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Don’t Be A Pawn In Her Game, Part 2

, , , | Right | May 2, 2022

To make ends meet while getting my degree, I used to work at a pawn shop as a sort of cashier. Due to how laws used to work, there was a six-month time limit for keeping items, and once those were up, you had three options: pay off both the loaned money and the interest matured on it; pay stocking fees and interests; or let it be auctioned off.

More often than not, people were understanding of this and paid off their payment, or at least didn’t complain about their things being auctioned off.

Most.

One slow day, I was at the till. An older woman approached me with a piece of paper and unfolded it in front of me.

Woman: “Good day. I’m here to pick back up my [item].”

Me: “Sure thing. Can you please give me your ID card and storage ticket?”

The woman started rummaging in her purse until she first produced her driver’s license and then her ID, and then pointed at the folded sheet.

Woman: “Here we go. The first ticket got waterlogged, but thankfully, I got it photocopied the first time.”

I was a bit hesitant, but I decided that it was going to be good enough. I looked at the ticket: the name matched the ID… but the pawn had been done eight months prior.

Me: “Hang on. I’m going to check in the back.”

The woman’s face immediately soured, scoffing.

Woman: “All right, go check in the back if you have to.”

I did go back to the back, where the storage room was, and went looking for the storage guy.

Me: “Hey, [Storage Guy], do we still have [item number]?”

Storage Guy: “Pretty sure we auctioned them a few days ago, but let me check on the logs.”

The logs confirmed his suspicions. I sighed as I went back.

Me: “Ma’am, we sold it some days ago.”

She frowned deeply and then looked at me in a strange way.

Woman: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You haven’t paid off the pawn loan, and you didn’t renew it, either. Sorry, you should’ve gotten the notice about that in the mail a few months ago.”

Woman: *Shouting* “I haven’t gotten any letters! I demand my [item] back!

Me: “Calm down, ma’am.”

Woman: “Calm down?! You’ve just stolen from me because I didn’t get some f****** piece of paper in my mail saying I was supposed to pay some extortion payment!”

Me: “It’s the law, ma’am.”

The woman slammed her fist on the counter, making me back off and the register teeter on the edge.

Woman: “I have never heard of such a law! I want my [item] back!”

Me: “W-we can’t do that, we really can’t. I’m sorry, but your item has been auctioned off. We can check if—”

Woman: “I’ll call the tax police, and you will give me my things back! You can’t steal from me!”

At that point, I knew there was no winning this, and I was more than a little scared.

Me: “I’m going to get the manager; you can talk with him.”

Woman: “You’d better! I’m not going to leave until I get it all back!”

I called my manager, and he told me to go help out in the back. Ultimately, the lady didn’t get what she wanted and left only when it was closing time. The resulting visit from the tax police a few days later didn’t change matters at all. I don’t know if the lady got in trouble for wasting the police’s time!

Related:
Don’t Be A Pawn In Her Game

Paperwork Is Everything

, | Right | March 15, 2022

Customer: “I thought I wouldn’t have to do a background check. Isn’t this a pawn shop?!”

Me: “It’s also not the early 1960s. Everyone fills out the form. Even me.”

Don’t Be A Pawn In Her Game

, , , , , | Legal | October 12, 2021

My husband likes to go to pawn shops to buy tools and guns. I usually come along just to browse, and I usually don’t find anything of interest. I have recently gotten into sewing and I happen to spot a higher-end sewing machine in really good shape with all the accessories and manuals on one of our visits. I decide that it is worth the chance for $200, and the pawnshop offers a thirty-day warranty, so I buy it.

When I get home, I ask about it on one of my sewing groups on Facebook. It turns out that the machine retails for $500 new. Most people congratulate me on the purchase and tell me that I got a really good deal. However, one lady decides to accuse me of buying stolen merchandise simply because I bought it at a pawnshop.

Lady: “Why did you buy that machine?! If you got it from a pawnshop, it is probably stolen! Only horrible people shop at pawnshops! How would you feel if someone stole your stuff and sold it at a pawnshop?”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Lady: “Pawnshops are notorious for selling stolen goods! The police will come and arrest you if you tell people how much you paid and that you bought it at a pawn shop!”

Me: “Pawnshops are one of the most regulated types of resale shops in the United States! It is actually a felony for a pawnbroker to buy an item that they even SUSPECT is stolen! When you sell an item, you have to present a government-issued photo ID with your address and personal details AND provide a thumbprint as identification! I even had to show my driver’s license when I bought it because they had to create a buyer profile for me!”

Lady: “But people sell stolen items at pawn shops all the time! I wouldn’t trust a pawnbroker!”

Me: “Do you buy stuff on Facebook Marketplace, yard sales, or flea markets?”

Lady: “Yes, all the time. What is your point?”

Me: “Did you know that there is literally ZERO legal recordkeeping of those transactions? You could have easily bought stolen items and didn’t realize it! Pawnshops keep detailed records of who they buy from AND who they sell to!”

Lady: “BUT. PEOPLE. SELL. STOLEN. GOODS. AT. PAWN. SHOPS! You will be arrested!”

Me: “Yeah, right! If it is stolen, as you allege, the responsibility is on the pawnshop, NOT me! I bought the machine under the impression that it wasn’t stolen! Plus, my husband has been dealing with that pawnshop for close to twenty-five years, so they probably did their due diligence on the original owner.”

Lady: “I am going to report you to the police! Your name is [My Name] and you live in [City], [State]?”

Me: “Yes!”

Lady: “Now you are going to jail for buying stolen property!”

The lady DID call the sheriff’s department where I live, but they literally laughed at her after she accused me of knowingly buying stolen property from a legitimate pawnshop! My husband was born and raised here, and being a small town, all the sheriff’s deputies know my husband. The deputy who talked to her is even the deputy who checks pawnshops for stolen items, and he said that they had no report of that machine being stolen, anyway.

I don’t know how she couldn’t understand that just buying an item from a pawnshop DOES NOT mean that the item has been stolen!

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?”

Customer: “$160?! WHY?! I CALLED AND WAS TOLD I HAD GRACE DAYS!”

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.

Related:
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

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.