I am rather protective of the tools we use for marking down products. In general, I have no reason to be, since as much as I’ve heard rumors of people peeling off stickers putting them on other items, only to say the item was ‘found like this, marked down like this’, I have only seen this happen once. There are times I can bend the rules to my advantage, so people can’t abuse a situation. Yet, they are also times, where the customer wins by bending the rules. I just don’t like when they win, and we both know they shouldn’t have.
I’m at the register and a customer brings me, literally, a heap of about eight different items–t-shirts, tops, pants, and even denim. She starts off by saying, “These prices are unbelievable! Is this the right price?” She shows me one item, it’s marked $9.99. I scan it, and it is actually $14.99. I tell her I must honor the price on the item, but I make sure to look at the item, so I know to check later if they are all marked incorrectly. She hands another, asking if the price is right. Yet again, $9.99, this time the price discrepancy is $19.99. I tell her she’s found quite the bargains, and that someone is going to get in trouble for marking these items wrong (and amazingly, all in her size). The irony begins to take a toll by the time she hands me the next item, a pant, marked–wait for it–$9.99. This time, the price difference is more than $20, and I stand and look at her. She has a hard time looking at me, and says, “If these are marked wrong, I will pay the right price, I don’t mind. I just thought you would give it to me for the price marked. But if that is wrong, then I will pay the regular price.”
There are scenes in movies and television shows where the antagonist tries too hard to be flexible, willing to help, and open in their crime that they make themselves stand out even more. I only make comments about how amazing it is that she, and she alone, found all the same sizes of both tops and bottoms all at the same price. Because, each of her items were marked $9.99. So either she’s very lucky, or a greedy idiot who only realized her mistake marking everything the same once she got to the register. But as I said, there are certain rules I cannot break–if an item is marked wrong, we must honor that price.
So I complete the transaction, overriding all the prices, giving her a savings of nearly $100. My gaze upon her is strong, and without humor, as she keeps saying she found them like this, she was amazed they were such a good deal, and how she’d be willing to pay the regular price. I tell her she’s done a good job, and let her leave with her ‘savings’. I search every single item she bought, making sure to check every single tag, and not one, not one of them was marked incorrectly at $9.99. Somewhere, somehow, she must have gotten her hands on a price gun and marked everything wrong. Ever since then, I’ve taken it seriously when I put down a price gun, because you never know when some greedy moron will mark everything $9.99. These days, if someone tried that, I’d definitely make a big scene about it, it’s just too bad I don’t have a coworker that can cry on cue and make it seem like she’s going to lose her job because of these petty thieves. I doubt it would affect them much, but at least once in a while they should face the people who have to pay for the price of their stealing.
Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, Capitalist, The Liar, Rhetorical