I have just completed my standard Friday routine of staff train then LORL to Stratford for the train to physio. Now invariably I arrive at Stratford with some time to spare, the staff train can be unpredictable so its never worth pushing to the minute, and I no longer mind this since they built a shopping centre here.
Just as an aside has anyone ever studied the social experiment that is shopping centres? I guess they have and if Stratford is the result then we are in a scary world, its all food and banks. Now to me this indicates that food sales are in growth but, more worryingly, rising costs are meaning that we will need more than mere ATMs in the future. I am serious, every major bank has a branch in this place, is the future a case of ‘ah I see sir you are interested in a McMortgage to feed the family, now do you have some ID?’
To matters in hand, 15 minutes to kill is served well by a wander and today a left turn brought more space to explore. I noticed a shop that looked interesting and was amused to hear the alarm beep as I entered. Now if you saw my rucksack on a Monday or Friday you would know that I could steal no more than a pen, hence the smile. Having concluded quickly that there was nothing of interest for me I left, same routine with the alarm but now there was a security guard outside presumably alerted by the alarm on my entry. Now at this stage we play ‘the dance’ come on admit it we all do this, don’t we?
A slow walk from the shop makes them think I’m a pro, take care not to look in windows or it looks too natural. Now I have my ‘tail’ all of the reading kicks in and the guard becomes the legendary Mr(s) Smith, a reflection in a window shows he is still there, keeping a distance but hot on my heels. A quick slip through a crowd, between a couple and I’m on the escalator, descending as the guard hits his radio. Two more guards at the bottom of the escalator observing me, do I dive over the side into the food stall using it as a defensive cover? Leap over to the adjacent up escalator and reverse direction to surprise the solitary guard upstairs? If I cam make a rest room I can affect a quick change, or perhaps a hostage in Mothercare or lost in a crowd surge in the food court? Furtively I survey the options for escape, rapid head movements coupled with no eye contact with my hunters confirms their belief, I’m as guilty as they come, will I make a break for it?
I step of the escalator and walk into the cell phone store, no alarms triggered, check out the latest offering and depart. Lunch is selected and purchased from a store and then I depart to my train,I can just make out my thwarted pursuers in the reflection of the glass doors, even a reflection can look like its been played.
So I am sorry for wasting your time, meeting your profile for a thief, playing to it and using you for entertainment, actually hell no I’m not!