Honest Conductor Versus Dishonest Conduct

| Boston, MA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month, Transportation

(I’m riding the train when a passenger with a walker approaches the area where you pay. As she gets up the first stair, she trips, making a second passenger in front of her drop her wallet. I see the first passenger snatch up the money that falls from the second passenger’s wallet. She takes her seat and the other passenger confronts her.)

Passenger #2: “Excuse me, I think you have my money. There was $30 in my wallet before it fell, and now there’s none.”

Passenger #1: “Well this is all my money for my tickets and trains. It’s not yours.”

Passenger #2: “The conductor told me you grabbed it when it fell.”

Passenger #1: “Well that’s not true. IT’S MY MONEY!”

Me: “Then why is it folded differently than the rest of your money?”

(Passenger #1 finally gives up and gives back the money. The conductor even apologizes to Passenger #2 for the bad behavior of Passenger #1.)

To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 4

| NC, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Money

(I am helping a customer with a return. Due to past misuses of the system, our registers are set to only do returns in the original payment method, or as a store gift card.)

Me: “Alright, ma’am, this was done as debit. I can either put it on a gift card, or back onto the same card, if you have it on you.”

Customer: “What? Debit’s the same as cash! Why can’t I get cash?”

Me: “I apologize, but that’s our policy. We can only do it in the method it was originally done, or store credit.”

Customer: “Well that’s just wrong. Debit is the same as cash! Everywhere!”

Me: “I understand, and I am sorry, but these are the only options I’m allowed.”

Customer: *handing me her card* “Well fine, put it back on the card.”

Me: *as I slide the card* “It may take one or two business days to show back up. Here’s your copy of the return, and I hope you have a nice day.”

Customer: *reading her return receipt* “Hey! It says credit on here! I paid debit!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. The system has to credit it back to your card. It looks a little weird, but the money is going back.”

Customer: “If I use credit, I’ll be fined! My card doesn’t do credit! That first receipt said debit!”

Me: “Yes, the original purchase is definitely debit. Ma’am, it’s not charging your card; it’s crediting money back. I don’t know your particular bank, but there’s never been an issue—”

Customer: “What is your name? If there’s a problem, I want to know. And give me that original receipt back. It says debit.”

Me: “I’m [Name]. Give me just a second to copy some info off this receipt onto the return, and you’ll have it right back.”

(At this point, the customer is fed up, and leaves without waiting for her original receipt. I staple it to the return, and turn to help the next customer. Several days later, the same customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Hi. I was in here a couple of days ago, and you were helping me with a return. I… just wanted to apologize for the way I treated you. I was having a bad day, and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”

Me: “Oh! Thank you! I take it the return processed as it should?”

Customer: “Yes. But even if it hadn’t, there’s no excuse for the way I was acting.”

Me: “Well, thank you. Everyone has a bad day now and then.”

(Her making a point to return and say sorry was such a pleasant surprise; it improved the whole rest of my shift.)

Related:
To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 3
To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 2

Perplexing Paper Positioning Possibilities

| VA, USA | Extra Stupid

(A customer comes to check out with a basket of art supplies, including a pad of drawing paper. The customer hands me the other items, but stands there holding a shopping list and the paper, looking back and forth between them and frowning.)

Me: “The paper, too?”

Customer: “Will this work?”

(The customer’s list has ’12 x 18′ written on it.)

Customer: “How do I know if this will work?”

Me: “The paper cover says ’18 x 12.'”

Customer: “But she wrote ’12 x 18!'”

Me: “… well, she didn’t specify the kind of paper or the kind of pad, just the size. This is the same size; she just wrote it a different way.”

Customer: “Oh, but, I don’t know!” *very anxious* “How can you be sure?”

(My coworker sees the confusion and comes over.)

Coworker: “Did you have a question?”

Customer: “I’m supposed to buy ’12 x 18,’ but I can only find ’18 x 12.'”

Coworker: “…uh, you should be fine. See, you can hold it two ways, so it doesn’t really matter which side the binding is on. You can always cut the drawings out. It’s the same size paper.”

Customer: “This is just so perplexing to me!”