I work at a smaller version of a big superstore as a cashier; this happened the other day.
A woman comes up with her cart and her two kids, and we are chatting pleasantly. At the end of her transaction, she pulls out a pool inflatable already inflated and asks me how much it is, since it doesn’t have a price tag on it. Immediately I recognize it and my brain goes, Uh oh.
At this point we have already taken down our seasonal summer section, and this particular inflatable was previously hanging from the ceiling as decoration. Our store manager was planning to auction it off along with the others to associates. She must have grabbed it from the stack next to our manager’s office, which is honestly an easy mistake. To my surprise, the woman didn’t give up a fight when I explained this to her; instead, she was really polite and gave it to me, apologizing! But it was clear that she and her kids were pretty disappointed.
I immediately felt bad, because her kids really wanted it and they were very polite also. So I call my supervisor over and explain the situation to her and ask her if we can get permission to give her the inflatable anyway. After a few minutes she comes back and gives us permission! The woman was so grateful and her kids were so happy, it made the rest of my day so much better.
I found out later that our manager had actually said no since the store manager wasn’t there to approve of it, but instead my wonderful supervisor pulled money out of her own pocket to pay for it! This was definitely one of the highlights of my retail experience.