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    Just Not Registering

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (At my store, if a customer swipes their credit or debit card early, it can freeze the entire register. There’s usually a 10-15 second delay after telling the customer the final price and before they can swipe, but for some that’s too long to wait. The EFTPOS machines clearly display ‘PLEASE WAIT’ during the time the customer has to wait.)

    Me: “That will be $42.90. How would you like to pay for that today?”

    Customer: “On my card.”

    Me: “All right, please wait while the computer connects to the EFTPOS machine. I’ll let you know when to swipe.”

    Customer: *ignores me and swipes her card immediately*

    Me: “Please wait until I or the EFTPOS machine asks for your card.”

    Customer: “I’m in a hurry.”

    Customer: *swipes her card again*

    Me: “Ma’am, if you swipe early, it freezes the register, taking even longer. It will only be another ten seconds.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! Do you think I’m stupid? I’ve worked in retail before!”

    Me: “I assure you—”

    Customer: *swipes her card again, freezing the register* “This isn’t working!”

    Me: “That’s because the register’s frozen.”

    (I page for a coworker and a manager to come to the registers. The coworker is there right away.)

    Coworker: “Hey, what’s up?”

    Me: “My register’s frozen. Could you please put this lady through yours?”

    Coworker: “Sure.”

    Customer: “But I’m in a hurry!”

    Me: “I’m aware of that, but it will be quicker than waiting for my register to restart.”

    (The customer goes to the register next to me where my coworker has already re-scanned her purchases.)

    Coworker: “That will be $42.90. Please don’t swipe your card until I tell you to, as it can freeze the registers.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! I’m not stupid!”

    (My manager arrives.)

    Manager: “What’s wrong?”

    Me: “Nothing. I just need you to restart my register for me as it’s frozen.”

    Manager: “How?”

    Me: “Um… EFTPOS swiped too early.”

    Manager: “Didn’t you tell the customer not to swipe? Why didn’t you tell the customer not to swipe? I’m sick of this; you girls know that if the customer swipes their card early, it will freeze the registers! I’m sick of wasting my time having to restart your registers!”

    Me: “Maybe if we were allowed to face the EFTPOS machines towards us, then the customer wouldn’t be able to swipe early?”

    Manager: “No, that will only slow things down. You have to tell them not to swipe early!”

    (Meanwhile my customer is again trying to swipe her card early right next to me, and my coworker has leaned over the counter with her hand OVER the EFTPOS machine trying to stop her from doing so.)

    Customer: *to manager* “Hey, your girl won’t let me swipe my card!”

    Manager: “You have to wait until she tells you, otherwise it freezes the registers.”

    Customer: “Oh, really? Why didn’t anyone tell me that?!”