Two weeks ago on a Sunday morning I went into a neighborhood Rite Aid. I don’t shop there frequently but from time to time usually to purchase a particular item on sale or to get something close by for my convenience.
I’ve also been a member of their shopping rewards program for years just as with a few other stores that offer card value savings.
So after I entered into the store I headed straight toward the vitamin aisle as I had just came from my local Vitamin Shoppe already with a bag full of supplements. Rite Aid carries Nature’s Truth supplements where you can always buy one and get another supplement item of the same brand for free.
While I stood in the aisle there was an older lady who had gotten there before me and had been taking her time scoping out what she wanted to buy and I could tell she’d been there a while before I myself had arrived. I usually do the same upon deciding what I’m going to purchase and I often take my time as I may come across additional items that will catch my eye for consideration.
In the process of the lady and I continuing to deliberate on the things that we were possibly going to buy I observed a store employee walk by the area twice and my guard went up as his behavior served to me as an alert to something “fishy” going on with him.
Shortly after, the instance escaped my mind, as not too long following I entered a few other aisles in search for more possible products to purchase. It wasn’t until I hit the shampoo aisle that this same lurking employee made a direct approach toward me.
“I need to check your bag”, he said to me.
“This idiot”, I immediately thought to myself as I instantly knew what he was implying.
“Why?” I said in response, Do you think I stole something?”
“No”, he said, as he was lying, of course.
“So why do you want to check my bag?” I asked him again. “You are suspicious of me”.
Still, this employee continued to deny my address that I was being accused by his assumption that I had been stealing, and kept suggesting that I let him check my bag.
Finally, I relented, while addressing, “Okay, but you’re not going to find anything”. And when I let this employee snoop into my bag full of vitamins he didn’t find one single item located from that Rite Aid store and I had a receipt to prove it if needed be!
Afterwards, he left me alone, however, I picked up a shampoo that was on sale and took it to the counter along with two other items that I had in my hand to buy.
I questioned the clerk asking her “Do you all in here randomly check customer’s bags and are customer’s allowed to bring purchases from other stores into this store?” I certainly already knew the answer to my question I just wanted to hear it from the cashier’s mouth herself.
Once she told me “no” to the first question and “yes” to the second one I told her to get me a manager. I had a strong feeling the asshole who hounded me was the manager and I was correct.
When he brought himself over to the counter I told him that I was reporting him to the district manager or someone higher up.
I questioned him in front of other customer’s as to why he asked to check my bag demanding that he just come out and be honest about it. I told him it was because of the color of my skin, my brown skin, and nothing else. I had been coming into that Rite Aid longer than he’d been working there as I had never seen him there before. I didn’t look or appear like a bum, I worked every day, and don’t have to steal anything.
The manager claimed he was suspicious because I stayed in the aisle too long which was bullshit because other people who were of a lighter complexion and different race were there inside the aisles longer than I was. He couldn’t come up with anything substantial and he was stupid because there were cameras everywhere.
This man was of Hispanic descent and he had the nerve to be leery of me as many of his ethnicity do actually believe that they are better than most blacks and will judge one on the spot whether they’re within the appearance of classy or not.
Well, he messed around with the wrong non stereotypical, proper speaking, intelligent, and dignified black female, and sure enough, without wasting any time, I went home and reported him. I had his name, the store location number, the time of the incident so they could roll back the cameras, and all.
Someone higher up got back to me the next day from Rite Aid customer service and thanked me for reporting the situation. They imparted if the manager did what he did to me on account of my race or color of my skin that he would do it again to someone else and assured me he would be reprimanded.