A scary security tower that plays creepy recorded messages is freaking out customers at a local home improvement store.

All of our lives have been entirely turned upside down by the pandemic. Having to wear a mask wherever you go, only being allowed to walk one way down store aisles and second-guessing every human interaction can really take a toll on your mental health if you stop to think about it long enough.

I think I've been handling the whole pandemic as well as can be expected for the past few months, but something I saw this weekend completely freaked me out.

While taking an early morning trip to Lowe's Home Improvement in Poughkeepsie I encountered a terrifying vision of our dystopian future. While getting out of my car I was startled by a creepy voice warning me to social distance and cough into my elbow. The loud, echoing announcement was coming from above me, like a powerful all-knowing deity.

I looked up to see who was talking and was aghast when I saw a huge tower equipped with several cameras staring back down at me. The contraption was connected to a trailer that sat in a parking spot with the words "Official Surveillance Unit" painted on its side.

Now listen, Lowe's has every right to secure their store in whatever way they want. I don't fault them for installing security cameras and taking precautions to thwart crime. But I'm at a loss to understand what sort of security threat warrants a post-apocalyptic voice creeping out customers as they are "welcomed" to the store.

Before you think I'm being dramatic or overreacting to what I experienced, take a listen to this video I made while walking from my car into the store this weekend.

Maybe it's because I binged all three seasons of The Handmaid's Tale right before the COVID-19 outbreak, but the loud, creepy announcements gave me an eerie feeling of doom. Was the voiceover talent instructed to sound like just HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey? Perhaps if he didn't say "have a Lowe's safe day" in a way that made me feel like an army of soldiers were going to suddenly appear and carry me off to the spice mines of Kessel I would have had a much more enjoyable shopping experience.

Listen, I'm not going to tell Lowe's how to run their business. But if you want happy, loyal customers maybe greeting them with a post-apocalyptic robotic announcement and giant security cameras isn't the best way to put shoppers at ease. Under his eye. Praise be.

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