Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What is the sound of one finger stealing?

Some people pay for large money orders in big bills. Some pay for money orders in twenties, tens, fives and ones. These I have to count carefully. We're allowed to be $5 over or short, but other than that if the drawer is off it will earn me a pink slip. Three pink slips gets a coaching.

So this young girl comes up Sunday evening and wants a money order for $840. We do a lot of large money orders - usually people paying rent who either can't or won't get a checking account.

She hands me a huge wad of twenties, tens, fives and a single for the forty-six cents that is the money order fee. The money is all wrinkled, faced every which way and is generally a mess.

We're supposed to keep the cash drawer neat and keep the bills facing the same way so that if there is ever a question of needing to count down the draw in case someone says "You didn't give me the right change," it can be done quickly. Plus, it really does help to keep the bills neat.

So I always face the money before I count it. I straighten out the mess of bills she gives me and then count it. I start laying out piles of twenties on the counter.

One-two-three-four-five-one hundred, one-two-three-four-five-two hundred, and so on.

I get the forty dollars in fives and then the dollar. I enter the money order on the register and then what she's paying me. $841.00. I ring it up. The cash drawer opens.

I flip up all the prongs of the drawer to start putting the money in and I SEE HER HAND MOVE OUT TOWARD THE DOLLAR.

I put the twenties into the drawer and reach for the tens. SHE GRABS THE DOLLAR AND CRUMPLES IT INTO HER HAND.

I put the fives in and get her change. Then I ask her - "Did I get the dollar from you?"

She tries to laugh it off, but takes the dollar BACK OUT OF HER PURSE AND HANDS IT TO ME WITH THIS LITTLE "HE-HE" LAUGH!

I give her her change and say "Thank you."

Then I make REAL sure to shut the cash drawer and printed out her money order. When I was at the machine I gave it an eye-roll. I could NOT BELIEVE she was going to try to sneak at dollar right in front of me.

The whole thing went down on the counter less than a foot from my right arm. It wasn't even a case of peripheral vision. I SAW her doing it.

That's why I don't feel bad about leaving the money on the back of the counter. One, I'm always looking at it. I never have my back to it and it is less than a foot from me. I am never distracted enough for them to steal it. Plus, the counter is wide enough so that unless the customer has unnaturally long arms, they would have to lean a ways to get it.

Even right now I still can't believe it. I've had a few I thought were shady enough so that I picked up the money, or had someone else watch me count it, but this is the first time I had someone try to filch it right in front of me.

Shady heifer. And a dollar too!


solar said...

I'm not condoning her actions, but maybe she liked you and was trying to be funny,and get your attention; it wasn't like she went for the twenties. When I bartended I've seen girls do all sorts of stuipid stuff to get my attention. One girl left me a Zero tip on a $90 tab only to call later and give me her phone number so we could meet up somewhere later so she could give me my tip.

Adam said...

One dollar! Talk about desperation.