I thought for sure I was having deja vu or something when doing a recent gas station shop. I pumped my gas, made the inside purchase and then went back to the car to get my gear for the usual round of photos and observations. That’s when things definitely got interesting.
The store clerk gave me an odd look when she saw me come in with my ever-so-stylish bright orange vest and an even odder look when she read my letter of authorization. She asked me one question, “If you’re here to do that then who is that guy out there?” I turned to look and there in the parking lot was some guy in a vest with a clipboard in his hand and it appeared as though he was taking some of the same photos I would soon be taking.
I went out and cautiously made my approach and asked him what he was doing, he told me that he was doing an evaluation from a certain MS company on behalf of the gas client. I looked at him strangely and said “That’s why I’m here”. He seemed very nervous about being approached and antsy as though wanting to escape. Perhaps it was the magnitude of my presence but he didn’t seem much interested after that in continuing whatever he was doing.
I was able to glance somewhat at the papers in his hands and they didn’t look like the paperwork I had, nor did he have any kind of guidebook with him. I smiled and sweetly said once more “and you’re doing what again?” With that he said he’d come back later to finish the evaluation and scurried off to his vehicle and away.
Being a detail oriented shopper that I am, I got the vehicle description, license plate number and a couple of photos of him in his vehicle just in case that would come in handy later.
I went back into the convenience store and it seems that wonder-boy presented quite a different authorization letter which also indicated that he would have to examine their food prep area and store rooms too. I showed the manager my papers, guidebook and told her she was very welcome to walk along with me to see what I did if she wanted to. I told them that those areas are definitely NOT what we look at and with that the manager called the cops.