I got accused of shoplifting!

Instead of buying things from a supermarket i like to use local indipendant traders so the best place for me to go and pick up a few buts and pieces is our local indoor market (im not sure if you have these in the US, but in the UK they are fairly common and are big halls which are filled with permanent and semi-permanant stalls which act as tiny shops for small independant businesses to operate from).

Anywho, our local market has got two stores which sell lots of household things like washing up liquid, batteries, mops etc. I needed some bin-liner (garbage bags) and some washing-up liquid so i went to one stall, and it had quite an odd layout with the cash desk in the centre and things on shelves all around. I picked up my bin-liners and then looked to find the washing-up liquid. Which must of been in a different area. As i walked past the cash desk, the stall oweber looked up and said ‘What are you doing with those?’ in a very brusque manner. 'I explained i was looking for washin-up liquid and she grunted then proceeded to stare at me while i searched.
Not liking the attitude one bit, i turned back the way i had walked tossed the bin-liners back in their spot and went to the other store.

I bought what i needed there, again not finding what i needed straight way but getting some very freindly help from the assistant. It hen went on to get a couple of other things from several different stalls. When i was stood byt the bakery, way on the other side of the market hall, somebody tapped me on the shoulder. I turned aroud and it was the owner of the first stall.
before i could say anything she said very aggressively ‘Are you going to pay for thos bin-bags or not?’

I couldnt believe it. I told her i had put them back and bought them from another shop. she asked why and i said beacuse i didn’t like her attitude. She said (again quite aggressively) ‘what attitude, i just asked if you wanted help!’ I just said 'That attitude.'
After that i turned and walked away. I was so flustered though, i almost dropped all my money in the fruit shop.

I couldnt beleive she had followed me all over the market to accuse me of stealing a 79p roll of bin-liners!!

wow, I would never go back again. ever. not to her stall. In my area we don’t have these markets. The closest thing I can think of is a farmer’s market and that is fresh food and preserves and such that people raise and make and then bring in on designated weekends to sell. It is not permanent and you can’t get trash bags there. You go to walmart for those. lol or at least I do because it’s the only place the bus goes. honestly, I might have slapped her face off. that would have done something. lol

How awful for you! It is so sad that there are so many people dealing with people that don’t know how to act like people. One of the single most important things a shop owner should have is people skills…any other attitude just runs off customers. That first impression is so very important and your traumatic experience will most likely cost her the business of everyone you know and their aquaintances as well. Shame on her!!!

You did totally the right thing walking away. It’s so frustrating having someone speak to you like that. I definitely wouldn’t go back to that stall, especially since you found a much more friendly stall which sells the same kinds of things.

What a horrible situation to be in. Take several deep breaths and get the knitting out for a bit.


Sounds like you handled it ok to me.

What a witch with a B!


oh how that sums england up now adays, aggresive and you are guilty of everything until you prove your not. i wouldnt live there again for love nor money.

you so did the right thing. although i think i would have seen her manager and got an appology from them, but hey i’m a stroppy c*w lol
i bet you were fuming though. hope you never go back there again.

i got accused once back in the uk in jager. i was followed about the shop. i got so annoyed with it that i turned around and told the snooty shop assistant that hell would freeze before i would spend any money with them and reported her to head office for being so rude. it made me feel better anyway

the ridiculous thing is, i have to admit, i used to shoplift as a kid, for no other reason than that i could, and over the course of a year (the ‘novelty’ wore of after that) walked away with a shocking amount of stuff without being challanged. Now 8 years later i get accused of stealing somthing as insignificant as bin-liners when i’m merely browising a store… I admit that point did make me giggle to myself a little.

I love the way you Brits talk–bin liners and washing-up liquid!

TBH i normally call them binbags, i went all posh in my post though. out of curiosity what do you Yanks (;)) call washing-up liquid?

Washing-up liquid = dish detergent or dish washing detergent.

What would be our equivalent of your “biological washing powder”?

P.S. - My husband and I watch a lot of BBCAmerica and have picked up certain words now. For example, we recently had some home renovations done and our neighbor works for a waste management firm and so we asked her if we could order a “skip” from her. She didn’t know what the heck we were talking about and it took us about 5 minutes to come up with the correct word for her = a “dumpster”. HA!

Dish soap

I call it dish soap, or laundry detergent, or hand soap, or some such thing- I am not certain what kind of soap you mean? Body soap to me is just a bar of soap, or shower gel (thanks to Bath and Body).

bin-liners are garbage bags, or trash bags

You would think that in a stall type (likely self employed)shop, they would want your business and be nicer…

It is one thing when you are a drone for a company that doesn’t pay you enough to care (and even then it isn’t right) but if it is your shop…you would want to do your best!


I call them garbage bags, but at work where I sell to restaurants on the phone, we call them can liners. I knew what you were talking about from that. I like the way you talk, (or write). It is so interesting how we can be different in our wording. In the south of the US, we call grocery carts, buggies. When I heard some comedian talking about this on the radio, I got very tickled about it. It sounds so silly to call a grocery cart a buggy, but I do it, also.

I am not sure exactly what washing-up liquid refers to, but if it has to do with washing dishes I call it dish soap for hand washing soap and dishwasher detergent for the soap that goes into a dishwasher. If it has to do with showering I call it body wash or shower gel :slight_smile:

So sorry you had to go through all that humilliation. Just think, if they treat many folks like that, they will be out of busness real soon.
When I was a young person, I worked in a grocery store. They called the carts (bascarts) I still to this day call them bascarts.
I think if it were me I would go back to the first stall, pick up something, carry it around for a while. Then go dump it down right in front of her and walk away.

Washing up liquid is for washing dishes.