Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And so it begins.

For 2008 my total mileage was 2,133.05 miles. My plan for 2009 is to either equal it or double it to 4266.10. This is based on commuting three times a week to my work at Texas Southern and my 4 mile commute to my Saturday fun job. I think it may be achievable if I can tough out the cold of January February and March.

In other news, I accomplished my first human powered grocery run since I received my 07 Schwinn Town & Country trike back from the local Performance Bicycle back on the 27th of December. I originally took it in for repair just before hurricane Ike hit as I had succeeded in stripping out the axle for the second time; however, a lack of repair parts at Pacific bicycle's facilities in California prevented them from repairing it right away. With some irony they actually got the replacement axle fairly quickly, but prior to bringing the trike into them I had attempted to repair it myself losing the key (it's really a 1 inch by half inch rectangular cube of steel) to the rear sprocket keyway. So they had to get a new key to replace the one I lost. This part had to come from China (and my best guess is they either sent them by Windjammer or literally on a slow boat from China). The one major difference when I saw between the new and the old axle is the new one looks like it's all one piece and probably will not be subject to the same kind of breakage.

Anyhow, I had stopped at Kroger's while on my way back from my fun job on 12/31. I had brought into the store with me my commuter bag which was filled with my Niterider Digital Evolution and sweat jacket as I did not want to leave them attached to the trike. I also had left it unlatched and wide open so that it could clearly be seen that the bag was full. No sooner that I had walked through the door and started to shop I was harassed by a cashier. She was one of those typical blue haired busybody types and she came up to me with a, "Excuse me sir, but we don't allow bags to be brought in. You have to turn that in to our courtesy area before you can shop." I just looked at her and said, "Sure, just soon as all the women in the store put their purses over there as well." This of course caused her to bring the manager over for reinforcement; however, when I mentioned to her that for me to do so without all the women leaving their purses at the front desk would be very discriminatory. My argument completely took the wind out of her sails because without me even saying so it became clear. The only reason this cashier came over to me is I was still pretty much in full cycling regalia as I still had my helmet and gloves on, I was male, and I had a bag about the size of a large purse. For me to have put my bag over with customer service would've been discrimination based on sex, as the only reason I would be forced to put my bag over there is because I was male. All the females would still be running around with purses about the same size as my bag and just as capable of shoplifting.
Secondly, the idiocy became clear if I had been a shoplifter I would not have gone running around in fingerless gloves and a piece of beer cooler foam festooned with reflective stickers strapped to my head. I also would be in a much faster getaway vehicle than a human powered tri-wheeler only capable of 12 mph max. The fact of the matter is if I was there to shoplift I would have none of those things on me as I would try to blend in and look like the rest of the sheep and not a helmeted "goat." I also would not shoplift at a store that was literally at my back door that I frequent and would be recognized at readily. The manager de-escalated sheepishly saying, " Well, I know that you've been here before and were only trying to prevent shoplifting." After that they pretty much left me alone; however, I did notice the security guard loitering when I was packing the trike to leave.

Theoretically I could have complied with the nosy cashiers request; however, it just rubbed me wrong that because I was male and dressed as a cyclist I had to put my bag up with customer service when there were hundreds of women walking around the store with purses approximately the same size as my bag with more available space to hide something in them than what I happened to have. Plus, extending their rationale if they were out to prevent shoplifting then they should strip everyone who walks in of their clothes so that no one can hide anything in their pockets or in the clothes themselves. I guess the older I get the less I tolerate stupidity and this whole incident was both needless and stupid on the part of the store.


Dan said...

Maybe they could put all the food inside a cage like at a pawn shop.

Sirrus Rider said...

Yeah. I like that, Then they can have clerks hand out every apple, tomato, or cucumber for inspection like a piece of jewelry.

Anonymous said...

Its sad thing now days. People just do not see all things go on at store. I work at store. You not do not see how many crazy people think of doing things. If look at it cost more take time out and Cops take for ever show up and You do now what they have on them nife or gun you take life in hand front these poeple. You get them at door or red handing. The law is on shoplefter side now days.
The stores just s try keep their stuff walking out door. Keep open mind for on their side.
Very body lose try people still things.
It is their store. If you had people all walks life come your house would try keep thing walking out door if you can.
Yes some times store cross line sad when they get done to them alot they do not think.
Hope next vest will be better for you;-)

Sirrus Rider said...


I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of the store. In my younger years I did work in a grocery store; however, in this case I do believe Krogers needed to exercise more common sense in their loss prevention as they were profiling the wrong sort of person.

Furthermore, you are clearly wrong on your understanding of the law. When it comes to shoplifting the law favors the store. Specifically, the store has the "shopkeepers rule" which allows them the right to search if they have probable cause.

In this particular case I just walked in the most that any store personnel should have been doing was saying "hello, welcome to our store." Now, if I had picked up some merchandise and either stuck in my pockets or in my bag giving them some probable cause then the store would've had the right to ask to search my bag or my person. But there I was dressed very conspicuously in cycling helmet and gloves, clearly not a shoplifting threat. Like I mentioned before, if I had been someone interested in shoplifting
I would try to blend in and appear nondescript so not to draw attention to myself. That would rule out running around with helmet and gloves on.