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Cashiering Is Hungry Work, You Know

, , , , , | Working | August 10, 2020

I was picking up some groceries in a local supermarket when I happened to pass the display of rotisserie chickens, which smelled wonderful. Since it was approaching dinner time and I felt quite hungry at the smell, I grabbed one.

At the checkout counter, the checker commented on how good the chicken smelled. The check stands in this store are arranged so the customer cannot get to the bags while in line, so usually, the checker does the bagging. I paid for my groceries, loaded my cart, wheeled it to my car, and unloaded all the bags into the trunk.

When I got home, I reached for the bag with the hot chicken in it, meaning to take it in and eat right away. I couldn’t find it amongst all the bags of groceries. So, I loaded them all into the house and looked again — still no luck. Baffled, it occurred to me that sometimes items slide out of those plastic grocery bags, so I went through the trunk — which had a number of things in it permanently — to see if the slick black plastic container of chicken had eluded me so far. Still, no luck finding it.

Thinking about it, I vaguely recalled the checker placing the chicken where it wouldn’t easily have been visible by me while I was paying. I had assumed that he had bagged it, but I really hadn’t been watching.

I actually checked my receipt to see whether he had simply not rung up the chicken, but he had. It had now been about twenty minutes since I’d left the store, and I certainly did not want a chicken that might have been sitting out, cooling all that time, so I called the store to ask for a reimbursement.

The service clerk answered, I explained what happened, and — presto! — she put me on hold before I could request reimbursement. I waited a full nine minutes before giving up, hanging up, and making myself a canned bean sandwich to assuage my hunger.

After that impromptu dinner, I called the service desk back and, before I could say anything, the clerk asked me whether I was the one missing the chicken. She must have had both caller ID and a good memory for phone numbers! When I said yes, she immediately put me on hold — and I hung up immediately.

The next afternoon, I walked into the supermarket with my receipt and got my refund. I bought a different kind of chicken because I wanted no chance of getting the one that had been sitting out the day before!

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