We had some customers come into the shoe store together tonight. One was short, stocky, brunette, and a little butch-looking but not overly so. The other was tall, stocky, blonde, and only a little better-looking than the short one.
They brought a pair of shoes to the register (like this, only dark brown), and the box had a red $10 tag in the right spot to indicate the sale price. While I was checking the shoes to be sure they were the same size, with a right and a left shoe, the short customer was showing her friend the bottom of one of those generic stickers that all businesses are required to post in a visible spot but that nobody ever reads. She said that she works there, "there" being the Department of Weights and Measures that has some sort of say over something to do with business.
Her shoes being a properly matching pair, I rang them up, but the register said they were $22.99, not $10. I told her they weren't on sale. She argued that the sale tag was right there on the box, and she wanted the sale price. Then the blonde piped in that there were other shoes just like these with the $10 tags on them, and she went off to fetch them to show me how they're on sale.
While she was away, my co-worker (who has much more seniority than I do and who tags the shoes with the sale prices most of the time) came to the register and agreed that they weren't on sale. The blonde returned with a gold and a black pair marked at $10, which was immediately fishy to me, because the store doesn't usually mark down all colors of the same style to the same price (different colors sell better than others, and sale pricing reflects that).
My co-worker explained that sometimes the tags fall off the boxes, and customers put them back where they think they belonged. Then the short one told the tall one that my co-worker was calling her a liar. She said to my co-worker, "Do you know what Weights and Measures is? I could have your store fined for switching prices!"
Finally, my co-worker said, "Just give it to them." So I changed the price to $10, and they stopped their angry tirade.
The short one paid with a credit card, and when I checked her ID, she thanked me for doing that, and then they left.
Then my co-worker and I went over to where the shoes had come from, and there were (gasp!) three pairs of legitimately sale-priced shoes whose $10 tags were missing from the boxes. She said she had just straightened that aisle not too long before that, and the tags had been in the right place.
So these women had committed theft by tag-switching and beligerence and using their knowledge of business regulations for personal gain. There's a word for that, and it's a bad word. I didn't use the word out loud, but I told my co-worker that woman was "a B-word."
Later, after we helped some other customers (Nice ones. Law-abiding ones.), I thought of calling the Department of Weights and Measures to complain about the woman. I wrote down what I could remember of her name from her credit card (Mary? Maria? and a couple options for the last name too), so we can call on Monday. I wonder if she makes it a regular practice to badger stores late on Friday nights, so there's the whole weekend for employees to forget about the ordeal.
In the end, this woman has made herself a cheat, a thief, a liar, and even a criminal for the sake of $13.00. Will it be worth the thrill of winning the skirmish with our store if she loses her job over such a paltry sum?