Posts Tagged ‘interaction’

Shoplifter: How to Spot Them

June 1, 2010

Recently, some have challenged me, questioning how I can point out shoplifters–especially professionals. There are certain things you need to be a good shoplifter, partly I get this from observation, understanding, and my background in Psychology.

One of the most important things you need is a bag. You cannot steal unless you have a bag. I often give these people the opportunity to take off the clothes, mentioning it isn’t in the fitting room anymore, so I’ll save the room for them to finish changing. (Although there are some who will put on clothes and then walk out, but if you are aware in a fitting room, even on the sales floor, it isn’t hard to notice something isn’t right. I have also seen shoplifters walk out with entire piles of clothing. Once, a District Manager found her staff being lazy, so she actually moved an entire table out of the store, hiding it, then asked them, “What’s going on here? Why is there a table missing?”) I do not say people steal only with bags, but regardless, it is far easier to walk out of a store with stolen merchandise in a bag–unless it is a holiday or the salespeople are lazy, ignorant, or partially blind. I actually would think it’s disgraceful to steal from a blind person, but that’s my personal feelings.

As for bag-people, if they ask for a bag, you have zero-obligation to give them a bag unless they’ve made a purchase. Yes, I’ve made a shoplifter buy a pair of socks for a bag, just ensuring that he use his bag to steal from other stores than my own. A majority are left with the bags they have, which are generally easy to access with wide openings. Backpacks, yes, are left unzipped. Yet, others use shopping bags which are used and recycled far more than they should be. Others purchase special purses and bags for this purpose. Regardless, they should have a wide opening for easy access.

Secondly, a shoplifter has to know where you are. This is more crucial. If a salesperson is standing right next to a shoplifter, they can’t steal–and they can’t steal if they don’t know where all the salespeople are. (Once more we do have the blindness aspect, but that’s just crude.) This is one reason I move so quickly and randomly on the sales floor–you never know where I am or where I’ll appear. As some have told me, “You think there are people who generally don’t steal, but when they see no one is around, they are tempted to steal?” If no one is around, it’s our fault–or the fault of the staff on hand.

Shoplifters must pay as much attention to the salespeople as they do to the clothes, most often, they’ll spend more time finding out who works here and where they are located, before they can start stealing. Most customers don’t even see me coming, since I approach them from behind, surprising them with a greeting. Even shoplifters who are professionals, and know only to look for salespeople right before they steal something already catch the attention of a good salesperson–because that look almost always means, “I need help, where is a salesperson?” Giving the ‘look’, and then saying, “Oh, I’m just looking,” is already a warning-sign. If they are just looking, but not just looking at clothes, they have issues.

There are others who distract you by making you look away or get something for them. In this situation, it isn’t hard to ask someone else to get the item, while you wait with the shoplifter. I don’t know about everyone else, but I use my peripheral vision more than my center of gaze when looking at anything. One time shoplifters have distracted a coworker in order to walk out with a pile of clothing–literally, an entire pile walked right out of the store.

Shoplifters cannot help but act in a very particular fashion, even if they try to hide it. There are essential, basic needs they have in order to function, once you understand this, you understand the shoplifter. In the end, I still believe in the main idea–Treat Everyone Like Shoplifter. Give them good service, pay attention to them, watch them shop and help them by seeing what they look at, what interests them. Shoplifters can’t steal easily if you’re helping them the entire time.

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You Need a Card to Enter Here

May 11, 2010

I was having a discussion/idea the other day. There are tests for many things, like driving, vision-tests, drunk-driving tests, even tests for viruses and medical conditions–and you are left labeled and categorized, sometimes with stamps on various cards signifying your results. I was thinking, we should have a test for rating your mental acuity and your social-interaction skills. If you rate too low on mental acuity (intelligence) or social-interaction (how well you deal with other people), you will not be allowed into retail or shopping environments. You’d be like a 20 year-old trying to get into a bar, “I’m sorry, you aren’t old enough to enter here; go home and get someone to buy you some beer.” In this situation, you keep out the dumb and the socially inept and just tell them, “Go home, order online, and let some automated system deal with your inadequacies, okay? Next in line!”

Because some people just shouldn’t be allowed out in public interacting with other people.

Do I Know You?

April 19, 2010

I have an issue. It is a weird issue, but one nonetheless. My issue is about rude customers, who come all the time. I mean, you know them, you probably know their name; many of them definitely know my name–asking rudely, “Wow, how long have you worked here already?” Yeah, thanks a bunch. *I pinch your cheek very hard* Many customers who come all the time, they’re happy, they’re cheerful, especially since they know I can help them find anything, and point out the good deals. I generally do this for repeat customers, because I think it’s good for business. I generally stop doing this for repeat customers that need to stop coming, because they benefit the store ¬†far less than the little they actually purchase. They make people feel like slaves. They make people feel bad about themselves. They take smiles away from co-workers, who take smiles away from others. They make the world a worser place.

There are customers, I greet them, each and every time, I say, “Welcome back!” or “How have you been?” They glare at me in return. They act like they’ve never seen me. I can even ask how the pants they bought are working out, or that jacket has been useful. They still give the cold shoulder. They still treat you and me like shit. Some customers come every week and do this. They get mad no one helps them anymore–I wonder why. They get mad no one wants to grab tons of sizes, only for them to return it all saying they’ll buy it when it’s worthless and on sale, and instead buying something ugly, just because it’s cheap.

I don’t get these people. I don’t understand how their minds work, or where they think they fit into society. I know, personally, people like this help to keep our society stagnant, moving backwards. They fight the tide of social unity and interpersonal interaction. I want to find their parents and ask them, “Why?”

Customer Types: Capitalist, Modern-Day Slave Owner