Making A Return You Can’t Refuse

, , , , | Hopeless | April 25, 2019

(This happens around Christmas back in late 2001 when DVDs are just starting to overtake VHS tapes. I am with my younger sister doing Christmas shopping in the mall. I have only been to one store so far to get items for my family. I walk into a now-defunct video store that is connected to a music store. My dad is upgrading his VHS tapes to DVDs and wants me to buy a number of movies. One movie that he wants me to get is “The Godfather” DVD set that recently came out. The price is over 100 dollars, but he also wants me to get a number of other DVDs that are on his list. I get most of everything he wants except “The Godfather” and one other DVD set as it is behind the counter due to the high price. Since it’s Christmas, the mall is a zoo and this store is no different; people are walking all over the place, the security alarm is going off non-stop when people walk by it, and the checkout line is long. I get in line behind seven other people. I get to the front and meet the cashier, a girl who is around the same age as me — I am 19. I can tell she is trying her best to be happy but she’s clearly tired.)

Cashier: *smiling* “Hi. How are you doing today?”

Me: “I’m doing just fine.” *places about ten DVDs on the counter* “I would also like to get The Godfather and [Other DVD Set] that are behind you.”

Cashier: “No problem.”

(She turns around and grabs the two DVD sets.)

Me: “Thanks. My dad is upgrading his VHS tapes and wants these for Christmas.”

Cashier: “That is getting pretty common nowadays.”

(She is ringing me up fast as there is still a long line. Another employee comes over and asks her for something. Due to the number of DVDs she has to scan into the computer, putting them into the bag as fast as she can, and how busy it is, she appears to be swamped.)

Cashier: “Your total comes up to $389.45.”

(I knew it would be a lot of money. My dad gave me a lot of cash that day to pay for everything. I give her the money, say thanks, and walk out of the store. About an hour later, my sister and I are sitting in the food court eating lunch. I go over everything we bought while I’m eating and notice that “The Godfather” is missing from the receipt.)

Me: “Hey, sis, can you look this over while I dig through the bag? I think a movie is missing.”

Sister: “Let me see.”

(I give her the receipt and tell her what movie it is. She reads it over while I’m digging through our seven bags.)

Sister: “Do you have anything else? I don’t see it here.”

Me: “Yeah, I don’t see it, either.”

Sister: “Well, you got it for free, then.”

(My sister laughs, but I just don’t feel right about it. I decide to go back to the video store. The line isn’t as long this time; there are only two people. I get the same cashier. I know she won’t remember me, as it has been so busy.)

Cashier: “Hi. Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I came in earlier for a number of DVDs and this here earlier.” *pulls out “The Godfather”* “It appears that you forgot to scan it in.”

Cashier: “Oh, my God.” *her eyes start to water and her attitude changes a bit* “Thank you so much for coming back. You don’t know what this means to me. Here, let me get that for you. I’ll let you use my employee discount.”

Me: *taken aback a bit* “No, no, that’s okay. You don’t have to do that. It’s okay. It was just a mistake.”

Cashier: “Well, I’ll let you use this coupon I have for 5% off.” *also puts a few other coupons in the bag* “I really thank you for coming back. A high-price item that big would have gotten me in a lot of trouble.”

(I didn’t get much else about the trouble from her until I saw her about a week later when she was off duty at the mall. She remembered me and told me that she had been working there for less than a month and that her boss was a very hard-nosed guy who blames everyone for everything and would have gotten her in serious trouble for letting a high-ticket item walk out of the store like that. The store closed down in the mall years later when the parent company downsized, but I kept in contact with her throughout the years. I still have the original receipt as a joke nowadays whenever we see each other.)

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