At the suggestion of a friend, the 2 of us met for breakfast at La Madeleine in Katy on 6/17/13. She had recently moved back to Katy so I decided the meal would be my "Welcome Home" treat. I paid with a $20 bill that I'd gotten from my credit union.
As my friend and I chatted while waiting for my change, we eventually noticed that the checker and another worker were quietly examining the money and looking suspiciously at me. The other worker excused himself, took the $20 and disappeared around the menu wall. I asked the checker what the problem was and she sheepishly replied, "just a minute" then apologized to the line of customers waiting behind us.
Before long, a woman who I assume was the manager came out waving the $20 and loudly asked, "Who am I looking for? Who does this thing belong to?" When I told her it was mine, she announced before a long line of waiting customers that it was a fake. With the attention of everybody focused on me, she preceded to hold it up to the light while attempting to convince me that it was counterfeit because the back side graphics (which she called "overlay") were visible from the front. She also claimed that it was printed on poor quality paper.
As unassuming Katy-area Christian school teachers, we were HORRIBLY EMBARRASSED by being turned into public spectacles. I paid for our meals with smaller bills, but wasn't able to fully enjoy our visit under the curious looks of customers and staff ...not to mention that I felt I had no way of recouping the $20 that I planned to turn over to investigators.
I was so upset, I decided to delay the errands I'd planned for the day so I could investigate the authenticity of the money. Though the FBI website explaining the process helped to assure me that the bill was real, I took it back to the credit union. The teller and manager verified its authenticity.
It's highly doubtful that this establishment has a complete toolkit of proper authentication equipment, but I understand that they must practice diligence in watching for fake bills ...however, there is a correct way to handle such situations. It's called PROPER CUSTOMER SERVICE ...the kind that was sorely lacking from this manager's actions in a highly customer-oriented business.
It is for this reason, I am publicly announcing that they have permanently lost me and others in my circle as customers.