Story Sent in by Brendan:

In one of my earlier messages to Elizabeth, I mentioned that I worked at an electronics retailer. That seemed to excite her quite a bit, and she asked me a lot of questions about it: In what department did I work? What was my store discount like? How many coworkers did I have? And so on. The questions were asked in general conversation, rather than as an interrogation, and so I thought it was just her being, well, conversational.

For our first date, I offered to take her out to dinner, and she strongly suggested that I take her to a particular place not at all far from where I worked. It was centrally located, and I didn't think twice about it.

Dinner was fine. She was friendly, we listened when each other spoke, and cracked jokes back and forth. Towards the end of the meal, she said, "So, I couldn't help but notice that we're near where you work."

"So we are."

"Well, do you think we could make a quick stop in there after we're done here?"

I laughed. "Shopping's going to be part of our date?"

She said, "No. But since you work there, I was wondering if I could tap you for advice. I've been considering… you know, purchases."

That was different. It was an opportunity to show off a little bit, granted, in the context of a retail sales job, but even so, such opportunities were few and far between. She seemed to value my opinion, and perhaps that would work out well for me.

After dinner, we walked into my store. Two of my coworkers almost instantly said hi as we walked by. Elizabeth sped ahead to the home entertainment area, where we kept TVs, surround speakers, DVRs, and the like.

She asked me, "Which is the most expensive?"

I showed her our most expensive set-up. She asked, "And what's your discount, again?"

Ah. I saw where this was going. A bit disappointed, I said to her, "It'll still be pricey, even with my discount. Almost negligible."

"Yeah. Well, what's a cheaper set-up? Now that you're here, I'm not letting you go until I use your discount." She gave me a big smile. I found it hard to smile back, as she seemed far more interested in my discount than in me. Plus, management frowned on employees buying a lot of equipment for people other than themselves.

She moved on from the home entertainment area and moved over to the Blu-Ray players and discs. "I don't have a Blu-ray player," she said, "but that will all change tonight, right?" and she slapped my back. Ugh.

She grabbed a stack of Blu-ray discs, about 20 of them, and said, "Let's check out. We'll start with these and then come back."

At the checkout counter, one of my coworkers scanned the discs and took off my discount. Elizabeth handed the clerk her credit card, but in such a way so that it fell behind the checkout counter. While the clerk bent to retrieve it, Elizabeth grabbed a small stack of gift cards, which were located right next to the register, and pocketed them.

I said, "What are you doing? Put those back."

"Shh!" Elizabeth said.

"No, not 'shh.' Put those back right now."

My coworker had stood back up with Elizabeth's card and her attention was fastened to the situation at once.

Elizabeth glanced from her to me and said, "Brendan, I have no idea what you're talking about, so shut up."

I replied, "That stack of gift cards in your pocket. They're worthless anyway, until they're activated at the register. It's just a pocket full of plastic."

Elizabeth reached into her pocket and slammed the cards down onto the checkout counter. "These fell into my pocket," she explained to the checkout clerk, "Whoops."

The clerk scooped them up, ran Elizabeth's card, and frowned at the screen. She said, "It's saying that your card's denied. Do you have another form of payment?"

Elizabeth snatched her card away from the clerk, fished in her purse, and then said to me, "Could you grab these for me? I'll owe you."

"No. I'd just really like to go."

Elizabeth widened her eyes at me. "You're just going to go? Fine. Go. But don't expect to hear from me."

"I hope not to hear from you," I said as I walked out of the store as quickly as I could.

The next time I went into work, I was told that she had tried to light a cigarette in the store and that a manager had to be called over and there had been a screaming match of some sort. Up until I recently left that place, my coworkers teased me about it. "So, how's your klepto girlfriend?" Ah, romance.


  1. Crazy. I wonder how many times that's worked for her in the past (getting men she just met to buy her expensive stuff).

    OP is a cheapskate. He should have bought her a 60" HDTV and bluray surround sound system. No second date for you! LOL!

  2. So folks: who wins the cage match between her and $600 hat girl?

  3. ^ Well, if I recall correctly, the Hat Girl was just a bona-fide gold digger.

    BluRay Girl sounds much more "criminal." I could see her doing all kinds of scams, like identity theft, bad checks, etc. Whatever she had to do to get what she wanted. Just a feeling I get...

    So, I would say BluRay Girl would win, because she is probably more ruthless.

  4. ^I agree with Steve... unless it's a cage match of cluelessness. Hat girl wasn't even angling for a discount, she just seemed to believe that a guy she was on a date with should buy her whatever caught her eye. At least Blu-Ray girl was premeditated and self-aware.

  5. Also, in what universe is a retail sales associate's discount actually worth trying to con them out of? Where I live it barely takes off the sales tax.

  6. I hope the OP checked his pockets after he left, to be sure she hadn't picked them!

  7. Ankh: some of the sad people who scam social assistance and unemployment benefits think they're "living the life" because they're basically getting free money with little work. To you and me, petty fraud may be, well, petty, but to some it's about the most daring and ambitious thing they've ever done...

  8. While I never worked the retail side of it, I did once work at an upscale catalog/retail company that had a 40% discount for all employees. You could buy people gifts if you wanted, but buying for someone who'd reimburse you was forbidden and probably grounds for firing. Admittedly, you'd have to be pretty brazen about it to actually get caught, but on occasion you'd hear that somebody was fired for it.


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