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02/15/2005: "Tricked"

This little older guy walked in this afternoon. Grey hair, mustache, a blue sport jacket. For some reason I was alarmed. He said he wanted a cup of coffee. I said I had to brew coffee. He said ok. I said it was soy coffee. Frankly, I didn't feel like making coffee. I wanted to discourage him. He said ok. He had a 20-dollar bill in his hand. I made coffee, and he said two sugar. I poured him a cup, and opened two sugar packets. I said one dollar. He gave me the bill, and I gave him change. Then I looked away or something, and he muttered something. He showed me the change in his hand, and he had a five-dollar bill and five singles. I said I was sorry, and thought somehow I gave him wrong change. I took the money from his hand and gave him 19 dollars (again). I thought it was strange, but didn't think too much of it. Later I counted the money in the register and of course I was 9 dollars short. When Akiko came in, I told her the story and she said it was one of common con trick in Japan she faced working in retail. She tipped me how they would deal with a situation like this in Japan. Next time I'd hell him I have to call police and then I'll count the money in register.

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