Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Is there a tornado coming? Are the Nazis bombing us? Is it the end of the world?
No, it's just our security gates.
Yes, they are very loud. They are so loud they make people leave their senses. Curiously, for some patrons they are somehow too loud to hear, and they keep walking obliviously towards the final building exit. Others are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of our alarm and simply stand there in the security gates in a kind of horrified stasis while the alarm rings out forever. Still others like to try to identify the problem. They step back into the gates. "Was that you?" They ask one of their party. The other person steps into the gate. Why, they both set off the alarm! Does this bag set it off, or this one? They both do!
Of course, we behind the desk have an even greater variety of ways to respond to patrons setting off the security gates. We can run after the offender, tackling them to the ground, but we are more likely to tiredly wave them back to the desk. If we're really busy we may be even too tired to wave, and we instead simply hope that whatever they're taking isn't very good and that they'll bring it back eventually anyway. These are actually pretty good bets. Still, we try to care, and usually do.
I long to cry out "Stop thief." But I never have. I don't believe we have ever caught a thief with our security gates, well, once maybe, but that's not really what the gates are for. They're not to catch thieves, rather they are there to catch people who are bad at using our self check out machines, which, come to think of it, may be as great a crime as stealing.