Derek was different. He took his job as a security guard at Tesco seriously. Unlike his older colleagues who stood around not doing much and hoping to deter shoplifters by their mere presence, Derek wanted to catch thieves.
This livened up our retail experience! You'd be pondering the chilled fish and suddenly become aware of a 'presence' just on the edge of your vision. If you turned quickly enough, you'd spot Derek's beady eye peering round the edge of some shelves hoping to catch some misdemeanour.
Or you'd find him pressed against the display of tinned goods trying to look inconspicuous but hampered by the poor camouflage of his uniform.
Best of all were the occasions when he burst out of Tesco and sprinted down the High Street after an alleged offender scattering shoppers like skittles. I never saw him actually catch anyone but he did give it his best shot.
The poor deluded boy didn't seem to worry about the extra paperwork that would ensue if he did lay hands on anyone. Nor, did it occur to him that the local Police might less than overjoyed at the prospect of getting the van out to collect one miserable shoplifter. After all, this was before the days when fixed penalty tickets were the norm for such sins.
Then one day he was gone. Perhaps he'd been made redundant by a new CCTV system? Maybe the Police who he fawned on had pitied him and taken him on?
Anyway, it was about that time Tesco got a "Wine Advisor". An ordinary looking member of staff with a badge so you know what his job is. And he stands all day at the end of the wines and spirits aisle watching out for customers to assist. Now and again, he really can be seen helping people choose their booze.
I wonder if he's Derek's replacement?