When purchasing the bare necessities at a local store it is safe to assume that you will not be treated like a criminal, but instead like a paying customer with respect and appreciation… NOPE!
“Can I see your receipt please?” the door person asked. But there was a problem. As I glanced at the receipt in my hand I suddenly remembered something. Just a few weeks prior I made a promise to myself about this very thing. I made a vow to never show my receipt again. Showing your receipt to an employee or security guard is optional, after all – and The door person already understood, I’m sure.
“Awe, you know what,” I said, “I can’t actually.”
I am fundamentally opposed to stores that have employee/security-guard receipt checkers because of the message that these stores send to their customers. Most people may dismiss it as something minuscule, but to others that message is read loud and clear: YOU MIGHT BE A THIEF, SO PROVE TO US THAT YOU DIDN’T STEAL ANYTHING BEFORE YOU CAN LEAVE. And make no mistake, that is exactly what they are implying. Now for those of you who don’t believe this to be the case, there are admittedly some stores that do require receipt checking as part of their contract which is signed by their members. These stores are called, club stores. But listen to what some of these club stores claim are their reasons are behind checking receipts. Costco: “To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse.” Sam’s Club: ”To ensure that you are charged correctly for the merchandise you have selected, you will be requested to show your receipt when exiting.” BJ’s Wholesale Club: “BJ’s inspects all receipts as Members exit the Club to ensure that Members have not been overcharged or undercharged for an item and that all selections appear on the receipt.” Do you really believe that? Do you honestly think that all receipt inspectors have memorized the exact price of every single item in the store in order to make sure you weren’t overcharged? If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
So the battle begins…
“Then you can’t leave with that” he protested.
“Uuuuhhh, yes I can leave with this,” I replied, “and I’m going to leave with it.”
It’s best to go hard on these kind of people. They use intimidation as a means of getting others to do things that are voluntary in the first place. You must show them that you are no snail to be stepped on, but rather a snake. One that’ll bite you in the knickers if you get too close.
“Get your hands off me!” I shouted. “You have no right to touch me!”
After snatching the paid for and much needed items from my hands, he placed it back inside the store.
“You have to show me your receipt for that beer,” he said. “or you can’t leave with it. That’s my job.”
It’s important to note that the security guard was no more than six feet away from me when I made my purchase. He undoubtedly witnessed me paying for it.
“I even asked you nicely,” he continued. “I said please. I have to ask everyone to make it fair.”
“That’s fine,” I said, “I get that, but I’m not a thief. I paid for this. You saw me pay for it. Feel free to ask the cashier if I paid for it if you like,” I picked it back up, “but I’m not going to show you my receipt, bro.” I started walking out again, “And I’m not waiting for you to find out if I did either. I don’t have to prove anything to you.”
As I left the store he began loudly talking about me in a not so professional manner. Let’s just say insults were hurled, fingers were given and fowl language was used in describing me. Woe, I didn’t think Edward James Olmos would stoop to that level.
Some people would say– Easy there, Tiger. It’s not that big of a deal. Just show the stupid receipt… But think of it this way… How would you feel if the minute you walked into a store they had an employee follow you around the entire time in order to make sure you weren’t stealing, and then after paying, another employee didn’t ask but DEMANDED your receipt before exiting? You would probably feel so disrespected that you wouldn’t shop there anymore. Most stores now have a plethora of cameras which is very similar to someone following you around, being able to see everything you are doing. Receipt checkers ask to see your receipt because it is optional, but if you kindly decline then some may try and bully you into showing it (like my good friend the security guard back there). But isn’t this America, where it is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and not the other way around? What is it that binds us to our purchases exactly? Is it the receipt? If I was to pay for a microwave and told the cashier that I didn’t want the receipt and for it to be thrown away, now that the receipt is not longer in the picture does that mean that the microwave is no longer mine? No. The microwave is still mine, receipt or no receipt. All that really matters is that I know I paid for it. That my conscience is clear of any wrong doing.
I have a friend who took his son to the grand opening of a shoe store. As soon as they entered, a security guard told him that because he was wearing a big jacket that he would have to lift it up before leaving, to show them if he had anything underneath. The reason being that some teenagers had stolen a bunch of shoes a few hours earlier. My friend replied to him, “It’s not right to try and make people do that simply because someone stole some shoes. I’m not here to steal, but just to look around. And I refuse to lift up my jacket.” What a way to treat your customers. They looked around the store for a moment and then decided to leave. On the way out the same security guard stopped him and said, “Hey man!… They told me to tell people that, but your totally right. Sorry about that.” Needless to say, he will not be returning there again. On the upside, however, it was a great learning opportunity for the little boy in that the father was able to show his son how you should not let people push you around or treat you like a criminal.
So, when will it stop? Things seem to go from bad to worse through incrementalism. One day it’s– receipt please, the next it’s– miss, we need to see inside your purse, to– sir, lift up your shirt, until finally they implement TSA agents full force in every store, sticking their hands down your pants in the name of “shopping terrorism”. What was that, you’re opting out of showing us your receipt, you say? Okay, buddy. You want to do this the hard way, you got it. Opt out! We have an opt out! Bring the rubber gloves! Got a possible terrorist here!
I’d like to challenge all freedom lovers out there to resist this form of slave training from these type of stores. This does not necessarily mean you should go hardcore on receipt checkers by making a scene, but instead be friendly and calmly decline by simply saying- no thank you. Receipt checkers who are informed will just let you go with no hassle. But if you come across one that does make an issue out of it, then you should make an issue out of it too because it really boils down to this… IF YOU CANNOT STAND UP TO THE LITTLE OLD LADY AT WALMART WHO IS DEMANDING TO SEE YOUR RECEIPT, THEN HOW ON EARTH DO YOU EXPECT TO STAND UP TO THE MILITARY WHEN THEY KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR AND DEMAND YOUR GUNS? So, think of this resistance as a sort of training to become more freedom minded. Practice your resistance now while you have the chance. Either that or just keep on thinking of this issue as small and unimportant and continue submitting to the false authority figures, like the good little slave they want you to be.
Video at link of another person experience.