I had sneakers on. I am blonde with blue eyes. We shopped in a small dress store but would separate to shop in different departments. On many occasions, I watched the store "undercover" security follow her around while they ignored me. If I remember correctly, it was a Strawberry's - remember them? Nothing fancy, but I guess they had to deal with shop lifters a lot. But they profiled her without a doubt.
one morning we come in and gather for our morning meeting. the manager starts telling us how they arrested 3 shoplifters the night before. She goes on to say “these weren’t your typical shoplifters. These were all American boys.”
me and the only other person of color employee just looked at each other with those eyes.
the manager and every single other manager and employee didn’t skip a beat. It was as if this was accepted and normal.
I’ve never been followed around a department store (that I’ve noticed) but I have been asked if I’m sure I could afford something or told straight out that I could not afford something.