I have always enjoyed
shopping and have learned to navigate shopping
malls, make desired purchases and exit safely. It
seemed a natural extension of this hobby,
therefore, to join a mall rescue team.
Many people each year
require rescue from shopping malls. It still
surprises me that so many individuals will enter
a mall without regard to even the most basic
The Mall Code
1 - Never enter a mall
alone. In an emergency a buddy can talk you out
of buying that dress you cannot afford.
2 - Always carry a map, and
plan your route between specific shops.
3 - Always tell someone
your plan and anticipated return time so, if you
become lost or trapped by a sales assistant, the
alarm can be raised.
4 - Never deviate from your
planned route. That Thorntons chocolate
shop may look tempting, but you may lose your
grip and become very ill from consuming massive
quantities of chocolate.
5 - Carry a limited supply
of cash but never a credit card, a debit card or
I and the other members of
the rescue team live near our mall and can
assemble within ten minutes of an alert.
Sometimes this can allow location of a victim
before they reach a checkout with armfuls of the
latest offers. This can be particularly rewarding.
On other occasions, luck is
not with us and, by the time we reach a casualty,
they may have made an expensive, unnecessary
purchase, signed up for a store card to pay for
it and bought an extended warranty. Obviously
tragedies of this kind deeply affect the whole
So what should you do if
you find yourself in difficulties in a shopping
Firstly, dont panic.
Purchasing everything in sight will compound the
problem and make things more difficult for the
rescue team. Secondly, try to locate a telephone,
dial 999 and ask for Mall Rescue.
Calmly describe to the operator the stores around
you in order to assist in identification of your
position. Finally, while awaiting rescue, seek
shelter in a store that sells products in which
you have no interest. Women may like to try
computer or car accessory shops. Men could try
shops selling womens fashions, though it is
best to avoid the underwear and lingerie
There are times of the year
when malls should only be explored by experienced
shoppers or with a trained guide. The January
sales are such a time and clear warnings are
published. It is just too easy for the
inexperienced to purchase overpriced, poorly made
goods from the third world, purporting to be
Christmas is another danger
time, carrying the risk of not only buying items
which are unnecessary, but that no one else wants
either. Reckless individuals have even been known
to bring children into the mall at this time.
Youngsters are at particular risk of becoming
trapped in a grotto and forced to accept
overpriced gifts from a third-rate Santa.
Be sensible, remember the
Mall Code and enjoy your shopping.