WASHINGTON—Cracking down on the common but unethical practice seemingly rampant in department stores, the Federal Trade Commission began issuing fines this week for any sassy retail employee who held up a customer’s declined credit card and cut it in half. “A lot of these snobbish retail employees seem to derive a sick pleasure out of dramatically snipping the credit card belonging to a self-described shopaholic in half, rather than the standard procedure of handing the card back and simply informing them it’s been declined,” said FTC chair Lina Khan, explaining that these workers got away with the practice for years by blaming the credit card companies, claiming “they told me to do that” on the phone when the shopper looked at them, shocked. “This has been happening since the early ’90s, and it’s time we took it seriously—that’s why there will now be a $200 minimum fine for any gum-smacking cashier with scissors in their hand, no exceptions. It’s not only about financial privacy concerns, we also want to cut down on the mental anguish that a consumer is put through when these rude sales associates inform them that they must go and have a little chat with their manager, which they proceed to do behind a nearby door with a little window, allowing them to look back at the customer and snicker within view. These people need to learn that just because you work at a mall, you do not get to be a smug mean girl and get away with it.” At press time, the FTC had issued a warning to American consumers to be especially wary of any retail employee possessing a vaguely French accent and dressed in all black.