Friday, October 7, 2011

Watching A Scam in Progress

The present economy has changed the world as we know it today and has been the cause for so many to seek a different way to survive. Sometimes bad situations cause people to find something better in themselves and they rise out of the rubble stronger than before. Sometimes bad situations bring out the worst in people and the need to survive surpasses decency and ethics.

Earlier today, I was in Barnes and Noble Book Store's coffee shop getting some work done on my computer. There was a very loud woman, maybe in her thirties, at the counter. She started out by complimenting the barista about her hair. The loud woman told her that she had always wanted her own hair to look like that. The barista thanked her for the compliment and then asked her what she wanted to order. The loud woman said that she wanted a cappuccino but she didn't have enough money. The barista said she was sorry and asked if there was anything else she'd like to order. The loud woman's voice became a little nastier and she said that she would just have some water.

She sat at one of the tables and tried starting up conversations with some of people in the coffee shop. She was kind of rude and obnoxious, so most people spoke to her briefly and then tried to ignore her. One young woman with two small children sat down and the loud woman started a conversation with her by complimenting her two little girls. The proud young mother smiled and thanked her.

The loud woman continued to compliment the young woman's children. At some point in the conversation the loud woman mentioned that she needed to buy her medication but didn't have enough money to purchase it. She said to the young mother "I'm not asking for money though". The young mother became quiet and directed her attention toward her little girls and tried to ignore the loud woman. Everyone in the coffee shop kind of looked up and then went back to what they were doing. The loud women then said to the young mother "do you have any ideas how I could make $3.00 to buy my medicine?" The young mother didn't answer but a few minutes later she reached into her purse and took out some money. She said to the loud woman "I only have $2.00, but maybe it will help". The loud woman said thank you and sat for a few minutes. She pulled some more money out of her pocket and then went to the counter and ordered a venti cappuccino, came back and sat down. She then pulled out a cell phone and made a call to someone. The young mother's face turned red and you could see she was angry for being so blatantly scammed by the loud woman. She got her purse and her little girls and got ready to leave while the loud woman sipped her cappuccino. The loud woman said "That wasn't very nice of me was it? I'm sorry" but her voice was more arrogant that remorseful. The young mother left the coffee shop with her children. The other patrons in the coffee shop kind of looked at each other in disbelief.

Just when everything seemed to quiet down, the loud woman stood up and started complaining that someone had stolen her water bottle. At first she wasn't talking to anyone in particular but she made sure that everyone could hear her. She called to the barista "hey beauty queen, you need to come over here now". The barista left the counter and asked the loud woman how she could help her. The loud woman starting complaining again in an even louder voice, that someone had stolen her water bottle and that it was very expensive. The barista asked her when was the last time that she had it and the loud woman said it had been sitting on the table the whole time she had been there and that maybe it fell on the floor and rolled under one of the sofas. Again, she said that it was very expensive and she wanted it back "now". The barista got on her hands and knees and looked under both of the sofas but said that she couldn't see anything. She got up, apologized and said that she couldn't help her.

The loud woman left all of her bags at the table and walked up to the front of the store. She came back a few minutes later with a store manager. She pointed at the table and told the manager that her very expensive water bottle had been stolen. The manager looked confused and asked her what she would like her to do. Again, the loud woman said that it might have rolled under the sofa. The manager got on the floor and also looked under the sofas. She said that she didn't see it. She stood up and asked the loud woman if she would like to fill out a paper with her name and phone number and a description of the missing water bottle and if someone turned it in to lost and found she would give her a call. The manager went to the front of the store to get the form. The loud woman reached into one of her bags and pulled out a blue water bottle and put it on the table. When the manager came back, the loud woman said that someone had put it back on the table when she wasn't looking.

This whole incident was like watching an episode from one of those 'punked' shows but it was very real. I'm not sure if this rude obnoxious woman had stolen the water bottle and was just trying to find a way to get it out of the store but it was such an elaborate process. The way she treated the young mother was unforgivable but the mother's intention was good and she will surely be blessed for her generosity.

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