Tales of Delicious Revenge from a Recovering Retail Worker
I discovered this sub a while ago and it has breathed new life into my withered soul. Today, it’s time that I return the favor.
These tales of petty revenge all took place over the three long years that I had the misfortune of working retail at a big-box store best known for its red bullseye logo and bitchy middle-class clientele. Enjoy.
ONE: THE TAG SWITCHER
I was working in the fitting room one night when this lady bustles in with 3000 different items of clothing that she wanted to try on. Unfortunately my store had just lifted the item limit for the fitting room, so I begrudgingly had to let her take everything back.
She proceeds to make a HUGE mess in the fitting room (leaving clothes inside-out all over the floor, tags ripped off of items, size stickers peeled off and slapped onto the wall… the whole nine yards).
After she leaves, I report the ripped off tags to Assets Protection (per fitting room policy) and, figuring that would be the extent of my revenge, I resigned to cleaning up the mess she left me.
Then I get a call from the manager. He wants me up at the registers to do back up. I had worked the registers before, but it was exceptionally rare for me to get pulled away from the fitting room to do backup. Still, I don’t protest and I head up to the register.
Guess who my first customer is? Yep, the mess-making bitch from the fitting room. The manager has directed her straight to me, and I can tell from the wide-eyed look of horror on her face that she realizes she has just been lead into a trap.
She slowly begins to plop her items onto the conveyerbelt and tries to make nervous small-talk. At first I assume she’s just feeling awkward about the mess that she left… but when I get a better look at her items, I immediately realize there’s something much fishier going on.
Her purchase consists entirely of women’s clothing, and I recognize most of the items as brand new stuff that has recently come in. Stuff that should cost full price. So when I see nearly every single item’s price tag covered with a bright red 70% off clearance sticker, I realize that something’s up. When I look down at the first item from her pile, my suspicions are confirmed: the item I’m holding in my hands is a woman’s Mossimo Black clothing item, but it has a bright blue Circo tag that belongs on infant boy clothes.
Busted! This bitch was switching tags on clothes to get a lower price! Not only that, but she was so brazen (or stupid) that she used tags from the wrong department!
I don’t make it immediately obvious that I’ve figured out her scheme. Instead, I think fast. From my experience in the fitting room, I know every item of clothing has a little white tag on the inside that has a nine-digit item code. So instead of scanning the items, I proceed to type in each and every item manually, using the ACTUAL numbers inside each garment.
The woman watches this all unfold with a nauseous look on her face, as item after item rings up at full price ($19 - $29, compared to the $2 or $4 price tags she had stuck on each item). As her total grows, so does the look of combined hatred and fear on her face.
Finally she stammers something about “coming back later” and runs off towards the exit. The Assets Protection guy watches her walk out, then comes over to me. He reveals that he had been watching this chick before she even went into the fitting room, but he didn’t have enough on camera to approach her. Since I was the only team member working that night who was familiar with the clothing / tags, the manager put me on the register to check her out.. literally!
TWO: THE PHONE SHOPPER
It’s the week before Christmas and the store is frantic. I’m manning the phones (which are ringing off the hook), and one night I get a call from Bitch Princess, who wants to know if we have any [insert name of whatever animatronic hatching robot dog toy every kid had to have that year].
Now the store’s holiday policy said we could confirm availability over the phone, but we weren’t supposed to put high-demand items (like the barking bird robot thing) on hold for a customer. Regardless, I was still un-jaded enough to like hooking people up (I’m still waiting on that lifetime of good retail karma to kick in…)
I let BP know that this highly-coveted toy has been flying off the shelves for weeks and I’m doubtful that we have any in stock, but I can happily check for her if she’s willing to go on a brief hold. She impatiently agrees to the hold, and I set the phone down.
After being slightly delayed by a customer that ambushed me on the sales floor, I miraculously find ONE of these stupid toys on the shelf. I grab it and head back to my post, excited to tell BP I just saved Christmas, but when I get back I find the phone ringing again. Recognizing the number on the caller ID display, I quickly deduce that Bitch Princess has hung up and is now calling back.
I barely get a chance to recite my scripted greeting before BP cuts me off, yelling that I put her on hold for “30 minutes” (more like 7), that she’s a customer and it’s my job to assist her, some nonsense about her having priority over the customers in the store, blah blah blah. I want to point out that literally NONE of what she’s saying is true, but I keep my lips sealed.
Instead, in a ridiculously pleasant voice, I say: “ma’am, thank you SO MUCH for your patience. I checked the sales floor and couldn’t find [stupid toy], but the computer is telling me that we might have one in the backroom. If you bear with me for another minute here, I can—”
She grumbled that yes, I could check the backroom, but I “better hurry” because she doesn’t have time for this. Smiling gleefully, I put the phone back on hold and proceed to return [stupid toy] to the spot where I found it on the sales floor. I then spend a nice chunk of time helping out ACTUAL customers in the store.
Eventually I remember that BP is still waiting on hold and I return to the phone. “Ma’am, good news… we do have ONE in stock,” I say. BP immediately barks at me to put it on hold, and a devious Grinch-like smile spreads across my face. “I’m so sorry ma’am, but we’re actually unable to put high-demand items on hold at this time. All I can do is confirm that it’s currently available on the sales floor…”
BP unleashes the wrath of a thousand fiery infernos and demands to speak to a manager. I oblige, transferring her to the closing manager (who confirmed the store policy, before promptly being hung up on).
I was pretty pleased with the turn of events, but the cherry on top came a short time later when BP actually shows up at the store, only to discover that the toy had already been purchased by another guest.
THREE: THE SHOE SNATCHER
It was nearly closing time, and I was tasked with “zoning” (or straightening up) the shoe department for the night. It was nearly impossible for me to get anything done, though, because this obnoxious woman kept making me drop everything to help her shop for shoes for her toddler.
The worst part was that the woman didn’t put anything back where she found it. Instead, she just leaves the shoe boxes strewn throughout the aisle (wtf). She finally leaves, and I drag myself over to the massive mess that she’s left behind.
As I’m returning all of the discarded shoe boxes to their rightful locations, I’m popping them open to make sure the correct shoes are inside. When I open one of the boxes, I discover a very sweet sight indeed: a dirty pair of toddler sneakers.
It’s a scam I’ve seen far too many times: someone swaps out a pair of new shoes with their old dirty shoes. Only this time, instead of getting away, I had caught the crook red-handed (or red-footed?)
I tucked the shoebox under my arm and quickly retraced the woman’s steps. Sure enough, I was able to find her in the grocery section. And sure enough, her toddler was sitting in the cart wearing a pair of brand new cartoon character sneakers.
I approached the mom with a giant shit-eating grin on my face and said: “I’m so glad I caught you! You almost left without these!” I held open the box with the dirty sneakers.
The woman had the nerve to pin the blame on her child, playing it off as if her kid had swapped the sneakers. Smh.
BONUS: HERE’S ONE THAT’S SHORT & SWEET FOR THE ASS CLOWN IN THE COMMENTS WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS BEING TL;DR
Holiday shit always gets marked down to clearance the day after a holiday and people tend to get a little worked up about it. One time, this guy calls the store the day after Easter and asks how much the white chocolate Cadbury mini eggs had been discounted. I told him they were marked down 30% (the standard first mark down) and he’s not satisfied with that and hangs up. He proceeds to call back EVERY DAMN DAY to ask for the price, and every time he’s rude and weird about it. When they finally get marked down to 50%, I think he’ll bite… but nope. Still not cheap enough.
Finally at 90% he’s interested and asks me, over the phone, to take every single bag off the sales floor and put them on hold for him. I tell him no (goes against store policy to hold clearance), but since the candy is about to be defected (taken out of inventory), the manager tells me to just do it. So I wheel a cart over to the clearance aisle, and that’s when I hatch a plan.
There are two kinds of candy leftover in clearance: white chocolate Cadbury mini eggs, and white chocolate m&ms. For whatever reason, we have about 50 bags of each. Feeling a spirit of pettiness overtake me, I fill the cart with the m&ms and push it to the front with a 24 hour hold ticket. I wasn’t there when the guy showed up the next morning, but I’d imagine he was pretty livid to discover the wrong candy on hold, and then to realize that the actual candy he wanted had been defected out.