I was asked to leave Acacia Mall the other day. The security felt that I ought to go.
No, I did not do anything. I was just sitting there. Literally. I was sitting. There. And up comes Paul Blart and he says, “Gerrarahere.”
I was sitting there waiting for my seven o’clock date. Just sitting there with a notebook writing things. Mall Cop rolls up and tells me that the seating area is for people who buy things in the mall and he does not think I am one of them so I need to get my wretched, broke, destitute, Les Miserable ass off the premises and back out onto the streets with the rest of the scabied urchins.
Except of course I am not broke. I am professional middle class and I look it. I am the kind of person you look at and know dude has a laptop, a smartphone, two ATM accounts and his home electronics are Samsung not Logik.
But I left because I just could not decide how to react. I was completely stymied.
Do I plead with him to let me stay? Me a veritable member of the mall economy, so much so that I have malls following me on twitter, to beg the mall cop for permission to spend my own money? Him giving me permission to watch Witch Hunter would be even more insulting than him kicking me out.
Do I explain that I am not a mall rat? Mall rats? Those are people who just hang out at malls for the sake of it. They are all teenagers. If Professional middle class gentleman of my age and evidently noble carriage have nothing to do, we don’t do it in malls. We stay in our offices, or we go home. When we go to malls it is because we have things to buy, eat, or watch. Am I going to explain this fact of the lifestyle of my economic class to a wage-earning askari? Will I be replying to his snobbery with even more snobbery?
Why did he not realise that I was not a broke idler? My demeanour, my dressing, my carriage, my glasses, laptop and chuck taylors make it impossible for me to walk three minutes through Kisementi without bodas and speshos beckoning me to come and give them thousands per ride. And yet this toy soldier looks at me and thinks “Poverty-striken vagrant”. What do I need to do? Wear bling bling? Should I wear 2 Chainz? Walk with SK Mbooger? Carry my Visa Debit cards in my spectacles the way Left Eye used to carry her condoms? What am I doing wrong?
Jokes aside, Acacia, that was a very unpleasant experience for a customer to go through. You guys invite us there, and when we get there we are treated like criminals. This is just my experience, but you know it is likely that I am not the only one who has been treated like this. It’s one thing to feel unwelcome, but this was humiliating and insulting and I am sure nobody who has ever been through this is going to come back again.