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by Tori Marr
It's time for me to rant about something that affects teenagers everything. It doesn't matter if you're a criminal, a girl, a boy, or a straight A student. Have you ever been in a store and you feel like the manager is eyeing you more closely than the customer yesterday? Well, that happened to me today. In fact, I got dragged into the food court and made to empty my pockets in front of everyone. It was humiliating. Right away, the manager accused me of stealing a chocolate bar. I told him that I would wait right there while he went and looked at the store camera, because I hadn't picked up anything let alone a chocolate bar. I proceeded to tell him that I had never stolen anything in my life, but he kept accusing me, right in my face. He went back into the store and left me there, terrified. Then, he came back out and apologized. He told me that he has the right to "ask" anyone about anything, and that he has a right to watch people. I simply told him that he needed to watch people more closely, because I wasn't even the one who had picked up his chocolate bar.
Can an apology really make up for all of that embarrassment? And the worst thing is...this isn't even the first time it's happened to me. About a month ago I was made to get on my knees and empty my purse. Customers looked at me like I was a criminal while I sat there, red faced, with my personal belongings at his feet.
I know that they say it's not age discrimination, but why else would anyone make a teenager empty their pockets or their purse when they clearly haven't picked anything up? They didn't even have any reason to suspect me, aside from the fact that I'm seventeen (and maybe I look like a devious criminal...well, maybe not devious, but definitely sarcastic).
So, in conclusion, I'd just like to get the message out to all of you managers who get your kicks from embarrassing teenagers. If you suspect that they have stolen something from your store, please don't drag them out into a public place. It's not fair and it's definitely not a way to keep their business. And trust me, for most of us; it is business, not theft.