Waltz With Cashiers

, , , , , | Working | August 13, 2018

(Another cashier has just come to my register to relieve me. The next customer, who is an attractive, older woman, looks up and notices the switch. She is confused.)

Me: *talking to the customer while walking away* “Oh, I’m so sorry, ma’am. You were so close to having the cute cashier.”

(She laughs and rolls her eyes.)

Other Cashier: “Don’t worry; he doesn’t have a personality. You can thank me later.”

(The customer laughed out loud. I blushed and quickly went to clock out. My ego still hurts.)

Pay It Forward Never Needs To Go On Sale

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 1, 2018

(This happens over 25 years ago, when I am just a little girl, probably about seven or eight. I am a big bookworm, and always get a certificate to our local bookstore for birthdays and other occasions. These are always special occasions for me, because as a single mom, my mother doesn’t have much money to spare, even working double shifts more often than not. I am at the till by myself while my mom browses, with three books I’m going to buy with my gift certificate. In line behind me is a guy probably about ten years older than me. I am leery of him for no particular reason other than that he is a “big kid” and I am shy and reserved.)

Cashier: “That will be [amount a lot more than my certificate has].”

Me: “Oh… I don’t have that much. I thought these were on sale.”

(I point to a big sign, no more than a few feet away in front of a shelf.)

Cashier: *dismissively* “It’s an old sign. I haven’t gotten around to taking it down.”

(I’m too awkward and anxious to do anything other than try to pick which books I’m putting back, feeling flustered and embarrassed.)

Cashier: *impatiently* “Just go find your mom and get her to pay the difference!”

Me: “She can’t! This is all I can have!”

(I’m feeling very embarrassed now, because how little money my mother and I have has always been a sore spot and something I feel ashamed of. Suddenly the teen leans past me, holding out some money.)

Teen: “Hey, I’ll pay for it. Don’t worry about it. Kids should be reading more, anyway. Oh, and let me get that for you.”

(He makes a show out of plucking the little plastic sale sign off the shelf and handing it to the cashier with a smile.)

Teen: “No more misunderstandings. Right?”

(Looking annoyed and embarrassed, the cashier rang me up. I thanked the teen profusely; he just waved me off with a smile and told me to pay it forward one day. Looking back, it might have been a small gesture, but it meant a lot to me to have a complete stranger have my back like that and show me a token of kindness. Ever since then, decades later, I have tried to do the same when I’m able and the opportunity arises — be it for groceries or whatever — because I remember how that felt, and I hope it makes other people feel and do the same. It may seem minor, but minor kindnesses add up, and hopefully lead to others like them.)

It’s Soda(mn) Cheap

, , , , | Working | July 17, 2018

(It’s early morning and I am shopping. The store has been open for maybe half an hour and there are almost no customers. The cashier has just made small talk with the customer in front of me. I can easily tell she’s unhappy since her work hours have been cut short lately. I am buying three items. She scans a bottle of oil, then attempts to scan a soda; the way the sticker is on, however, the register refuses to take it. She types it in by hand.)

Cashier: “1.74€… That’s wrong. Give me a second.”

(I watch as she voids the soda again, then presses the button for price reduction, types the 1.04€ in and tries to scan the soda. When it refuses she just huffs and sets it aside, saying she’ll do that once my third item is through. That item scans, automatically reduced to 1.04€ because she forgot to take the reduction out.)

Me: “Oh, now it rang that up as the other price.”

Cashier: “Hmm, let me see.”

(She finishes the transaction like that, I pay via card, fully aware of what has happened, and still perfectly okay that I will have to pay full price. She takes the receipt, looks it over, and sighs, hands it to me, and nudges my items over.)

Cashier: “You know what? I didn’t see a thing. I’m so done. I don’t care anymore, and the manager always grumbles about how we need to cash people faster, so I will just adhere to that. You really got an awesome deal.”

(I thanked her profusely, told her I could fully understand, since I heard her previous chat, and that she was doing a good job. You’re awesome, lady! And I hope you didn’t get in trouble for that.)

That Really Grinds My Juicer

, , , , , | Working | July 5, 2018

(I purchase a juicer — the kind where you cut the lemon or orange in half, push one half on the cone, and it turns to press out the juice. I get home to use it and it makes a grinding noise and won’t turn. I paid cash.)

Me: *to cashier* “Hi. I bought this juicer, got it home, and it’s broken. Here is my receipt.”

Cashier: “No problem.”

(The cashier rings in the return, gives me my money, AND THEN PUTS THE BROKEN JUICER IN THE BOX BACK ON THE SHELF!)

Me: “Um… That juicer is broken.”

(The cashier shrugged and went back to work. Now when I return something that is broken in the box, I take a permanent marker and write “BROKEN” all over the box and the merchandise.)

Less Than Half An Understanding

, , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2018

(My husband and I have a coupon for a local burrito place where, if you buy one burrito and a drink, you get another burrito for half price. We order, pay, and go sit to wait for our food. While we’re waiting, we realize that the price was wrong — they charged us less than they were supposed to — so we go back up to pay the difference.)

Husband: “Hey, our coupon was for buy-one-get-one-half-off burritos, but you gave us the second burrito for free.”

Cashier #1: “What?”

Husband: “Instead of charging us $4.00 for the second burrito, you didn’t charge us anything. It’s only supposed to be half-off, not free.”

Cashier #1: “I put it in as half off your order because it works out to be the same thing.”

Husband: “It’s really not the same.”

(Another cashier comes over to see what the problem is. We explain our concern to him and he nods with understanding. We are glad someone finally understands until he smiles and says with extreme confidence:)

Cashier #2: “We just put it in as half off your order because it all works out the same!”

(We stopped arguing at that point and just enjoyed our free burrito.)

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