Thieves, Autism, Netflix, And Thongs

, , , , | Legal | September 14, 2019

A few years ago, while on my lunch break, I went to a nearby department store to pick up a few things. At the time, I had an iPhone 5C that had been part of a Black Friday promotion the year before. It was showing some usual wear and tear, but it was still a good phone and I had no plans to get a new one anytime soon. 

As I was checking out at the store, I placed my phone on the little credit card reader shelf directly in front of me to pay for my purchase. I looked up from the shelf long enough to answer a question from the cashier, and started to leave with everything of mine that I could see in front of me.

I’d barely made it out the door when I realized that my phone wasn’t where I’d left it on the shelf. A quick search confirmed it wasn’t in my pockets, my purse, or my shopping bag. I ran back into the store and went straight to the cashier to ask if she’d picked up my phone by accident. No luck. She let me use the store phone to call my own number to see if it had fallen beneath the register or something. It rang several times, then clicked off like calls do when someone hits the “ignore” button. I immediately called again, and this time it went straight to voicemail. Someone had turned my phone off. 

Needless to say, I was starting to panic — not because I’d paid a lot of money for the phone, since it was part of a promotion, but more so because I had my friend’s and family’s contact information in the phone, including some addresses. At the time, I didn’t have a lock code on the phone — a mistake I’ve never made again — so I knew this person could open it and view everything. Not to mention, the principle of the matter was that this was theft and it’s a horrible feeling knowing that another person has intentionally taken something that belongs to you. Luckily, I never used any banking or shopping apps so there was no account information they could see. 

I have to say, [Store] was amazing throughout this experience. The security team immediately started pulling camera footage and register data to give to the police. The store manager let me sit and calm down, and I used the store phone to call my work, my husband, the police to file a report, and my phone carrier to report the phone as stolen. They’d still be able to use the Wi-Fi on the phone, but at least they wouldn’t be able to make calls or use data on my dime.

I was honestly expecting to never see that phone again, but here is how incredibly stupid the woman who stole my phone was. 

1) She was clearly on camera. The camera was even visible from the register. She reached out at the one moment the cashier and I looked at each other, snatched my phone off the shelf, and threw it in her purse. 

2) She used a credit card to pay for her own stuff, so they had her name and an address registered with the card. 

3) When the police tracked her down, she first claimed she didn’t steal it. Then, when confronted with video and credit card data, she tried to blame it on her autistic daughter! Yes, she had a five- or six-year-old girl with her in the video, and she tried to say the girl took my phone and was “holding it” when they got to their car. How low is that?

4) We knew for a fact she still had my phone because she’d managed to open my Netflix app and was letting her daughter watch cartoons on my account. (I changed the password as soon as proof was sent to the officer handling my case).

5) When the police arrested her and got the phone back, they found hundreds of pictures she’d taken of herself, mostly making duck-faces in various bathrooms — why bathrooms?! — and a few raunchier ones of her in a thong showing her a**, etc., and audio recordings she’d made of phone conversations with a man, trying to find out why she wasn’t being allowed to see her other three children. The police were pretty interested in those recordings, but I don’t know what came of that since they didn’t pertain to my case.  

It’s still crazy to me when I remember all of this, which took place over about a month. Now, I always have a code lock on my phone and I’ve never put it down on that little shelf again.

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Please Bring Downstairs Upstairs

, , , , | Right | September 2, 2019

Customer: “Excuse me. I’m looking for children’s clothes.”

Me: “The children’s department is downstairs. If you take this escalator down, it will be directly on the left.”

Customer: *expectant pause* “Well?”

Me: “Well… what?”

Customer: “What are you going to do about this?”

Me: “Would you like me to walk with you there?”

Customer: *huff* “No! Forget it! Unbelievable!”

(She stormed off in the other direction.)

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Brace(let) Yourselves For This Gem Of Entitlement

, , | Right | September 2, 2019

(A customer comes into our jewelry department with a bracelet his wife bought from us. It has very unusual charms hanging from it, and he says one fell off.)

Customer: “Can you send it in for repair?”

Me: “If you still had the charm, they could reattach it, but since it’s lost there’s not really anything they can do.”

Customer: “Can’t they just get a new one and attach it?”

Me: “They can only work with gems and metals, sir, and they don’t carry original pieces in stock. They wouldn’t have anything like this, and they don’t have the materials to make it.”

Customer: “Can you send it in, anyway? This is her absolute favorite bracelet.”

Me: “I promise you that they will not have a charm like this, and I would hate to waste your time. We do still have one of these bracelets in stock; would your wife like to buy that as a replacement?”

(He gets on the phone with his wife.)

Customer: “She’s asking if she can get the new one for free, since this one broke.”

Me: “Did she buy a warranty from us?”

Customer: “She’s not sure.”

(I look up her information, but nothing comes up in our system.)

Me: “It doesn’t look like she purchased one, and we can only offer free replacements with an active warranty. How long ago did she buy it?”

Customer: “She says it’s only been a few months.”

Me: “If it’s only been a month or two, we might consider that a manufacturer defect. Let me get my manager.”

(The customer passes the phone over to my manager, who has to look through the wife’s store card transactions on the computer since she has no proof of purchase. It takes her longer than it should, and she finally says into the phone:)

Manager: “Well, ma’am, it looks like this bracelet was purchased six years ago, so we are unable to replace it for free. However, we do have the same bracelet in store, and it’s on sale today for [price more than 50% off].”

(The wife says something, and my manager’s eyebrow raises in disbelief.)

Manager: “…I can sell a new bracelet to your husband for [price more than 50% off].”

(The customer buys the new bracelet and leaves, and my manager shakes her head.)

Manager: “She said, ‘So, what can you do for me?’ Even if she had a warranty, it would have been expired.”

Me: “I’d be over the moon if a store still carried my favorite bracelet six years later! Some people…”

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Poop Beats Rock, Paper, And Scissors  

, , , , , , | Right | August 27, 2019

As I come into work at the department store where I’m head of maintenance, I am greeted by my manager telling me that this is a rock, paper, scissors type of incident, and then he leads me upstairs. I am very confused until I see a customer with his pants around his ankles, bent over, pooping.   

He methodically goes along a good distance… pooping. Then, security arrives on the scene. This man continues pooping. I observe that he’s been storing this up for a special occasion.  

Eventually, the police arrive. We all stand around until he finishes. I have to clean up. Not a great way to start my shift.

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Takes An Army To Stock All Those Children’s Books

, , , | Right | August 5, 2019

(We’ve had two call-offs in our children’s department, meaning I’ve had to pull an employee from another department to help cover it. A customer comes to the office area with a complaint.)

Customer: “I was in the children’s department and every single employee is just standing around doing nothing! No one would help me!”

Me: “We did have some staffing issues. I’m heading that way if you want to show me.”

(We arrive at the children’s department where both employees are frantically ringing through a long line of customers.)

Customer: “See? They are just standing around!”

Me: “They seem to be quite busy.”

Customer: “Not them, the other employees! See?”

(She gestures at another customer who is browsing the racks.)

Me: “That’s not an employee; that’s a customer.”

Customer: “What about him, then?”

Me: “That’s also a customer.”

Customer: “Well, those two employees back there!”

Me: “Those are also customers!”

(The customer snorts, turns on her heel, and starts to walk away before turning back and saying loudly:)

Customer: “I can’t believe there are nine employees in this area and none would help me!”

(Fortunately, I don’t need to payroll all of the “employees” she thought were there.)

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