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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Am I Being Followed?

Every time I go into a shop or store here in Warsaw, I get followed by security. I wrote about this early on in this blog, but I choose to write about it again because I think my perspective is changing a little. I do not get as insulted as I used to when being “watched”  in a shop..

I cannot be naive. I know that there is pure racism here in Poland just as there is racism in just about every country there is diversity. Perhaps prejudice and racism go hand-in-hand with diversity. That said, I used to get very angry and uncomfortable when I was blatantly followed and watched in stores that I visited in Warsaw. The security person (which is often an owner or family member in a small shop) would make to effort to be subtle and would just stand near me wherever I went in the store. As a Black man, I would become indignant. At one point, I would purposefully move items around the store just to piss them off. However, I don't think they got pissed off. They did not understand what I was doing. They did not understand my rebellion.

Nowadays, I find myself just ignoring this security person who clearly takes his/her job very seriously. My assumption is that there is a lot of shoplifting and these people are protecting their product. Again, however, I must say that while they are watching me, the little old lady that is over in the other area Not being watched is the one doing the shoplifting. I think maybe security might need a course in realism and not follow their knowledge of stereotypes.


  1. I have noticed this especially in smaller shops. Rossman seems to be the worst for me. Once the security guy was so close I asked him if he'd like to help me select some feminine products. He backed off.

  2. I am really enjoying reading your blog. esp the one on homelessness in warsaw. u r right , they are a LOT more friendly than the average Pole, Warsaw or Krakow.