A Holiday Lightbulb Moment

, , , , , | Right | December 23, 2018

I work for a membership-based wholesale retailer as a supervisor. For the most part, we stick to the “customer is always right” mentality. Since it’s the holidays, it’s even worse. At my particular store, we have coupons, but they all have a limit on how many items you can purchase with that coupon. In this instance, it is light bulbs, and the limit is four.

We are busy, so I’m helping on the register, and a member comes to my line wanting two separate transactions. Each transaction is four light bulbs, so he’s basically circumventing the coupon limit. My manager says, “Hey, it’s the holidays and it’s only four more; just do it.”

Right as I’m about to ring in his second transaction, the member next in line stops me and says, “Hey, just watch him for a minute before you do that.” I turn around and watch him handing cash to the elderly couple I helped prior to him. They also bought four light bulbs. It turns out he is trying to beat the system even more by convincing the elderly couple to charge the lightbulbs to their credit card and get the discount, and then giving them cash.

Upon seeing this, I void his transaction and tell him that he already got his discounts and I’m doing no more. When he tries to argue, the member behind him says, “You tried to pull a fast one, and she’s just doing her job, so leave, because it’s busy and we don’t want to wait!” He grumbled, but left.

The member behind him then proceeded to announce — loudly — about the con I stopped. Yay me? Then, they talked to management about giving me recognition for it. For me, it wasn’t about the “con” he was trying to pull; it was that he manipulated the elderly into doing something for him. Thanks to that member who spoke out, this guy has been flagged, and I actually got thanked by management for turning someone away instead of being scolded.

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