This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 102

, , , , | Right | July 18, 2021

The pawnshop where I work also functions as a “financial institution.” When a customer loans with us, there is a 20% interest rate with every loan. The loan period is ninety days, which is broken up into three monthly payments. For example: if you get a loan of $100, the interest is $20 every month. If you would like to pay out the loan, it’s going to be $120 you owe us. You don’t have to pay the loan out early, but the cheapest payout would be in the first month. We DO NOT have any control over totals, payments, payment dates, late fees, etc.

A customer comes in, ready to pay out his item. The customer hands over his ID to my coworker. 

Customer: “I’d like to get [item] out, please.”

Coworker: “Okay, great! That’s going to be $160, and do you have your original loan contract we had you sign?”


Coworker: “Yes, you do. The grace period is established automatically in our system and is basically giving you a couple of days so the item doesn’t fall out for sale.”

Customer: “Well, y’all didn’t tell me the price would go up! This is absolutely ridiculous! I want my s***! NOW! I have $25; give me my stuff!”

Coworker: “You are more than welcome to pay an extension payment; it’s only $20. Even if you did come in time before the payment went up, you wouldn’t have enough money to get it out.”

Customer: “This is bulls***! Listen here, you. I have $25 to give you… today!”

Coworker: “Sir, that’s not going to cover the payment. We loaned you $100. You didn’t make last month’s payment, so the price of it w—”

Customer: “Override it, then; I don’t care. I want my s*** now. All you guys are doing is trying to get more money out of me. I know the manager will do it for me. She knows me very well. I’m a good customer.”

Coworker: “Sir, I can’t do that. It’s the company and our system. Our system automatically calculates payments and dates. It’s 100% out of our control. The manager can’t even override it.”

Customer: “You’re playing bulls*** games with me!”

I can hear him starting to cause a scene, so I go get the assistant manager.

Assistant Manager: “Hey, bud, what’s going on over here?”

Customer: “Y’all are playing bulls*** a** games with me and all I want is my [item]!”

Assistant Manager: “Okay, well, it looks like it’s going to be $160 to retrieve your item.”

Now I can almost see smoke coming out of this guy’s ears.

Customer: “No! I already told her I have $25 to get my s***. That’s all I have. See, y’all be playing games with me!”

Assistant Manager: “Sir, I feel like you think we have control of this. We really don’t. This is all computer-based. We have absolutely no control. Now, if I could override the system, I would, but I can’t. The $25 you have could go to the extension payment to save your item from being put out for sale, but you need the $160 to actually pay the loan out. This isn’t anyone’s fault here.”

This guy was really trying to get his item back for only $25 when he was loaned $100. He claimed that he had spent thousands and thousands of dollars with us. We can see how much he’s spent and it’s not even $400 dollars. He ended up calling our store manager, our district manager, AND corporate. His stuff is still there so his call must not have worked.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 101
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 100
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 99
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 98
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 97

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Unable To Conjure Up A Return

, , , | Right | June 18, 2021

I’m working the buy counter in the pawn shop when a guy comes in with a TV, putting it on the counter in front of me.

Me: “Hi, what are you looking at doing today?”

Customer: “I bought this TV from you the other day and I want to bring it back.”

Me: “Okay, what’s wrong with it?”

Customer: “It’s haunted!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Every time I turn it on, there are ghosts on the screen!”

Me: “I can see why that’s upsetting. Let me grab the manager; I need his permission to do a refund.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I don’t want the money back. I just want to bring the TV back. It’s haunted!”

Me: “Okay… you can leave it here if you want. You sure you don’t want a refund?”

Customer: “No, I just don’t want the TV in my house anymore. The ghosts might get out.”

And true to his word, he just walked off, leaving me with the apparently haunted TV. I don’t get paid enough for ghosts, and I can’t put the TV on the floor if it hasn’t been returned or bought in through the till, so I put it in the back room for the manager to deal with, just in case.

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The Coughed Their Brains Out

, , , , , , | Right | August 23, 2020

Pursuant to local law, we are currently requiring face coverings while customers are in the shop.

Associate: “Can you please put your mask back on?”

Customer: “Oh, okay, yeah. I just took it off because I needed to cough.”

This story is part of our Anti-Masker roundup.

Read the next Anti-Masker roundup story!

Read the Anti-Masker roundup!

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Unable To Think Outside The Xbox, Part 3

, , , | Right | July 16, 2020

I work in a pawn shop. Obviously, this means our stock is almost entirely brought in by customers. And yet, I have this conversation more often than I want.

Customer: “Do you have any [Console]s?”

Me: “No, sorry. We do get them in pretty often, but we don’t have any right now.”

Customer: “Can you order me one?”

Unable To Think Outside The XBox, Part 2
Unable To Think Outside The XBox

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Getting Their Guitar Strings Crossed

, , , , , , | Legal | December 6, 2019

My father told me this story from when he worked in a pawnshop in the 1980s.

The pawnshop specialises in musical instruments and equipment and is the largest second-hand dealer of those goods in the city. One day, a friend of Dad’s wants to pawn a 1970s Ibanez Les Paul-type guitar with a sunburst finish. It doesn’t have a serial number — not unusual for Ibanez at the time — but it has some identifying marks: belt buckle scratches on the back and a small Brazilian flag sticker on the back of the neck. The deal is made and his friend walks away with the money.

As the months go on, Dad’s friend doesn’t come back for the guitar, so Dad calls up and tells him that it will have to go to auction. It fails to meet the reserve price at auction, so Dad calls him up again and says it will go on the shop floor for sale but that if he wants it back he can come in and pay for it — at a discount — before it’s sold.

One day, a man walks in and sees the guitar on display. The man claims it is his and describes it to dad in detail — the scratches, the sticker — without touching it. Dad calls the police and a detective from the theft division is sent out. The guitar is taken as evidence and Dad’s friend is subsequently charged with dealing in stolen goods.

Some months later, another man walks in wanting to sell a guitar. It is a 1970s Ibanez Les Paul-type guitar with a sunburst finish, belt buckle wear on the back, a Brazilian flag sticker on the back of the headstock, and with the same case and accessories as the other guitar.

Dad stalls the second man and is able to convince him to get a coffee across the street while they do additional ID checks. Then, he calls the police and speaks to the detective, who confirms that the original guitar is still in evidence.

The detective comes to the shop with the original guitar. It is confirmed that there are two nearly identical guitars.

Then, the customer who claimed the original guitar was his walks in!

Dad suggests to the detective that the customer plays both guitars and tells them which is actually his. The customer confirms that the second guitar is his, because he had adjusted the string height to be lower than the other guitar.

The man trying to sell the second guitar is charged and Dad’s friend is cleared.

We’re not sure why the two guitars were identical, but we suspect that there was one owner who bought them new and sold them separately. This would explain the similar belt buckle scratches and the Brazilian flag stickers.

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