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    No Benefit Can Come From This

    | USA | Money, Musical Mayhem

    (A very common occurrence at music/guitar stores, is people buying guitar strings for prison style tattoo guns. While not illegal, it is stupid, and can be dangerous.

    Customer: “Hey man, I need an F string.”

    Me: “E,A,D,G B,E… there isn’t such a thing as an F string.”

    Customer: “Oh, I need… uhm… the smallest one.”

    Me: “Is it for tattooing?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    Me: “Man, it’s not illegal, but steel strings can contain residual nickel content from manufacturing. If the person you use it on is allergic to nickel—which is common—they will have a horrible reaction. Go to a smoke shop; they have needles there.”

    (The customer leaves for 20 minutes, and then comes back in.)

    Customer: “I need that string.”

    (I direct him to the counter where strings are sold. My coworker rings him up. He leaves again without the string. I speak to my coworker.)

    Me: “What happened?”

    Coworker: “The card the customer presented for the $0.85 transaction was declined.”

    (A few minutes pass. An angry young woman storms in.)

    Woman: “I demand to see the manager! My boyfriend used my state benefits card to try and buy a guitar string!”

    (I can guess what has happened. The state had to freeze her benefits card, since it was used to try and buy something other than food.)

    Woman: “You froze my card; how the f*** am I supposed to buy milk for my d*** baby?”

    Manager: “Ma’am, we don’t have the authority to freeze your card.”

    Woman: “My boyfriend used it here, and you declined him! Now my f****** card won’t work at all!”

    Manager: “Again, we can’t freeze your card. The state probably flagged it for misuse.”

    Woman: “I can’t even buy f****** gas to get home, because I need f****** milk for my d*** baby! How am I going to f****** get home?”

    Manager: “That’s not our responsibility, and I have to ask you to stop cursing in front of my other customers.”

    (The woman immediately turns demure.)

    Woman: “I’m sorry; I just can’t afford gas and milk.”

    Manager: “But the guitar string was a necessity?”

    Woman: “No, I guess not.”

    (She leaves. I almost wanted to feel sorry for her, but it was impossible, given her terrible attitude and misuse of the system.)