In Line For Satisfaction

, , , , | Right | February 4, 2021

I’m browsing at a local chain used bookstore. I like to come in every month or so to see what is new. The staff are very friendly, but this interaction shows how they can be no-nonsense, as well.

While I am looking through their music section, I hear someone shouting by the registers.

Customer: “No! I was here first! I get helped first!”

I look up to see two ladies standing side by side at the register counter. One of them, who was the one shouting, is an older woman in her late sixties or so. The other is a much younger woman, maybe mid-twenties, and she seems pretty uncomfortable. The lady behind the register is in her mid-fifties.

Cashier: “I’m sorry, but this woman was actually here first. You have to wait your turn in line.”

Customer: “No! She walked in after me. I was here first; I deserve to be served first!”

The cashier just shakes her head and then waves the other woman to hand over her books. The shouting lady stands there, obviously upset at being ignored, but rather than slinking to the back of the line, she just keeps standing there. Finally, the other woman finishes paying and leaves, and the first woman shoves her basket of books forward onto the counter.

Customer: “Now, will you do your job?”

Cashier: “Yes.”

The cashier pushes the basket aside and leans over to look at the man at the front of the line.

Cashier: “Sir, I believe you are next.”

I am grinning at that point, watching as she works her way through the line, while the first lady just keeps standing there, simmering. She goes through the two people who were in line when the drama first started and another guy who joined afterward. Finally, when there’s no line anymore, she turns back to the first woman.

Cashier: “All right. Will these be all for you today?”

The old biddy doesn’t respond; she just stands there glowering as the cashier rings up her books.

Cashier: “Your total is [total].”

At this, the woman actually stuck her nose up in the air and pivoted on her heel before walking out of the store without her books. I heard a couple of other people laugh at the ridiculously cliché act. The cashier just shook her head, pressed a few buttons on the register, and dumped the stack of books into one of the baskets behind the counter.

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