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“Essential” Is Relative, Apparently

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: iMorgana_ | October 12, 2021

I work in a big grocery store as a full-time cashier and customers are not adjusting to our new rules. We’ve blocked off all items that have been deemed non-essential. A lot of the time, though, people will ignore those barriers and take items off the shelf and then attempt to sneak through self-checkout with them. A lot of the time, they get caught.

A lady in her forties came into the store. She put items for a party (non-essential) in her cart and went to the checkout. My coworker told her right off the bat that she was not allowed to sell those items. The lady left her till and went to three different ones, hoping someone would ring her through. We all denied her. She left the checkout and circled the store so she wouldn’t be seen going into self-checkout.

She managed to pay for her items and left her cart at the service desk so she could go to the bathroom. One of our front-end managers noticed all the birthday stuff in her cart and took it, so when the lady returned, she had to have everything refunded. She was mad but took the refund. She left the service desk.

After a little while, she came back through self-checkout AGAIN with the same stuff, hoping she could sneak through. One of the attendants caught her and another front-end manager said if she could not follow the rules, then she needed to leave.

So, she left. And we thought that was the end of it. Nope.

I was sitting at the service desk on my mini-break when the phone rang. My manager went over and answered. A woman on the phone says she needs to speak to a manager. The conversation went like this.

Manager: “I’m a manager. How can I help you?”

Woman: “My daughter was just inside your store, and you wouldn’t sell her birthday candles?”

Manager: “Yes, that’s correct. She tried five different times. But we’re not allowed to sell them.”

Woman: “Why the h*** not? We need them.”

Manager: “They’re a non-essential item by the saying of the government. I truly cannot do anything about it.”

Woman: “Why couldn’t you make an exception? It was only candles!”

It wasn’t. It was a bag full of birthday party stuff.

Manager: “We can’t make exceptions unless we are looking to get fined.”

This whole spiel went on for about five minutes, with the lady ultimately saying she wouldn’t shop here again and that she wanted to make a complaint, to which my manager said, “If you want to make a complaint, you can call corporate,” and hung up on this lady.

Please just follow the rules. It makes all our lives a little easier.