Keeping The Line Moving Is Moving

, , , | | Hopeless | May 20, 2018

(I am a manager at a popular discount store, known for being constantly understaffed and having ridiculously long lines. We also don’t have the nicest customers. I’ve had a lot of people quit for getting cussed and screamed at over things that were out of their control. It’s a Friday, and it’s already a s***show. Two cashiers called out, and another cashier had to leave in the middle of her shift for a family emergency, leaving one cashier and me to run the registers and get through a line of 50 to 60 people, and a fitting room attendant who is also swamped with people. A little old lady comes up to my register with two large and heavy dining sets.)

Old Woman: “I know it’s very busy, but do you think it would be possible to have someone bring these dishes to my car? I’m parked in the first row, so it’s not very far.”

(I bite my lip. Our shopping carts don’t go outside because they have a pole attached that stops them. Due to liability, employees aren’t allowed in the parking lot while on the clock, not even to help take purchases to a customer’s car. Not to mention, only three people are working in the store right now, so even if we could, one of us would have to hop off register to help, leaving only one cashier.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am… Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to step into the parking lot while on the clock. But if you would like to pull your car up to the curb, you can leave your cart here and I will watch it for you. One of us can hop off register and get it into your car for you.”

(The woman nods and accepts the help as-is. Then, a younger, male customer in line starts to push his way to the front of the line, abandoning his cart right in the middle.)

Male Customer: “Don’t worry about it, miss. I’ll help take her things to her car.”

Old Woman: “Oh, no, you don’t have to do that. You’ll lose your place in that line. I’m sure I can manage.”

Male Customer: “I’m in no hurry. I don’t mind waiting again.”

(The male customer turns to address the line.)

Male Customer: “Y’all can just push my cart out of the line; I’ll come back for it later.”

(His cart is bordered by a middle-aged couple and a woman with her kid in a car seat. They all shake their heads.)

Middle-Aged Couple: “We’ll push your cart through the line. We’ll save your spot.”

Male Customer: “Are you sure? You don’t have to do that.”

Mom Customer: “Don’t worry about it. We’ve got you!”

(I thank the customer profusely for helping the old woman out so that neither I, nor my cashier, have to sacrifice the current speed of the line. He gives me a big smile.)

Male Customer: “My mama would have my throat if I didn’t help someone in need. Y’all just keep doing what you’re doing; you’re doing a great job!”

(The guy picked up both of the dish sets at the same time and walked them to the old woman’s car. While he was gone, his shopping cart skipped the entire line to the front, so when he got back, he was next to checkout. Just shows that sometimes there are very good and nice people in this world!)

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