Short Changing Their Tune

, , , , , | Right | June 13, 2017

(I’m about 17 at the time and cashiering on a particularly busy Saturday morning. A customer walks up to my register and tosses a pack of gum on the belt.)

Customer: “Just this, please.”

Me: “Sure! Your total will be $1.”

(He hands me a $5, I hand him his change and gum. He just stands there, staring at me…)

Me: “Is there something else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “I gave you a $50.”

Me: “Actually, you gave me a $5. Minus the $1 for gum, your change is $4.”

Customer: “No, I gave you a $50! You short-changed me! Open up your register right now and give me the rest of my change!”

Me: “Let me grab a manager. They’re the only ones who can open my register in between transactions.”

(This is not exactly true, but I suspect something fishy and I want a manager to take a look. I flag down my direct supervisor, who does not like me all that much.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I gave her a $50 for this gum and she only gave me $4 in change! I demand you open the register and give me the rest of my money!”

Me: *quietly, to the manager* “He gave me a five.”

Manager: *nods* “I’m really sorry about this, sir. What I’m going to do is take her drawer to the back and count it. That way, we can give you the right amount of change back. It should just be a few minutes while we take care of this.”

Customer: *nervously* “WHAT?! No, no. You really don’t have to do that. I’m fine without my change, honest. I don’t need it that badly.”

Manager: “Sir, I heard you shouting from across the store. Obviously this is important to you and we want to make sure our customers get the correct amount of money back. Right, [My Name]?”

Me: *not entirely sure what she is getting at* “Of course…?”

(The manager pops my drawer out of the register and carries it to the back. The customer starts pacing back and forth, muttering under his breath about how unnecessary it all is, etc. while fumbling through his wallet. Ten minutes later, my supervisor walks back out and puts my drawer in the register.)

Manager: “I had two people count her drawer and it balanced both times. As a result—”

Customer: “No, it’s ok. I actually found the $50 in my wallet. I did give you a $5. Isn’t that funny?” *laughs nervously and runs out of the store*

Manager: “Well, that was obviously a short change artist. Good job, [My Name].” *walks away*

(I was stunned, not by the customer, but by the fact that this particular manager acknowledged that I’d done a good job!)