Since it’s summer, bugs fly into our store and there’s not much we can do about them, except swat them when they land. Some lady decides to complain about them while I’m waiting to get rung up, incognito.

Customer: *to cashier* I can’t believe how many flies are in here! It’s ridiculous, I can’t believe you let so many flies in the store!

Me: Yeah, we keep telling them to buy something or get out, but they won’t listen.

Customer: *freezes and looks at me, then finishes transaction and leaves*

Cashier: THANK YOU.

Picked up a phone call at work...

Me: “Thank you for calling (store), how can i assist you today?”
Customer: “I need to speak to your manager!”
Me: “Yes sir. I am the manager, how can i assist you?”
Customer: “I was in your store about 10 minutes ago and I can’t believe how rude your front cashier was to me!”
Me: “I am so sorry to hear about this sir, can you please tell me what the cashier did to upset you?”
Customer: “Well, when i walked up to the register, the cashier was showing off her new tattoo to the other cashiers. I cannot believe how unprofessional and disrespectful they were!”
Me: (confused*)…. “So, they were showing off tattoos while you were checking out?”
Customer: “Well, not as i was checking out, but as i was walking up to the register, yes! That sort of thing shouldn’t be talked about in front of customers! I’ll have you know that i spend over $50,000 at your store every year!
Me: (understanding that this bitter old man is literally complaining about people talking about tattoos) *sarcastically* "I am so sorry sir, i will definitely make sure my cashier will no longer disrespect our customers again, have a great day.
Customer: "Yeah, you better make sure they don’t!”

(I’m literally trying to hold back laughter before I hang up the phone.)

Coworker: “What was that all about?”
Me: “Some bitter old man was upset because he saw me showing off my tattoos to you earlier, he has no idea i was the manager.”
Coworker: “What an asshole.”
Me: “Yep.”

Cashier pet peeves

I’ve wanted to make a list like this for a while now, so here it goes:

  • When customer #1 is unloading their shopping and customer #2 comes along, puts the divider down before customer #1 has finished unloading, and starts unloading their own, so that customer #1 no longer has any room to put their shopping up.
  • When customers in the queue constantly check their watches because they feel things are taking too long.
  • When a customer drums their fingers on the till whilst you are trying to open bags for them.
  • Customers that ask you to pack and then proceed to tell you, you are packing everything wrong.
  • Customers that use WAY more bags than is necessary.
  • Customers that complain about how flimsy and useless the bags are, then proceed to ask for more, instead of buying stronger ones or using the free boxes provided.
  • Customers that place their entire basket of shopping on the belt, instead of emptying the contents.
  • Customers that let their children play with the ‘no entry/checkout closed’ rope and allow them to pull it out, only to let it ‘ping’ back against the checkout. Not only is this inconsiderate, but is the reason they’re broken!
  • Customers that ask you for help, even though that can clearly see that you’re off the clock, since you have your bag over your shoulder and a basket full of shopping in your arms.
  • When customers make a complaint to you like you have the power to fix everything, instead of going to the Customer Service Desk and making a formal complaint, which in turn will get better results.
  • When children reach over and try to force their sweets through your till before you’ve finished serving the previous customer.
  • Kids that insist on handing you each item to scan and slowing down the transaction.
  • Kids that snatch the items out of your hand after you’ve scanned them.
  • ADULTS that snatch items out of your hand before you’ve scanned them.
  • Adults that snatch items out of your hand before you’ve scanned them, and scratch you with their nails.
  • When customer #1 puts their items on the belt in a single file, instead of filling the width of the belt, making customer #2 wait longer before they can unload their shopping.
  • When customer #2 puts their shopping at the very end of the belt instead of right behind customer #1’s, so that customer #3 has to wait to unload their shopping.
  • When customer #2 doesn’t put a divider down, so customer #1 gets annoyed when you start scanning stuff that isn’t theirs.
  • When customers pile their shopping ridiculously high on the belt and then wonder why their shopping keeps falling off and splitting open on the floor.
  • When customers refuse to lay their bottles flat and then wonder why they fall off and smash on the floor.
  • When customers put heavy items on top of their bread and then ask for a replacement because it’s been squashed.
  • When customers don’t read the ticket names and prices and then get moody with you for being 'wrong’.
  • When customers pick up items and then leave them elsewhere when they don’t want them.
  • When customers leave frozen items out of the freezer, chilled items of the chiller, and warm items in the chiller or freezer.
  • When customers leave unwanted items on the end of your till.
  • When you tell customers to press enter on the card reader to confirm their cashback amount and they still go straight to entering their PIN.
  • When customers try and give you their card before you’ve finished serving the previous customer.
  • When customers throw their card and money next to your outstretched, open hand.
  • When customers have coupons for items that are out of stock and want alternatives for the same amount. So you have to remind them it’s “While stocks last”.
  • When a customer lets their child eat the only banana they want to buy and you’re left with nothing to weigh but the peel. So you have to call a co-worker to bring you another banana, praying that they bring you one much bigger than the original.
  • Sexist jokes.
  • “That means it’s free!”
  • “I just made that this morning!”
  • “I want to speak to the manager!”
  • “This is ridiculous!”
  • When handing back change and the customer asks if they can have it in £5 notes. (They’re a rarity here, so when a customer asks to take them, it means following customers have to be given all their change in coins which is unfair.)
  • When customers ask for bags to put 1 or two small items in, or single items that can be carried.
  • When customers are angry about something, so you give them a reasonable explanation but it’s not good enough. Apparently you’re conspiring against them.
  • When customers let their children climb all over the tills, their shoes trampling all over surfaces where people pack their food.
  • When customers break or spill something and walk off without informing anyone.
  • When customers ask you to put their shopping through for them… on the SELF-SERVICE tills.
  • When you explain to customers how self-service tills work and they just nod and “mmm-hmm” whilst digging through their purse or wallet. Then they get annoyed when things go wrong and it’s because they’ve done something you just told them not to.

That’s all I can think of right now, I’m sure there will be a part 2 at some point.

A cashier is dealing with a rude old man, who pays with a $100 bill, late at night, when none of the registers have change. She calls me for the change.

Me: *walks over*

Cashier: He’s paying with $100 and I don’t have any change.

Customer: *shoves $100 at me* GET ME MY CHANGE.

Me: …Okay, it will be a few minutes. *starts to walk away*

Customer: WHAT?!!? A FEW MINUTES?!?!?! GIVE THAT BACK TO ME. GIVE. IT. BACK!!!

Me: …*holds out his $100*

Customer: *snatches it from me*

Me: *starts to leave*

Customer: HEY!

Me: *keeps walking*

Customer: HEY!!!

Me: *keeps walking*

Customer: MISS!!

Cashier: (My name).

Me: *turns around*

Customer: *shoves $100 at me again* GET ME MY TWENTIES AND MAKE IT SNAPPY!

Me: *makes disgusted expression to customer’s wife and my cashier, and walks away silently*

So I got him all $5 bills for change.

Rise of the machines

Yesterday, an old man said to me (whilst using the self-service till, might I add) that he didn’t like the self-service tills because they put people out of work.

I can see where he thinks he’s coming from, but I don’t agree.

First of all, machines are a long way off from being able to work by themselves, currently they still need to be manned by staff. Everyone knows this, the machines aren’t perfect, they go wrong all the time and most of the time it’s a customer error. For him to assume that self-checkouts will put people out of work is ignorant.

Secondly, at the rate this world’s population is expanding, we’re going to eventually require more staff and tills to cope with the sheer amount of consumers. Think back 100 years, how small shops used to be, how few cars were on the road etc. Populations, shop sizes, traffic etc. Everything will increase in numbers, and the tills will still need to be manned by staff.

Thirdly, (and this is what I think he was concerned with the most) I don’t think he really gave a damn that they would put people out of work, he just didn’t like the idea of being served by a machine which has no concept of emotions.

As cashiers, we get treated like robots all the time. Some customers seem to think that we have no emotional capacity, they think they can say whatever they please and we won’t feel the sting of their insults or their harassment.

And then there’s the ones that are perfectly aware of our feelings, and revel in the sick joy that they can bully us, be as rude as they like and we can’t do much to defend ourselves, because we have rules to abide by - like a code we’re programmed to follow.

Now imagine those customers trying to use all those tactics on a non-sentient machine. Imagine how frustrating it’ll be for them to want to scream and shout, to stamp their feet and bark orders, only to hear one of few monotone responses from a machine that is completely unaware that it has just been the victim of verbal abuse!

Me: *working on a side panel at the end of an aisle*

Customer: YOOHOO!

Me: *ignores*

Customer: YOOOHOOOO!!!

Me: *ignores*

Customer: YOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Me: *looks up*

Customer: MOTRIN.

Me: Do you need help with something, ma’am?

Customer: MOTRIN.

Me: Do you need help finding motrin, ma’am?

Customer: MOTRIN!!!!

Me: What do you need help with, ma’am?

Customer: WE NEED TO FIND MOTRIN.

This dumb fucking bitch is standing in front of it, and I can’t see it. So I look around a bit and then grab a coworker who is nearby. The dumb bitch moves and he points it out to her.

Customer: HOW MANY EMPLOYEES DOES IT TAKE TO FIND MOTRIN.

Me: There’s your motrin.

Customer: OKAY, WELL WHICH IS BETTER FOR PAIN? I HAVE *long rant about her medical problems* AND I WANT TO KNOW IF MOTRIN OR TYLENOL OR ASPRIN IS BETTER.

Me: You have to ask the pharmacist, ma’am, we’re not allowed to give recommendations.

Customer: WELL FINE THEN, DON’T RECOMMEND ME ANYTHING. JUST RUN AWAY.

Me: We can get in trouble if we recommend the wrong thing.

Customer: *sarcastically* WELL I WOULDN’T WANT YOU TO GET IN “TROUBLE”.

We walk away and I go back to putting the sidepanel display up. It falls off the hooks and hits the ground.

Customer: *snarkily* WELL ISN’T THAT NICE.

I wanted to deck her in the face so badly.

A nice little surprise

Most customers (women included) will complain about our self-service tills by saying something like, “God, she does love to nag, eh?” regarding women stereotypes. And as a women myself, I find it really offensive that they think it’s okay to say that to me.

But I had this lady come through SS this week and say this to me, “These machines are very impatient, aren’t they?” There was no reference to the gender of the voice, no mention of the word ‘nag’ which tends to be associated with women, and not a sign of internalized misogyny. I almost forgot to reply to her I was so stunned by this positive turn of events and as minor as it may seem, it made me smile for quite some time. Whoever you are, thank you!

At my store, when a customer is returning something they used their debit card to pay for, we can’t credit back the debit card. The only options the register allows us is to give the money back in cash or on a gift card. 

So whenever I see on the receipt that they paid with debit, I usually say “since you paid with the debit, I can give you [how ever much they’re getting back] in cash or on a gift card." 

And this one lady I had gave me a confused look and was like "you can’t put it back on the card?”

I think to myself *if I had that option, I would’ve told you* but I say out loud “no, ma'am, I can’t put the money back on the debit card–" 

But she interrupts me "yes, I want it back on the card." 

*internally rolls my eyes* "No, ma'am, the register only gives me the options of giving you cash or putting it on a gift card." 

Customer: "which debit card did I use?” *looks at receipt*

Me: “umm" 

Customer: "okay, I want it back on this card" 

Me: "I can’t put the money back on the card, only cash or gift card." 

Customer: *smiles stupidly* "card." 

Me: "gift card?" 

Customer: "no debit." 

Me: *losing patience* "I don’t have that option, only cash or gift card." 

Customer: "oh, okay, cash then." 

Me: HALLELUJAH! 

JFC lady are you even listening to what I’m saying to you?? I know stores everywhere else can credit back your debit cards but my store’s register system is stupid and doesn’t give us that option. I physically cannot do it no matter how many times you tell me you want the money back on your card. 

People

Last night I closed the store and I was counting the tills. I was pretty much done and ready to go when the phone rings. We close at 10pm and it was about 10:30 when I decided to pick up the phone. I normally don’t cuz we are closed, but I did. It’s a man asking what time we close. I tell him ten and he was like “oh man, can I just run in real quick?”. Why don’t people understand that closed, means not open. I told him we were about to walk out so sorry but no.
Dear customers,
You are not entitled to an exception.

"Regular" Is Nothing And So Are You
  • CUSTOMER:I'll have a regular green tea.
  • BARISTA:By regular, do you mean small, medium, or large?
  • CUSTOMER:Regular means medium.
  • BARISTA:*has Orange is the New Black style flashback to last time a customer asked for regular*
  • FLASHBACK BARISTA:Is that small, medium, or large.
  • FLASHBACK CUSTOMER:A regular! LARGE!!!
  • BARISTA:*flashback ends*
  • BARISTA:Okay!