Monday, September 08, 2003
Once again we were training a new hire tonight. It's that time of year-- school starts and people are moving on, so we need a new batch comin' in.

But the real fun was the crazy woman. I was helping two people, getting a croissant out of the fridge for them and about to start on a sandwich when this woman pops her head over the counter (completely out of turn) and demands to know the password. At first I'm perplexed, but finally she manages to explain that she wants the password for the computer.

"Well, you get a username and password when you sign up for the internet service. Or you can get temporary access..." I explain the fee system for her, while my coworker rescues me by starting on the sandwich. The woman can't decide which card she wants, keeps going back and forth.

I get out the lockbox with the cards and all the cash. She hands me a ten dollar bill, but there's no change in the box so I have to pop the till and get out a five and five ones. I give her 7 and a $3 card and she insists that she asked for a $12 card.

"Well, you only gave me ten dollars..."

And thus begins the insisting that she gave me a twenty. I pop the till again and check the ten slot... no twenties there. I reiterate my certainty that she gave me a ten and she demands to talk to a manager. So finally I have to call the manager at home. She's just woken up, it seems, and sounds like a bullfrog-- at first I thought I had the wrong number. I talk to her, she tells me to tell the woman what I already have (that we simply can't count the till to see if it's ten over until the books have been balanced the next morning).

So the woman demands to speak to her herself, which she does with such rudeness that the manager hangs up on her. I give the woman the owner's name, and she insists on getting "the other two."

"There's just the one," I tell her, realizing that the woman is not merely belligerent but clearly quite insane. She writes a brief description of her account of the events and demands that I initial it, which I refuse to do because her version of events is fiction and I will not put my initials anywhere near it. Finally she leaves.

I'm no good at confrontation, but lucky for me I can be a downright stubborn SOB when I want to. A lot of "I'm sorry ma'am"s and "No, I can't do that" and repetition of assertions... but man when she finally left I was shaking. Not because I was pissed, just from the adrenaline rush.

The manager called back later to say she believes my version of events. "That woman was obviously crazy." Man I hope the till doesn't come out ten over...
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