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home : columns : dear harriette February 25, 2021

12/14/2020 7:36:00 AM
Employee questions raising flag regarding customer

DEAR HARRIETTE: I work at a grocery store in customer service, and I have noticed one particular customer who comes in every week; I think she is using different IDs. Her receipts usually add up to $200, and she ends up returning about half of her items to receive store credit. I help her each week, and I listen to her outlandish stories for the returns.

I don't think she realizes that I am the only person who processes her returns, but I know for sure she is the same person using different names. There hasn't been a flag in our system yet, but I know that something is wrong. Should I tell my manager or wait for there to be an actual flag? -- Scammer Customer

DEAR SCAMMER CUSTOMER: You definitely should tell your manager and explain what you have observed. Given that you work in customer service, it is your responsibility to take care of the customer but also to care for the store. Give your manager a heads-up, and next time this woman comes, perhaps your manager can address her and determine the next steps.

DEAR HARRIETTE: After my ex and I broke up, I started seeing another guy and posted photos of us publicly. My ex came to my house to have one more conversation so he could get things off his chest. I told him to speak to me on the phone, but he was eager to have me come outside. I got into his car, and he began to drive away, saying he just needed to run to the store, and he would take me home after.

During the car ride the conversation escalated, and I decided to get out at a stoplight. He chased me and assaulted me, and I had to run to get away from him. He stopped chasing me and threatened to find me again and kill me.

When I got home, I told my mom everything that happened and that I was going to press charges. She said she feared for my life. She thinks involving the police will upset him more and since I posted the photos of this new guy I am with, I motivated my ex to come after me, so I should just lie low and not go to the police. I can't believe my mom doesn't want me to press charges. Should I listen to her? -- Assaulted

DEAR ASSAULTED: You should go to the police and get it on record that your ex assaulted you. That may be important in the future.

Your mom isn't wholly wrong, though. The police cannot fully protect you from him. You can get a restraining order, but you should also be extremely vigilant when you are outside. Watch your step. Change your locks. Install security cameras and alert your neighbors to the threat he has made on your life. Show them his photo so that others also have your back.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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