Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fakers, stealers and other shopping stories

I feel like odd things happen to me a lot, or maybe I just talk about it more than other people.

Odd things happen to my twin sister, Joy, too. Like the time she sat next to someone on a plane who had a seizure (he was OK). Or the time I ran over a seagull with my car ON THE INTERSTATE nowhere near the beach (he was NOT OK).

Just in this blog alone, I’ve mentioned that on my second week at work, people thought it was my birthday and put my name on a cake and sang.

I witnessed a house get busted by drug enforcement officers with black masks and guns and handcuffs.

Joy went on a date once and the guy asked her for tips on how to flirt with the server.

But, I’m sure things like this happen to everyone. At least, it did to the fellow shoppers on Magazine Street in New Orleans this weekend.

It was probably the most interesting shopping experience I’ve ever had, and it happened to be my first weekend of really shopping since moving back home.

It involved a cop, a pair of fake name brand shoes and me winning an argument with a cashier at Walgreens. (All separate incidents, although it would probably be a better story if they were all related.)

In chronological order: The fake name brand shoe altercation came first.

This happened at a local thrift store that buys people’s clothes. (F.Y.I. be prepared to have your feelings hurt when they say that most of your clothes are “un-usable.”)

But, I wasn’t selling, I was shopping. A younger guy was selling, and evidently trying to sell something name brand, and the manager became suspicious of his things.

“I’m sorry, sir, but these tags aren’t matching up,” the manager said.
I was at the other cash register nearby, so I was sort of in the front row of the action.
The seller, in his mid-20s, looked confused, but not as confused as I’d look if someone said that to me about MY Adidas sneaks.

The guy mumbled something to the manager that I didn’t hear, but she said more firmly, “Look, these tags aren’t matching up with the name on the shoe.”

I don’t know if this meant that she thought they were fake, or stolen, or something else. I was confused about the “tags” part because it’s a second hand store. I imagine very little comes in with brand new tags.

The manager spoke very loudly and very authoritatively, like a second grade teacher.
Everyone’s ears perked up.

“Sir, I’m not going to argue with you. Your things are not welcome here. You must take these things out of the store.”

The guy walked away, and the manager said aloud to no one in particular, “I’m too busy to argue today. TOO BUSY.”

I paid for my shorts and then walked out, and saw the guy talking to a girl who was also in line to sell clothes. The girl was saying, “That’s bullshit.” Several times. (I wonder how that ended up playing out.)

I walked two blocks down the street to a shoe store, and saw a police officer at the register taking a report from several women behind the counter about…wait…A shoe thief.

(I didn’t even consider a connection between the shoe theif and the guy selling unacceptable shoes at the thrift store until just now. I could never be a detective).

But, I can’t imagine that whatever girl stole the shoes would find a guy and convince him to try and sell the shoes two blocks away. And if so, the tags would match up…maybe?

Whatever. It was hard to even understand exactly how the shoe thievery WENT DOWN because the women behind the counter were all talking at the same time. The female cop was having trouble writing a report.

“She walked in with, like a cloth purse,” one girl said.

“No, it was bigger than a cloth purse. It was like a cloth bag,” another woman said.

“Yea, a big bag like a trash bag. A trash bag but a cloth trash bag,” a third added.

“No,” the first one said.

“Yes,” the second one said.

“Sorta,” the third one said.

They were all very excited and I think they liked having the cop’s attention.
I left soon after I arrived, since I didn’t like any of the shoes at the store, and I don’t think the cop was able to write down a complete sentence.

And then today, I had to get all serious with the cashier at Walgreens because they had charged me $1 more for a bottle of body wash.

I smelled three different body wash flavors scents, and actually liked them all, but one scent was a dollar cheaper than the other two, and so am I.

I like getting new body wash because no one yells at you for opening the top and smelling it right there in the aisle. Trying to smell different deodorants is much harder. That’s what she said. Moving on.

The cashier rang it up as the price of the other scents and I said super calmly, “the price tag said $5.99.”

“I don’t think so,” she said. I balked.
And then I got serious.

“Um, yea, the tag for the other scents were $6.99 and this one is $5.99.”

“I think the price tag was wrong,” she said. “Or else you read it wrong.”

I disagreed with her, so she called someone for a price check and held up the line for at least 3 to 4 minutes.
So I could collect a dollar.

“We need a price check on the NIVEA GREEN BOTTLE!” she screamed to the manager. (Ahem, Lemongrass.) I waited with bated breath.

“Five ninety nine!” the manager yelled. HA. IN YO FACE.

I smirked. She didn’t say anything and hit VOID and re-rang in the price. It felt really good.
I don’t know if a dollar was worth everyone else’s eyes on me, but a dollar not accidentally charged is a dollar earned.

At least I didn’t steal it.



  1. I've totally argued with a cashier over a dollar

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