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    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 4

    | NC, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Money

    (I am helping a customer with a return. Due to past misuses of the system, our registers are set to only do returns in the original payment method, or as a store gift card.)

    Me: “Alright, ma’am, this was done as debit. I can either put it on a gift card, or back onto the same card, if you have it on you.”

    Customer: “What? Debit’s the same as cash! Why can’t I get cash?”

    Me: “I apologize, but that’s our policy. We can only do it in the method it was originally done, or store credit.”

    Customer: “Well that’s just wrong. Debit is the same as cash! Everywhere!”

    Me: “I understand, and I am sorry, but these are the only options I’m allowed.”

    Customer: *handing me her card* “Well fine, put it back on the card.”

    Me: *as I slide the card* “It may take one or two business days to show back up. Here’s your copy of the return, and I hope you have a nice day.”

    Customer: *reading her return receipt* “Hey! It says credit on here! I paid debit!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. The system has to credit it back to your card. It looks a little weird, but the money is going back.”

    Customer: “If I use credit, I’ll be fined! My card doesn’t do credit! That first receipt said debit!”

    Me: “Yes, the original purchase is definitely debit. Ma’am, it’s not charging your card; it’s crediting money back. I don’t know your particular bank, but there’s never been an issue—”

    Customer: “What is your name? If there’s a problem, I want to know. And give me that original receipt back. It says debit.”

    Me: “I’m [Name]. Give me just a second to copy some info off this receipt onto the return, and you’ll have it right back.”

    (At this point, the customer is fed up, and leaves without waiting for her original receipt. I staple it to the return, and turn to help the next customer. Several days later, the same customer approaches me.)

    Customer: “Hi. I was in here a couple of days ago, and you were helping me with a return. I… just wanted to apologize for the way I treated you. I was having a bad day, and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”

    Me: “Oh! Thank you! I take it the return processed as it should?”

    Customer: “Yes. But even if it hadn’t, there’s no excuse for the way I was acting.”

    Me: “Well, thank you. Everyone has a bad day now and then.”

    (Her making a point to return and say sorry was such a pleasant surprise; it improved the whole rest of my shift.)

    Related:
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 3
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 2

    Getting Lost In Books

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month

    (The bookstore I work in is in a mall, close to a grocery store. I work in the kids section, in the back. I’m working on my knees, placing some products, when I overhear a conversation between a mother and her kid.)

    Mother: *to her kid* “You stay here; I’ll be back later.”

    Me: “Excuse me? You can’t leave your kid here.”

    Mother: “Why? I have to do my groceries.”

    Me: “That doesn’t matter; kids can’t be left unattended.”

    (The mother huffs and leaves with her kid directly out of the store. A few minutes later, my coworker approaches me.)

    Coworker: “Why did that woman tell her kid you were a big meanie?”

    Pray For Her Math Students

    | Asheville, NC, USA | Books & Reading, Criminal/Illegal, Money

    (As the manager of a large bookstore, part of my job is to call customers who have written bad checks to arrange payment. I call one such customer. I identify myself and verify that I am speaking to the check-writer.)

    Me: “I’m calling in regard to a check you wrote for $534 on [date]. It has been returned for insufficient funds, so we’ll need you to come by—”

    Customer: “Oh my God! I can’t believe you’re calling me about this! I gave you the books back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry? You gave them back? Did you speak to anyone?”

    Customer: “Of course! I gave them to the cashier and filled out paperwork!”

    (On a hunch, I search the returns for her name. She did return the books, and got a cash refund.)

    Me: “Okay, I see you brought them back on [date] and got a cash refund. Is that right?”

    Customer: “Yes! And you should be fired for calling me at home for no reason!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you still have to pay for the bounced check.”

    Customer: “What? I don’t have the books! I am not paying for books I don’t have!”

    Me: “You wrote a bad check for merchandise, then returned the merchandise for cash. But the check is still worthless and has to be paid.”

    Customer: “What kind of idiot are you? Listen carefully: I. Do. Not. Have. Your. Books. I gave them back and that’s the end of it.”

    Me: “I’m afraid it doesn’t matter whether you have the books or not. Now, instead of books, you have our money and we still have a worthless check. You really need to take care of this, or it will be a police matter. I’m sure you don’t want me to go to the magistrate.”

    Customer: “Are you calling me a thief?! If you turn me into the police, I’ll have YOU arrested for false reports! I’ll have your job for this! I am a school teacher! I teach math!”

    Me: “Ma’am. I need you to follow along here. You wrote a bad check for merchandise, and then returned that merchandise for cash. That is fraud, and it is in an amount that can get you in serious trouble.”

    (The customer screams about how I am trying to rob her of money, then hangs up. I phone back a few days later to give her another chance. Still furious, she sticks to her guns. I try my best but she just won’t listen or try to understand. After sending her several certified demand letters, I have no choice but to file a criminal complaint. Being over $400 it is a felony fraud charge. Not long afterward I get a final phone call from her.)

    Customer: “ARE YOU THE B**** WHO SENT THE POLICE TO MY SCHOOL?!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I had to turn your NSF check over for prosecution because you refused to pay. I gave you many chances to avoid that.”

    Customer: “I MIGHT LOSE MY JOB! I have never been so humiliated! I’m going to sue you and your company for this! You are going to jail for what you’re doing to me!”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I’ve tried everything to make you understand, so do what you think you need to do.”

    (Ultimately, she was found guilty and told to pay the check and fee, plus court costs. Even when the magistrate explained it to her, she refused to believe that she owed the money.)

    Will Return In Three Days

    | IL, USA | Books & Reading, Religion

    (I am checking out a customer, who is is purchasing a Christian book.)

    Customer: “This is a gift for a good friend of mine!”

    Me: “Would you like a gift receipt?”

    Customer: “Nope. Can’t return Jesus!”

    A Real Woman Versus Half A Man

    | Waterbury, CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Health & Body, Top

    (I am in line to purchase books. The cashier is a teenage girl who has somewhat obvious dark upper-lip hair. The customer she is currently serving speaks up.)

    Customer: “Is there anyone else who can scan my books?”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, sir, but the only cashiers we have today are my colleague and myself.”

    Customer: “Your manager, then.”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry; she’s covering in the café right now. They’re very busy as you can see.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m not having some hairy bimbo with a moustache touching my books!”

    (The cashier looks like she’s about to cry. Having heard his last comment, I look up from reading the back of one of my books.)

    Me: “Sir, there’s no need to be rude. She’s just doing her job, and you berating her isn’t helping.”

    Customer: “No one asked you!”

    Me: “No, but you just happened to have p***** off the wrong person. Do you have a smart phone?”

    Customer: “Pssh, who doesn’t?”

    Me: “Do me a favor and google ‘polycystic ovarian syndrome.’”

    Customer: “That isn’t real.”

    Me: “Google it.”

    (The male customer takes out his phone and starts searching the internet. By this point, nearly everyone is watching the exchange, and a few people have run for the manager.)

    Customer: “It’s some woman thing.”

    Me: “It’s a disease caused by an imbalance between the estrogen and testosterone in a woman’s body. It messes with her whole reproductive system, and the increased testosterone can cause excess oil production, a slightly deeper voice, increased body hair and the possibility of a visible Adam’s Apple. Oh yeah, and in extreme cases, it can cause a woman’s body to be more boyishly shaped.”

    Customer: “The h***! How would you know?! This s*** makes girls look like Bigfoot!”

    (I point to the surplus of blonde hair on my arms, my somewhat broad shoulders, the marks of waxing on my neck, and the very slight Adam’s Apple.)

    Me: “You happen to be talking to someone who has known she’s had the disease for the last 10 years. My case is on the line of moderate to severe. It’s treatable, but the only options out there have already nearly killed me once, so I just wax and the rest of me is what it is. Regardless of whether this poor girl has it or not, you shouldn’t just judge people because of a little hair.”

    Customer: “So, you’re really a man.”

    Me: “No, I’m all woman, but a woman willing to kick your a** if you don’t apologize to this girl.”

    (The customer turns around and sees that not only is the cashier crying, but the manager and security have appeared.)

    Me: “Miss, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been in your shoes. I got made fun of all through high school.”

    (Security takes the guy and disappears. I walk up to the counter and put my books down.)

    Me: “I know it was presumptuous of me to throw ‘PCOS’ out there, but the look on your face when he made his comment looked all too familiar. My apologies.”

    Cashier: “I was just diagnosed with it a few weeks ago; it hasn’t sunk in yet. I got my first paycheck from here today and was going to get my lip waxed after work. How did you know?”

    Me: “Pretty much the comment he made about your lip. You know, aside from that, I can’t tell at all.”

    Cashier: “Really?”

    Me: “Really. You are a very lovely girl. There are support groups and such online where you can talk to other women and girls. You’re not alone.”

    (The cashier starts crying again, so the manager sends her on her break, and gives me an extra discount on top of my member card to thank me!)

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