Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just putting people away. NBD

I started my new job as a receptionist at Paul Mitchell the School (!!!) last Monday, and I love it. The energy in the school is great, I already loved my co-workers from when I went to school there, and it's fun getting to know the students. I've never been a full-fledged receptionist before, and it's not a bad gig; learning their computer system is pretty clear cut, but there are a lot of things that the front desk manages other than appointments, so it's easy to get overwhelmed sometimes.

Like yesterday. It was the end of the day, we were closing and collecting for our last appointments of the day, when a girl, about 18, is ready to pay for her ticket. She came in that morning, pretty undecided about how to do her hair, and asked a lot of questions about pricing, splitting the bill between cash and credit, etc. I answered a lot of her questions when she came in, then got her information when she made her appointment for, well, pretty much immediately, and then I was the one available when she was ready to ring up her ticket.

When I was taking her payment, she said that she wasn't sure how much money she had on her card - see, her parents had just put money on it but she didn't know how much. I immediately stereotyped her when she said this, and in my eyes, it seemed to fit that she was the kind of girl that lived off Daddy's money. We ran the card through, and it passed, which to her must have meant Daddy put more money on the card than she thought.

This gave her wings.

She immediately turned to our product shelves, which are many, and can be pricey. She picked up some of our higher end products, including a flat iron kit designed by Tarantino (Quentin? someone else? I never asked.), and her first order came to around $260. Since that passed, she got even braver with Daddy's money and rang up another order with products for her boyfriend that was about $190. Lest she forget, she bought her mother (who lives in AZ) a gift certificate for $150. Her ticket for hair was around $70, putting her grand total to about $670.

Now, by her second ticket, I should have gotten a bit concerned about this flighty spending of money, especially when she was so concerned when she first came in about expenses, but who was I to questiona girl who wanted to spoil those around her? (Even if her money wasn't technically hers...) Plus, I was selling product, and I was keeping up with my job at a busy time. I was doing fine, and I was ok with it.

The rest of the day flew by (I worked that night, too - actually saw her again, because she left her product at the school, because she was going tot he gym next door and didn't think it would all fit in her locker, and came back to use the bathrooms.), and by the next morning I was concentrating on opening the school for the day.

Until one of our students came in, and told us that "the girl who brought all the product yesterday," let's call her Katie, was actually not Katie, but had stolen the Real Katie's credit card from the gym! She knew this because the Real Katie was her friend's sister-in-law.

At this point, I almost had a meltdown. I had worked a 14 hour day the day before, and I was exhausted. I was to work all by myself in Phase 2, our smaller part of the school, for the whole day, and the last time I worked there alone, I had made all kinds of serious mistakes. I was super nervous. Add to that the fact that I had been the one stupid enough not to ask this girl for ID, and I was sure I was going to get a beatdown, if not be fired.

Anyway, not 30 minutes after we found out, the Real Katie came in and explained who she was. We loaded her with information, because Fake Katie didn't have the time, or really the know-how, to make up a new story to center her life around. We knew what complex she lived in, she also gave us a legitimate home address from her home state (and not one of those block addresses, it was an obscure one), we knew she had a membership at the gym and had gone tanning between the hour of 4:45-5:45 (and they had cameras and a record), and when the cop came, he got her fingerprints on all her receipts and her guest info card. I'm not sure if the phone number she gave ever worked, but we only ever got a busy signal, so it wasn't out of service - though that easily could have been legit.

The cop came in and out for a couple hours, and so I was summoned to and from Phase 1 and Phase 2 every so often to give information. That was kind of nerve racking, and I think it was because I was afraid of getting something wrong. But the student who did the services on her hair basically affirmed everything I said, and added more personal info; Fake Katie said she was super broke, didn't have a job or a driver's license, etc. (Which made me feel a touch better about not having asked for ID - she wouldn't have had it. It's still not ok, but...)

Then, around 4:30, when I was closing up all by myself (I was pretty proud of me right then), I got a phone call from P1 saying I needed to get over there ASAP. The officer was on the line to talk to me, and asked me to walk just outside the school, and see if I could see into the little room of the gym right next to us. I went back and told him that I could, and then he told me to come back because he had who he thought was the Fake Katie in there with him. (His body was blocking her.) I said, "Um, so do you want me to come into the gym, or just look in the window....'cause I'm not gonna lie, I don't want to be some creeper peering in the window." And I'm not sure if you're allowed to say "creeper" to a cop, but he was all, "Just come look through the window."

So I went back, walked right next to the building, and sure enough, there was the Fake Katie, maybe 10 feet away from me, sitting down at the desk in front of the cop in her workout clothes. I kinda smiled at her, because what would you do in that situation? She absolutely knew I was there to ID her. Talk about awkward.

So I went back to the phone, told him it was most definitely her, and he thanked me and got off. By then, everyone in the school knew about it, and all the girls were crowing the door, waiting to see some big arrest. I went back to Phase 2 and told them where I had been, and they went to the door as well, but I went back to closing and heard that there was no "big arrest" (lol) but that the officer just took her to his car and everything was fine.

Good thing she likes to work out every day. And told us so much about her. There's a good possibility I'll have to do some kind of written statement, but other than that, I think yesterday held enough drama for the whole ordeal.


  1. What a story!! You rock though seriously! Glad you got the job you wanted too :)

  2. I'm so happy that you got a job you love! Wow! That's crazy story. What kind of psycho person goes back to the scene of the crime (or at least next door)?

  3. Hahaha oh my gosh! That is so crazy!!!

  4. This is more exciting than Courtney and Ben skinny dipping in Puerto Rico!

  5. i love that fake katie thought she could get away with that.