This morning at Supercheap Auto while looking for a disc lock for my scooter, I was accused of theft.

Due to the highly specific nature of my search I asked of staff about such things, and was met with puzzlement and pointed to chain link locks. They seem to be quite bulky for me needs so I left without one, planning to find somewhere that sells disc locks instead. As I left I was hailed down by a staff worker saying:

Excuse me, can I look in your bag? It is store policy.

This hasn’t happened to me for a long time, and with a shock of adrenalin I understand that they think I’ve stolen something. I had no option but to bring my laptop with me into the store, as there is no secure place for it on the scooter. I also didn’t want to be too delayed in leaving because I open things up at the community centre too.

Strong was the temptation to say something argumentative such as “No you may not”, or “If you think I’ve stolen something then call the police”, but ended going with a less confrontational response, telling them in a measured tone, “I have done nothing wrong”, and left.

Such a response was aimed at implying to them that if they think that I have done something wrong then they can take action.

The next few hours though were spent broiling over how dare they, and being upset at not just the invasion of private space but more-so at the implied accusation of being a thief.

Such a casual invasion and accusation cannot be taken lying down. If they think that I’ve stolen something then that is what store security is for. They can note down my license plate details and call the police, or give them in-store security camera footage.

It is store policy? To casually expect every customer to relent to not only the invasion of a bag search but also the accusation that they are a thief is something that I am not inclined to bow my head to. There are still some rights that are worth standing up for.