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    Providing A Self-Service Service

    | East Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Technology

    (We have two self-service checkouts and three normal registers. Younger customers tend to be fine with the SSC but our elderly customers prefer the manned registers; however, there’s often only two staff in so if there’s a queue then sometimes people who would normally come to a human will switch to the SSC queue. An elderly man switches out of our queue to use a SSC, and immediately starts having issues. The next SSC comes free and a mother starts teaching her daughter how to use it.)

    Elderly Man: *puts his basket in the bagging area*

    SSC: “Unexpected item in the bagging area. Remove item before continuing.”

    Elderly Man: “THESE CHECKOUTS ARE A DISGRACE! They don’t make any sense!”

    Mother: “Now, [Daughter], lots of people find these tricky, but if you remember a few things then they’re easy as pie!”

    Daughter: “Okay, mummy! What do I do?”

    Mother: “Well, put your basket on the left. The left side is just a shelf and the right side has scales which weigh our shopping so it knows we aren’t stealing. The middle bit is the scanner and we have to wave the barcodes at the glass panels there.”

    Elderly Man: *picks up his basket and looks to the woman uncertainly*

    Mother: “So, [Daughter], remember: leave ‘em to the left and roll ‘em to the right. You can’t go wrong!”

    Daughter: *picks up a tin of beans and rolls it over the scanner glass*

    Mother: “Now, hear that beep? That means it scanned it. You can look at the screen if you’re not sure.” *points to where the screen now says ‘beans’*

    Elderly Man: *copies*

    (It all goes well at both tills for about 30 seconds until…)


    Mother: *rips the corner off a ready meal barcode whilst her daughter is looking at the elderly man shouting* “Oh, no! Look, [Daughter], we can’t scan this one!”

    Daughter: “Should I get another one, mummy?”

    Mother: “No, that takes too long, but it’s okay. See that big button that says ‘Finish and Pay’?”

    Daughter: “Yes, mummy.”

    Mother: “Well, just above that there’s a button that says ‘Item Does Not Scan,’ so if you press that, you can put the numbers from the barcode in by yourself. If I read the numbers out, you can push the buttons.”

    Daughter: *does this*

    Elderly Man: *copies and then picks up a Danish pastry, and turns it over in his hand looking for a label*

    Mother: *notices and picks up her own bakery items* “[Daughter], let’s do these next!”

    Daughter: “But these don’t have a label on them!”

    Mother: “That’s because we bagged them ourselves, silly! Now there’s two ways we can do this. If we press the ‘bakery’ button we can either select a subcategory like ‘pastries’ or ‘doughnuts,’ or we can press search if we’re not sure what category something goes into.”

    Daughter: *puts all their bakery through*

    Elderly Man: *copies daughter*

    Mother: “Now, then. We’re all done. What button should we press now?”

    Daughter: “Finish and pay?”

    Mother: “Exactly right. Now, before we pay, mummy needs to scan her [Loyalty Card] so we can have the points for our shopping. Can you press the button for it?”

    Daughter: *presses the button*

    Elderly Man: *finishes scanning items and stands there looking at the till*

    Mother: “Oh hang on, [Daughter]! I want to check if those crisps came up as ‘buy one get one free.'”

    Daughter: “How can we check?”

    Mother: “Well, the tills take the offers off at the end, so if you press ‘go back’ we can look at the bottom of the screen to check the offers. If it’s all good then we can just PRESS THE BIG FINISH AND PAY BUTTON ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER OF THE SCREEN.”

    Daughter: *goes back to look if the offers have come off and then presses back to the payment screen*

    Elderly Man: *presses ‘Finish And Pay’*

    Mother: “Good, so now we just need to put the money in. Remember to check the notes are unfolded and that the corners aren’t bent. You can drop coins in this hole.”

    Daughter: *pays*

    Elderly Man: *copies*

    Mother: “Right, [Daughter], our receipt comes out here, next to the scanner. Once it’s printed we can leave.”

    Elderly Man: *snatches receipt and stalks off*

    Manager: “Excuse me, miss? You forgot to take this!” *hands her a MASSIVE box of chocolates*

    Mother: “Oh, I couldn’t!”

    Manager: “No, please. That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I wish all our customers were like you!”

    Trust Is A Two-Way Street

    | Aldergrove, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers

    (An elderly woman comes through my till and is writing a cheque to pay for her order, but is having difficulties with her shaky hands. I offer to write it for her.)

    Me: “All right, so the total was $62.83. If you would like to check it over yourself and sign it for me, please?”

    (She goes to take the cheque from me when a younger woman behind it snatches it from my hands and starts triple-checking the amount on the cheque and the computer screen, before handing it to the elderly woman to sign.)

    Young Woman: *snottily* “You just can’t trust some people.”

    Me: “Fair enough…” *to the elderly woman* “Here’s your receipt; see you next week!”

    (I quickly run the younger woman through, who says nothing the entire time. At the end of the transaction she hands me a $100 dollar bill. I hold it up to the light and start checking all of the security features, the younger woman glaring the entire time.)

    Me: “Like you said, you just can’t trust some people.”

    Put Yourself In Her Shoes

    | Wales, UK | Bad Behavior

    (I am clearing some shelves of wine that have been on promotion, since the promotion is ending and a new one starting the next day. I am unable to park my trolley nearby due to space and am having to carry bottles to the nearest aisle. As this conversation takes place, I am holding five bottles of wine.)

    Customer: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “Hi there. If you could bear with me just one second while I put these down and I’ll be right with you.”

    (She says nothing so I start to walk to the trolley, only a few yards away. But…)

    Customer: *grabbing my arm and tugging, hard* “Hey! Why aren’t you helping me?”

    (I drop all five bottles, four of which smash and splash all over the customer’s white, expensive looking shoes.)

    Customer: “Look what you did, you stupid b****! You’re gonna have to pay for these!”

    (She reached down and removed her shoes, despite my protests, so she was standing barefoot in a puddle of glass-filled wine. She was still shouting at me about how much her shoes cost and how I was going to have to pay for them or she would have me arrested when the manager arrived. Having seen the whole thing on the cameras, he made her pay for the broken bottles, helped me clean up, and gave me the afternoon off.)

    When Customers Need Toilet Training

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (Due to homeless people coming in and sleeping in our bathrooms, our policy has changed as to where we do not have public restrooms. Many customers get angry by this, but usually move on and find somewhere else. Today, I am stocking shelves when a woman comes storming towards me)

    Customer: “Tell your managers that I think it’s absolutely disgusting that you don’t let your customers use the bathroom. If I did that at my job, I’d be arrested!”

    Me: “Um… excuse me?”

    Customer: “You guys should be arrested! It’s horrible what you are doing. If I didn’t let my children use the bathroom, I’d be thrown in jail!”

    Coworker: *having overheard the woman’s complaints* “We wouldn’t be able to do our work if we kept letting customers in. And I’ll let children in, no problem, but adults should be able to hold it until they get home!”

    Customer: *storms off, muttering obscenities under her breath*

    Me: “What the h*** kind of job does she have?”

    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 18

    | Chesapeake, VA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Food & Drink

    (I’m standing with my shopping basket full of food in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store when I’m approached by a middle-aged lady I’ve known for years and who frequently comes into the library where I work. I’m wearing my black jeans and a maroon shirt, which looks nothing like the khakis and blue shirts employees wear.)

    Lady: “Young man, do you work here?”

    Me: “No, Mrs. [Lady]. I work at the library. Remember? You came in earlier this week? I checked out your books for you?”

    Lady: “Oh, so you don’t work here then? Do you know the differences between these two kinds of cheese?”

    Me: “No, but I bet I could probably find you a great book on them next time you come into the library where I work.”

    (Some time later she came into the library during my shift and asked if I still worked at the grocery store, too.)

    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 17
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 16
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 15

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