Tuesday, February 08, 2005

You hassling *me*, Sparky?

I'm home sick today (dampening my usual chipper mood), but I had to run up to CVS for some meds and other essentials. I decide to take a quick detour to the Micro Center which is in the same mini-mall. I couldn't bear rushing back home for more daytime TV.

The trip went well, as my letter to the store manager and corporate HQ will show...

February 8, 2005

Store Manager, Micro Center
3089 Nutley Street
Fairfax, VA 22031

Dear Sir or Madam,

Today, 02/08/2005, at about 2:00pm as I attempted to leave your store, I was harassed by a scruffy-looking, bearded, disheveled man who claims to be an employee of yours in some way.

As I stood in the checkout line for approximately 5-10 minutes with my purchases, I witnessed a woman attempt to leave after checking out at another register. She set off the security alarm. The employee who checked her out went over, walked her package through the alarm and set it off again. Satisfied that the customer had not stolen anything, the employee apologized, gave the customer her package and went back to her register.

A moment later, a male customer attempted to leave after checking out at a different register (perhaps the customer service desk). He too set off the alarm. As he attempted to continue out the door, a scruffy-looking, bearded man (wearing no store identification or uniform) stopped him and told the customer that he had to go back to the register at which he checked out. I then heard the customer say "are you an employee here" and "can I see some identification". The scruffy looking man replied that he "helps with security at the store". The customer then said "'helping with security' and working here are two different things". The customer then began (unhappily) making his way back to the register at which he checked out originally.

At this time, I had finished checking out (after spending my $130). As I walked through the door, I too set off the alarm. The scruffy-looking man, who at this time was walking through the entrance area, towards the returns area, stopped walking, turned to face me, and told me I had to go back to the register. Having just watched the confrontation between the scruffy-pseudo-employee and the male customer, and knowing that I hadn't stolen anything, I said "I'm not going back anywhere. I just stood here and watched three people in a row set off that security alarm. It seems to me there's a problem with the alarm". I then continued out towards my vehicle. At this, he began following me, still going on about me having to go back. I again said "I'm not going anywhere". He then said "that's fine, I'll just follow you to your car and take down your tag number". I said "you can take down whatever you want". I then proceeded to my truck, got in, waited for him to get out from behind my vehicle (as he was blocking my exit while he took down my license plate number), and drove away.

I live less than a mile from your store. I shop there pretty frequently. I have never been harassed in this manner by a person claiming to represent a company before. And I want to make damn sure it never happens again. I refuse to shop in businesses where I'm made to feel like a criminal and followed out to my vehicle by someone who can't even truthfully call himself an employee. This is OUTRAGEOUS! I'm writing this letter to the store manager, the corporate headquarters (assuming I have the address below correct), and I'm posting it on my blog. If I can save my friends from being harassed at your stores, I'm happy to do it.


Gary Ryan

Micro Center
Customer Service
4115 Leap Road
Hillard, OH 43026

Corporate Headquarters

I've got two copies printed out. Nothing spurs people to action more than actual letters written on actual paper, sent through the actual mail, with a real, live stamp stuck on them. Mom showed me that a long time ago, and it's even more true now in our instant-gratification-email-based world. Thanks mom.

You already know how I don't like being hassled by store door-jockeys trying to search my shit after I've made a purchase. And I'm damn sure not taking this shit. It seriously took a bit of self-control not to spin around and deck this guy while he was following me to my truck. Tho, I guess if he "sorta" works there...I know where to find him after his shift ends :)