Sunday, April 5, 2009

Attention shoppers: I am not going to steal your credit card.

Yesterday I was ringing up a woman and as we finished the transaction, she started to panic that I hadn't given her credit card back. "Do you still have my card?!" she asked, her voice accusatory and suspicious. "No. I gave it back to you. I saw you put it in your wallet." And she had.

I have had this conversation countless times customers during my years in retail. The intensity of the accusations vary, depending on the store ambience and façade of classiness. When I worked at a chain thrift store, there were customers that would hold up the line and tell me to my face that I had taken their card. "I'm not going anywhere until I get my card back!" It was there that I learned to make a big production of returning the card. "AND THERE IS YOUR CARD BACK. DON'T FORGET TO PUT IT IN YOUR WALLET. Have a nice day."

There was also a phone call the other day from a woman that had lost her card and at some point had been shopping in our store. I understand calling around and seeing if we had it; that makes good sense. But this woman told me that "there were only 2 places" her card could be: our store or the grocery store. How do you explain to an irrational person that their are ACTUALLY a lot of places their card could be and that is why it is called a lost card? Her card was not in our safe (procedure!), and when I told her that, she was almost hostile, as though I was holding her card and using it to buy shit online while on the phone with her.

The point is that not all clerks and service workers are criminals. There are so many chances for me to rip people off, but I don't because I am not that sort of person, and, to my knowledge, neither are my co-workers. It all comes back to the customer: pay attention when you are buying shit and check your damn statements! And before you accuse someone of taking your card, check your pockets. ALL of them.

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