Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Who throws a shoe?!

Another tale of woe and misguided interests from the archives.

Before Christmas, a pair of trainers was sold to an Eastern European lady, by Daphne, for the sum of £14.99. Lovely new DCs, bargain. I am called to the till in a dispute over the change. Daphne tells me the customer gave her a £10 note and a £5 note; the customer insists she gave her two £10 notes. So I say ok, the only way I can settle this is to cash up the till, would you mind coming back in half an hour. Duly I cash up (it's only around 11am, so not too lengthy a task), and we are down by £1. Plus Daphne has been working at the shop three times a week for the past six years, so I trust her word anyway.

When the lady comes back, I apologetically explain that I'm sorry but the money isn't there - she must have given a ten and a five. That isn't good enough though. The woman swears blind that she got two £10 notes out of the cash machine across the road (suggesting that I check the bank's security tapes!), and came straight in here to buy the shoes. She is evidently quite distressed, clearly she really believes we have short changed her, I have no suspicion that she's trying to pull a fast one (happens more frequently than you'd think) - but there literally is nothing else I can do! She also implies that perhaps my volunteer is too old and that she has made a mistake, asks if she has made mistakes before - but as I've already explained, this is not the case and I get a little irritated when people accuse my staff of wrongdoing despite all evidence to the contrary.

Anyway, the customer wants to speak to my superior, so I give her the number for head office, and my name, and off she goes. As she leaves the shop, she turns around, takes the shoes out of the bag and shies them in my direction, one at a time, and shouts 'there is my donation - £20!' I sigh and smile weakly, say thank you very much and go to retrieve the shoes that have narrowly missed my head. (Just call me Dubya.)

Immediately I call my manager to tell him what has transpired, so that he's prepared for a phone call. He rings back a little while later and tells me she is a total nutjob (his usual politically correct and professional persona). She was on the phone to him for half an hour, telling him that I was a 'vindictive and horrible person' and that I had 'robbed her and raped her' (slight language barrier methinks). My boss explained that she had two options - she could come back and pick up the shoes, or she could come back and get a full refund. She wanted her shoes, and her £5. Eventually he got her to agree to come and collect them, and told me that she would be in later or tomorrow.

I was off the next day, but apparently she was rather sheepish - I'd warned Katie that there may be an irate Eastern European dropping by! - but thankfully that was the end of it. One suspects she found the money elsewhere since the previous afternoon (or that my boss threatened her with deportation - shhh! you didn't hear it from me...).

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