Thrift Shop Millionaires

, , , , , , | Right | February 6, 2019

(I work at a large thrift store chain location in my hometown. I usually work in the donation center, but I also do cashier work, janitorial work, and push/organize merchandise. Everything in our store is given to us by public donation. This is from my first day working the register. I learned the system quickly and have been checking people since 4:00; the store closes at 8:00. When that rolls around, I do the closing announcement.)

Me: “Attention, [Store] customers. The store is now closed. We ask that you bring your items to the front so we may check you out in a timely manner. Our store will reopen at 9:00 tomorrow, for your shopping convenience. As always, we thank you for shopping with us and hope you have wonderful—“

Lady #1: “WAIT! WE’RE COMING!”

(I look up from the microphone to see two women running toward the register with a mountain of clothes, shoes, and bags in TWO carts. Both women have big hair and have high heels on. [Lady #1] is in a bright blue pencil dress with big, with gold hoop earrings and a huge handbag in the crook of her arm. [Lady #2] is about half the height of [Lady #1] and has fake nails that are, no joke, the length of my fingers.)

Me: “Ma’am, you can slow down. We won’t close with you still in here.” *chuckles a little* “You’re all right.”

Lady #2: *deep Southern accent* “We were just scared we wouldn’t have time to get all our stuff.”

Me: “No, ma’am, you definitely have time.” *looks at the mountains on wheels in front of me* “Where would you like to start?”

Lady #1: *horrific English accent* “We would like to start with the shoes, please, sir.”

(I stop to register the speech pattern that just came out of her mouth. I have an English friend and I know for a fact that however she is talking is far from correct, but I carry on.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’ll just—“

Lady #1: “How much are they?”

Me: “They’re all unit priced and are [price of the shoes].”

Lady #1: “Hm, what do you think, dear?” *looks at [Lady #2]*

Lady #2: *imitating the terrible accent* “I think that’s fine, darling.”

Lady #1: “Yes, quite. I’ll take them all.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I begin taking the shoes and plugging them into the tablet we use for the register. Each item has to be plugged in individually unless they’re the same item with the same color tag. Then we can stack it with like items.)

Me: “That’s thirty-four pairs of shoes. Any more?”

Lady #1: “Oh, my, no. I wish I could get more but, alas, I cannot.” *giggles with [Lady #2]*

Lady #2: “Oh, you!” *more giggling*

Lady #1: “Now the bags… Hmm. How much are they?”

Me: “Unit priced, as well. They’re [price of bags] unless specially marked.”

Lady #2: “Oh, what a steal, darling!”

Lady #1: “Yes, quite. I’ll take all of these.” *puts fourteen bags on the counter*

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

(I look through all of them. Two are Coach bags, and these are more expensive than the others, so I put in the price on the label.)

Lady #2: “Why did you do that?”

Lady #1: “Yes, why?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, these two are labelled differently, so I put the price on the tag in the register.”

Lady #1: “But you said they were all the same, dear.”

Me: “Unless specially marked.” *shows her the tag*

Lady #1: “Oh, my! Oh, dear! Well, I’ll take them both.” *begins fanning her face with her hand*

Me: “Ooookay…” *finishes the bags* “Would you like me to start on the clothes?”

Lady #2: “Oh, yes, please! I’m tired of standing here. Do hurry, please!”

(It’s about 8:10 and they’re the only ones left in the store.)

Me: “I’ll try my best, ma’am.”

(I put the bags together in a large plastic bag and begin placing the shoes in another one to clear some room.)

Lady #1: “Oh, no! That won’t do! Each pair of shoes has to be bagged in their own bag!”

Me: “Ma’am?”

Lady #1: *deep Southern accent* “They need to be separate! Don’t you know how to do this?”

Lady #2: *still “English”* “Yes! Do it right!”

Me: “I’m sorry.” *bags all the hand-me-down shoes separately* “Like that?”

Lady #1: *”English” again* “Yes, much better. Thank you, dear.”

Me: “Of course, ma’am.”

(I begin the daunting task of plugging the clothes into the register. While doing this, I begin to count them. By the time I hit the mid-120s, [Lady #1] starts taking out clothes I’ve already bagged.)

Lady #1: “I don’t want this anymore. Take it off.”

Me: “Okay. No problem.” *does it*

Lady #1: “And these three things, as well.”

(I take them off.)

Lady #2: *reaches into bag* “How about this? Will you really wear it?”

Lady #1: “I suppose not. That, too!”

(I take off about thirty items I already bagged. Three are bags and five are shoes. I finally finish and it’s 8:45. I look at the total. It’s well over $300.)

Me: “Would you like to round up to the next dollar amount to support our mission?” *a mandatory question to ask at the end of each transaction*

Lady #1: *deep Southern accent* “Oh, no, honey! I’m not made of money, you know!”

Lady #2: *Southern, as well* “That’s hilarious you thought that, son.”

(They giggle.)

Me: “All right, your total is [total cost].”

Lady #1: *”English”* “My! So cheap!”

Lady #2: *”English”* “I know! I’ll come here very much more often.”

(They paid in cash and left at 8:55. I now hold the store record for most money made on their first day on the register.)

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