Not The Sharpie-est Tool In The Box, But A Tool Nonetheless

, , , , , , | Right | December 23, 2019

(I work at the customer service desk at one of the biggest department stores in Ottawa. It’s the night before Christmas Eve, and we closed about ten minutes ago. I have a customer come up to me saying the vending machine near our front doors ate his money. This would not normally be a problem; we would fill out a form, give him money from the till, and he would be on his merry way. The only issue is that he paid by Visa. I go to ask my supervisor what we should do; she just says to give him cash. I go back to the customer.)

Me: “My supervisor said to just give you cash, so just come on over to the desk and I can help you out.”

Customer: “I was checking my Visa statement and it said it took $6.00, which is outrageously expensive for a bottle of pop.”

Me: “My apologies, sir. I’ll give you the money back, and we’ll contact the vendor.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I always come to this store and this machine always steals my money. It’s been doing this for twenty years and this store never does anything about it.”

(Our specific location has only existed for about seven years.)

Me: “Unfortunately, we actually can’t do anything about it other than contact the vendor; we can’t even refill it. All I can do is give you your money back and contact the vendor.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I’m going to take a Sharpie and write, ‘broken,’ on the f****** thing.”

Me: “I can’t allow you to do that. If you just come over to the desk, I’ll give you your money back.”

Customer: “I’m going to grab a f****** Sharpie.”

(The customer walks away. I walk over to my manager who is watching the doors near the machine.)

Me: “There’s a guy who says he’s going to grab a Sharpie and write on the vending machine.” 

(Our head loss prevention officer — who has apparently been behind me the whole time, and is not a small man by any means — comes up behind me.)

Loss Prevention Officer: “No, he’s not.”

Me: “All right, then. I’ll just get his money ready in case he comes over.”

(I go back to counting my cash. The guy actually does grab a Sharpie, open it, and run towards the machine. Our Loss Prevention Officer stands between the customer and the machine, and then the man goes off on him and tries to attack him. He eventually gives up when the Loss Prevention Officer won’t budge, throws the opened marker on the floor, and storms out… without his money.) 

Loss Prevention Officer: “Maybe we should use the $6 to pay for the marker.”

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