I Was the Target

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In the five years that I have worked retail, this story sticks out for me the most.

Three years ago, I worked a closing shift. Now, I was a cashier, so it was just me, my shift supervisor and the security guard at the registers. The store itself was dead, so I decided to clean around our dollar section. This dollar section sits behind our little island of a service desk, which is where my supervisor was working. About half an hour before we finally closed up shop, a couple came in looking to return some items. No big deal. People come in to return their crap around this time a lot.

Since my supervisor was working the desk, my tired 19 year old bum continued to fix the displays around the desk and dollar section. That is, until I heard the telling click of a camera. I nervously glanced at my surroundings through my hair. Can you guess what I found? Yup. The man that came in with his other half had his fricking phone pointed right at me! The click I heard was from him taking my photo.

Again, I heard the clicking sound. Over and over, this freak wasn’t even trying to hide the fact he’s creeping on me! I booked it to the other side of the desk, now pretty much hiding behind my supervisor. The security guard was nowhere to be found. I desperately hoped he was back in his office and calling the damn sheriff on this freak.

The couple completed their return and finally, freaking finally, left my store. I watched as they walked to their car, relaying what just happened to my supervisor. Of course, he just thought I was overreacting. He must have just been taking some selfies, right? Uh, no. If he wanted to do that, he could have stayed right next to his partner. Plus, taking a picture of yourself at the angle the phone was at, makes you look like a giant thumb. No, I know a creeper when I see one. I’ve watched too many horror movies not to.

The time for locking the doors came and I walked to the back with Mr. Security to clock out. I told him about the service desk incident. He told me he saw what the guy was doing and went in the back to check the many cameras. Sure enough, our super high quality cameras caught this guy just blatantly taking pictures of me.

I was escorted to my car by him. Outside sat a red minivan with that same couple inside, watching me. The moment they saw I wasn’t alone, they booked it outta there. I’ve never seen a van peel out so fast.

I requested to never work a closing shift ever again after that, but this company likes to screw over the employees, so I never got that change until I moved to a different location and started a new position.

Yes, I should have gone to the police. But I was a very timid 19 year old girl who would rather not bother the police over something so trivial. Thankfully, retail has hardened me and now I wouldn’t think twice about calling someone out for being an asswipe. It does scare me that there are photos of me out there. I changed a lot in the last three years. Hopefully tattoos and piercings and major weight loss makes me look very different than what’s on that phone.

If anyone else encounters someone like this, don’t be a horror movie cliche like me. Go to the police. Tell someone. I was lucky enough to never encounter this freak again or have it easily escalate into something terrible, but not everyone can be so lucky.

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I’d file a complaint against the shift supervisor for not looking after his employees properly. With the security guards word, the footage from start to peeling out and your account of things – they’d be too scared of being sued to not change my shift. You might have been too timid to call the police but you did tell, you did the right thing. I’m glad you’re okay!