At work the other day, I was working on the four self scan tills we have, when an elderly lady called me over to say she had put £20.00 in the till but she had not received the change.
I looked at the till and saw that the "amount received" was £0.00 I was immediately suspicious of this as it should have read "amount received £20.00, so I explained to the lady that I would have to get the cash office out to check this. She was a little hesitant about this but when I explained that I could not open the tills and that the cash office were the only people with the key, she relented and said that was o.k.
It took some time before anyone came out of the cash office (as always) and she was getting a little impatient. Mind you, so was I by then.
I kept apologising saying they won't be long but time went on and on. In the end she turned and yelled at me:
"You don't believ me do you? What are you saying ......that I didn't put any money in it. That I am a thief and a liar."
Well, everyone turned round and was looking and they were waiting for my reply. Realizing that this situation was just about to get out of hand and that you cannot have a customer yelling that sort of accusation at you in front of everyone, I turned and said:
"No,no, my love, that is what I was just going to tell you....we will refund your £20.00. It has probably got stuck in the drawer of the till."
She then calmed down and nodded her head in agreement.
At that time I then had to run to the checkout manager and eplain what had happened, she said I did the right thing and she then ran to the cash office to get the £20.00.
I smiled at the lady and said:
"Right then, lets put this £20.00 note through."
She smiled and then.....she just burst into tears.
I put my arm around her and said:
"Oh no, please don't cry, I didn't mean to upset you."
She shook her head and said:
"No, my love, it's not you, I have just lost my husband and I can't think straight at the moment."
"Oh, I am sorry, " I said. "You are a regular aren't you?" I asked with a smile."
"We always see you in here and we do so look forward to seeing you, and we always have a laugh don't we?"
In actual fact I did not know this lady at all, really, I was just saying that to calm her down.
She smiled and nodded her head in agreement.
She took her change and I help to pack her bag. She went merrily on her way.
I went back to Gail, the manager, and apologised again and explained what the lady had said.
"It's alright annette." Gail said. "Your right, we do know this lady...she's done this before! And she hasn't just lost her husband....he died five years ago."
You could have knocked me down with a feather.
I have been doing shop work for over 20 years and I can usually tell when someone is coming it. But that lady, well, she had me fooled!
We laughed about it afterwards but I fumed for a while.
I shall watch her if she comes in again, that's for sure.