The (Water)Mark Of The Cheapskates

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

I am an artist and I post my work online. In the early days, I only added my signature, next to the image. Then, my art got stolen, signature edited out. I posted my signature next to the image and added a digital signature over the bottom. My art got stolen, the digital signature cropped off. I added the digital signature halfway down the image, and it still got cropped off. Tired of all the theft, I created a large watermark. You can still see the image, but if you wish to crop it out, you’d only have like half a face. 

Two days after releasing my work with a huge watermark, I get a message from someone who has been following my work for a while, but always complained I was in it for the money, should do more freebies, and that I should think of the fans more; they are the base of my success!

“I don’t understand why you’d want to ruin your art like this. Please don’t use that ugly watermark any more. Now I can no longer print it out and hang it on my wall. You are losing fans, starting with me!”

I didn’t listen to him and am now bankru– Oh, wait, nothing happened. Still in the business, but the art theft decreased significantly!

Too Young To Be A Patron And To Drink It  

, , , , , | Right | January 17, 2020

(I’m an employee working box office on a busy Friday night. We’ve had two R-rated movies come out and, as you can imagine, a plethora of teenagers are trying to sneak in. I’ve already had to refuse several and report them to my managers as a risk. Our box office is small and there are only three of us.)

Other Employee: “No, you can’t see that movie if everyone doesn’t have ID.”

(The teenagers halt transactions on three cash registers and leave to talk in a huddle and return moments later.)

Customer: “I want tickets for [PG-13 movie].”

Me: “Of course. Do you have a student ID for a discount?”

Customer: “Why do I need ID? It’s PG-13?”

Me: “It is. I’m asking for a student card for a discount. You won’t have to pay as much.”

Customer: “No, I don’t have it.”

Me: “No problem; it’s going to be [total].”

(They pay and somehow end up back in front of me ten minutes later.)

Customer: “I want a refund?”

Me: “Was there a problem, sir?”

Customer: “I don’t want to watch it.”

(This is code for, “I tried to sneak into a different movie and got caught.” I know this because my manager told me.)

Me: *handing him a paper with some highlighted lines for our record* “Not a problem. Can I have you fill out the highlighted section for my record and I’ll get you your refund?”

Customer: “What’s Patrón—” *as in the tequila* “—signature?”

Me: “Pardon?”

(He points to the line.)

Me: “That’s ‘patron.’” *as in a customer*

Customer: “Yeah, what’s that?”

Me: “That’s you, sir.”

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Having To Shampoo-poo Most Of The Coupons

, , , , , , | Right | January 13, 2020

(By the end of my four-year reign as a cashier, I am pretty done with my job. We have this one regular coupon scammer who comes through the express lane with too many items to hold people up and fluster the cashier into taking her coupons. One day, I see them in my line and decide I’m done with them, too.)

Customer: *starts unloading stuff onto the belt, mostly trial-size shampoos and deodorants*

Me: *scans things extra slowly, paying attention to the items* 

Customer: “Here. Take these.” *thrusts coupons in my direction*

Me: “Of course.”

(Before scanning them, I decide to take my time reading the entirety of the fine print of the coupon while the scammer gets antsy. It’s for $1 off shampoo and unsurprisingly, excludes trial-size items.)

Customer: “Are you new? You’re just supposed to scan them. That’s how coupons work, sweetie.”

Me: *puts on my best customer service smile* “Unfortunately, this coupon says it doesn’t include trial-size items, so this type of shampoo won’t count.”

Customer: “Yeah, but if you scan it, it’ll take it off.”

Me: *scans it to humor them, and it’s rejected* “Sorry, the register won’t accept it.”

Customer: *exasperated sigh* “Well, the cashiers normally take it off anyway when the register doesn’t work.”

Me: “I wouldn’t be able to do that myself; I could get a manager—”

Customer: “Whatever! Just put the shampoos back! Try this coupon.”

(I did the same thing again as a line started to form behind them. The next coupon was the same type of deal and I said it couldn’t be accepted. I went through their whole stack of coupons and most of them weren’t usable. The scammer eventually got frustrated enough that they stormed out without buying anything and I just smiled as I put everything back in my returns bin. I know a lot of cashiers and managers usually would just put the coupons through so they wouldn’t cause a fuss but hey, sometimes it’s the petty little things in life.)

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Entitlement Lasts Past The Crime  

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(Two of us are working the self-checkout at this multinational retail corporation. I have only been with the store a few weeks, but my coworker has been here for years, is regularly scheduled for self-check, and has eagle eyes for the thieves. Our store doesn’t yet have small scanners attached to the self-checkout scanners, so customers with large items like dry dog food or 24-packs of water must lift the entire item up to the immovable scanner. We know this is more work, so we often sweep by and offer to help the customer with items like these. My coworker sees a woman in her 40s or 50s checking out alone and offers to help her with the pack of water bottles on the bottom of her basket. The woman refuses, so just as a check, my coworker slips over to the security guard, points the customer out, and asks him to make sure and check her receipt to see that she scanned the water. Sure enough…)

Security Guard: *leading the woman back to the cashier’s register at self-checkout, where I happen to be standing* “Don’t worry, ma’am. She’ll help you check out.” *to me* “She just needs the water scanned.”

Me: “All right, thank you. Don’t worry, miss; we’ll have you out of here in no time.”

Customer: “Does he always do that?”

Me: “Do what?”

Customer: “Demand to see customer receipts!”

Me: “Well, yes, that’s actually a large part of his job.”

Customer: “Well, it’s rude! Why would he suspect me of stealing anything?”

Me: *internally* “Uh… because you were? Exactly what moral high ground do you think you have here?” *externally* “I’m sure he didn’t suspect, you, ma’am; he’s just required by the store to check a certain amount of receipts each shift, and he always checks baskets with large items like packs of water bottles, especially if they’re below the basket, because those are easily forgotten. Even us cashiers can easily forget them.”

Customer: “Well, he shouldn’t do that! Look at me! I’m clearly respectable, and I deserve to be treated better than this!”

(The customer left without lingering after receiving her receipt for the water, but godd***, you’d think she’d been wrongfully accused of stealing instead of getting caught red-handed.)

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She Boxed You Into Doing It  

, , , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(I work at a somewhat high-end boutique. A woman comes in; she quickly begins explaining to me that she usually wears designer — like David Yurman on her wrist — but she delights in small businesses and frequently shops in this store. She chooses two necklaces after some time, between our conversing over how her investments in designer items will be worth a fortune soon. I am actually interested and find her unique, albeit curious in mannerisms and speech. We are checking out as I put one necklace in a box and wrap it, and begin doing the same for the second necklace.)

Customer: “You don’t have to give me two boxes. I’m just going to unwrap them when I get home.”

Me: “No, I would really like to. You can reuse the boxes once you’re done; they’re great for gifts.”

Customer: “No, they cost you guys money. Just one box, please.”

Me: *hesitantly* “I’m afraid they’ll get tangled! It’s honestly not any trouble—”

Customer: *firmly* “No, one box. Thank you, but it would be a waste. I don’t want it.”

(I put both necklaces in one box. They’re “locked” in place by foam, and I set them in the bag with enough tissue, just in case. Days pass. On the weekend, my boss asks about that very woman and if I had dealt with her. I say yes. I am excited; we had a delightful exchange and I feel I built a good rapport with her.)

Boss: “Yeah, she’s a little weird. A little off.”

Me: “Really? I couldn’t tell. Why do you say that?”

Boss: *hesitantly* “I know she’s lying because I know you wouldn’t do this, but she called me up and yelled, like, ‘Your employee put my two $50 necklaces in one box! I specifically asked her to put them in separate boxes but she refused! Now, they’re tangled and I can’t wear either of them!’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Come on in and I would be happy to fix them, I have the tools, blah, blah.’ Then she starts yelling again about how I should teach my employees to ‘never put two necklaces in one box.’ Then I’m like, ‘Actually, my employee would never do that. This sounds nothing like her, honestly. Now, I can fix them if you bring them in. Is that okay?’ She then gets really loud and says, ‘Maybe I should have just worn one of them out of the store, around my big, fat neck!’ I was like, ‘Ooookaaaaaay.’ I know you wouldn’t do that. She’s always been weird to me. I didn’t even want to tell you, because you did nothing wrong.”

(I explained what had actually happened and my boss understood; she said she’s done the same thing, but it’s now policy to never share boxes for necklaces. I’m just grateful my boss defended me without even hearing my side of the story. Why did she call and lie to my boss so blatantly? Perhaps to have an exchange or refund? Regardless, my boss and I have recently noted she hasn’t been in since.)

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