I had my e cigarette in my hand, it was pretty obvious he was accusing me of smoking a vape pen filled with pot wax in the store. As if I'm some kind of idiot. I said it was tobacco. He then proceeds to ask (with other customers around, who are now watching), why I was smoking. I don't recall if I took a puff or not, I must have, or he was just a dick.
In the state of Iowa it isn't illegal to smoke e cigarettes anywhere. There's no signs. It isn't smoking a cigarette. And while you shouldn't ingest the liquid itself (fucking duh), the vape that it expels is not proven in any circumstance to be harmful.
Needless to say, it was an embarrassing experience and I don't like being singled out simply because I have a fucking purple mohawk.
Anyway, I returned home to write the following letter to their corporate headquarters:
This evening I was shopping at your Blairsferry location for some movies when I was stopped by your security personnel. I had my e cigarette in hand, and with other customers around, he asked "what I was smoking." As if accusing me of smoking marijuana in your facility. Immediately embarrassed and offended, I explained it was merely an e cigarette. He then asked me "why I was smoking" (I guess I had taken a small puff while browsing DVDs), flabbergasted I had no response, knowing legally in the state of Iowa that e cigarettes are not illegal in businesses. He told me smoking in the store was not permitted, and stared at me until I was able to awkwardly put my e cigarette into my pocket. It was entirely embarrassing that this happened in front of other customers, especially given it felt I was being accused of carrying illegal substances. Needless to say, I left your facility and took my business elsewhere for the evening, and I plan to do that more regularly. I have no intention of shopping at your stores if this is the type of embarrassing treatment I get as a customer, and I will be sure to share my experience. You should make sure your personnel are more respectful of shoppers and don't embarrass them publicly.Hopefully this gets some sort of response. Nobody deserves to be publicly berated in front of other customers when they are shopping, let alone accused of doing something illegal. The whole situation could have been handled incredibly differently.
After stopping at Target, I went and bought a pack of cigarettes and a soda at the gas station. Yeah I know, why buy cigarettes when you have an e cigarette. Bad habit, plus for some reason I like smoking when I have 5 flyers to design. The guy standing behind me at the register, "Do you smoke when you run?"
"Do you go jogging?"
"Do you work out?"
"Not particularly." (As if with the way my AIP has been acting up like that is even fucking possible.)
"You look like you do."
"Exercise is good for you, you know, and smoking is bad for you."
"Oh, no way, I didn't know that. That isn't common knowledge or anything. Thanks for shedding some light on that for me."
Out the door I went.
You know studies show that obnoxious comments like that make people less likely to quit smoking? Food for thought. When stress and irritation arises in a smoker, they indeed, want to smoke. Good plan would be to stop fucking doing that.