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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 24

, , , , , , | Right | April 29, 2022

At this point in Germany, only people who were vaccinated or had recently overcome an infection (and could prove it) were allowed to go shopping. Shops that primarily sold goods necessary for everyday life were exempt, like supermarkets or drugstores, but also bookshops. Now, people did not take it well, especially anti-vaxxers, and of course, retail employees were blamed.

I worked at a bookshop located in a small but popular shopping center at the time, and Christmas shopping was in full swing. Early one Saturday afternoon (the new regulation taking effect the following Monday), during a rare quiet moment, a man walked in, headed straight for the cash register, and slammed down a receipt.

Man: “I was here earlier today and bought this gift card for 10€, but my wife does not support the new rules and will not submit to the tyranny against the unvaccinated. She is subsequently boycotting retail and does not want to gift the card. I’ve already destroyed the gift card, and I want a refund. Now.”

My coworker and I calmly tried to explain that we could not give him a refund since he did not bring the gift card and could be trying to scam us (without actually accusing him of scamming, because of customer service and such) and gift cards are non-refundable either way (general practice everywhere — it states it on the gift card just in case, as well). Furthermore, we were exempt from the new rule and would “love” to welcome his wife in the shop.

He grew more and more agitated.

Man: “But I brought the receipt! The gift card is already in the trash. And I always shop here!”

After a few minutes of back and forth, my manager came over to see what the commotion was.

She finally shut him up, explaining how he would not be able to return a book without actually bringing it, either. If he’d brought the torn-up gift card, we’d gladly issue him a new one. She reminded him of the exemption of bookshops, as well, and how boycotting a place where you’re not welcome in the first place is not very effective. He visibly shrunk and admitted defeat.

Man: “I’ll go home and look for the scraps… and have it out with my wife.”

I don’t think we saw him again. He seemed to have enough of his wife’s drama, though.

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 23
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 22
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 21
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 20
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 19

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