It is official, the store guards in France are the recruited because of one thing...lack of discretion.
Think hard, think long and hard, when you have been in any superstore or cd shop like Fnac in France, what is the first thing you notice??
Is it the wonderful displays on show?
The tantalising produce?
No, no and no..it is the undercover security guard. I say undercover, I should say plain clothes. Even today I had an experience, to be honest, I do every time.
Normally you enter a small store like Monoprix and he is there. Leaning against a display. Staring right at you.
If you notice him (and it always is a him in France) he will look away painfully, like he has been caught.
It doesn't stop there, he will follow you..like a stalker. If you dare touch a product, his face will be one inch behind you, trying to smell the fear!
They always wear the loudest outfits too. My local undercover guard in Monoprix is a very funny black guy, he talks to everyone that has been more than twice before (keep an eye out for him when you visit La Rochelle, he'll be there) but his outfits for me maketh the man. Last week he had an army type undercover jungle tracksuit on and this week, the whitest shell suit (tracksuit) you have ever seen. The guy is day glow! A bit like the bloke below, check out the discreet earpiece!
My Son and I went to Carrefour to buy some 'bits and bobs'. (The main reason was due to the roughness of toilet paper here and we needed something to help us)....anyhow! My Son wanted to take his World Cup 2006 annual in with him to read (for those outside the UK, an annual is a glossy book that comes out, normally, every Christmas and is based upon comics books or BD's en France). The security guard jumped on us "What is this" (he said it in French) and I told him that it was my Son's book, in English and not for sale in his store so not to worry. He kind of smiled, more grimaced and said "ok, off you go".
They then followed us around the hypermarket and made sure we safely got his book into my car!!!
I once got arrested trying to buy razors for my Father-in-Law, again by the security guard genius...if you want to know what it is like to get arrested in France for nothing by a day-glow champion, let me know!!
Let me know your experiences, they will be in my book!