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Shopping Problem  
von tisane (US/DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 14:52  like dislike  Spam?  
I was in a medium sized grocery store in Germany and my bill came to  just under 5 euro. I handed the cashier 50 euro, but she only gave me change back for 5 euro. I find it hard to believe this was an innocent mistake, since the bills are different colors. My first guess was that she was taking advantage of a tourist, but maybe I'm just too suspicious. Fortunately, the manager was able to sort it out and I got my 45 euro back.
I wouldn't suspect any purpose here - it's x-mas shopping time, and the cashiers here are totally overworked.  #480293
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 14:58  like dislike  Spam?  
You got your money back, so what?
German tills usually have a clamp, where the cashier puts the banknote for all to see BEFORE giving the change  #480296
von Kornelius (DE), 2009-12-03, 14:57  like dislike  Spam?  
The point is: since it all got sorted out, why not go and spend the excess change down the pub? :-)))  #480298
von Wilfred (DE), 2009-12-03, 14:59  like dislike  Spam?  
Perhaps you should mind that Germany is not necessarily famous for its kind clerks and tellers...  #480310
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 15:08  like dislike  Spam?  
But neither is it known for their cheating and being frauds.
I was just curious since it was all rather embarrassing.  #480312
von tisane (US/DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 15:12  like dislike  Spam?  
I had to go with the manager to the back office while he weighed all the money in the till and then checked it against something on his computer. 4;Kornelius, at the bigger grocery store that I go to, there is a clamp, but not at this one. The funny thing is that my mother always advised me to have large bills changed at a grocery store instead of a shop. ;)
4;Bacca, I've been to Germany many times and this has never happened. I'm not trying to malign Germans. There can be crooked clerks anywhere.
Yep, he made a "Kassensturz" (please, don't ask me to translate that) -  #480314
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 15:14  like dislike  Spam?  
And why do you think it was embarrassing? You were right. And he had to check the till, lest everybody comes and says "Hey man, I gave her like a 500 € bill and all she handed me back was 5 €." However, I think if the same had happened in Bangor, Maine, the manager had acted the very same way. Unless, maybe, a little bit friendlier.
"Kassensturz" - cash balancing  #480315
von Kornelius (DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 15:16  like dislike  Spam?  
Bacca, it was embarrassing because I don't like drama.  #480317
von tisane (US/DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 15:19  like dislike  Spam?  
And it's disappointing to think that someone may have cheated you. The manager was very gracious and complemented me on my German.;) I'm not asking because this happened in Germany, but because this happened in Europe. I simply wanted to know how easy it was to mistake an orange bill for a blue one. I have no frame of reference since dollars are all the same color.
tisane, keep in mind that there's an old scam designed to cheat the store,  #480329
von mwk (US), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 15:41  like dislike  Spam?  
in which the customer claims to have given a larger bill than she actually did. No excuse for rudeness, but that may explain the lack of friendliness at the beginning of this episode.
tisane  #480340
von Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 16:30  like dislike  Spam?  
I worked on a till during my gap year, many years ago. It's always easy to give the wrong change if you have already put the bill away, as after a few hours, your brain stops differentiating between the most recent bill you were handed, the one before that and the one before that etc.

It's only possible to stay focused for so long, and if the till doesn't have some method of assisting you (for instance somewhere to put the note while you give the change or somewhere to type in the value of the money you were given that tells you how much change to give), it's easy to make an honest mistake, and very confusing after you have when the customer insists they gave you a larger bill than you thought you remembered. Bear in mind, if the customer's cheating you, there's a fair chance the manager will take it out of your wages (after all, perhaps you were working in collusion), so it's always difficult when someone demands more change, in case that's your last several hours' work down the drain. It's just a difficult situation all round.
I remember when a similar thing happened to my Mom in the Kaufhof toy department short time before xmas  #480345
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 16:14  like dislike  Spam?  
with three little boys clinging to her coat-tails - I was like ten years old, my brothers like 4 and one year... years later she made a cynical joke about that day nearly having made her an alcoholic.
Laura: Thank you so much for your detailed answer.  #480354
von tisane (US/DE), 2009-12-03, 16:37  like dislike  Spam?  
It certainly makes me feel a whole lot better to know that is was more than likely an honest mistake. My bill was folded into fourths, as it was in the special section of my coin purse. And there it was on top when he opened the till, but of course he still counted all the money.

4;mwk: I first saw that scam in the movie "Paper Moon."
.  #480418
von AmericanTrudi (US), Last modified: 2011-01-09, 21:42  like dislike  Spam?  
'specially when there aren't any 1000 €-bills...  #480423
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2009-12-03, 19:42  like dislike  Spam?  
the highest are 500 €. So should you ever try to pay with a 1000 € bill - I can promise you now that the cashier will call the manager... for some reason or other.
The supermarket cashier's job is a dicey one - and a girl would hardly short-change you as grossly on purpose (how could she get away with it?)  #480425
von Proteus, 2009-12-03, 20:11  like dislike  Spam?  91.115.85...

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