October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Liars & Scammers

Ever come across a customer that has made you want to call the police? These ones pretty much ensure it. It goes way beyond the realms of shoplifting or threatening behavior. Some of these customers are too stupid even for those…

The Employee Fee

| Mesquite, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

(I work in the home department of a widely-known department store. It’s close to Christmas and on this day, I happen to be in the china/dinnerware section. A woman with a child in a stroller and another on-the-way comes up to my register with a Christmas tree shaped candy dish.)

Me: “Good evening! Did you find everything okay?”

Customer: “Don’t ring that up yet. I just want to know how much it is.”

(At this point, I have a chance to get a better look at her. She has fingernail scars on her face and a ratty t-shirt that looks like she hasn’t changed for a week. I get a bad vibe about her but I try my best to be polite and courteous. I look and the tag on the bottom of the dish.)

Me: “It’s $15.99, miss.”

Customer: “How much would that be with my employee discount?”

Me: “You’re an employee? Which store do you work at?”

Customer: “Ummm… the one at [Nearby Mall].”

Me: “Oh, really? What department are you in?”

Customer: “Uh… jewelry. Look, can we just get on with this?”

Me: “Well, the employee discount is 25% off so this would be about $12. Do you need to make a payment on your card first?”

(The employee discount only works with a prepaid card.)

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have it with me. Can’t I just give you my driver license?”

(At this point, I know she’s lying about being an employee, but I keep going through the motions.)

Me: “Well, if you don’t have your card with you, we can just call the card service department and get the number. All I need is you social.”

Customer: “You don’t need my social security number!”

Me: “Have you never done this before? All you do is call the toll-free number right here and enter your number. You can key it on the phone yourself. I don’t need to see it.”

Customer: “You DON’T need my social.”

Me: “It’s how all the employees look up their card number. I’ve helped several do it. Look, you can use the phone right here at the register. I’ve done it myself a couple times!”

(I try to remain helpful and polite while trying to not to laugh. Regular employees know and expect this routine.)


Me: “If you would like, I can call [Manager at Nearby Mall location] to confirm your status and clarify how we should confirm your employee discount card number.”

(The customer stomps away from the register, screaming.)


(After she walks out, an older employee, who saw and heard everything (and has been at this store for 6 years), walks up to me.)

Older Employee: “I’ve never seen her before in my life… and she’s not even old enough to have worked anywhere for 10 years.”

(We both got a good laugh out of the ordeal and told our manager about it later, who also chuckled a bit.)

A Disability At Having A Disability

| USA | Health & Body, Liars & Scammers

(I work in an assisted living facility. Our residents run the range from sharp as a nail to completely senile, and perfectly fit to bedridden. This particular woman, whose health care is paid for by the state, has in her medical records that she cannot stand, cannot use one arm at all, and has limited use of her other. There is nothing wrong with her mentally.)

Me: *forgetting to knock before entering her room* “Hey. Sorry to disturb you. I’m just here to… get your… trash…”

(She’s standing at her sink, washing an apple. We lock eyes, and she slowly lowers herself to the floor.)

Me: “Um…”

Female Customer: “I crawled over, but I can’t get up now.”

Me: “Do you need me to call anyone for help?”

Female Customer: “No. No need to give the nurses extra work. I’ll manage. Would you be all right to come back later?”

Me: “…Sure.”

(Apparently I’m not the first one to catch her. But we could never conclusively prove that she was faking disability.)

Losing Him In Multiple Translations

, | Houston, TX, USA | Language & Words, Liars & Scammers

(I am an entrance photographer at a theme park.)

Me: “Hello, folks. Welcome to [Theme Park]. I need you to please stop for two quick pictures.”

Adult Male Park Attendee: *in obvious Texan Drawl and slightly bad Spanish* “No hablos English.” *yes, he said English, not Ingles*

(Trying to do my job, be polite, and not jump to conclusions I switch to Spanish, which, while I’m not a native speaker, I’m relatively fluent in, and have practiced specifically for Spanish speaking park attendees so they’re not left out of the full experience.)

Me: “No hay problema, señor. Necesito que dejes de para dos fotos rápidas, por favor.”

Adult Male Park Attendee: *still in obvious Texan Drawl and now broken French* “Polly View Frances?”

(Again, he said view, not vue, and while I could do the entire spiel in French, thanks to learning it from my Louisianan coworker, just in case, I’m certain at this point the guy is bluffing, plus he doesn’t actually ask me to say it in French, so…)

Me: “Oui, monsieur.”

(Got to give the guy credit for persistence, because he takes one more shot to avoid the inconvenience of having his photo taken.)

Adult Male Park Attendee: *not even really trying to speak in the language* “German?”

(Yup, he says German, not ‘Deustche.’ At this point, I’m bluffing his bluff. I never learned the spiel in German, but I do know enough to say…)

Me: “Ja, mein herr.”

Adult Male Park Attendee: “Ah, dang nabbit, just take our god-d*** pictures.”

(The family poses and everyone smiles except him. I smile and hand the man the slip with his roll number and finish my duty with them with a cheerful final comment.)

Me: “Your pictures will be ready any time after four pm. Thank you for your time and consideration. Hope you all enjoy this wonderful day.”

(Epilogue: The guy’s wife and kids dragged him to check out the pictures. They bought several framed, a few key chains, and both mini viewers… totaling enough for me to get $40 of commission off just them… They were my only sales that day!)

Giving His Leg A Clean Break

| WI, USA | Health & Body, Liars & Scammers

(Every month a cleaning company comes into our business to buff the tile floors. It is about 9:45 and we close at 10:00 so the last minute rush has begun. A middle-aged man enters and notices the cleaning crew mopping the floors.)

Man: *dramatically falls landing on his leg* “Ow! My leg! Why didn’t you tell me the floor was wet?” *followed by more moans of agony*

Me: “Sir, we have a problem.”

Man: “Of course we have a d*** problem! I just broke my f****** leg!”

Me: “Well… they haven’t even cleaned this side of the store yet.”

(Suddenly his yells of pain are silenced. Then, he stands up on his ‘broken leg’ and quickly darts out the door. But I did receive applause from both the other customers and the cleaning crew!)

Music With A Beautiful Ending

| NM, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Musical Mayhem

(I’m a teenage girl and interning at the local music store my dad works at. As he is also a musician, he has many instruments (guitars, basses, drums, etc.) that he will occasionally leave in his car overnight. The night before this happens a guitar was stolen from his car. My dad describes it, and tells me to be on the lookout for it. As luck would have it, the thief brings it in to try to sell.)

Thief: “I was wondering how much I could get for this guitar.”

(I recognize the guitar.)

Me: “Of course. Let me just look it up.”

Thief: “Just hurry up. I’m really busy.”

Me: “I’m having some trouble finding it. Let me just grab my dad. He knows more about this stuff.”

(After I explain everything to him, my dad leads me back to the register.)

Dad: “Sorry about that, sir. What did you want to do with this guitar?”

Thief: “I wanted to know how much I could get for it.”

Dad: *pretending to look something up* “Funny thing, that guitar is coming up as stolen.”

Thief: *goes white* “That’s insane, my best friend gave this to me last night!”

Dad: “Well, he can’t be a very good friend if you’re already trying to sell it.”

Thief: “You’re crazy, man. I just want to sell this guitar.”

Dad: “[My Name], go in the back and call the cops, would you?”

(Before I could do anything the thief abandoned everything and ran out the door. My dad’s coworker called the cops, and they picked up the thief a few blocks away. The best part was that my dad got his fairly expensive guitar back!)

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