Can’t Get Over You Moving Over

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(I am at the grocery store, going to the self-checkout. There are two self-checkout areas right next to each other. I see one is busy, with a line of about four people, while the other area is completely empty. At first, I assume that the other area is broken, but when I look, all the machines are on and seem functional. So, I carry my basket over to one of those lines, bypassing the line entirely. Not even two seconds later, the lady who had been at the front of the line suddenly bustles over to my station with her cart.)

Customer: “Ahem!”

Me: *turning to look at her* “Hello?”

Customer: “It is very rude to just jump the line like that! You need to go wait your turn.”

Me: *looking at the other empty stations* “I’m sorry, but that line was apparently waiting for the other area. This area was empty; it’s not my fault none of you were willing to move over.”

Customer: “IT IS RUDE!” *tries to push her cart into me*

Me: *stops the cart with my foot* “Hey! Back off!”

(At that point, the employee who is supposed to be watching the area comes over, and the lady starts shouting to him about how rude I was. While that happens, I manage to finish scanning my items, feed my money into the machine, and then grab my change and bags and start to walk off.)

Customer: “Where are you going? You need to wait your turn!”

(I just waved.)

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Entitlement Lasts Past The Crime  

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(Two of us are working the self-checkout at this multinational retail corporation. I have only been with the store a few weeks, but my coworker has been here for years, is regularly scheduled for self-check, and has eagle eyes for the thieves. Our store doesn’t yet have small scanners attached to the self-checkout scanners, so customers with large items like dry dog food or 24-packs of water must lift the entire item up to the immovable scanner. We know this is more work, so we often sweep by and offer to help the customer with items like these. My coworker sees a woman in her 40s or 50s checking out alone and offers to help her with the pack of water bottles on the bottom of her basket. The woman refuses, so just as a check, my coworker slips over to the security guard, points the customer out, and asks him to make sure and check her receipt to see that she scanned the water. Sure enough…)

Security Guard: *leading the woman back to the cashier’s register at self-checkout, where I happen to be standing* “Don’t worry, ma’am. She’ll help you check out.” *to me* “She just needs the water scanned.”

Me: “All right, thank you. Don’t worry, miss; we’ll have you out of here in no time.”

Customer: “Does he always do that?”

Me: “Do what?”

Customer: “Demand to see customer receipts!”

Me: “Well, yes, that’s actually a large part of his job.”

Customer: “Well, it’s rude! Why would he suspect me of stealing anything?”

Me: *internally* “Uh… because you were? Exactly what moral high ground do you think you have here?” *externally* “I’m sure he didn’t suspect, you, ma’am; he’s just required by the store to check a certain amount of receipts each shift, and he always checks baskets with large items like packs of water bottles, especially if they’re below the basket, because those are easily forgotten. Even us cashiers can easily forget them.”

Customer: “Well, he shouldn’t do that! Look at me! I’m clearly respectable, and I deserve to be treated better than this!”

(The customer left without lingering after receiving her receipt for the water, but godd***, you’d think she’d been wrongfully accused of stealing instead of getting caught red-handed.)

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When Managers Bag You Up

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(A law was just passed: all plastic and paper bags have to be paid for. This is to try to help the environment, and basically to get people to stop using plastic and paper bags, and instead to get people to use reusable bags. A customer comes up with his purchase of two books.)

Me: “Hi. These two today?”

(The customer doesn’t really say anything, just taps on his phone. I ring up his purchase.)

Me: “Do you need to buy a plastic bag for two kroner?” *about 0.20 USD*

(The customer doesn’t say anything, so I take his payment and am ready to help the next customer in line.)

Me: “Have a nice day!”

Customer: “What? Am I not gonna get a bag?”

Me: “I did ask you, but you didn’t answer me.”

Customer: “Well, give me a bag! I’m not going to go around carrying these books without a bag!”

Me: “All right, that’s going to be two kroner, then.”

(A lot of customers try to avoid paying for bags by asking for them after they’ve paid. We used to let them get away with it, but now with the law being passed, our boss is very strict about it.)

Customer: “What?! I’m not going to pay for that! Just give me a bag!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t just give you a bag. If you want one, then you’re going to have to pay for it.”

(The customer argues for a bit until my boss comes out. Just one look and everyone understands he’s the boss; he just has this air around him. The customer turns to him.)

Customer: “Give me a bag! I’m not going to pay for a plastic bag!”

Boss: “Well, what did she say?”

(He motions to me.)

Customer: “Well, she said that I have to pay for it.”

Boss: “Then I guess you’re going to have to pay for it, aren’t you?”

(The customer looked at me and my boss for a couple of seconds and then stormed out.)

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Back Of The Line, Back Of Their Thoughts

, , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(I live in New Mexico and a lot of people here only speak Spanish. I, unfortunately, speak almost no Spanish, though I know I should learn more. A busy period has just hit and the lines on all the registers have quickly grown. I have greeted the next customers in line, who smiled and said something in Spanish. I finish up the purchase without the pressure of having to make small talk and give the total, gesturing towards the screen that gives the total to indicate that I’m done. The two customers together that were next in line just stand there not moving. I have repeated the total a couple of times, hoping to get things moving, but at this point, we’re all just standing around waiting for the order to be paid for.)

Manager: *who sees that my line has stalled* “What’s up, [My Name]?”

Me: “I don’t know. I’m waiting for them to pay, but I don’t speak Spanish, so I’m not sure what the holdup is.”

Manager: “Ah, okay, let me go grab someone who speaks Spanish.”

Coworker: *converses with customers in Spanish* “They say that’s not their order.”

Me: “Oh! It was the next one on the belt! I don’t know whose it is, then.”

(My manager, my coworker, and I start looking down the line. A customer in the back of the line notices the holdup and confusion, and then sees the large mirror waiting in the bagging area.)

Back Of The Line Customer: “Oh, are you all waiting on me? That’s my stuff!”

(My manager and coworker leave, and I’m a bit flummoxed about what just happened.)

Me: “Sorry about that. Your total is [total].”

Back Of The Line Customer: “I thought you’d just put my stuff off to the side! I went to get my mother.”

Me: *internally* “I see hundreds of people a day and there are half a dozen people in this line right now. You couldn’t have said anything?! You couldn’t have told me you needed to come back and to set your stuff aside? I glanced back to see how big my line is; I don’t have your face or purchase memorized. What, did you tell the customers behind you who clearly didn’t understand a word you were saying nor could communicate it to me?! Were you just standing back there waiting in this unmoving line for five minutes as I waited for this poor couple to pay for your stuff that I didn’t know wasn’t theirs? What?! Who does that when they’re next in line?”

Me: *out loud* “Haha, nope. Well, have a nice day!”

(I was pretty embarrassed about not catching that it wasn’t their order even though they were standing next to it and waiting at the pay screen instead of by their order on the belt, but luckily none of the customers in line commented on it to me!)

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Almost 50 But Acting Like A Child

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2020

(The chain I work at holds a senior’s day each week for people 55 and older who present their rewards card. Unfortunately, the rewards card doesn’t tell us their age nor automatically applies the discount, and they often don’t remember to tell us despite the copious signage, so we often either have to assume one way or another, or ask directly. I’m not the greatest at judging ages, so this often gets me into trouble. On this occasion, I’m dealing with the very first customer of my shift.)

Me: *feeling pretty safe in my guess* “And do you get the senior’s discount?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Oh, okay!” *continues with the transaction*

Customer: *sounding angry* “Thanks. I’m not even fifty yet.”

Me: “Sorry about that. Honestly, though, anyone who’s older than, say, thirty-five, can look just about any age, so I end up asking a lot of–”

Customer: “You should be careful about that.”

Me: *cheerfully* “I try to be.”

Customer: *with no trace of humour* “You’re lucky my husband’s not here. He’d kick your a**.”

Me: *sighs internally, but smiles outwardly as if she were joking*

(I do understand why people get offended in these situations, but I don’t understand why they have to be so rude about it. If I never asked, a lot of actual seniors would be upset because they didn’t get their discount. We can’t win either way. I wish we had a policy that they don’t get the discount unless they bring it up.)

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