stalls

This past weekend I did a secret shopper visit at an amazing church in Orangeburg, SC. I arrived in town Saturday evening and headed straight to the church as it was nice out and I thought it might rain on Sunday. I wanted to see the grounds and parking lot, building exterior, etc.

As I was looking around, I came across a door in the back of the church that was left open. I didn’t know if someone was inside or if it had been overlooked and left open/unlocked, but I opened it and went inside…

NOTE: It never occurred to me that there might be an alarm.

I went inside the church and began looking around, making notes and taking pictures. I went straight to the restrooms and since I wouldn’t get to see the Women’s Restrooms on Sunday, I decided to go inside them, take pictures and make notes. I must add: they have a very nice women’s restroom. Below is their sitting room when you walk inside the women’s restroom:

women's restroom

I noted that the women’s restroom had 11 regular stalls and 2 large/handicap stalls (as seen in the top picture). Their sink area appeared neat and clean, etc. Regular stuff. I left there and went across the hall to the men’s restroom. I made notes in there and took pictures.

I walked out to be greeted by 3 police officers with tazors drawn. I’m not kidding. They asked who I was and you should have been a fly on the wall as I tried to explain to them what a church secret shopper was. They told me to turn around and padded me down. They took my ID and called it in.

Please understand and believe me – I planned on calling the senior pastor after I finished looking at the restrooms to let him know about the unlocked door.

So the interrogation went on. IF I was not able to get the pastor on the phone (which – thank God I was) they were going to take me downtown and arrest me. I didn’t “break and enter” as one officer said. I simply saw a door cracked open and walked inside it.

Lesson learned – I won’t be doing that again. So there! That’s my new unforgettable secret shopper story and my welcome to South Carolina. 🙂

Greg Atkinson

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