I can’t even describe the sheer joy I felt prancing behind the counters at the bookstore for the first time, pressing the security code to enter the employees break room for the first time, proceeding into the recieving room for the first time. I have spent probably a few thousand dollars shopping here since I moved to this area five years ago, and when I became unemployed, I spent whole days there reading or journaling in the café. But now, I was “in there.” A month later, two months later, the thrill was still there. I loved being behind the cash rep. I learned that the round things on the ceiling, which I thought were bulbs were actually security cameras and in the staff break room, there was a wall of video screens showing the store from every possible angle, in every possible area. I knew all stores have security cameras, but I had never stopped to consider how elaborate the security operations might be.
But all this elaborate security has not fool-proofed this store from petty thefts and crime rings. On my first day on the job, the lead cashier who trained me and the others on-boarding explained several scams that have succeeded at the store. Who would steal books to the tune of $150,000 worth in 18 months? People who know they can sell them on the street, on college campuses, on the internet. The lead cashier told how three guys come in on Sunday nights sometimes and steal $150 textbooks. They haven’t been caught yet. Their photos haven’t even been secured yet. But, in the break room we do have the equivalent of a “Wanted” board with photos of people who passed bad checks.