Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thematic Photographic: Max got kicked out of Home Depot.

I had my cover story down.  With my official school district I.D. dangling from my shirt I was ready to play the “I’m a junior high math teacher taking pictures of geometric shapes for my class” card.  It’s worked before, and I’m sure I’ll use it again.

I headed over to the garden center, figuring there would be fewer people there, fewer weird looks.

Other than the pictures out front, them’s was all the pictures I gots.

The paint section of the store is right by the garden center so I planned on getting a cool shot of the big display of those little color patch cards.

I was walking down the isle, the wall ‘o color in sight at the other end.

As I passed a Home Depot dude, he looks at me and asks, in a not-so-nice voice, “Are you taking pictures?”


“You’re not supposed to be taking pictures in here.”

Flashing him my official I.D. I ask “Even if they’re for a junior high math class?”

His manner takes a 180° turn, all of a sudden he becomes not only polite, but quite apologetic.

“Yeah, I’m sorry, we just don’t allow pictures in the store.”

I tell him that it’s no problem, that I understand and he thanks me for being so understanding.  I left with five pictures worth of  ill gotten booty, figuring that telling this story would be worth a thousand pictures.


Karen S. said...

Still laughing, I can just picture you sneaking around with your I.D. dangling about, snapping a photo while looking the other way...too funny you should have had your brother filming you from a hidden location!...Imagine what the guy would say to that! Wonder what they are worried about? Maybe a shopper wanted to take some photos to compare with stuff at home or to get someone's approval so they don't have to be dragged into the I feel like going in just to see what might happen....! Great Tp I hope Carmi gets to read this, he'll really have a laugh!

Max said...

Truth is, I expected to get a few weird looks, maybe even asked by a worker what I was doing. But I really never thought they would actually tell me I couldn't take pictures.
Corporate espionage? Trust me, the technology is there so that if someone wanted to take pictures of everything without Mr. Home Depot knowing, they could.
I love the idea of filming it. Maybe I'll go down to the mall and start taking weird pictures, with my brother filming, and see what happens. Hmmmmm?

A Paperback Writer Photos said...

Are they afraid you're going to use the pics to prove to Lowe's that Home Depot is cheaper?
Afraid you're going to steal their secrets for how to stack bags of fertilizer?
The mind boggles.

Max said...

I think you have it right on that last one. Something about those stacks of horse manure, it's ... it's ... mes-mer-izing. Some reason I can't go past them without buying a couple bags of the stuff, and I don't have either a garden or a lawn.
Go figure.

Carmi said...

You rocked before you posted this. You rock SO MUCH MORE now that you've shared this. I can't stop smiling.

It always makes me laugh when stores try to enforce their no-photography rules. As if they're protecting some kinda national secret. G-d forbid the Chinese military figures out the real reason why toilet plungers are stored BEHIND the wheelbarrows. OMG!

I had a similar experience at Wal-Mart years ago. You took me right back to that moment. And you totally rock!

Alexia said...

Enjoyed reading this! You must look really, really dodgy, Max :)

The one with all the shovels is an interesting composition..

Recently I was in the supermarket fruit section and took out my smartphone to take some pics of apostrophe and spelling crimes. Manager comes along, tells me politely but sternly, to desist!! These guys are no fun.

Bob Scotney said...

I expect they had in-store CCTV but didn't ask your permission to photograph you taking pictures for industrial enterprise. Now where can I get a school pass from?

Little Nell said...

So it wan’t just me and Macy’s then? I do wonder why they are so fearful. Made me laugh about the bags of manure though.

Max said...

Carmi - Read your story, and that was the exact attitude my guy had - until I played the "Teacher" card.
Alexia - I really would like to know why the policy of no photos. I didn't realize so many places had this policy until reading all the stories here about it. They're freakin strawberries, not ICBMs.
Bob - Good point, I didn't sign any waiver. As for the teacher pass, all you have to do is agree to spend some 180 days a year with seven different groups of 30 to 40 teenagers for 50 minutes at a time, and they throw in a free pass.
Little Nell - Until reading these comments here, I thought Home Depot was being overly sensitive. Seems to be an industry-wide paranoia.

Mustang Sally said...

I like the interesting angles but this time, it's the story that takes the prize. Too funny.

Carmi said...

That settles it: I'm bringing my teacher-wife with me on future in-store photo shoots. She'll be like my get-out-of-retail-jail-free card :)

Max said...

Mustang - Thanks, and I agree, the story beats the pictures.
Carmi - Seriously, take your wife with you. I've gone out taking pictures (rummaging through trash piles, buying weird things) for units on slope, percentages, geometric shapes and get a lot of weird looks. But as soon as someone asks and I tell them I'm a jr. high math teacher, they all give me this understanding look and let me go about my business. Now Home Depot guy still stopped me, but his whole attitude changed when I gave him my line.
Try it sometime, you'll be amazed.

Gilly said...

Really funny! Wonder if they are so sensitive in the UK? I must try sometime...........