Time To Be Short With The Scammer

, , , | Right | May 8, 2018

(I manage an ice cream store. This started happening on a weekend morning when I am the only one in the store, right after we open, before there is any significant amount of change in the till.)

Customer: “I’d like a scoop of [flavor] on a sugar cone.”

Me: “That will be $1.49.”

(The customer hands me a hundred-dollar bill.)

Me: “Do you have anything smaller? I just opened and I don’t have much change yet.”

Customer: “No, I’m sorry. Is there any way you can make this work?”

Me: “Hold on. Let me try.”

(I dig through the till and the change bag in the office until I find enough change, largely in ones, to give her back what I owe her. I then count it back the old-fashioned way: twice to myself, and then once to her.)

Customer: “Thanks!” *goes out to the car, and then came back inside* “I’m short $5.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t think that’s possible. Do you mind if I count it again?”

(She lets me count it, and sure enough, it is $5 short.)

Me: “Oh my, I’m sorry, let me get your $5.”

(She leaves, and I chalk it up to an early morning and too many ones in the pile. The next day she comes back in, orders another single on a cone, and pays with another hundred. I, again, try my best to get her change, count it four or five times, and send her on her way. She, AGAIN, says it is short: $10 this time. I counts it again, and it is… so I give her the $10 and let her go. Two days later, SHE COMES BACK IN.)

Customer: “I’d like another scoop of [flavour] on a sugar cone, please.”

Me: “Sure, but first I need to make sure you have correct payment.”

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Well, over the past three days, my drawer has come up short twice. Saturday it was $5 short, and Sunday it was $10 short. I’m no longer accepting bills over $20 until after two pm, in an effort to make sure that nobody gets shorted: us or the customer. What will you be paying with today?”

Customer: “Well, all I have is this hundred.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot accept that.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous; I’ve been using them all weekend!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

(She left. I still can’t imagine why someone who walks around with hundreds in their pockets would need to lift $15, but I do know that she was stealing from me. After she tried it with a few more employees, I had to call the police and have her banned from the store.)

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