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The Discount Rat That Broke The Retail Slave's Back


Jason Rock OnFrom Puppies In Prada

I had an experience the other night that was one part annoying as hell, one part glorious, and I believe it was a dream come true for many retail slaves. So, live vicariously through me, my lovelies! Also don't drink while reading this. I have heard it hurts when you snort your beverage.

The Animal Shelter Thrift Store is not a massive company, or one with a lot of overhead beady eyes turned upon the employees. The general consensus is to be nice to customers and not be an ass at random. That being said, we have a hell of a lot more freedom to be a smartass as situations warrant. No-Nonsense Steve has perfected the polite "Fuck You" tone of voice that is the envy of retail wage slaves everywhere. I still take notes when sharing stories with him.

Onward to the story:

We have a regular who comes in once every couple of weeks to look at our wares, make lots of loud noises about the things she wants, and then react, loudly, in horror at the prices. She has been caught switching tags in the past. Why she has not been banned yet is unknown. As such, she is not exactly beloved within our walls.

She comes in 30 minutes before we close (yeah you already know how this is going to go) and clomps around. She uses this weird lurching, swinging walk, where instead of walking like a normal person, she swings each leg in a wide, sideways arc before setting it down in front of the other foot. Her whole body is involved in this exaggerated method of locomotion that looks like she's either drunk while walking on a rolling ship in a storm... or drunk while swinging from vines Tarzan style. She's huffing and puffing and blowing out her breath and making agitated, unhappy noises. Every heaving breath she takes looks like it's going to throw out her back. To sum up, if you are easily irritated by the sound of someone chewing or making noises on a constant basis, this woman will make you go postal in five seconds, guaranteed.

I am not that sensitive, and even I'm developing an eye twitch. Calm. Calm. I am cool. I am fine. She'll be out of here soon enough. Be chill. Cool like the mountain breeze. Cool like the condensation on a Frosty from the red headed girl's fast food restaurant.

Her: "Oh I like that thing. And that one. And that one. Please take those out of the case so I can look at it. That's awesome, I really want that. Wait, it's $75 dollars?!"

The sound of cracking teeth echoes through my head as I clench them. And so it fucking begins.

It's a glass statuette of a horse in green glass, hand painted with a flower motif from some company that apparently custom makes them and sells them for well over a hundred dollars each because... I don't know, unicorn tears were mixed with the paint or some shit. I just handle shoes and purses so I don't know anything about the company that makes solid glass horses. But yes, I do know enough about the way we handle prices to know that getting it for $75 is a fucking steal.

Her: "You know I just came from the doctor's, and we got a test done and I might have cancer."

Discountrat1Me: "Yikes. That's a bummer."

And while cancer is serious business, the timing of her mentioning this is suspicious. She wants a thing. Thing is expensive. Now she might have cancer. Hmmm........ 

Her: "They're going to do some more tests to confirm it, but I need to do something nice for myself to keep from flipping out about it and my family's not being supportive right now so I'm shopping for myself only and they don't deserve anything tonight."

Me: "...Okay."

Time check.

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; we will be closing in approximately 20 minutes!"

Her: "I know! I know! ...Are you sure there's no wiggle room on that horse? Because I really like it but I don't know, it's not awesome enough to pay THAT much for it..."

...Then you don't want it badly enough, princess...

Me: "We look these things up online, then discount the retail price some 75%-80%, ma'am. We're not likely to go lower on it."

Her: "Yeah that's not true. There's no WAY that's 80% off."

Oh yay, she's calling me a liar to my face. Because that's how you endear yourself.</sarcasm>

Me: "That's the way we price everything, ma'am. Regardless of what we're selling, our pricing policy is uniform across all the boards."

Her: "There's still no way that's 80% off."

Okay, fine. Fuck it. Not gonna argue with you anymore.

Carolanne fuck you2Me: "Sorry, but whether or not you believe me, that's the price we're selling it for. We don't further lower prices on things until it's been sitting around for over 30 days."

Her: "Are you SURE you can't discount it to like, $20? Even though I might have cancer?"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! Hang on, hang on. I'll get back to telling the story in a second. I'm a little busy wiping tears from hysterical laughter off my face....

Me: "Unfortunately, that doesn't change the answer, ma'am."

Her: "MY GOD you are so heartless!"

And in that moment, my fucks had sprouted wings, became flying fucks, and fucked right off to Never Never Land. No more flying fucks to give! Sold out! Bye bye!

Me: "That's right ma'am! I totally am! I'm a raging bitch. I'm going to sacrifice a goat after work tonight."

My supervisor and coworker make muffled choking noises around the corner, but are totally straight faced when I glance their way.

There is no one else in the store. The usual customers had drifted to the registers at the half hour announcement. No last minute stragglers... except Mrs. Cancer, over here.

Her: "I totally believe it! You won't even discount for somebody who may be dying of cancer!"

Lady, even if I believed you, my ass would be kicked from here to Timbuktu for arbitrarily (and massively) discounting prices on somebody else's territory. Not to mention the guilt trip of my life on the guilt ship Guilty Conscience III for literally taking money away from the animals in the animal shelter that, surprise surprise, our Animal Shelter Thrift Shop exists to help. You ain't worth that, cancer or no cancer.

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; we will be closing in approximately 10 minutes!"

Her: "I know! I'm almost done!"

She takes a wide-swinging-leg-huffing-puffing tour of the store, occasionally bringing some random thing for me to hold.

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; we will be closing in approximately 5 minutes!"

Her: (From the boondocks) "I know!"

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; IT IS NOW 7 PM AND WE ARE NOW CLOSED! THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BRING YOUR PURCHASES TO THE REGISTERS!"

Freddy frustration 2Her: "I know!"

She fucks around for five MORE minutes before coming up to the registers. She waffled around, asked if we would discount a $50 hand blown, hand painted vase, bitched a little, looked at all the bullshit she had been supposedly planning on buying, then rejected 90% of her shit for the vase.

Ten fucking minutes after we closed, she finally swing-walked outside, huffing and puffing and complaining loudly about how heartless we are. Naturally, she left the pile of crap for us to clean up.

As I watched my Supervisor lock the door behind her obnoxious ass, I could see through the windows that her wildly awkward walk straightened up. Her posture corrected. Her walk became normal. Those deep, throw-out-your-back heaving breaths disappear as if they never existed. And she sauntered through the cold to her car, quite calmly and easily.

She was doing it all JUST to be as obnoxious as possible! Cue scene of Hades screaming in rage and exploding a mountaintop.

Supervisor: "You know, if I thought I might have cancer, I wouldn't spend $50 in a thrift shop. I'm pretty sure I'd hang onto that money to... you know... pay for the treatment."

Coworker: "Yeah, go figure."

Oh, and the $75 glass horse? The very next day, someone saw it, and pounced upon it like it was made out of pure platinum, and paid the money without batting an eye.

--Puppies In Prada




"I might have cancer."
"That's nice. Did you want the horse?"


I know exactly the sort of walk you're talking about. I have a friend that does that weird hip swinging sort of walk, like she's incapable of bending her knees or something. And I swear she does not know the meaning of the word hustle. She just swings along at a pace that would make a tortoise's eye twitch in impatience. But she's twenty and not overweight or anything, just...I dunno. I never understood it.

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