Posted in business-a-go-go, Main, Mind Wanderings at 6:13 pm by carrie

Normally… I wouldn’t do this… but this is above and beyond strange… I need your input :)

This just happened a couple of hours ago…

Me: Me
OC: Odd customer

OC: “Are you the owner?”
Me: “Yes, I’m the owner”
OC: “I need to talk to you about something. I accidentally took a bracelet from your store over Christmas and I want to bring it back… I mean, I took it without paying for it”
**starts lifting up her sleeves to show me the bracelets on her arm**
Me: “I really appreciate your honesty, thank you for bringing the bracelet back! These things happen, I did it once when I was 10…”
OC: “It’s none of these (points to several bracelets she is wearing), but… can you help me take off my jacket? (pull on her sleeve to reveal a long-sleeve t-shirt) See, when it’s cold weather like this, things get hidden up the sleeves because they are long… but… I was wondering…” (Okay… why did she just show me her sleeve via me helping me pull it off her AND there wasn’t a bracelet up there??)
**pause… she then turns to Cathi who is watching the whole thing… **
OC: says to Cathi: “Can you not listen to this, I don’t want you to hear this conversation!”
**Cathi goes into the other room and her cell phone rings so she’s on her phone now**
OC: “So… this is what I was thinking… I bought something for my friend for Christmas. I spent a total of $93.00 and I really want to return this item which was $11.00 that I didn’t think she would like. (Keep in mind she didn’t have the item in question, the receipt OR the bracelet in question, unless they were all up her sleeve) I didn’t give it to her because I didn’t think she would like it… but I knew she wouldn’t like it right away, not later… anyway… I would like my money back and you’ll get your bracelet back.”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, we only do store credit, so you’ll get the $11.00 in store credit and…”
OC: “Well, you aren’t getting your bracelet back then! I want my money back, I don’t want store credit!!”
Me: “I appreciate that you want to bring the bracelet back so I’m waiving the 2 week requirement for the store credit, but it clearly says on the receipt ‘return for store credit within 14 days only’.”
**At this point, my spidey senses are tingling… I mean WHOA… she continues to argue with me and not budge on her point of view that bringing back the bracelet would grant her clemency for all of this**
Me: “You took a bracelet and want your money back? Dude, (yes, I said dude, ugh) that’s just not cool!” (And that didn’t make much sense all around)
OC: “Well, your worker should have seen that I had the bracelet on when I left (because we ARE the conscious police, and please see above for camoflauge-sleeve which hides everything) and this bracelet is worth a lot more than $11.00!! I didn’t have to tell you about this…”
Me: “So you can sleep at night knowing not only did you steal from me, but not you are trying to blackmail money out of me? Just leave… get out of here!”
OC: “I try to support local businesses and be honest with you and yes I can sleep at night… (and then something about her coming in and being honest again… I can’t remember because I told her to leave again…)

That conversation didn’t make much sense, while typing it or while living it… imagine being in the middle of it, trying to decipher her cryptic sentences and gestures…

So… Cathi heard most of it and we were close to calling the cops because she admitted to passive shoplifting but honestly, I don’t care at this point, I wasn’t about to hold her captive until an officer came up. The bad vibes of the whole thing has left me irritated and in need of some hot chocolate ;) I just want to free my brain of this incident… especially since it has been a slow, rainy, paperwork and phone sort of day…

This is super rare… but I do have to say, this may be the strangest encounter I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a few! I think it was the “I’m going to hold your bracelet for ransom” thing that really put me over the edge. I have been known to bend the rules but I can honestly say that telling me you “accidentally” stole from me… “finder’s keepers” until you bend the rule for me ain’t gonna work.

So, fellow crafters, especially those who plan on opening a store… beware! Lace up your serious shoes and put on your rational hat because you are going to need them! :)


  1. Nathan said,

    January 30, 2007 at 7:31 pm


    A: Give me a hundred dollars.
    B: No.
    A: OK, let’s compromise. Give me fifty dollars.

    I would have asked for her name and called the police. Even though they probably wouldn’t have the time or inclination to follow up on it, it would make a point.

    I wonder how many other local businesses she supports by “accidentally” stealing from them and then trying to use that as leverage when returning Christmas presents.

    Some people!

  2. Gypsy Purple-Chamara said,

    January 30, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Oh this was so much fun and so colourfull…I know it you did not find it funny at all…but thanks for sharing this “lifting” episode

  3. art tea life said,

    January 30, 2007 at 8:38 pm


    My boyfriend just read this with me
    (we were in your shop at Christmas)


    I guess I am speechless….What COULD You do.

    I would have let my temper get the best of me and told her to GET OUT too….

    INcredible. I am sorry you had this happen.

    That is a new one on us. I am still shaking my head.

    Yeh, get some hot chocolate and breath in , breath out.

    File this one in BE MORE AWARE and then move on.

    Love, S.

  4. art tea life said,

    January 30, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Rather ! I am sorry this happened TO YOU
    ( rereading I see that came out odd )

  5. Carrie Sommer said,

    January 30, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Okay. You win. That’s the weirdest, strangest, most unbelievable story I’ve ever read!

  6. Jill said,

    January 30, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    oh my gosh! how strange….wow….don’t know what I would have done..I think you handled it well….now have that hot cocoa….and maybe add a little something to it!!!!
    Come and visit me sometime!

  7. Alexandra said,

    January 31, 2007 at 8:09 am

    This was a good laugh, thank you for sharing it. Some people live in a wierd parallel universe — I believe that if you had done what she wanted you to… you’d have been sucked into it too.

  8. Julie said,

    January 31, 2007 at 8:37 am

    I’ve worked in retail for a lot of years and I would have to say that story would have ranked right up there with one of the strangest encounters, ever! It’s pretty laughable how some people’s minds work! Scarey, really. Thank goodness, it’s a rarety though and not something that you have to experience every day.

  9. elizabeth bunsen said,

    January 31, 2007 at 9:05 am

    wow – that is something – I have a studio/gallery – with the occasional odd duck – but that is weird and AGGRESSIVE – an incident like that would have left me feeling very fragile for some time – we are sort of sitting ducks in our places of business – I did have an incident where I was accused of “ageism” (!?!) because I asked a guy to leave his skateboard outside – I had crystal singing bowls on tables that we were playing (maybe 20) and a big crowd of people – and oddly it was the guy’s (w/ the skateboard) girlfriend who wrote me the accusing letter – do a double on the chocolate and come visit – xox – eb.

  10. art tea life said,

    January 31, 2007 at 9:20 am

    …remember that MOVE you were thinking about making…..?

    I will be by again soon (to answer your question) with bracelets ….er uh, I mean… BELLS on !

  11. deb said,

    January 31, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Yea, I’ve never heard of anything quite like that. I think you handled it perfectly but so sorry you had to go through it! I seriously don’t understand some people!! She stole from you, intentionally or not. It’s stories like this that I definitely do not miss about retail. Seeing your beautiful shop and gorgeous displays DO make me miss it! Hot chocolate today and maybe wine, martinis or margaritas tonight is my remedy! :)

  12. Linda Thompson said,

    January 31, 2007 at 9:34 am

    I am seriously creeped out… what a wacko!
    That woman needs serious help!
    You community needs to be aware that someone out there is scamming/ stealing from shops.
    And the very fact that she came in to basically blackmail you is beyond comprehension!
    You need to spread the word… cuz she’ll do it again…

  13. Babette said,

    January 31, 2007 at 10:00 am

    OK – can you spell W-E-I-R-D-O!!?? I wish I would have been there to witness that freak show!

    Got any gum? :) xxoo

  14. Deborah said,

    January 31, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Had you accompanied me to Night Court, you would have heard about the several, “store disturbances” involving customers and employees resulting in arrests and fines and lifetime banishments from Target, KMart and Sears…

    You should really start a blog about all of these out of body experiences you have…

  15. Graycee said,

    January 31, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    When I come up tomorrow I’m bringing my bat! It’s a very good weirdo repellent.

  16. Wendy Updegraff said,

    January 31, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Wow-I own a store and have had a few Odd Customers myself but never as strange as that conversation! You handled it perfect…at least you stood up to her, we have a shoplifter who steals one item of a pair each time she comes in…how am I going to sell one sock??? I haven’t ever asked her to leave because I am so afraid she will go wack on me- drink your hot chocolate and know that one less OC will be shopping at your store.

  17. Alicia said,

    January 31, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    I have worked in retail for many years, and have come across shoplifters, but never ones who blackmailed. I can’t believe you did not rip that bracelet off her “Hot” wrist.

    You deserve alot of credit for handling the situation so cooly. You now need to hang a sign saying you reserve the right to refuse service to anyone you choose, and if she ever comes in again…..just kick her out and refer to the sign.

  18. Michele Annette said,

    February 2, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Woah, is right! I feel bad that this happened to you. What a wacko!! I would have been very scared and I hope she never has the nerve to step into your lovely store again and I agree with Alicia about the sign. I’m sure you wouldn’t forget her face! I wish you the best and happy vibes!

    Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog about the pillow, that was so sweet!

  19. Graycee said,

    February 2, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    When I visited yesterday, I forgot the bat!

  20. Tyn said,

    February 2, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    I have to be honest, I stole a bunch of stuff but I am not giving it back until you finally save me some damn scones!
    That is one of the strangest encounters I have ever heard of. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if she comes back.People are strange. Sorry that had to happen to you-be sure to take a really good “get the icky vibe off ” shower.

  21. lucy said,

    February 3, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    What a story!!! It never ceases to amaze me, the gall some people have. I would never dare pull some of things I’ve come across working in retail, this story ranks right up there! You handled yourself very well, take a deep breath and let it go. If she steps foot in your store again, I’d call the police though. Let her know loud and clear, she is not wanted here!

  22. Amanda bel said,

    February 3, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    What a crazy story! People can be so odd, I swear. (It sounds like that lady might not have been ‘right in the head’…) Yikes!

  23. Gypsy Purple-Chamara said,

    February 3, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for your visit to my blog…hope to see you there again


  24. Cleve said,

    February 5, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Can I tell you a funny thing? A woman comes to mind who I was very suspicious of having stolen a bracelet! I saw her put it on and watched her shop and never saw her take it off, but didn’t see it on her wrist at check out! Wish I could remember how much she spent…I must have been there since she thought your “employee” should have seen it. She was a bit strange too…very chatty about how lovely everything was…almost to a distracting sort of way. You should make a composite drawing of her like a wanted poster and put it up here “) Here’s a scary thought…maybe she’ll read this and respond…

  25. Zabrina said,

    February 5, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Oh my…I’ve worked with public in stores, in a resort too…we see all sorts of crap. She should be in jail for that. If she does that, I bet she does other creepy things. No shame at all. What a wacko.

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