Girl Scout Cookie Hell: Custy Complains About Fraud and Gets Told
Dev gets a Retail Balls award for confronting a neighbor who tried to rip off her niece selling Girl Scout Cookies:
Hey all, it's your Friendly Neighborhood Dev again!
This time, I have met my mortal match: My neighbor. I could also do with a little advice.
My niece is a Girl Scout, and I'm sure you lovely people all know what time it is (I wait for it every year:) Cookie Time. Thin Mints, Caramel Delights, Tagalongs... So, I'm a good aunt and I've been taking my niece to neighbors and friends, making sure that she's safe. We went to several businesses that are owned/managed by friends (which, of course, I had permission first,) so I'm talking 10-15 employees crowding my little niece ordering TONS of cookies (one woman ordered FIFTY for her grand kids, kids and herself...)
We're doing pre-orders, and the cookies will be delivered in a mass delivery. My niece is quite the little saleswoman, and has no trouble getting orders. I'm just the person who's helping her because her mother is too busy right now.
We hit a neighbor's house, because we were having a friendly conversation the other day about the recent events at the University I attend. I mention (of course) that my niece is selling cookies. He tells me to bring her over when I take her out on her sales run.
We do his order cards, and he has a list of people he is to order for as well, since he told them my niece is coming (the only other sales nearby are booth sales, which you can't always get as many boxes of cookies as you want.) So, he had a list of maybe 20-30 boxes. He then hands my niece cash.
Now, because I went to each place to tell them what day my niece was coming, some people brought checks, others brought cash. I took my grandmother's counterfeit marker, just in case. So, when he hands my niece the cash, I noticed that something about the money seemed off. So, I ran the marker down it before sticking it in the envelope: The mark turns black. You could even feel that it was printed on the wrong kind of paper.
I tell him that we're sorry, but he needs to report the fake cash to his bank. It's a loss, because they can't be sure he didn't print it, but he needs to notify someone. And does he still want to order the cookies now, or should we come back after he's had the cash issue resolved? That's when the shit hit the fan...
He demanded that I take the fake money, that the Girl Scouts make enough, and that no one will ever notice.
I stood there, silent and stunned.
I know he didn't just tell me to knowingly commit fraud. Every penny after paying the baker (which is actually the corporation run by elves that live in a tree...) goes to my niece's girl scout council. This benefits her, as it helps with their activities, purchases in the Council shop. I ordered 10 freaking boxes, even though they are selling the same exact freaking cookie for buy 1 get 1 free at the grocery store specifically because it benefits my niece.
She's looking at me, scared. I tell her to go wait in my house, I will resolve this issue, and she doesn't need to be there.
I tell her to tell Grammy (my mom) to make her a hot chocolate, and that I will be there in a few minutes. She leaves, and I turn toward the man. My niece can tell when I'm angry, she used to be able to push every single button I had. She gladly ran out of there.
I let him know under no certain terms would I defraud the Girl Scouts. I told him I frankly couldn't believe that someone would want to defraud an organization that helps children, and how dare he tell me to do it in front of a child. What sort of values does that instill in her? That it's okay to give someone fake money, no one needs to know? That wasn't the moral values she was in the Girl Scouts to learn. I obviously marked the bills, and no one was going to take them now. Everyone knows that a black mark means it's counterfeit: we were taught how the markers worked when I worked in retail. The iodine solution in the marker reacts with wood based paper, as money is printed on a linen based paper. I let him know he could still save face if he gave me real money for his order. He repeated that I should take the fake money, again, and I told him no, and that we'd consider his order cancelled. I took the counterfeit pen, scribbled all over the fake money, and left it there.
I must've looked like a lunatic when I came home. My niece sat, staring at me, wide-eyed. My palms had blood on them from my fingernails digging into my balled up fists, and my blood pressure went so high, my nose started bleeding (fortunately, not in front of the neighbor.) I even ground my teeth so hard (I didn't yell, I talked with a clenched jaw at the man. If I had opened my mouth the whole way, I WOULD'VE started screaming) that I cracked my temporary crown. I let my anger get the best of me, which I regret, but I said nothing I didn't mean, and I didn't lose my temper in front of my niece. I also talked to her, and she promised me she knew what he was doing was wrong.
I called my niece's troop leader and reported the incident, and told her that I handled it because that's way too adult for a 9 year old. She agreed wholeheartedly.
The neighbor has tried to talk to me since, when I walk to my car before or after class, but so far he's been met by silence and heavy metal (for those times he's approached me while I was in my car. I'd roll up my windows, lock the doors, and drive away. Or if I was coming in, I'd call my husband to walk out to the car, and he usually would make himself scarce. If he approaches my niece, I WILL lose it...
Should I talk to him, RHU? See what shit spews out of his mouth, or should I continue to ignore him?