It was a miserable and stormy time at cash wrap in Hoarders many, many moons ago. Holiday hell was upon us and the store was crowded.
A woman comes up with a stack of gift cards eight miles high, and she wants varying amounts put on them. (The amounts were sorted based on the picture on the gift card; the ones with the kitty all had $15, the ones with the christmas tree all had $20 etc.) Okay, that's not a problem and that makes sense.
She then hands me a list with the amounts vs pictures and tells me to fill the cards according to the list.
Me: "Uh, okay but why can't you... ma'am? Ma'am?! Where are you going?!"
SHE WALKS THE FUCK AWAY!
I'm standing here with a line that wraps halfway around the store, and she decides that the best course of action is to leave the registers to fuck-knows-where to kill time rather than stand at the registers.
The store manager is standing at the register next to me and I just look at him helplessly.
Manager: "Just fill them up, then make an announcement."
So in between fending off customers who (understandably) thought my register was free, I swipe the gift cards one after another and get the total. It took me just over five minutes.
Me over the PA system: "Would the customer buying the [x amount] gift cards please return to the registers?"
Manager: "All right. Cancel the transaction and go back to helping people in line."
(We could suspend any transaction except the ones with gift cards. For whatever reason the computer just couldn't do it.)
Shrugging, I cancel the whole thing, put the stuff aside and helped more people.
THIRTY MINUTES later the woman comes meandering back, cuts to the front and asks for her total.
Me: "Ma'am, I had to cancel the transaction. You didn't answer the two pages I made for you to return."
Customer: "WHAT?! Couldn't you just have waited for me to come back?!"
Store Manager: "Ma'am, let me start off with the fact that I am the store manager, so please don't bother asking for my superior. I am THE authority here. Now, it took you half an hour to come back. There are a lot of people that Ilia helped ring up while you continued shopping. You can either stand at the registers and pay immediately, or you can leave without your purchase. We don't have time for anything else."
My cold retail heart did a glorious little dance at the store manager's support.
But this is not the end of the tale. Oh no... for this is a Justice Served Tale, and the most joyous thing is yet to come!
The woman is fuming and grinding her teeth loud enough that it sounds like someone put rocks in a pepper grinder. But she stands at my register in stiff silence while I ring up all her gift cards yet again and she pays. Angrily she takes them and shoves them (poorly) into her purse.
As she storms off, about half of them are jostled free and hit the floor.
A young man, well meaning and kind, snatches them off the floor, sets his arm full aside so he doesn't take unpaid merch outside, and pursues her out the door.
That's the last I see of them for a little while, so I assume her entitled ass is rewarded by a generous soul. Sigh.
Things proceed as normal, and then suddenly the young man is at my registers... with the pile of things to buy, a clearly defined red hand print on his face, and a bunch of familiar looking gift cards.
My eyes go huge and a sputter a horrified question about "What happened?!" to him. She whopped him good.
He tells me that he tried to give the gift cards to her. The first thing she snapped was "I have a boyfriend!"
When he tried to tell her that he wasn't trying to pick her up and tried give her the gift cards a second time, she whipped around, slapped him and told him to fuck off!
At which point he smiled at me and said; "So, guess who's enjoying a little windfall?"
Since the gift cards aren't like credit cards-- with no name or identifying information and are just like dropped cash-- he bought most of his purchases on her dime and left a happy man.
And yet, there is still more.
Over an hour later she comes storming back, cuts in front of the line again, stops in front of the store manager and plops the rest of her cards on the counter and says that her cards were stolen and she wants the missing cards canceled so that she gets her money back. She shoves her looong receipt in his face and demands that he go item by item, figure out which ones need to be canceled and do so.
He blinks at me, since he witnessed the young man's windfall, and I give him the tiniest evil smile I can and wag my eyebrows at him.
It takes him quite a while to go through the recipt, sort through the cards and check the ones missing. It should be no surprise to anyone that all the missing cards all came up as having been used and there was literally no way to refund her the money.
Steam screamed out of her ears as he explained that gift cards were like cash and that losing a gift card meant losing the cash too. If she wanted to buy new gift cards and pay the balance, that was fine. But he was unable to discount gift cards, and could not refund her any of the money. She was out of luck!
I thought my glee would cause me to explode into individual, rainbow gummy bears. She threw a fit, failed to get her way that way, tried tears, failed that way too and then sulkily decided to buy replacements.