Safety while shopping

I was reminded this morning of how important it is that we shoppers be vigilant while working, and do not hesitate to cancel a shop if we don't feel safe.

While doing a series of real estate photo audits a couple of months ago I became increasingly concerned about the sketchy apartments I was auditing. My hackles went up at one place in particular, but as it was next door to the police station I (foolishly) decided to finish. I then canceled the rest of the route.

On the news this morning there was a double homicide right where I had been standing when I got the creepy feeling.

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I got goosebumps reading your tale, @stormraven73. I agree we should be safe, and first instincts are always a good measuring tool. My story is nothing like yours, but I always think about it before putting myself in a dangerous situation, simply for a shop.

I was visiting a friend in a quaint Maryland town 20 miles outside of Baltimore proper. I was considering completing a route of highly, highly bonused late night gas station shops in Baltimore while in the area. They required only three photos, which could be taken from the car. From internet photos, I gathered the gas stations were not in the best part of town.

A large male friend of mine was looking over my shoulder at the route I had mapped out, and insisted the only way I could accept the route was if he and his Rottweiler join me (said Rottweiler was a big sweetheart, but...). I bought him (the guy, not the dog; she got a cheeseburger) a 6 pack for his trouble, and we had no issues completing the shops. I am forever indebted to said friend and dog. The jobs themselves took only minutes to complete, but we were there just long enough to get multiple drug and sex offers.

I carry Mace on my person, and have 911 queued up on my phone when onsite in sketchy areas. I am 5'2" and no bigger than a minute, but I am loud. Yelling "FIRE" rather than "HELP", if warranted, makes more people come running.

Safety first, safety first, safety first. Grrrrrr....I sound like my Mom.
I've been saying this forever, remembering a very savvy male forum member telling me their are great bonus's in the L.A. area after I and another L.A. shopper rebutted this. The zips he told me about were dangerous and hardly worth the extra 20 or so and I knew it (he didn't). I advise woman shoppers to be careful, you really can't make enough to endanger your life, especially in these times where violence seems to be soaring. Better safe than sorry. I carried Mace years ago when we were building homes in a very safe neighborhood, my broker friend gave it to me...never used it, but am definitely aware of my situation and believe in listening to instinct.
Edited to add...when I do my bar audits, I wear my (old) wedding rings, so far, so good, except maybe one instance.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2018 11:47PM by Irene_L.A..
Oh yea, ladies - and men, too...be careful out there. If I see a shop that looks particularly juicy, I Google the location if I'm not familiar with the area. I have pepper spray on my key ring and a taser in my glove compartment.
Constant carry (concealed carry permits are really not that difficult to get, even in places with stricter laws), and bring my dog when needed. I don't have a taser, Monk, but as a less lethal tool, it sounds like a good idea. Have you ever had occasion to use it?

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
When I was a full time shopper, I took an apartment shop that the scheduler advertised as "Beautiful!" I get there, and the leasing office was the only place with landscaping. What I thought was the entrance was the back door. The stairwell smelled like piss. The leasing agent took me the apartment. There was a lot of yellow crime scene tape. A police car on the grounds had graffiti on the door. I asked to see the laundry center, she said no.

I won't even describe the apartment. Thank goodness I did that one during the day.

"Been stuck in the middle of a vendetta between me and myself" -Citizen Cope
I've never had to use my taser, but have gone as far as unsnapping the case and holding it at the ready, @iShop123 .
I found out many years ago that it does not matter what it is next to. Bad stuff can happen anywhere! Is it a safe neighborhood just because the cop shop is across the street.

@stormraven73 wrote:

I was reminded this morning of how important it is that we shoppers be vigilant while working, and do not hesitate to cancel a shop if we don't feel safe.

While doing a series of real estate photo audits a couple of months ago I became increasingly concerned about the sketchy apartments I was auditing. My hackles went up at one place in particular, but as it was next door to the police station I (foolishly) decided to finish. I then canceled the rest of the route.

On the news this morning there was a double homicide right where I had been standing when I got the creepy feeling.
And, on the flip side, if you get to know your larger metro area, you will find a lot of bonuses for areas that many shoppers avoid because of unfounded fears or danger. Just because they do not look like me, a neighborhood full of doctors, lawyers and artists does not pose a threat to me. But I guess that a lot of other shoppers must think so because those well paid shops turn up with large bonuses on a regular basis. There ARE places in my metro area that are dangerous; and they are dangerous for EVERYONE.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
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