Our correspondent Ruth wants to be cool with Staples. But she says they make it hard.

This story is from Ruth, who’s part of our correspondents program, where we commission recordings from people in communities who often don’t see their experience reflected in the media. For Smogland Radio, Ruth reports from an LA-area Staples.

At some Staples stores, a high-pitched, eerie sound fills the air outside. It seems to be designed to keep people from hanging out outside the store – which generally means they don’t want unhoused people around.

Ruth loves stationery stores. She loves office supplies. And she’s actually had good interactions with Staples employees in the past. But when that happened, the employee told her to keep it a secret. Why are they seemingly willing to broadcast – literally – their contempt for unhoused people, and keep it a secret when they do something nice?

You can find the videos Ruth references in her story here and here.

If you’d like to be part of our correspondents’ program, email us at [email protected].