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Out Of Line And Not Closed Minded

, , , | Right | May 8, 2020

I’m a cashier at a local grocery store, about to go to lunch. The head cashier comes around, turns off my light, and tells me to finish the line and go. She puts a “LANE CLOSED” sign at the end of my lane to let customers know.

Still, people line up and expect me to ring them out. I can’t tell them I’m closed or ask them to go to another line — per “the customer comes first” policy — so I keep going.

I’m nearly done with the last customer in line when a woman comes up with a huge cart of items. She looks at the “LANE CLOSED” sign and then looks at me.

Customer: “Are you open?”

I am careful to avoid saying I am closed.

Me: “I’m about to go to lunch, ma’am, I’m sorry. The registers on either side of me are open, though.”

Customer: “But you’re not open?”

Me: “I’m going to lunch as soon as I’m done with this customer.”

Customer: “Well, are you open or closed?!”

Other Cashier: *Waving* “I can ring you out down here, ma’am! Come on down!”

Customer: “I’m asking if she is open!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, I—”

Finally, the woman I’ve been checking out speaks up.

Customer: #2 “She can’t tell you she’s closed, but she is. If you’d listen, you’d know.”

Customer: *Stunned* “Excuse me? Was I talking to you?”

Customer #2: “I’m talking to you. Go get in another line.”

Customer: “This is how you treat customers? You’ve lost a sale!”

The woman storms out, leaving her cart at my register. After I am done with my last customer, I take the cart to customer service to sort into the return bins. While there, my last customer comes over with a manager.

Manager: “[My Name], I need to speak with you.”

Me: “Uh… okay.”

Manager: “This customer tells me you had a woman who tried to come through your line while you were closed.”

Me: “Um… yes. But I didn’t—”

My manager holds up his hand.

Manager: “You’re okay.”

Customer #2: “I told him what happened, just in case she complains.”

Me: *Relieved* “Oh. Thank you!”

Sure enough, the woman called and complained that I was rude to her, told her to find someone else to ring her out, and even made fun of her! She demanded a $500 gift card for her “emotional trauma” and threatened to call the news stations and the BBB if we didn’t give her what she wanted. The manager told her he’d reviewed the tapes and saw none of that. She screeched and hung up.

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