Godddd stop spreading the propaganda that entry-level retail workers are punished for other people's shoplifting. They aren't! I've worked retail for 4 years at 5 different places (Walgreens, Target - at 2 locations, Sam's, and 2 local places) and have never heard of this happening. Shrinkage is considered part of expenses, entry-level employees aren't expected to stop shoplifting (and are more often explicitly told not to), and this is definitely against company policy at any big chain

I'm sure it does happen under the table or at small businesses, but people talk about it like it's guaranteed every time you nick a drink. It's fucking not, and by saying this every single time someone talks about theft you're doing exactly what the capitalists - including the ones who enact this policy - want. They're holding workers hostage and you're giving in to their demands

Boosts appreciated

If you only steal from big chains - which should be your policy anyway - you don't have to worry about the employees being punished. Focus on not getting caught and they'll just treat it like miscounted inventory

@socalledunitedstates >entry-level employees aren't expected to stop shoplifting (and are more often explicitly told not to)

Can confirm, about the only training I got for my first job (at Mervyn's, may it rot in piss) was "if you see someone stealing, don't try to stop them."

@LexYeen And it's obvious why. Just imagine what would happen if these companies told their employees, "you will be punished if anything is stolen, so keep an eye out and call out anything suspicious"

In every single location you'd have employees following and probably yelling at black customers, guaranteed. It'd be a PR nightmare. No big company would make that policy

@socalledunitedstates And what if an employee got in a fight with someone and there were injuries? It's a liability thing for them, too.

Just for laughs? I went digging in my closet and found my employee handbook. Since Mervyn's died years ago, I figure it's safe to share part of the contents, so here's the entire section on "shortage" - theft, in other words.

(hastily-taken photos of an outdated employee training manual covering "shortage" and how Mervyn's handled it)

@socalledunitedstates Particularly noteworthy is the clothing subsection of the "Theft: Behaviors to look for" section - never mind the fact that clothing literally cannot be a behavior (WORDS MEAN THIIIINGS) - notice how they also list *visibly worn shoes* as something to look for to identify Scary Potential Shoplifters.

And this was in the late 90s and early 2000s. It can't have gotten any better since then.

@jackofallEves Yup. Plus the quality and wear level of someone's shoes is often considered a good indicator of the wearer's social status and thus wealth in American society, so there's also a layer of "we don't want The Poors in our store" too.

@LexYeen @socalledunitedstates look out for people without purses as if booster bags aren't a thing lmao

@pinksock The thing that bugs me the most in hindsight? The fucking "Integrity Hotline" where they encourage employees to narc on each other if they suspect theft by saying "hey if we catch an employee stealing from us based on your tip, we'll give you a ~bonus!~" That's a phenomenal way to encourage employee infighting right thurr.

@socalledunitedstates @LexYeen

this is the same in UK, also for the reason that shoplifters over here may carry knives or other weapons. There are security staff and "town rangers" who wear protective kevlar vests, are trained to defuse situations and have bodycams and personal radios.

The only places where staff might "have a go" are smaller family run businesses but you shouldn't be nicking things from them anyway (there is a problem here with racist thugs robbing from the Asian shops)


Shoplifters carry what now?

We regularly stole food and other stuff from shops when I was young. Never a knife in sight.

Anecdatum: once my mother wandered around the supermarket, shadily hiding all sorts of things in her coat, then went to the checkout and politely asked for a carrier bag. She took all the items from her coat in front of the staff, put them in the bag and left. Not a word was said.

@LexYeen @socalledunitedstates

@lupine Your mother sounds like an absolute badass. I can just imagine her staring down the nearest cashier to establish dominance as she filled the bag.

@sexybenfranklin @LexYeen

Yeah, don't treat cashiers as dirt. Note my toot:

> politely asked for a carrier bag

No idea where this confrontational fantasy came from
@sexybenfranklin @LexYeen sure, no disagreement from me there.

I think I missed a notification or two on the 27th jan ^^

@lupine @socalledunitedstates @LexYeen

you may be a Gen X'er and possibly nearly the same age as me, that was the case in 1990s up until 2000s.

now all sorts of people are carrying knives, not just shoplifters and not just "certain ethnic groups" either. I've personally noticed middle class white lads in their teens carrying knives when going drinking/clubbing "just in case".

This started around the last 15 years..


I mean, I carried knives. Just not when shoplifting.Maybe it's a geographical thing?

@LexYeen @socalledunitedstates

@lupine @vfrmedia Hey, I'm glad y'all are talking about this, but could you maybe not fill my notifications? Thanks. 👍

@lupine @socalledunitedstates

I expect it is, and roughly linked to gang culture the popularity of some sub-genres of rap music in certain areas.

But even when I lived in London and SE England and had many squatters, drug users and all sorts of other more rebellious types as friends carrying knives or weapons was extremely uncommon in any circumstances until the mid 2000s.

(Scotland did do a lot of things to discourage violence in society a few years ago which appear to have worked)

@socalledunitedstates @LexYeen I mean that does happen to black customers. Not necessarily the yelling, but definitely the following. I agree the “employees are fined for shoplifting” is BS, though other kinds of pressures happen, but pretty much all black people I know have shared at least one story of being followed by employees, sometimes confronted too.

@LexYeen @socalledunitedstates bringing this up because the “can you imagine” kind of framework is often used to describe things which really do happen at scale and people just don’t know/hear/care.

@platypus @LexYeen Right, I know it does! I just mean it'd encourage that behavior to a much higher degree, and that'd be directly tied to a change in policy rather than "one racist employee"

I admit that was ambiguous, thank you for bringing it to attention

@socalledunitedstates I had a friend once who worked at a Subway. She was robbed at gunpoint, and the manager asked her to pay back what was taken.

That was definitely the exception.

@hache What the hell? That was absolutely an exception! When I cashiered at Pizza Hut and at Walgreens they both told me in my training "if someone comes in with a gun and asks for money, calmly hit the panic button and give them everything. Don't risk your life"

@socalledunitedstates Same! Every retail job I've ever had emphasized your own personal safety over protecting the business. I gather it was a really skeezy franchise owner.

@socalledunitedstates @hache as someone who was robbed at gunpoint while delivering for Pizza Hut, can confirm that the expectation was to give up, give in, and get out.

In fact, retail companies are well aware that the majority of theft is done by employees so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I really believe that must be some deliberate propaganda


just contributing that at walmart, the only thing shoplifting shrink really affects is the quarterly bonuses so the employees are still getting paid either way. the only ppl whose jobs are really affected by it would be LP

@nanners Loss prevention are diet pigs so I don't really care tbh. If your job is to defend the wealth of the ruling class from appropriation by suffering people then you should find a new job

@socalledunitedstates encourage shoplifting all you want, but it's dangerous for minorities, and those with existing criminal records, so please pay mind to your privilege in this respect.


@socalledunitedstates i would totally boost this! but there is no cw on this post!!!

i linked to this original thread in a new post with a cw to solve this issue!

thank you for posting and sharing regardless


You'd actually get in more trouble for trying to stop shoplifting, since accosting the shoplifter opens you up to infinity liability.


Honestly shrink is such a minor thing anyone punishing their employees for it probably just enjoys harassing them.

It's a lot like throwing somebody in jail for crossing the street wrong.

I was the overnight manager at a gas station in a dangerous part of town. If you intervened at all in a theft, I was supposed to fire you because it was against our insurance policy. You're supposed to stand by, get a description, and report it to police. That was it. I was robbed twice in my time, same thing. Stood by, watched it happen, documented it for corporate to deal with

Nobody got fired for allowing anything to happen. It was covered by insurance

@socalledunitedstates I've been told that some shitty companies will try and do illegal things like deduct the lost merchandise cost from your paycheck, though

@socalledunitedstates I worked in retail for 4 years and can also confirm that insurance covers the loss and they definitely told us not to pursue because it's a health risk.

Unfortunately restaurants work differently. Walking out on your tab often will be the responsibility of the server or bartender, depending on the establishment.

@socalledunitedstates hmm, a family member of mine was docked pay because someone shoplifted shoes while they were on duty in a store

Agree tho that the whole "you're just hurting the lowest paid employees" thing is guilt tripping and silly, why should the company make its lowest employees lose money instead of absorbing it themselves? Funny nobody talks about how messed up it is that some companies do do that and resort to guilt tripping instead

@socalledunitedstates It happens though. We were always held accountable for products gone missing even though there was a huge shoplifting problem. Yelled at by the regional manager and told that we need to do something to stop it. Though we weren’t allowed to do anything about shoplifters who were the cause of the issue. I worked for a large chain. I was berated before by a manager because someone shoplifted and I didn’t try to stop them by bothering them.

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