Dixie Peach: Want to Know How Stupid I Am?

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Want to Know How Stupid I Am?

You're fixing to find out.

B and I have already bought my MIL's Christmas gift. She wanted a new floor lamp for her livingroom and since I didn't know exactly what she wanted in terms of style I took her with me, she picked it out, we took it home, put it together and Merry Christmas!

Still B and I wanted her to have a little something to open at Christmas but couldn't figure out what. She doesn't need or want anything and it took a lot to get her to decide on the floor lamp - that it could be our gift to her. We then figured that we could give her a gift card to the local mall. It's good in all the stores and she can buy anything from groceries to clothes to lunch with it. Wrap it with a box of nice chocolates and she'd have a treat waiting for her under the Christmas tree.

I absolutely will not go to the mall if it's after noon so I got up this morning and headed down there first thing. The gift cards are sold at the information desk and there was a good size line there. I reckon a lot of mothers-in-law are getting gift cards this year. So there I was standing in line and a woman behind me said "Excuse me. Are you getting a card for 50€ or more? I have one and now I want two smaller cards but you can't exchange a gift card for a gift card. Would you like to buy this one from me and just give me the cash for it so I can buy the smaller cards?".

It was a bit loud in there and I was having a bit of a hard time hearing her and so it was taking me a couple seconds to catch on to what she was talking about. I thought "Eh. Okay. I don't need the envelope they put the card in." and so I gave her a 50€ note and she gave me the card and I got out of line. I stopped and put the card in my wallet and could see the lady still standing in line.

I was about out of cash then so I started to walk to my bank's ATM machine that about 50 meters away and while walking I remembered something that my friend, Chelle, mentioned a couple weeks ago. There seems to be some scam in America for those gift cards you take from a rack in places like Walmart or Target and you have activated by the cashier. People write down the numbers of unactivated cards and then wait until that number gets activated and then use someone else's gift card without them knowing it.

And then the light dawned and it was about five minutes too late.

What if that lady sold me a bogus gift card? I know the card must have been activated because it had the sticker on it that the cashier puts on the card once it's activated. This mall's gift cards are not out in the open - they're with the cashiers behind glass and I think it would be impossible to steal one and swipe it and get the sticker on it without the cashier knowing it. Still, what if this card was all or at least partially used? They're different than the old mall gift certificates on paper where you'd just get change back in cash once you redeemed it at one of the shops. Now you keep using the card until the amount is used up. This lady could have bought a card, used it while buying Christmas stuff, got back in line, sold it to a dimwit me, taken my 50€ and bought another gift card to do the whole thing over again.

Well shit fire and save matches.

I didn't know what to do then. One thing I didn't want to do is give this thing to my MIL. I can see her at some boutique buying yet another jacket (my MIL is crazy for buying jackets - she has one for every two degree variance in temperature), handing over the card and them telling her it's empty. I can just see me explaining that one. And I also wasn't relishing the idea of coming home and telling B what I did.

So I took my cash, crisp and hot from the ATM, and bought another 50€ gift card for my MIL. I suppose I could have given the card the lady sold me to the cashier to check to see if it was still good but at that moment I was so mortified at how damned ignorant I was that I couldn't face doing it. I could just see me explaining "Well ya see, there was this lady behind me in line and since I look like I just fell off the turnip truck yesterday and by my actions I can see how one would think that...". I'll just keep the potentially bogus one for myself until I happen to go shopping for something at that mall and see then if it's valid or not. That way if I got completely ripped off no one will know. Except me.

And now you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, how frustrating. Still, it is nice that your life is the type which inspires trust in strangers rather than distrust. I think it speaks of who you are.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah...gotta love holiday shopping...:(

And, thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog! Don't be a stranger:)

11:46 PM  
Blogger Mimey said...


You can try an ultra-cool sidle up to a cash desk saying, "I can't remember whether I spent this one" and get them to check it, can't you.

I feel for you one this.

But some people are genuine and honest, aren't they? It might be ok?

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sweet thing, thanks for sharing this. I had no clue people were scamming this way and I would've fallen for it because I hate lines too.

I sure hope that lady was honest, and I sure hope she gets what she deserves if she wasn't.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trainwreckers exposed, read all about it.

5:04 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Hooo boy! I can see myself doing something like that. But maybe, just maybe she was for real. Crossing my fingers for ya.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I am TOTALLY crossing my fingers for you, Dixie, and hope one day soon you'll be a very happy chappy! I just hate that things like this really happen. UGH.

3:09 AM  

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