Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keep your damn paparazzi out of my thrift store!

From this week's (final.. like ever) Gambit Public Transit Tuesday.
While walking away, I heard someone yelling, "Excuse me? Turn around!" I didn't think the person was talking to me, but I turned around anyway. The lady was black with dreadlocks and the lady I saw inside of M-V Thrift Shop was a middle-aged woman with greasy blonde hair.

"Why were yuh takin' pictures of the store? Yuh cannot do that!" she yelled with a Jamaican accent.

"I'm a journalist and I'm outside — I'm allowed to. I didn't even take any pictures inside!"

"But why were yuh takin' pictures?"

"So people can know the store exists."

"What is exists? What do that mean?"
Now it turns out that the thrift store owner in this episode might have some legal issues making her nervous but it's not the first time Megan has been scolded by shop owners for snapping pictures. Can someone explain what this particular paranoia is about? People in public take pictures of stuff. Google takes pictures of everything in the world and maps those pictures. 

I understand the concerns individuals have over creeping Big Brotherism when city's police forces have cameras on every corner or randomly harass hundreds of thousands of citizens as a matter of policy.  But that's not what I'm asking about here. What is it about shop owners in particular that makes them so jumpy about customers with cameras?

1 comment:

Jen L said...

Seems to be a universal problem...my coworker was scolded in a Parisian pastry shop for taking photos of the cases. Instead of going ugly American on them, she went back to her roots and played poor Polish girl and the clerk apologized. Weird.