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New Ice Cream Flavor: Half-Baked Shoplifting Attempt

, , , , | Legal | CREDIT: OJRmk1 | September 21, 2020

It is 2005 and I am working at a video rental store – remember those? We also sell snacks, sweets and ice cream. All the food items are in view of the counter, and are the only items of value that aren’t stored behind the counter (all the DVD and video game boxes on the shelves are empty).

The location I work in is in a slightly seedy part of town, on a major road leading to the city center, and we are surrounded by a mix of cheap bed-and-breakfasts and bail hostels, so shoplifting is an issue for us. The ice-cream is often targeted since it is the most expensive single food item we sell; one-pint pots cost for about $5 each.

There are always at least two people on shift, and the cleverer shoplifters wait for us to both be busy before swiping the ice-cream, but this guy is far from smart…

While I am sorting a couple of things out behind the counter my colleague watches this guy walk up and get a tub of ice cream and walk out of sight between the aisles. He goes to leave the store a couple minutes later and my colleague pipes up:

Colleague: “Excuse me, sir, are you going to buy that ice cream?”

Shoplifter: “What ice cream?”

Colleague: “The tub of cookies and cream that you have in your carrier bag.”

There’s a pause and the shoplifter looks like a deer in headlights, then my colleague points at the bag, which is obviously bulging and semi-translucent, so you can clearly see the tub of ice-cream, which is how he can tell the flavour.

It was priceless watching him sheepishly put it back and slouching off like a scolded child.

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The Amazing World Of Gumball

, , , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

I’ve worked at a video store for years. Many people try to lie to try to get out of late fees, but this was a one-time incident.

We have a gumball machine in the store. Like in many convenience or video stores, a certain-colored gumball — in our case, white — yields something free: a movie rental, for our store.

A kid, about twelve, who I know has stolen games from us and therefore won’t be allowed to rent anyway, walks up to the gumball machine. After casting a furtive glance at me over his shoulder — I pretty much death-glare into his soul — he pretends, very blatantly, to put a quarter in the machine and turns the knob. He waits about two seconds before turning to me.

Customer: “Yes! I got a white gum! I’m gonna go pick out my movie, okay? Can you put the credit on my account?

Me: “That’s fine, but where’s the gumball? I just need to see it for a moment before you chew it.”

Customer: “I already ate it, see?”

He opens his mouth; he has a well-chewed and very small piece of gum in his mouth.

Me: “Yeah, I can say with some certainty that you already had that gum. Nice try, though.”

Customer: “What? I just put it in my mouth! This store is such a rip-off. You should take that sign down about winning a free rental since it’s a lie. I’m gonna get my mom to call and tell the boss about you!”

My patience has evaporated.

Me: “Your mom’s account is under [Customer]. You have two XBox 360 games rented a year ago that never came back. I have a really good memory, but even if I didn’t, it would show when you tried to rent, so I can’t rent to you anyway.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, we took [Game #1] and [Game #2] from here. What if I bring them back? I live like two minutes away and they’re in my room.”

Me: “So, you’re admitting you still have the games, and apparently, you have willfully held onto them after dozens of phone calls about them being late. I’m fairly certain you should leave now.”

The customer took off running, full-speed. That was two years ago; he hasn’t shown his face since.

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A Fine In Wolf’s Clothing

, , , , | Right | July 22, 2020

I am a clerk at a video rental store. One of my jobs is to follow up on late fees and charge them to the credit card on file. A known trouble-customer owes us over $200 and I finally get his card to charge. We also keep notes in the computer system for every customer. Sometimes we write funny observations about customers. This particular customer has “WOLF MAN” in his notes due to his copious amount of unkempt facial hair. He comes in to dispute the charge and is yelling at our manager.

Customer: “How the h*** do you even get $200 in late fees? It’s a ripoff!”

Manager: “Well, Mr. Wolfman, you didn’t even return three videos and—”

Customer: “THAT’S NOT EVEN MY NAME! You have the wrong account! I knew you stupid a**holes screwed up! Cancel the charge!”

The other clerks and I run to the back, about to lose it.

Manager: “Sorry, Mr. [Customer’s Real Name], my mistake. The charges are real. If you return the DVDs, we can waive the replacement fees, but you’ll still owe us $60 in late fees.”

Customer: “F****** scammers! I’m never f****** coming here again! F*** ALL OF YOU!”

He leaves the store.

Me: “Must be a full moon tonight!”

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A Candy Cash Saga

, , , | Right | June 24, 2020

I work in a small video rental store almost outside of the city borders, so we have only a small amount of money in the till at a time. A customer is buying candy.

Me: “Okay, so it is €1 and 80 cents.”

The customer hands me €100. We just had some trouble with some customers using fake notes so we can’t take bigger than €20.

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t take these big notes.”

Customer: “So, the candy is free, then?”

Me: *Confused* “Why should it be?”

Customer: “I have money but you won’t accept it! I should get it free, then!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have enough money to give you back. We have a policy to not take larger than twenties. Do you have another form of payment?”

Customer: “Oh… I think I have… Oh, yes, I have a card.”

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You’re Also Charged A Lecture On Top Of The Fee

, , , , | Working | January 16, 2020

(This takes place in the mid-2000s. The movie rental place near me does not charge late fees, but keeping the movie for over a month will result in you buying it and having your account billed accordingly. As I’m cleaning out my dorm to move home for the summer, I find a movie from them I forgot to return. It’s a movie I like and it is my fault for forgetting, so I’m fine with being charged the full price, but I still go to the store to settle my account so I don’t have an outstanding balance while I’m gone for the summer.)

Me: “I’m not renting anything today; I just want to pay my account balance off.”

Cashier: “All right. It looks like you kept [Movie] too long and have been charged for buying it.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s right.”

Cashier: “Our policy clearly states that even though we have no late fees, you’ll be charged the full price of the movie after keeping it for thirty days.”

Me: “I know; I’m here to pay that.”

Cashier: “We also call you when you’re past due to remind you before that happens.”

Me: “Yeah, I got the call and then forgot. I’m fine paying it. I don’t mind.”

Cashier: “There’s a drop-box for after hours. So even if you’re busy with class and work all day you can still drop it off. It only takes a moment, and we’re right by campus.”

Me: “I’m aware. I get that it was my fault, and I’m fine with it and here to pay off the balance.”

Cashier: “Look, I’m just trying to help you. Nobody wants to be charged full price for movies they only wanted to rent.” *finally finishes the transaction and gives me my card back*

Me: “I guess. Thanks.”

(I’m sure she’s used to people arguing with her about late fees, but sometimes people DO actually accept their mistakes gracefully.)

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