i had the most baffling encounter at work today.
apparently someone left their iphone in our store. the phone was found by a woman, henceforth known as “Terrible Lady,” when Phone Owner set off the “find my iphone” alarm. the alarm is accompanied by a “please contact this # if found” message. Terrible Lady utilizes this number to text Phone Owner, demanding $100 in return for the phone. Phone Owner says they can’t afford it, there’s some back and forth, etc. etc., and eventually Phone Owner threatens to call the cops.
Terrible Lady brings the phone (which is still making the obnoxious “find my iphone” noise, and continues to do for the duration of the encounter) to my register, complaining about the audacity of Phone Owner, as if refusing to pay the $100 is an egregious personal insult. i “mhm” a lot, silently judging her, but relieved she has sensibly decided to release the phone into the store’s custody so we can return it to Phone Owner without further drama.
fifteen minutes later, after she has checked out, she comes by my register just long enough to say “make sure she pays the $100, i’ll call to see when i need to come pick it up!” and is out the door before i can even process the fact that this women genuinely thinks that the burlington fucking coat factory is going to be the middleman for her definitely unethical and most likely illegal lost iphone extortion scheme. (side note: i looked this up once i got home from work, and it turns out that, yeah, it’s totally illegal in our state)
sure enough, an hour later, Terrible Lady calls: “hi, is this cashier #5? [that’s not my name but thanks] has she brought the $100 yet??”
there are like 2 cashiers on duty and 20 people in line. i beg my manager to take the call, which: smart move. because my manager ends up on the phone with Terrible Lady for 20 minutes, telling her that we will, under no circumstances, require Phone Owner to pay $100 before we give them the phone. eventually, Terrible Lady realizes we mean business, and SHE threatens to call the cops on US because we took the phone from her “under false pretenses”
manager hangs up on Terrible Lady /end