The Saga Of The Battle Of The Checkouts

, , , , , , , | Right | March 27, 2020

I am a customer at a grocery store waiting to check out. There are three lanes open: one regular checkout, one express checkout, and the self-service checkout, which has six registers. There are lines at all three but things are moving fairly quickly and smoothly.

A woman carrying around five items, [Customer #1], walks up and looks over the lines. Rather than simply get in a line, she walks to the checkout next to the open express line. The light indicating which lines are open is between the actually open one and the one she chooses, both express. [Customer #1] dumps her items on the belt, even though it clearly isn’t manned, and proceeds to glare at the back of the head of the cashier at the open express line who is currently in the middle of another customer’s order. Once the cashier rings everything through and is waiting on the computer she turns and politely apologizes and tells [Customer #1] that the light is for the other register and indicates where the line is.

[Customer #1] huffily picks her items back up and walks to the end of the belt of the open express line. The next few customers in the express line, though, step up, essentially blocking her access to the belt — note that everyone in the express line has the appropriate number of items. [Customer #1] glares at them and surveys the three lines again. She sees that the couple currently unloading at the regular checkout are just finishing putting their items on the belt. So, she walks over and stands next to the next guy in line, [Customer #2]. He does have a full cart but is in a regular line, has been waiting, and clearly saw what [Customer #1] just did.

[Customer #2] turns his back to [Customer #1], putting himself between her and the belt, picks up a couple of his items, and begins unloading immediately when there is room. [Customer #1] pretends to almost drop a couple of her items — she has not seemed to have any difficulty holding everything before this — and sends a death glare at [Customer #2]’s back. When he doesn’t turn around and completely ignores her, [Customer #1] turns to survey the three lines again.

[Customer #1] apparently decides to try the self-checkout line next. There is a line of around five people off to one side so none of the aisles are blocked. The woman at the front of the self-checkout line, [Customer #3], has a full cart — again, nothing improper as the self-checkout lines at this location have no item limit. I am second with six items and there are another few people behind me with varying numbers of items. [Customer #1] approaches the self-checkout from the side opposite where the line-up is and tries to walk into the middle of the area. [Customer #3], in front, casually steps into the middle and uses her cart to block the opposite side. I actually admire the move as [Customer #3] does it with much ease and nonchalance, never even actually looking at [Customer #1]. The rest of us in the line also move up and toward the middle, making sure [Customer #1] isn’t able to step between anyone in line.

The employee monitoring the self-checkout — who is actually standing right next to where [Customer #1] tried to push in — very politely informs [Customer #1] that the line goes the other way, apologizes for the wait, and indicates where the back of the line is. [Customer #1] glares at the employee and pretends to almost drop her items again. She then glares at everyone in the self-checkout line, and then at everyone in the express line — a couple of people have left and a couple more have joined the line — and then at the two people now in the regular checkout line. When everyone ignores her and she can’t catch anyone’s eye, she finally goes to the end of the express checkout line.

It was satisfying to be part of a group effort to stop this woman from getting her way. She was just so clearly trying to bully her way to the front of a line. It was amusing to watch her be stymied as pretty much everyone ignored her. While I kind of wish the cashiers had been able to tell her off for trying to cut, watching her get extremely frustrated by their polite, feigned ignorance was also funny. And bottom line, she probably would have been done faster if she had just gotten into the express line in the first place.

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This Is Not The Same Old Yarn

, , , , | Right | March 23, 2020

(I work at a popular crafts store. The holiday season is just starting, so sometimes due to customer or employee fault, items end up in the wrong place. A customer comes to my cash with some yarn and I ring her through normally.)

Customer: “That yarn isn’t supposed to be that price; it’s supposed to be less.”

Me: “Oh! Sorry about that. I can have someone check the price and if it’s wrong, I’ll adjust it for you.”

Customer: “No, no, that’s fine. I have the money. You should just tell someone to move them in case you get a customer who’s not as nice about it as me.”

Me: “Okay, no problem.”

(I continue to ring her through as I radio another associate about the yarn. The associate tells me four balls of yarn were left in the wrong place and she has moved them. The customer hasn’t paid yet.)

Me: “Thank you for letting us know; the yarn was in the wrong place. My associate moved the four balls left to the right location.”

Customer: *suddenly irate* “There were way more than four there! But whatever. If you want to charge people the wrong price for it and have people get mad, then go ahead!”

Me: “I… I’m sorry. I can adjust the price for you still.”

Customer:No! I have the money!”

Me: “Okay…”

(We finish the transaction in silence, she pays, and I bag her yarn.)

Customer: “That’s just really bad customer service!”

Me: “Um… I’m sorry. Have a great day?”

(The customer ignored me, grabbed her bag, and left in a huff.)

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The Kids Want Some Chicken Nuggets, Ketchup, And A Nice Bottle Of Cabernet

, , , , , , | Right | March 21, 2020

(I work in a small supermarket in a rather upmarket area of Edinburgh. Like most British supermarkets, the store has a policy where if a cashier thinks you look under 25 and you are buying alcohol, they should ask for your ID. My boyfriend and I are waiting in the queue and we overhear an argument going on at the cash desk. A very posh, spoilt-sounding young woman is arguing with a cashier and the manager because she was trying to buy alcohol and didn’t have any ID with her. The poor cashier who was originally dealing with her is standing looking terrified in the background while the manager is speaking to her. The woman has two young children with her.)

Manager: “I’m sorry, madam, but if my staff member has asked you for ID and you do not have any, the law states that they or I cannot sell the alcohol to you.”

Woman: “This is ridiculous! I’m in here practically every day and no one has ever asked me for ID before! I have a five-year-old and a six-year-old; I have to be over 25!”

Manager: *extremely patiently, but getting more and more annoyed* “I cannot change the law just for you. As I said before, if you cannot produce any ID when my staff member asks you for some, then we cannot legally sell you alcohol.”

Woman: *turning to her children* “How am I supposed to buy them their supper now?!”

(She stormed out of the shop with her children, huffing and puffing as she left, and leaving a fairly large pile of groceries on the counter. My boyfriend and I spent our entire walk home wondering why on earth not being able to buy alcohol would prevent her buying ingredients to make supper with! It’s not like the cashier was saying she couldn’t buy any groceries without ID.)

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Some Old Bags Can Never Be Fixed

, , , , | Right | March 21, 2020

(I am a cashier and usually have no one to help me bag groceries. I scan as quickly as I can and then bag as they are paying. Sometimes this causes a bit of a line, and I don’t have a backup cashier, so I bag as quickly as possible, as well, grouping boxes and cans, produce and bread, etc. I’m helping an older woman while a line forms behind her. After exchanging pleasantries, I finish scanning and begin to bag while she pays.)

Me: “Your total comes to [total].”

Customer: *scans card*

(I begin to bag, placing a small box with some canned vegetables. Suddenly, the customer starts yelling.)

Customer: “Are you trying to kill me?!”

Me: *confused* “I’m sorry, ma’am, could you explain?”

Customer: *grabs the bag I had just filled* “You put this rat poison in with my canned goods!”

Me: “I’m so sorry! I wasn’t paying attention to the boxes when I put them in. Let me rebag that for you!”

Customer: *calming down* “Jesus. Kids these days. Didn’t you learn anything in Bag Boy School?!”

Me: “Ma’am, there’s no such thing as Bag Boy School. Once again, I’m very sorry and have sorted out the issue.”

Customer: “That’s the problem with all you kids today!” *grabs bag and leaves the store in a huff*

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Big Brother Needs To Know What Socks You’re Buying

, , , , | Right | March 19, 2020

(I work at a large retail department store chain where, in every transaction, we have to ask a customer if they have a [Store] card, which sends them discounts and coupons. A husband and wife in their sixties come into my line.)

Me: *rings up items* “Your total today comes to [total]. Do you have a [Store] card?”

Husband: *to his wife* “I don’t know. Do we have one?”

Wife: “Yes, if you could look up our phone number we have it under, please.” *gives her phone number*

Me: *enters the phone number, repeat the total purchase price*

Husband: “That’s just Big Brother’s way of watching what you buy.”

Me: *sort of shocked* “Sir, it’s actually just to send you coupons and discounts; we don’t keep any sort of record of what the customer buys with the [Store] Card.”

Husband: “I see that they already have you trained to be one of them.”

Me: “Excuse me? One of who?”

Husband: “Big Brother, the government. They’re always watching.” *finishes up paying with his debit card* 

Me: “Um, I just cashier…” *prints off the receipt and quickly hands it over* “Thank you and have a nice day!”

(The wife looks shocked and dumbfounded at what her husband has just said.)

Husband: “Come on. Let’s get out of here before they try anything else.”

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