Her Behavior Is Way Out Of Line

, , , , | Right | August 13, 2019

(I am a cashier at a craft store. At the moment, I am the only person at the front on a register, as the other cashier and the customer service manager have both called in sick. We have several other register-trained associates in the store and all of the other managers on duty are also register-trained in case we get busy and I need to call for backup. It is fairly early in the morning, which is normally our slow time of day, and I know to call for help if I get more than two people in my line. The way our registers at this store are set up somewhat limits my field of vision as we have large displays in front of the registers. I can see enough to see up to three people standing in my line, but once they get far enough back I can no longer see. Also in front of the registers are two separate square-shaped displays with “gotcha” items on them. I am checking a woman out who has a cart overloaded with items, some that are glass and must be wrapped carefully before bagging. As there is no one in line, I am not worried about going at my busy pace and instead just taking my time to provide excellent customer service. When I am almost done with my customer, another lady walks up on my other side.)

Customer: “Is there anyone else running a register at the moment? I don’t feel like standing in line for so long.”

Me: *a bit confused, as I don’t even see a line* “I will be done with this lady shortly, ma’am. I’m sorry if you’ve been waiting; I didn’t notice you were there.”

Customer: “Well, I’ve been waiting for almost three minutes now and I’m at the end of the line. I really don’t want to wait much longer; isn’t there someone you can call to help you?”

(I am even more confused, as I still don’t see a line at all, so I take a moment to lean over the counter so I can see around the display. Sure enough, some random woman decided to start the line at the very back of the displays, which is at least ten to fifteen feet away from my counter area and completely hidden from my field of view. Furthermore, there are at least four people in line behind her, and that’s not including the woman that has come up to ask me about calling for help. I immediately pick up my phone and page for all available register-trained associates to the front. Luckily, there are three of them working at the moment. However, during this time we slip from our slow morning phase into our about-to-get-busy early afternoon phase, and they aren’t able to get to the registers as quickly as I would hope. By the time they get up, there are more customers are coming to the front with their purchases and as everything picks up there are around twenty customers at the front waiting to be checked out. After everything settles down about thirty minutes later, one of the backup cashiers comes over to me.)

Coworker: “What happened? Normally you call pretty quickly if you think you’ll need help but there were already like seven people in line when I came up.”

Me: *tells her what happened* “Honestly, I just don’t know why she thought standing all the way back there was where the line started. I know she can’t see me from that area, so I don’t know how she would think I would be able to see her.”

(Thankfully, the size of the displays has been reduced, but sadly only enough to allow me to see maybe an extra three feet.)

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