Skip to content

80. When the alarm beeps as you’re leaving a store

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Stop it, you’re making a scene!

Every once in a while, I see somebody head toward the exit of a clothing store at the mall, to be scared by the loud beeps of an alarm that tells the whole world:

“Hey, y’all! Do you see this woman right here? Yeah that one! I think she stole something!”

I see her standing there, with a confused expression, looking around to see where the security guard is coming from to handcuff her and take her to jail for theft. Yes, I know security guards don’t do that, but let us imagine it. Funny, right?

Imagine two women casually leaving an expensive clothing store when the thing starts beeping. They look confused. And then they look at each other wondering if the other stole something; perhaps even wondering if one slipped something into the other woman’s purse. How dare she? They look down at their bags and then look around for someone to come by to check them. But nobody arrives. So they just stand there. Until they realize that if they go back in, it will beep again so instead they just leave. Oh, expensive retailers.. But if that were to happen at a Walmart, the Walmart police would go straight to the scene to check your receipt and look through your items.

Sometimes those machines are wrong! I used to have a textbook that I carried everywhere with me to read as often as possible (in coffee shops, toilet stalls, etc.) and it would beep upon entering a shop, and then again when I was leaving. I had my bag searched quite often. Soon enough, I found it a little funny. I even made a couple of friends carry the book for me so it would beep on them and embarrass the heck out of them. Eventually, I got to page 348 in the book, and there it was. . . an awesome magnetic beeping sticker; the cause of all this.

And no, I didn’t remove it.

Image source

  1. I saw this happen to a girl on Friday! She made the thingy beep on her way out, and there was an employee that made her open her bag and backpack and she looked through EVERYTHING to make sure that the girl didn’t steal anything.

    And, yes, this too happened at Wal-Mart…

    August 22, 2011
    • I feel really bad when that happens.. =/ even when they get caught I’m like “Darn it.. how embarrassing..”

      August 22, 2011
  2. hey i love the book thing. I get beeped at all the time and just keep walking, never even pause. Those security guys are bored to death anyway, you would think they would be excited to be able to GIVE CHASE. Noone ever does tho. boring c

    August 22, 2011
    • Oh, the book thing was awesome while it lasted.. 🙂

      August 22, 2011
  3. Lol! The book thing is funny.

    August 22, 2011
  4. Lol, you didn’t move it? It would have bugged me to death, but at least you got a good kick out of having it. 😛

    August 22, 2011
    • When buying stuff, I would always keep it away from that little pad thing that disables those stickers, it was awesome. I even found ways to stop that from beeping. But that secret I will not share, I don’t want to encourage thiefs.

      Ok I’ll just tell you. I casually lifted it up above the detector things while walking and NO BEEP!

      August 22, 2011
  5. Optimus the Ninja #

    My friend had an embarrassing moment regarding detectors. As she was walking out of the store behind me, the thing went off and a security guard came over to inspect her bag. There were several embarrassing items in there, like underwear, pads and tampons. She and the guard were red-faced.

    August 22, 2011
    • Oh no.. poor girl! I feel embarrassed for embarrassed people..

      August 22, 2011
  6. HAHA… Now days it seems to happen to me a lot. I just keep walking. I think they look at ne like an old fart and just let me go.. little do they know;)

    August 22, 2011
  7. Why would you take this one textbook everywhere? :S What was the course?

    August 22, 2011
    • It was a history book.. hahaha, I thought it was super interesting

      August 25, 2011
  8. TBM #

    I had a book that I bought at a store that would make the library things beep like crazy. Every time I went into the library I would be stopped and questioned. And the library is extra quiet so the beeping was loud…or at least it seemed louder to me. I was glad when I didn’t have to carry that book anymore.

    August 22, 2011
    • Haha thats one of the bad things about libraries.. so awkward when your stomach begins to growl in the quietness

      August 25, 2011
  9. Dude. That happened to me often. I carried library books that set off some store alarms. My winter jacket had some sort of non-removable anti-theft thing in it that kept resetting itself. Fortunately, no one really wants to stop the tired-looking black lady with six kids in tow (ha ha ha). Solutions? Shop less. And I bought an eReader. Solved!

    August 22, 2011
    • A non-removable thingy? Haha! And yes, shopping less would solve a lot of the problems.. especially in the U.S.

      August 25, 2011
  10. “And no, I didn’t remove it.” 😀

    August 23, 2011
  11. Whenever I leave a store with my bro, he sticks the bag through the alarm first to see if it would beep before he walks out. He hates being embarrassed like that.

    August 25, 2011
  12. Dian Wijayanti #

    Hahaha, been there, done that! I bought a CD once and the cashier guy forgot to take off the sticker, so it beeped so loud, but I already paid so I didn’t really feel any kind of embarassment. The guy simply grinned and then removed the sticker and we laughed altogether. The second time it happened was when I went to a kind-of Walmart store and they put this ‘lock’ (don’t know the exact name) to seal my backpack, and when I swung my back, it get passed the detector and it made a really loud noise! Geez!
    The book thing is really cool, though. I don’t think libraries in Indonesia has that kind of magnetic sticker in their books. 😦

    August 26, 2011
  13. TuesdaysTurtles #

    Once I got a pair of sneakers and the cashier forgot to remove the ink cartridge.It didn’t go off at the store, so I had to carry it around on my shoe. Then it burst at school.

    December 3, 2011
  14. Gwen #

    Ugh. I have a book right now that has the damn magnetic thing…somewhere inside of it. I took off the label out of frustration, but I know that won’t work. I’m always in the library and I just started this damn book. It’s going to beep every freaking time I go in/leave. I was stopped by a guy who barely spoke English so…he was confused. Inside of the damn book it says “NO LONGER property of St. Louis Library” and I live in California. Ugh. I bought it from Amazon for 4 bucks…you’d think that the guy/girl who sold it to me would do me a favor and take it out!!!! *growls* and the book is about Columbine. When I took it out to show the guy he gave me a weird ass look. He fears me now. He better let me get away with this imaginary, non existent theft from now on.

    March 14, 2012
  15. Karasakikitty #

    This happened to me at the registers of a shop. It was SO embarrasing!! I had just bought a bunch of stuff and went to leave the store, the alarm kept going off. Not only was the lady from my register looking for what set it off, but another sales girl came over to try and “help”. Turns out it was actually two things in my handbag, a magnetic key for our apartment building and an almost-new Sunscreen I bought from another store earlier in the week (but I had already thrown the receipt away). The sunscreen apparently had a security tag on it that was not de-activated by the other store I bought it from (?!).
    Both sales people were both pretty nice about it but from the way they were insisting on checking everything, I could tell that the younger girl thought I may have stolen the sunscreen, because she said to me something like “Just be aware that this store sells this item, so next time you come in make sure you show someone from the store what you have in your bag already”. I understand she was just doing her job but I am a very honest person who would never even consider shoplifting, so I was totally mortified by the situation!!

    I probably will think twice about shopping at that store again, or at the very least make sure I only take in the bare minimum (wallet, keys) next time.

    September 4, 2012
    • Your story made me laugh out loud! Having to explain yourself to security or to the cash register person is embarrassing, especially since when the thing starts beeping, EVERYBODY turns around and looks at you.

      Thank you for sharing that 🙂


      September 4, 2012
      • Karasakikitty #

        No worries, it was theraputic to share! Love your blog by the way, your observations are so on the money 🙂

        September 4, 2012
        • 🙂

          Really? Thank you!

          And thanks a bunch for reading, you’re awesome!


          September 5, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Pictures with a walking sandwich | AwkwardList

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: