A Cardboard Cut-Out Cashier Would Have Been Better

, , , , | Working | June 20, 2017

(I own a prepaid phone and have to purchase a top-up card every month in order to keep my service active. A couple of days before my minutes are due, I decide to go to the grocery store that is close to my work to pick up my top-up card. I have never been to this grocery store before but I am able to find the top-up card quickly and have no trouble until I get to the register to check out. I hand the card to one of the two associates standing there.)

Cashier #1: *looks at the card and sighs in frustration* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m afraid you cannot purchase this.”

Me: “Oh, why not? I have bought the same exact card at [Other Location] and never had any trouble before.”

Cashier #1: “I’m afraid this isn’t a legitimate card you can buy. You see, it’s a piece of cardboard and it doesn’t come with an actual gift card. I think you might’ve picked up an advertisement for the card.”

Me: *patiently* “This isn’t a gift card. It is a top up card for [Cellphone Carrier]. If you look on the back, you will see there is a—”

Cashier #1: *interrupts* “No, this isn’t a legitimate card. You can’t buy it. Let me show you where the right card is.”

(Before I can reply she walks away from the register and I follow her over back to the gift card section. She quickly picks up a card, shoves it into my hand, and rips the prepaid card I was holding out of my other hand.)

Cashier #1: “There you go! That’s the right card you needed.”

(I look at the card she gave me and realize that this not only is the wrong one but it is a top-up card to a completely different company.)

Me: “No, this isn’t the right card. This is a card to a different phone company. I need to buy the card you are holding in your hand.”

Cashier #1: *sighs in annoyance and says very slowly as if she was speaking to a child* “This… is… a… piece… of… cardboard… You… can’t… buy… this.”

(I look at my watch and realize that I am already late for work. I have worked in a customer service environment before so the whole time I am interacting with her, I am trying to keep my patience, but am slowly beginning to lose it.)

Me: “This is the card I need. I am in a hurry to get to work so please, just scan the card. I am positive this is the legitimate card and it will scan.”

Cashier #1: “You can’t buy this. What part of it don’t you understand?”

Me: *finally losing my patience* “Can I speak to a manager?”

Cashier #1: *groans and throws her head back* “Fine, but she is going to tell you the exact same thing.”

(We walk back to the register and she angrily walks over to the other cashier standing there.)

Cashier #1: “This customer wants to buy this card but she isn’t understanding this is a piece of cardboard and is not legitimate. She is insisting this is the right card.”

Me: “It is the right card. Your cashier is not listening to me and keeps interrupting me when I try explaining this is a top-up card for [Cellphone Carrier]. It isn’t a gift card and there is no actual card attached to it because it has a scratch off code on the back of the card.”

Cashier #2: *looks at [Cashier #1]* “Did you try scanning this card, [Cashier #1]?”

Cashier #1: “No! It is a piece of cardboard! It will not scan! Why isn’t anyone listening to me?”

Cashier #2: “Well, let’s just try it.” *she scans the card and the amount comes up on the register*

Cashier #1: “No, that’s impossible! It’s a f****** piece of cardboard. It’s not legitimate!”

Cashier #2: “Obviously it’s legitimate if it scans. I will ask you not to swear in front of our loyal customers. Finish ringing up this purchase and after you’re done I will like a word with you in the back. It seems like you need a little more training if you can’t tell the difference between an actual top-up card and a piece of cardboard.”

(Cashier #2 apologizes profusely for the service I received, offers a discount on my next purchase, then walks away to the back room while shaking her head. Cashier #1 stomps her feet, groans, and quietly finishes the transaction. She puts the card in a bag and slams it down in front of me.)

Cashier #1: *coldly* “Have a fantastic day.”

Me: “Thank you; I intend to.”

(As I walked away, I heard her muttered ‘It’s a stupid piece of cardboard’ and when I turned around, she was stomping her feet as she walked to the manager’s office.)

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