The Awkwardness Just Went Up To Eleven

, , , | Right | January 28, 2019

(This happened when I was newly eighteen and working as a cashier at a popular retail chain. I’m only five feet tall and look very young for my age, but most people, even if they joke about my baby face, are aware that I’m older than I look. In this instance, an elderly couple comes through my line and are very quiet and make no conversation other than what is necessary. A few minutes after they’ve left, my floor manager comes up to me.)

Manager: “You are not going to believe what just happened. This old couple came up to me all angry and threatening to call child services over you. They thought you were, like, eleven!”

The Cutest Little Peanut

, , , , | Hopeless | January 27, 2019

(Following the death of my son-in-law, my daughter and her two children come to live with me. I’m not the richest lady around, so we have to seriously budget while my daughter gets back on her feet. It’s been rough on everyone, the eldest girl, age three, especially, since she and her father were so close. That particular day, we are frequenting a local thrift store that always has some sort of deal going on, looking for some cheap clothes for the kids. My granddaughter is getting restless and doesn’t want to sit still in the cart. I start handing things to the lady at the register, but I keep having to stop to try to keep my granddaughter seated. All of a sudden, she starts yelling and reaching for something.)

Me: “Hey, hey, careful. What is it, sweetie?”

(The cashier looks where my granddaughter is pointing. She reaches over to grab something.)

Cashier: “Maybe she wants to hold Woodstock?”

(I look to see the cashier holding a little yellow bird that I only know from the “Peanuts” comics. It is a little dirty but it is still in great shape and is quite cute. She hands the stuffed bird to my granddaughter and the girl immediately quiets down and snuggles it. I feel myself getting a little choked up.)

Me: “Thank you.”

Cashier: *smiles* “No problem. He’s my register buddy for today. I found him in toys. Woodstock is the best bird, so I just had to have him up here with me.”

(I return the smile as she scans my stuff.)

Me: “It makes sense that she would notice it there. Her father used to read her Peanuts books all the time. She loves that series.”

(The cashier pauses for a moment, and her smile starts slipping a little.)

Cashier: “I got into Peanuts through my dad, too. He gave me all his books when I was little. It’s something we both enjoy together.”

Me: “Really? That’s sweet.”

(The cashier finishes ringing up my stuff and is preparing to move on to payment when she stops for a moment. She looks at my granddaughter, and then at me.)

Cashier: “Does she want to keep him? She can have him if she wants.”

Me: “No, no, we can’t. I’m already tight on money.”

Cashier: “Actually, it’s fine. We have a special kids’ club here where children under 12 get a $0.99 toy or a kids book for free with any purchase. He’s a $0.99 toy, so he qualifies for the deal.”

Me: *surprised* “Really?”

Cashier: “Yeah.” *looks at the bird* “I wanted it for myself, but I think she needs him a little more than I do. After all, Woodstock is the best bird. He deserves only the best home.”

Me: *holding back tears* “Thank you. Thank you so much.” *turns to my granddaughter* “Sweetie, she says you can keep the bird. Can you say, ‘Thank you’?”

Granddaughter: “Thank you.”

Cashier: “You are very welcome.”

(We finished checking out and left. My granddaughter quietly hugged that bird all the way home. I think it’s going to make a great addition to our home.)

People Would Do Anything For A Free T-Shirt

, , , | Right | January 27, 2019

(Our small, locally well-known store recently introduced optional “uniforms,” a t-shirt with the store’s name and logo printed on the front and back. This is one of my first shifts cashiering since they were handed out, and I’m wearing my shirt.)

Customer: “Oh, cool, you guys have t-shirts now!”

Me: “Yep! I guess the manager got sick of customers thinking we were fellow shoppers when we were out in the aisles.” *laughs*

Customer: “Haha, yeah. So, where can I get one?”

Me: “Oh, the shirts aren’t for sale. They’re for employees to wear while working.”

Customer: “But I want one.”

Me: “I mean, you could put in an application and get hired here, I guess?”

Customer: “Why would I work HERE? I have a job already!”

Me: *still trying to be friendly* “Guess you’re out of luck, then. Anyway, your total is [total]. Anything else for you today?”

Customer: “I’ll give you twenty bucks for your shirt.”

Me: “No. That’s [total]. Go ahead and slide your card and follow the prompts.”

(Thankfully, he left without further comment about wanting the literal shirt off my back.)

Didn’t Read The Small Print ‘Once’

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2019

(What some people don’t realize is that if you look at the fine print of coupons, it will tell you how many of that coupon you can use per purchase. Many people overlook this and try to use as many as the can to pay basically nothing for a little more pricey items like medicine. I’ve noticed the same group of customers doing this every time medicine in my store goes on sale. My managers start telling us to look over the coupons if customers have multiple of the same item. Today I decided to let them know we are on to what they are doing.)

Me: *scanning the last of the cold medicine* “Okay, your total is now [price].”

Customer: “Oh, I have coupons.” *hands over a stack of coupons*

(I am on an express lane and even though she only has sixteen items, one over the amount allowed on the line, the customers behind her groan at the sight of the coupons.)

Me: *starts reading the coupons to see which can be used* “Okay, it looks like you can only use multiples of this coupon for [Item #1]. The rest you can only use one.”

Customer: “But I have four of each and have four coupons for them. I should be able to use all of them!”

Me: “If you look at the bottom it says you can only use one per purchase. The others say the limit is one, while the coupons for [Item #1] can have four be used in one purchase.” *shows her the small print on each*

Customer: “Right, per purchase. Meaning I can use four in this one.”

Me: “Ma’am, it says clearly you can only use one. If not, you would be paying a few cents for four boxes of medicine.”

Customer: “What do you know?! Just scan my coupons!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Customer: “I want your manager, now!”

(It is a busy afternoon and she won’t hear anything till I get a manager. I flash my light and a manager comes over. Now, mind you, he is a really nice guy but can be stern when customers try something like this, and always gets frustrated when they just leave after we refuse to scan them all.)

Manager: “What’s wrong?”

Customer: “She is refusing to scan my coupons! I have four for each and the right amount of items!”

Manager: *sighs, too tired to deal with her* “Ma’am, it says clearly in the coupons you can’t use it. You have a long line behind you and my cashier has told you already that we can’t scan them. We’re tired of having people come in and try to pay next to nothing for items. Now, either accept that fact and pay, or let me void the transaction and leave.”

(The look on her face when he denied her the coupons was hilarious. My manager voided her order per her request and she only bought the item with the multiple coupons that were allowed. After she paid, I quickly went through my line and was finally allowed to take my hour-delayed break. I later found out she went to one of the owners of the store and complained, but they just repeated to her what both I and my manager said. I hope this helps some people realize that you really need to read your coupons. The print is there for a reason, after all.)

Not In Line And Out Of Line, Part 4

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2019

(The store is known for having very long lines that weave around the perimeter of the store with someone at the front directing people to the registers. I’m at a register helping a customer. As soon as the customer is gone, before I can call my coworker for the next customer, a woman with a full cart pulls up at my register. It seems that she walked right past the entire line.)

Me: “Good afternoon. What register were you sent to?”

(This is usually the most polite way to start the conversation about line etiquette and to tell them they need to wait in line if they wish to purchase their groceries. However, the woman says nothing, just stares at my coworker at the next register. I begin to unload her groceries and scan them.)

Me: “Just so you know, for future, there’s a line and customers wait in the line and then my coworker at the front of the line sends them to a register once a register opens up.”

Customer: “Me, too.”

(She walks away from me, leaving her cart at my register. Not knowing quite what to make of this, I continue to ring up her items. My manager comes over, seeing me ringing up items with no customer. I relay the entire interaction. Moments later, we see the customer approaching the front of the line. It’s a very busy day, easily a twenty-minute line, and she’s been gone less than five. As she gets to the front of the line she doesn’t wait for my coworker, she just walks right up to me and stands to stare, once again not at me but at the person working the register next to me. My manager witnesses this entire next interaction.)

Me: “So, as I was saying, we ask the customers to wait with their shopping in the line before getting to the register. Then once they approach the front of the line the crew member working the front of the line will let them know when a register is available and which one to go to.” *I’m just about finishing up her order and she’s paid with a card, still not looking at me* “Do you understand?”

Customer: *looking at me in the eyes for the first time* “Not. One. Word.”

(She took her groceries and walked away. My manager and I were left, mouths agape. My coworker at the next register, who she’d been staring at the whole time, fell apart laughing. I’m just glad my manager witnessed the whole thing, because I don’t know if he’d have believed me otherwise.)

Related:
Not In Line And Out Of Line, Part 3
Not In Line And Out Of Line, Part 2
Not In Line And Out Of Line

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