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In For More Than A Penny

, , , , , | Right | June 14, 2018

(Like any other cashier, sometimes I’ll add a cent or two to the amount a customer gives me to save time when making change. This takes place during a typical, if not a bit slow, shift. The amounts have been changed, but show the basic idea of what happened.)

Me: “Your total is $50.01.”

([Customer #1] hands me a fifty-dollar bill and a one-dollar bill. I hand back the one and put $50.01 in the machine.)

Customer #1: “Haha, thanks. Sorry about not having the penny.”

Me: “It’s no problem. I’m not too concerned about missing one cent. I’ll probably find one during my shift today, anyway.”

(I hand them their receipt and items and give the usual retail goodbyes. [Customer #2] comes up to the till, we exchange pleasantries, and all seems well for a while.)

Me: “Your total is $75.50.”

Customer #2: “Oh, I only have $70.”

Me: “Then I’ll need to void something off, unless you have multiple ways of paying?”

Customer #2: “Oh, no, no, no. I need all these things. But I only have $70.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. But I need the full amount or I’ll have to void something off.”

Customer #2: “Can I just give you $70 and pay the $5.50 later?”

Me: *my typical happy retail worker face pulls back into a slightly irked look* “Um, no, sir. I am not allowed to do that.”

Customer #2: “You did it for that guy in front of me!”

Me: “He wasn’t short. I just decided to cover the one cent instead of making him 99 cents in change.”

Customer #2: “So do the same for me!”

Me: “Certainly! That’ll be $75.49, then.”

Customer: “No, no, no! For the $5.50.”

Me: “A penny is not a problem. I am not going to let my till be $5.50 off.”

Customer #2: “The other cashiers would do it!”

Me: “If they want a write-up and to be fired for the till being that far off, that is their choice.”

(He argues with me for a while, yelling and beginning to curse while I keep politely saying no. I have already signaled for my manager to come over who, inevitably, takes my side.)

Manager: “If her till is off at the end of her shift, it is her fault. She is allowed to choose who she compensates change for.”

Customer #2: “Then give me a discount so I can afford my things!”

Manager: “No. Even if you had been polite, there is nothing wrong with the merchandise, and you will be charged full-price.”

Customer #2: “Then I’ll break something. You’ll discount it then, right?”

Manager: “Probably not. I’d call security for you tampering with merchandise.”

Customer #2: *yells angrily*

Me: “Sir, I can still void something off so you can afford most of these things.”

Customer #2: “No! F*** you, and f*** this s***ty store!”

Me: “Then this arguing is a waste of my time, sir.” *I look to my manager* “Can you abort or suspend this order? I have other customers to tend to.”

(My manager did just that despite the man’s protests, and lead him to the service desk while I helped other customers. I was told, after my shift, that he refused to pay the $5.50 and tried to convince the manager to take it out of my pay-check. When my manager said no, he threw something at her, called me a “stupid f***ing millennial,” called her an “incompetent b****,” and then was quickly dealt with by security and banned.)

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