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Schrödinger’s Groceries, Both Paid For And Not Paid For At The Same Time

, , , , , | Right | April 14, 2021

I am working at the register near the door when I see two teenagers walking by, each with a bag of items. I bid them a good night, but as they go through the sensors, the alarm goes off.

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry, could I see your receipt and bags real quick? The managers make me do this.”

I always say that and it tends to help people not get mad at me for having to do my job.

Customer #1: “Uh… sure…”

They step back over and I take the receipt and start looking through the bags, really just glancing. But I notice that the receipt only has like five things on it and they have well over fifteen items.

Me: “Um… it looks like you have some things here that aren’t on the receipt. Did you have another receipt?”

Customer #2: “No. What do we have that’s not on there?”

I take one of the bags and set it on the counter.

Me: “Everything that’s in there. Did you want to purchase those here real fast?”

I hand them back their other receipt. What [Customer #1] says next, I will never forget, because it makes no sense.

Customer #1: “Well, we already paid for it but we don’t have enough money to pay for it.”

Me: *Bewildered pause* “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer #1: “We already paid for it but we don’t have enough money to pay for it.”

I just stand there for a moment, blinking a few times and trying to figure out what I’m hearing.

Me: “I… see… Well, unfortunately, you can’t take these items if you don’t have a receipt for them. You can come back later for them when you have some more money.” 

And then I just watched them walk off into the distance. I knew that they were trying to steal, and in our store, if we stop someone from stealing, we get 10% in cash of the total amount of items we saved. I looked into the bag again to start counting the prices and started laughing. The kids had torn off all of the barcodes but left all of the sensors on, assuming that the barcode was the sensor!

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