Had a bit of an adventure on Friday. I was walking out my local Mark & Spencer shop after buying eggs, double cream and courgettes for my quiche, when I was stopped by two security guard and escorted to a dingy room in the back and ordered to sit on a foldable chair.
2 minutes earlier…
What had happened is that I was shopping using the M&S “Mobile Pay to Go” app, somebody in the shop saw my picking up products and dropping them straight in my shopping bag and had alerted security.
I was asked to remove my mask and to provide an ID (which I did not have). The attitude was quite aggressive until they finally accused of theft and I was able to show the receipt on my phone. At that point they apologise profusely, claiming that the app was a new thing (it isn’t) and they were not aware of the fact that it was available in that shop (duh).
My two random thoughts about this
Companies work at different speeds, especially large companies. I was caught in the space between somebody releasing an app one side of the company and people providing security on site on the other. It would have been simple for them to just ask for the receipt when I was stopped at the exit, but it looks like the idea of a customer leaving with products without going through a traditional payment process was not even considered.
I wonder if the fact that I was wearing a black face mask and a black ball cap had anything to do with me being stopped, after all I had used the app a lot of times over the last six months while wearing my usual middle age (and white) face. If this was the case, and masks remove a little privilege, I think that overall it’s a good thing.
Stay safe, be nice, keep in touch, make yourself a nice quiche.