A Not-Nice Way To End The Conversation

, , , , , | Right | September 26, 2019

(As a college student in the 1970s, I work as a department store cashier. A woman comes to the register in a big hurry and with a big attitude. She begins to toss merchandise from her cart onto the counter. We have just started using electronic cash registers, but they aren’t very fast. In pre-barcode days, all the prices have to be entered on the keypad, and each entry has to process before another entry can be started. This woman keeps yelling at me to go faster and berating me for being so slow. As I have no bagger helping me, it is taking even longer. Impatiently, she starts flinging items into bags herself, which actually holds up even more, because while I am ringing up I also have to keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t bag items I haven’t rung up yet. Then, she grabs one of those cylindrical packages of imported cookies and as she flings it into the bag, it bounces, hits the floor, and rolls about six feet away. We both stare at it. She turns to me and shouts:)

Customer: “You go pick that up!”

Me: “I can’t. I’m not allowed to leave the register in the middle of a transaction.”

(After glaring at me, she stalks over to the cookies, picks them up, slams them into the bag, pays for her order, and marches to the door, where she turns and snaps:)

Customer: “I’ve been shopping at [Store] for fifteen years and you are the first not-nice cashier I’ve ever had!”

(I can’t help myself; I snap back:)

Me: “Well, I’ve been working here for only two months, and unfortunately, you are not the first not-nice customer I’ve ever had!”

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