Stop Counting On The Customers Counting

, , , | Right | March 31, 2021

I work in a sandwich shop. My store recently adopted the trend of having a set of shelves for online orders where people can come in and find their bagged orders themselves. When we started it, I thought the biggest problem we’d have would be people stealing other people’s orders. Nope! It turns out the biggest problem is people for whom being asked to match the number on their receipt with a number on a bag is apparently the hardest task they could possibly be given.

This particular lady stands out with just how obstinate she is about not actually looking. I am in the middle of putting together an in-store order when she approaches the counter.

Customer: “Do you have my order?”

Me: “Possibly. What was the order number?”

She gives a little shrug but doesn’t actually tell me the number.

Me: “Was it an in-store order or an online order?”

I’m pretty sure it was online, as I don’t recognize her, but I figure it is possible that a coworker took her order while I was doing something else.

Customer: “Online, obviously.”

Me: “Then it will be on that shelf over there.”

I nod toward the shelf while finishing up the order I am working on.

Customer: “Is that my order?”

Me: “No, this is someone else’s. Order [number]!”

The lady who has [number] comes over and picks it up. It is a little awkward, given the first lady is blocking the counter. The first lady turns to watch the order being taken before turning back to me.

Customer: “So, where is my order?”

Me: “It should be on that shelf.”

This time, I lean over the counter and point past her at the shelf, which is about five feet behind her. This time, she actually turns and looks at the shelf and then walks that way. Assuming that she is now finally taken care of, I head over to the register to take the order of a couple that has just walked in. However, once I finish with them, I look over to see the lady standing in front of the shelf and looking around blankly. Given that I am apparently a glutton for punishment, I walk out from behind the counter and over to her.

Me: “Is your order not here? It might still be being made.”

Customer: “What is my number?”

Me: “Um, it should be on your digital receipt.”

She then whips out her phone and starts tapping it, so I once again head back behind the counter, thinking that now she will be fine.

I take the order of a family, tray up and hand out the order from the couple before, and then look back over to see the woman standing with her phone held out. On the phone screen, I’m able to make out her digital receipt, with her order number big and bolded. I’m also able to see that same number printed on the receipt on the side of the bag that is sitting directly in front of her. After another couple of moments, where she continues to stand there like a cell-phone-wielding statue, I step out once again and walk over, pulling her bag off the shelf.

Me: “Well, here you go, ma’am. It looks like this one is your order.”

Customer: “Does it have everything?”

I hold the bag out to her, and she finally reaches out and takes it.

Me: “You are welcome to check inside and verify that everything is there.”

She stared at me for a bit longer and then finally turned and walked out of the store. It seriously took her about ten minutes all told to pick up her order, when it should have taken only around fifteen seconds.

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