Okay, so my mom has asked me to stop pestering her about this particular woman, but I have to share her story because it's just too good not to. Actually, she asked me to stop making her remember Scrungetta. I don't know why.
My mom worked at a used bookstore. This type of place would take in old books at a fraction of the value, and sell them at half the price on the cover. Which was awesome and a wonderful way to stock up on books that I normally couldn't find anywhere (such as my copy of Giger's Necronomicon signed by Dali; at least, I think it says Dali). This post is in past tense because it is a memory, I may not be correct in all the parts, though. The woman is still around.
Scrungetta was special before she even had a name. She was middle-aged, dressed down like any old joe, but had a pervasive smell about her that made one wonder if she went dumpster diving for goods to upcycle before it was cool. She was perpetually invading people's space, even over the counter. I don't know how, but she could make you feel like she was breathing down your neck from five feet away.
She had an unhealthy fascination with my mom's manager AH. AH would be on the floor watching out for shoplifters and scammers, helping customers and generally carrying on; but when Scrungetta was spotted across the street or down the sidewalk, AH would be informed and disappear like cockroaches do when a light goes on. Scrungetta would invariably ask if AH was working, to which many excuses were thought up. She would usually ask that he ring her up or go through her books. She talked about writing songs for him and once brought him a Valentine's Day card. If she managed to catch him on the floor, she would trail along behind him and harangue him about a number of inane things. AH was powerless in her presence because she never did anything wrong, she was just annoying. When she found out AH was leaving the store for greener pastures she didn't come in as often.
Sometimes she would bring old books in to trade in. In used books, you get lots of old boxes with bugs and other gross stuff. Scrungetta always turned up with a box you needed a Hazmat suit and irradiated tongs to go through. If it wasn't bug-ridden, it would be moldy. If it wasn't moldy, it would be covered in grease/slime/mucus from whatever trash-filled chute she pulled it out of. Sometimes it was all three. She did this so often that the crew would spot check her boxes ASAP and usually decline to purchase anything.
She did try to scam the bookstore on a few occasions, though I don't recall the exact method she used. It ended up with her being asked not to return, though.
But the real kicker, and why I have to post this, is that she was caught scamming the sister store of the used bookstore. The two had the same owner, but Number 1 sells brand new merchandise and Number 2 sold the used stuff. Number 2 shut down for various reasons and the staff all left. Now Scrungetta has to go to Number 1 store for her various book-related needs. They don't take used books, though.
She got caught ripping books up and trying to get them sold to her at half price. Apparently she would take the books back to the bathroom, mangle them, and then try to claim she found them on the shelves like that. Aside from the obvious, this was a serious thing since they DO have security cameras. So Scrungetta has been banned from this store, and now has to find a new haunt.
I wonder why my mom doesn't miss working at the bookstore...
ETA: I remember now why she was asked to leave the used book store. They marked the books on the inside cover with a pencil, so that if someone bought it it could be easily removed and also when they repriced items they would simply X out the top price and rewrite the new one (sad way of doing it, but oh well). Scrungetta had taken a pencil to the inside cover of book and erased the price written there, and wrote up new ones. She was doing this a lot and to books that people distinctly remembered marking. It was pretty easy to catch her.