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Cash Back Attack, Part 11

, , , , , , | Right | August 14, 2020

I am at the register at work, helping the cashier get a long line down as that is one of my duties as a manager. The customer is a man in his mid-to-late thirties with an army tattoo on his arm and a T-shirt with an American flag.

I have just opened a drawer to help my cashier, so I have the minimum amount of cash in the drawer. There is a sign by the screen that shows the total and another by the pin-pad, both of which say, “No Cashback,” in big, bold letters. This is because I literally do not have the money in the till to pay out a large cash order.

He pays with a debit card and decides to select $50 cashback on the pin-pad without telling me. When the receipt printed, it is already too late; it has already charged the amount to his card, so I either have to give him his money or cancel out the order entirely. Canceling orders after payment is made is not something we do often at the store and the void would show negatively on my record for the day.

Also, based on the smug look he fixes me with — that of someone who is used to getting his own way — I figure he will be the kind to throw a hissy fit if confronted directly and I do not have time.

I make it no secret how much of a problem he has caused as I count out almost every dollar in my register drawer. I speak as I count $1 bills.

Me: “The sign says, ‘No cashback.’”

Customer: “I saw, but the machine still let me do it.”

I explain through a forced smile.

Me: “I just opened this drawer. I may not have the money to give you this cashback.” 

Customer: “Oh.”

He at least has enough sense to look embarrassed as he realizes he is literally taking everything in the drawer.

I continue to count silently — it is a lot of ones — and apparently he can tell I am very irritated. He starts to huff and speak in his own defense.

Customer: “It’s not the worst thing ever; you ever serve?”

There it is. He assumes that his cred as a vet will get him kudos or sympathy or at least make him feel less small than his own inconsiderate behavior just has. 

Me: “No, I have not. I couldn’t; they would not accept me due to my medical issues and post-traumatic stress after extensive child abuse. We each have our own sufferings in life, none of which are relevant now.”

He stares, dumbfounded, as I double-count the money because he interrupted my count. I hand him his change and he counts it again, refusing to move out of the way of the customer behind him, one of our regulars.

He hands me two dollars back, saying he doesn’t want my drawer to be off count as if I gave him the wrong change. He looks meaningfully at the cashier to make sure she heard what he said. I believe he assumes she is the superior as she is older than I am and I have very colorful, unnatural hair and tattoos. I do not bother to correct him; I just let him walk away without two dollars of his change, still somehow thinking he has made me look like a fool.

The customer behind him grins and gestures to the man proudly swaggering out the door after shortchanging himself.

Regular: “You were right; I counted along with you. The look on his face when you shut him up made my day.”

I laughed and chatted happily with the regular until he, too, went on his way. Then, I shared a weary glance with my cashier and went about my work. Sure enough, my drawer was two dollars over that night.

Cash Back Attack, Part 10
Cash Back Attack, Part 9
Cash Back Attack, Part 8
Cash Back Attack, Part 7
Cash Back Attack, Part 6

This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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