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(hastily-taken photos of an outdated employee training manual covering "shortage" and how Mervyn's handled it)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

@LexYeen @socalledunitedstates isnt visibly worn shoes like the target demographic of shoe sales?

@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.

@LexYeen @lupine
>staring down a cashier to establish dominance

Wow, even when stealing from a store, let's treat the service staff like dirt.

@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

@lupine @LexYeen from the toot I responded to. I wasn't saying it happened, I was saying we shouldn't fantasize about it. "staring down" a cashier to "establish dominance" is a pretty shitty thing to fantasize about.

@sexybenfranklin @LexYeen sure, no disagreement from me there.

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


ah, yeah someone had said "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."

@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've only been to one shop where they'd do this. And they seemingly stopped after like a month :catgirlthinking:

@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.

@socalledunitedstates I had no idea about this, I guess I've learned something new.

@socalledunitedstates 💯 I worked in retail for 10 years, electronics, fashion, low-end chain department stores, and independent shops.

No one does this.

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.



YES. Not only does shoplifting not hurt workers, often the shoplifters are the workers.

Entry-level retail workers make fuck all and are often looking to move out of retail anyway (because who wants to actually work there?) so what do they do to live? steal from their own stores. Heck, they're in the best position to do so.

Many a great partnership has grown out of shoplifter-worker collaboration.

@queeranarchism @socalledunitedstates at my last job I had a pleasant conversation with the LP person assigned to my department while putting a stolen dress into my bag. Several times. I also regularly stole food from the grocery and ate it for lunch. If you aren't going to pay me enough to eat or have clothes I'll just take the difference 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️

@saltqueer @queeranarchism @socalledunitedstates

These are all amazing and great points, but I think we need to acknowledge the difference between working class people stealing to get by and privileged anarchists stealing as a form of praxis. If you need to steal to live, by all means do so, but if you don't need to steal, there are other, more effective forms of praxis, at least as far as I can see.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I'm new to the whole anarchy thing.

@saltqueer @queeranarchism @socalledunitedstates

Actually,PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, as I am new and learning and want to learn the better forms of praxis/anarchist theory.

@DarklyScrawled @saltqueer @queeranarchism Why shouldn't privileged anarchists steal? Or to put it another way: why SHOULD privileged anarchists pay for things? If you need something and you're already out to get it, why pay for it if you can take it without being caught? We've established that it doesn't harm the employees, so what's the problem?

You can do other forms of praxis AND steal, on the same day even. So why give money to capitalists?

@socalledunitedstates @DarklyScrawled @queeranarchism plus! privileged anarchists have a better chance of succeeding at stealing. the only reason I get away with it so much is cause everyone thinks I'm this harmless little white girl. privileged anarchists can steal things their less privileged comrades need, because they will face less consequences if they are caught, and they're less likely to be caught in the first place

@saltqueer @socalledunitedstates @queeranarchism A VERY good point, and one that makes a great case for privileged people stealing being ethical. I rescind my earlier point int its entirety.


@socalledunitedstates @DarklyScrawled @queeranarchism

The difference in policing by LPs of white vs. Non white/ apparently poor vs. anyone else is so large that i argue that privledged anarchists should ALWAYS be stealing for their comrades. Like if ur at a store, u should probably have a shopping list of things ur friends want/need. Defs learn a bunch about how to do it safely... but like be gay! Do crimes!

@DarklyScrawled @saltqueer @socalledunitedstates

There are two questions here for ‘privileged people’: ‘is stealing okay?’ and ‘is stealing effective praxis?’

The first answer is: YES. if you are not a capitalist exploiting workers, you are a worker being exploited. All the shoplifting you can do can not compensate for your whole life being stolen from you by this system. Steal all you want.

The second answer is: if you are white, cis, etc. steal more for your less privileged friends.

@queeranarchism @socalledunitedstates

Statistically the group far, far more likely to be the thief, or at least the more successful and damaging thief, in this calculation is the franchise itself against it's own workers anyways.

So even talking about 'employee theft' vs. 'customer theft' is misleading, as if poor ol' mom and pop are just trying to make a decent living and you thievin' millennials are ruining it.

@socalledunitedstates Hey friend. I actually finally found a caveat to this statement. There was someone who worked at a smaller clothing retail store (like you find at a mall) in America. She and other workers -were- punished if management found out something went missing on their shift. So, like, you're right that grocery stores and lower-tier large warehouses aren't gonna do anything, but once you move up the pyramid, the pigs are really protective over their property. So, as always, be very selective with where, how, and why you steal. Make sure it's a place that at least won't miss the item -that day-.


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

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