The Alarm Tag Wasn’t Designed For This Alarming Situation

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2017

(I work in a big retail store. Our clothes have those annoying plastic tags on them that require a cashier to slide them into a magnetic setup at the registers to remove them. This happens one day as I am working the returns counter, and an elderly woman approaches me.)

Customer: “I bought pants here, and they didn’t remove that alarm tag. Can you do that?”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry about that.”

(I see that she has no shopping bag, but I think perhaps they are in her car or purse.)

Me: “I can take care of that for you right here. It is store policy that I ask to see a receipt before removing any tags, though.”

(The woman places her purse on the counter and takes the receipt out. I can see there is, indeed, a pair of pants on her receipt.)

Me: “Okay, I can see the pants here on the receipt, so if you want to go ahead and bring them in I can certainly take care of that for you.”

Customer: “Perfect! Where should I stand? Should I sit up here?” *gestures to my counter*

Me: “Pardon?

(The woman then lifts up her leg a bit, and I can very clearly see the nub of the tag on the seam of her pants, near the hem.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t remove the tag with them still on you. That’s quite impossible with our setup.”

Customer: “You mean I need to take them off?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry. I have no way to remove that tag while you are wearing them. You would have to come back with them not on so I can take off that tag.”

Customer: “Okay, then.”

(She steps back, and I assume she is going to leave and come back, when, I kid you not, this woman then proceeds to unzip her pants and starts to remove them.)

Me: “Ma’am? I’m sorry, what are you doing?”

Customer: “You said you can’t get it off while I’m wearing them. What does it look like I’m doing?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t have you do that, here, in the middle of the store.”

(I begin looking around now because there is a line behind her, and I am nervous that at any point my manager will come around, and that I will somehow be blamed for this woman trying to strip down.)

Customer: “Well, how the f*** are you going to get it off?”

Me: “You will have to come back on another day with them not on?”

Customer: “That’s a waste of my time! I came all the way here, just to find out you can’t take this tag off! You deserve to be fired for lying to the elderly!”

(She stormed off. I saw her again a week later, wearing the same pants, with the same alarm tag still on.)