Rant: How to Prove Your Worth to Walgreens

Ranter: Pixie-cut, mini-skirted fortysomething woman in dingy garb that suggests hipsterism, homelessness, or both.

Location: Outside the Walgreens at Market and Stockton

Time: 10 p.m. on a recent Saturday

Topics covered: Security guards' prerequisites; the importance of advanced education; how shoes can be earned; why cops are slow to respond to shoplifting calls.

[Detained by two much larger fellows, one in security garb and the other in pretend-shopper street clothes, and seated Muppet-like on the low wall that indicates the stairs to the Powell BART station, the pixie-cut woman fills the night with hectoring remarks.]

Pixie-Cut Woman: "Loss prevention." More like "people harasser!" What do you have to have to get that job? A G.E.D? Do you call your mom and tell her "I got one today! Today I showed Walgreens how much I was worth!" Do you have any college? No! If you did, you wouldn't be doing oh-so-important "loss prevention!" I have two college degrees, so don't act like you outsmarted me. If you're so good at your job, how come you didn't get me until I was out the door? I was all the way outside, and the shoes were all the way outside, so I don't think you have a case. Those aren't Walgreens' shoes once they're outside! Those are mine!

Plainclothes Security Guy: You didn't pay for the shoes.

Pixie-Cut Woman: No, I earned them. I made you two look good for once, so let's just say loss-prevention paid for those shoes. Look, I walked around all day in holey socks, and I don't have any money, and I saw those shoes and thought, "Why does Walgreens have shoes?" and then I thought, "I'm just taking what I need." To each his own. Her own, I mean. And now you're arresting me?

[A long moment passes.]

I guarantee they're sitting around the station house arguing over who has to deal with my ass tonight. Cops hate me because I tell them the truth, and they know I'll outsmart them. With my brain! You should use yours — maybe you could get a real job and stop arresting people in need.

Plainclothes Security Guy: We're not arresting you, ma'am. We're just making sure that you never again trespass in a Walgreens.

Pixie-Cut Woman: I was trying not to trespass! I was trying to leave Walgreens when you stopped me!

[The cops arrive, and the pixie-cut woman's remarks devolve into shouts of "fuck," "fuckers," and "cocksuckers."]

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Bridget Angelic Vasquez
Bridget Angelic Vasquez

Dear Elizabeth, I will preface my true remarks by disclosing that the writer of this piece is a dear friend of mine. By the way, this means that I DO know him and have a perspective which is different than yours and a true understanding of the intent behind the article. He does not need me to defend him. I choose to do so because it appears that your perspective is colored by recent, understandably upsetting events in your neighbor. And after all, isn't life all about perspective? The author of this piece is a fine, generous, intelligent and caring man. The article simply is showing a disenfranchised woman and her further embarrassment due to her lack of resources and the way she is publicly humiliated by those with authority. Do you really think most people, the ones who have power and the ability to make a difference in the lives of people like this woman,would even notice her and others like her if it were not put into print? I do not see this article from the vantage point of further disenfranchising her - I see it from the viewpoint that says, "Look what happens to those who have no power and few resources. Let's do something, people!" He is putting out there, Elizabeth. THAT is his job! To print/write/edit that which is important and note worthy! If what he prints is not of value to you, you do have the right and it is expected that you will desist in further patronage of the publication at which you are offended. I am well educated with a master's degree and am a social worker. I say this merely to put my credentials out there, so you understand that those who are dissenfranchised are my business and my life. I find it paradoxical that you would do the very thing you accuse the author of, in that you chastise him and belittle him publicly when you do not know him and, obviously, did not read the article with the clear mind it requires. I am sorry to hear about the aweful event that must have been very frightening for you; however, thank goodness that no lives were lost and no one was harmed. May the rest of your day be better, and may you truly think before you make future disparaging remarks that are untrue and quite frankly, offensive.

(Please note: I did not say one ugly thing to you, and it would have been quite easy and in some ways satisfying to do so.)


I'm pretty sure loss prevention isn't really supposed to do anything until you have actually walked out the door anyway. It isn't actually considered stealing until you have proceeded to leave the store with your unpaid item(s).

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Oh, btw, how do we know you didn't make this up? Or take it completely out of context>> No sources, no nothing, just a douche making fun of someone and thinking they're so cool, when you'd need a cool transplant to make it up to tool. Oh, yes, if you want a real story, you should look into the shootout we had not far from there, at Broadway and Montgomery, where about 26 shots were fired, at 2:18, automatic weapons from what I hear, but NO COVERAGE at all. I guess they don't want to scare the tourists,. The perps were, of course, East Bay gangbangers, and what was most egregious is that they didn't hit any of their targets, but hit a lot of parked cars and the building I live in. Now, that's newsworthy. Making fun of someone who may be mentally ill makes you look like the Biggest Douche in the Universe.

Alan Scherstuhl
Alan Scherstuhl

Are you really complaining that property got shot up instead of people?

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Wannabe journalist: Gormless, no class faux hypster making derogatory judgemental comments about someone who is probably far more intelligent, more educated, and in all ways a better person than the author of this idiotic piece. Get a topic, lightweight, this wouldn't make the cut in a high school newspaper. And when you are finally forced to support yourself, fail at that and end up in your mom's basement, just remember what goes around comes around, and I'm sure those folks observing your behavior will have quite a lot of nasty things to say about you, too. But it won't be journalism and will have no news value, like this piece. You should work for the SFBG with your "skills"

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