Thursday, January 6, 2011

The New Homeless Lady

There's this woman that comes in that's really been pissing me off lately.

I call her the "Homeless Lady" but I don't think she's homeless. Still, that's what I call her.

She started coming in about a month ago and just kind of blew in with the bad weather. At first she would come in and ask if we could give her a cup of coffee for a penny. I told her no and she'd pull out a dollar and pay for it that way.

Now when she comes in she goes and gets her coffee first, then comes up to the register asking if she can have the coffee for a quarter. When we tell her no she says she doesn't have any more money. So it's either dump out her coffee or let her take it anyways because it would otherwise go in the trash.

While my coworkers let her have the coffee for a quarter, I don't. Once she tells me she doesn't have money I take it and throw it in the trash. If that sounds mean, oh fucking well. She knows exactly what she's doing.

So now when I see her walk in the door, I will immediately run over to her before she touches the coffee. I'll tell her that she has to go pay for it first. She does and then comes back to the coffee counter. But I still have to stand there because if I walk away she will start shoving sugar packets and creamer packets into her pockets. This woman seriously makes my blood boil.

She came in last night and started stealing those little lottery pencils we have laying out. I yelled "GET OUT!" as loud as I could. She looked up, saw me and bolted out the door with a trail of lottery pencils dropping behind her.

I don't know what's wrong with this woman but she's really getting on my last nerve.

Normally I'd ignore someone like that, but then she will just keep on taking things that are free if I don't watch her. So can I really call the cops about something like that?

This may be the first time I've ever clueless on what to do about a customer that just won't go away.


  1. That's just freaking weird about the pencils. What the hell does she need them for? Compulsive kleptomaniac? Kudos for screaming at her though. That would be what I would have done, but I'd have come from behind the counter and started waving my arms around so she'd get freaked out and never come back.

  2. It's bizarre. I think it's less about being poor and more about getting "free" things. She feels like she's getting away with something. Mental illness, for sure. She's harmless but fuckin' weird. It would make my blood boil, too.

  3. Ugh, I wouldn't let her have the coffee either for 25 cents. Its all about getting something for nothing, I hate those people. I tell them I have to the differance and I'm not rich by far

  4. You can call the cops for trespassing. As a store you have the right to deny anyone access to your store for whatever reason, and since she is harassing you guys so much I would probably say something to the effect that she is not welcome in your store anymore and the next time you will call the cops. Just an idea.

  5. Well, if she's abusing your free products, then I would say ban her. If she still comes to the store after you told her she was banned, you can call the police (unless she's the type to play the "poor innocent old woman" to anyone else). That's what I would do, personally, while the products may be free for customers that does not mean people can clean house on them. Our companies still have to pay for those things, anyway.

    Also, you can do something you TOTALLY should do... but if she begins to piss you off to such a degree you could:

    A. Remove the coffee urns when she walks in the door. (mine come out at least)

    B. Hide all of the sugar packets and lottery pencils when she comes in the door.

    C. When she's about to get a coffee, walk over and get a coffee cup, lick around the inner rim and then hand it to her. (not something I would do, though, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't.)

    D. Tell your normal customers about her actions. We had a customer steal magnets off of peoples bumpers. He's a real creepy guy. So, from now on when he comes in, and if one of our normal customers is sitting in the back drinking coffee, he'll follow the guy around the store going "How you doing, Magnet Thief? Get any good ones, lately?" And stuff like that for the entire time the guy is there...

    Man it's early. Off to work, though, good luck!


  6. why not just call the cops and ask them what you can do about her. Conning the other cashiers into giving her coffee for a quarter is close enough to stealing if you ask me

  7. I suspect Miss Sara (above) hit it on the head. And/or perhaps she's lonely and wants some attention, even if it's negative.

    Kids and dogs do the same thing. When they act up, they're just looking for you to pay attention, and sometimes it just takes a quick pat on the head (or the equivalent) to assuage them.

    I know how easy it is to become jaded doing what you do and seeing what you see. Every day. Day after day. Kinda like cops, who see nothing but the dregs all the time.

    Still, I always feel a bit sorry for people like this old lady and the others like her that you describe. I suspect few of us can imagine what they've been through to make them what they now are. Maybe we're lucky for that.

  8. Ah, the cursed ambiguous pronoun.

    Sorry, Miss Sara. I meant Cashier's customer might be mentally ill and in need of attention rather than you, of course.

  9. As a convenience store cashier and former security guard, I've run into people like this. It is possible to arrest her for disruption as her actions prevent store employees (namely Cashier) from conducting business. Banning her (in writing) will also give the police grounds to arrest her in the future for trespassing.

  10. I would have absolutely no tolerance for any of this, and frankly, your job in general. The stuff you encounter is just so bizarre to me and no one should have to be burdened with these crazies every day. Just wanted to say my heart goes out to you. And happy new year!

  11. Does she have a good speaking voice? Maybe you can notify TMZ and they'll "discover" her and fly her to NY to be the spokesperson for Ragu. THAT will get rid of her!! :)

  12. She's probably mentally ill. Don't you wish you could follow her and see what she does with all those pencils?

  13. she might try to sell the pencils and use the quarter for her coffee. Check the street corners on your way around town.

  14. Not gonna lie... I snickered out loud I read that you shouted at her. We had a similar woman at the store I used to work at. I'm giving you a mental high five right now for doing what I wish I could have done.

  15. There's a woman that sometimes picks up lose change in the drive-thru during the overnight shift and walks to the window to try and order. It is not safe to take walk-ups, and we're not allowed to. She's been told several times but she keeps coming back. She says that her medication keeps her from being able to drive. I wonder why she doesn't just come inside when the lobby is open. Last time I saw her, she implied I was discriminating against her, saying 'You wrong.'
    Pisses me off



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