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The Lamps Are On, But No One Is Home

, , , , | Working | July 3, 2018

(The store I work for is a little different in that we don’t hand-ring the stuff we sell; instead, the price gets hand-keyed in and classified into a department. If you were to purchase an item that was $19.99 from the home goods section, your receipt would show, “$19.99 Home Goods.” Because of this, we have a large problem with fraudulent returns where someone will purchase an item, slap the sticker on something we don’t sell, and then bring the unwanted item back in to return. All of the return cashiers, myself included, have gone through several meetings where if something just seems off, or if the item doesn’t look like anything we sell, then we should get verification from the department head first. It’s been a busy, stressful day where I have done way too many returns, following policy the whole time. As I have been employed here for a few years now, I know most of the stock we have. When it’s time for the department heads to come gather their returns to replace on the shelves, the department head storms over to me with a lamp I returned earlier.)

Department Head: “[My Name], did you return this lamp or did [Coworker who is currently on lunch]?”

Me: “I did. Why? What’s wrong with it? I inspected it thoroughly.”

Department Head: “Why didn’t you call me up here before you returned it?”

Me: “They had their receipt, so it wasn’t necessary to call you.”

Department Head: “And how old was their receipt?”

Me: “It was less than a week old; why does that matter? If it had been too old, it would have shown as non-returnable when I scanned the receipt in.”

Department Head: “Well, you had one pulled over on you. We don’t carry this lamp, so now I have to toss it out, and we lose that money.”

Me: “Since when do we not carry that lamp?”

Department Head: “We have never carried this lamp.”

Me: “Well, that is really crazy.”

Department Head: “I know my department! And I know we have never carried that lamp.”

Me: “Well, if that is the case, then this lamp has been frequently returned before.”

Department Head: “No, you’re the only one that has done that.”

Me: “Okay, for starters, I have only had a few bad returns, and that was shortly after I first started. And another thing: I sold this lamp only five days ago, to the people who returned it today. I remember it so well because I thought it was a very beautiful and interesting lamp. So, either it is a new item that you haven’t noticed yet, or someone else fraudulently returned it before I did so that I was able to resell it.”

Department Head: “You sold this lamp?”

Me: “Of course. I even had a conversation with the couple that bought it, as they weren’t 100% sure it would be a good fit, and I explained to them our return policy.”

(She turns around and stalks off towards her department. About three minutes, later she comes back to the front and I see her pull my CSM to the side. The two of them talk for about 30 seconds before she walks off again.)

CSM: *to me* “She said she carries that lamp, and it’s a brand new item that just came in on Thursday, so she hasn’t even seen it yet.”

(Thursday was the day I sold it to the couple.)

Me: “I wonder why she couldn’t just come over and tell me that.”

CSM: “Honestly, I think she was embarrassed.”

(I never did get an apology from that particular department head, but she has been a little nicer towards me since that interaction.)

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