Hi all you RHU-ers! It's V-Slice again! This happened to me a few years ago when I worked at a dollar theater. I was a concessions cashier at the time. The movie may be cheap, but the food is not. I would much rather sneak food into the theater than buy it from them. Some people like getting the popcorn, but don't want to pay for it.
This was one of my favorite moments of not only stopping a would-be thief, but getting a bit of revenge without knowing it.
It was the seven o'clock rush on a typical Monday night. The lines stretched to the back of the lobby, but we were working through them pretty quickly. Until I came to this rather portly lady with a family. She was grumpy to begin with, but I was being my usual chipper self and didn't really mind. She ordered a large popcorn and four large sodas. The first sign of her scamming I should have noticed is when she complained that there wasn't enough ice in the sodas. (Most people, if they're going to complain about the ice, say there's too much.)
No biggie. I refill her sodas with more ice. Then I tell her how much she owes me.
"I already gave you my credit card. You already charged me."
Now, I've been working there for a couple months, so I'm somewhat new, but I have a system. I knew for a fact that I hadn't run her credit card because I always get the food first and then take their money because people have a tendency to change their orders. Also, I have to check their ID, and I never saw hers. So I decide that I should prove to her that the last transaction was not her order.
When I first started working at the theater, our registers had a completely different computer program. We had just gotten a new program that was full of bugs and gave us quite a bit of hell without me making it worse. I went back to the previous transactions thinking in terms of the old computer program, which completely shut down my register. I had to reboot it so I could finish her order. I really didn't mean to do this.
For a good ten minutes, her kids are crying because they're late to their movie, her husband's off doing who-knows-what, she's definitely not happy. Not screaming, just silently seething. I could feel the rage, though, and it made me even more nervous.
On top of that, I have to send my entire line over to my co-workers so they could get their stuff. This lady wants me to ring her up on a neighboring computer, but I explain that I can't do that because she has taken stuff from my inventory. Also, I still needed to wait for my infernally slow computer to boot up so I can show her I did not run her credit card.
Finally, my computer boots up, I log in, show her I didn't charge her, ring her up, check her ID, and run her card. Didn't even take me a minute. Then she demands a receipt. Lucky for me, the machine was broken. So I tear out a piece of paper and write down everything in detail, which our machines wouldn't do anyway. She demands I sign it, which I do with a flourish. I feel no guilt for anything because I've done my job, although I do feel bad for everything taking so long. She takes the receipt, her food, and leaves, telling me that she's going to have a talk with my manager.
What can I say? What can I do? I get to my manager first, and tell her what happened. She's not worried about it because obviously the lady was trying to scam me, and those types of people don't come back to tattle on me for doing my job.
Wait, what? I thought she was just grouchy. Really. At this point in my life, I didn't believe that people actually would try to scam me. I wasn't nearly as cynical as I should be.
Looking back, I should have been more careful with my register so I could have gotten rid of her quicker. However, I can't help but laugh. Because she tried to scam me, I completely ruined her night (unintentionally), and she still had to pay for the popcorn and drinks. I might be naive, but I know how to do my job right.