It's Called a Business for a Reason...

I have two jobs. One, as a security officer working at a state building. The other, working at a cigar shop inside of Ruta Maya. The cigar shop is a separate business from Ruta Maya. For some reason, certain customers of Ruta Maya seem to think that the prices marked on the products are negotiable.

There is one guy in particular, Shep, who is notorious for this. Furthermore, this guy tries to play all of the employees against one another. He'll say that one employee did something for him, so that means that you should too. He could get a discount if he paid for the $35 membership. (Membership gets you 10% off all purchases plus one free cigar up to $5 for eleven months out of the year and one free cigar up to $10 on your birthday month.)

This has been going on for some time now, but came to a head last night. At 5 minutes until closing time, he comes in, goes to the humidor and looks around. Then he grabs a cigar that costs $5.50 and comes to the counter and asks if I can sell him this cigar for $3. I tell him no. (Taking that much off the price of the cigar wouldn't just eliminate the profit, it would cut into the cost of the cigar.)

Then he tells me that there are no other cigars in the humidor in his price range. I tell him that we still have a particular cigar that he has smoked and that it is $2.99. His response is that we don't have the largest size of that cigar.

I have to admit that the sheer level of stupidity that his argument assaulted me with caused me to be stunned for a few seconds. I stared at him in disbelief. I told him again that I couldn't just take $2.50 off of the price of his cigar.

Next he tells me that one of the other employees sold him one of these cigars at that price because there weren't any of the size he wanted in his price range. (We'll call her D.) At this point I got mad. I told him that since my manager had not told me to give him any discounts, let alone taking nearly 50% off of a cigar, that I couldn't sell him that cigar at that price.

Finally, he said that he was going to call the manager and ask him if I could sell him the cigar at that price. I told him that was fine and turned back to working on pricing cigars.

Needless to say, the manager never called, and the parasite never got his deeply discounted cigar. It's called a business because the goal is to make money. To bastardize a quote from the movie 'Joe Dirt':

This is a business, not a charity. Maybe one day UNICEF will getinto the cigar business...but until then, we're the people to see.

UPDATE (08/201/2008)!!

Yesterday afternoon I told D. about what Shep had said to me and she was taken aback. Apparently she had helped Shep out of kindness and was appalled that he had abused that kindness. Apparently she and her husband had also helped him out once by buying him food. She said that she wasn't going to be doing anything nice for him again.

Then, later that evening, Shep came into the cigar shop trying to pull the same scam. D. told him that she couldn't sell him that cigar at the price that he wanted. She also walked through the humidor with him in order to make suggestions for a different cigar.

When he couldn't find any cigars that met his exacting standards, he got irate and started accusing D of being part of some conspiracy to "price him out of being able to purchase cigars." At this point D. had enough. She told him to get out and not to come back.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:17 AM  


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