Preteen girl’s clothing store
(in a yuppie neighborhood, it’s my second week on the job and I’m still learning the ropes. We’re each assigned ‘stations,’ and there’s always supposed to be one girl on register and another at the front of the store in case of shoplifters trying to sweep the front table.)
A middle-aged man walks into the store and straight up to the sales counter.
Man: I need you to take the alarm thingy out of my daughter’s swimsuit, you left it in when she got it last week.
Coworker: Really? Wow, that’s so weird, did the alarm not go off when you left the store?
Man: No, it went off, but the woman at the register said not to worry about it.
Coworker: Ok, well, can I see the suit?
Man: My daughter has it, she’s outside, she doesn’t want to set off the alarm again.
Coworker: …I can’t remove the sensor without the swimsuit, sir.
Man: Can’t you just go outside and take it off?
Coworker: Store policy says that there have to be at least two people inside the shop at all times, sir, if I went outside then [my name] would be the only person on the floor and I could get fired.
Man: It’ll be like five minutes, seriously, just come outside.
Coworker: [my name], could you ask that girl to come inside? Tell her not to worry about the alarm.
Man: No, it’s fine, just go take the sensor thing off and we can get out of your hair already, god.
Me: (beginning to get suspicious) Um, hey, can you come inside so we can fix your swimsuit? It’s ok, we know the alarm will go off, don’t worry about it.
The Girl: (standing about four feet away from the doors) But my dad told me to wait outside…
Me: We really can’t help you if you don’t come in. (to her father) Sir, we can’t leave the premises unless another person is here to man the counter, she really does need to come inside for us to help.
Man: FINE. God, this is such a f***ing hassle, I just want you to take the g*****n sensor off, it’s not such a big deal! (storms outside, drags his daughter in, pulls the swim suit bottoms out of her hands and throws it at my coworker, who is staring at him in disbelief)
Coworker: …ok, can I see the receipt?
Man: (chillingly) I don’t have it.
Coworker: (trying to avoid another scene) Ok, that’s fine, do you have the credit card you used to purchase it?
Man: NO. NO I DO NOT HAVE THE CREDIT CARD. My girlfriend bought this for her a week ago, she didn’t notice the sensor was still in, they left, and now I need to get the f*****g sensor out so that my daughter can actually use the f******g thing.
Coworker: I think I should get my manager from the back. [my name], could you take the register for a few seconds?
(I push away the folding table I was using and come up front, where the Man is glaring daggers at both of us.)
Man: So you can go in the backroom when you can’t go outside for five f*****g seconds?
Me: …I know that it sounds a little weird, but the huge difference between the two things is that in one of them, our manager is aware of what’s going on and can fix it if something happens.
Man: Fine. Whatever. How long is this going to be?!
(The manager comes out, followed by my coworker.)
Manager: Thanks, [my name], you can go back to your station. (I walk back up front, keeping an eye on the counter in case they need me again) Sir, I understand that you just want the sensor removed, but according to store policy, we are not allowed to take it off without either the credit card or receipt–
Man: Listen here, you b***h, I have a policy too, and my policy is that you are going to take that f*****g thing off right now and I won’t lodge a complaint with your boss.
Manager: Sir, I am the boss.
Man: With YOUR boss.
Manager: Sir, I am THE boss. I am in charge of all of the [brand name] stores in this county, and the only time that I am not the absolute boss on these premises is when the regional manager of the company comes by, which is once per quarter.
Man: Then you can change your dumb*** policy and take this off.
Manager: I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t.
Man: Then I want to exchange this piece of s***.
Manager: Excuse me?
Man: I want to exchange this swimsuit for another one. (points at a random suit) That one, right there.
Manager: Sir, you only brought in the bottom half of the swimsuit. If you bring back the full suit as well as the original receipt, I would be happy to help you exchange the two.
Man: No, I want to exchange it NOW.
Manager: I’m afraid that’s not possible, sir. I can’t give you a whole swimsuit for half of one.
Man: Then give me half. I’ll exchange these bottoms for those bottoms.
Manager: They’re only sold as the set, sir. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave, unless you intend to buy something.
Man: You fat*** f*****s are what’s wrong with this f*****g country. I’m going to call the owner of this company and lodge a formal complaint against you, enjoy your last few days on the job. [daughter’s name], get your a** over here, we’re leaving.
Manager: (waits until the doors have closed behind him) [Coworker’s name], will you please call [neighboring clothing store’s name]? The number is listed by the phone, we need to let them know that a shoplifter is headed their way to get a sensor illegally removed. [my name], you saw all of that, right? Now you know exactly what kind of person we’re trying to watch out for here.