“Changing” Their Tone Pretty Quickly

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

(When I am in the fifth grade, we take a class trip to an alligator park. I find a few little knick-knacks that I like at the gift shop and take them to the register.)

Cashier: “Your total is $5.35, please.”

(I pull a ten-dollar bill and 35 cents out of my pocket and try to give them to her.)

Cashier: *smiling* “I just need the $10, honey.”

(She tries to take just the $10, but I don’t let go.)

Me: “But I want $5 back, so you need to take the change, too, please.”

Cashier: *condescendingly* “Sweetie, I only need the $10.”

Me: *sighs* “Ma’am, I’m trying to get back $5, because I’ve already got a bunch of change in my pocket and don’t want more.”

Cashier: *loudly* “And I said I only need the $10, you stupid brat! $5.35 is less than $10!”

(My teacher, who has been looking at a nearby display, rushes over at the cashier’s sudden hostility.)

Teacher: “[My Name], what’s going on here?”

Cashier: *glaring at me* “This stupid kid can’t do math, that’s what!”

(My teacher ignores her and asks me again.)

Me: “I have a bunch of change and didn’t want more, so I tried to give her $10.35 to pay for my stuff, and she keeps saying she only needs the $10. I just want a $5 back.”

Teacher: *sighs* “Is that all?” *to the cashier*You are the one who can’t do math. She’s trying to give you $10.35 so that she can get back a five-dollar bill. What part of that don’t you understand?”

Cashier: *scoffs* “Whatever.”

(She finally cashed out my transaction, and I got my $5 bill and went back out into the park area. My teacher spoke to the cashier’s manager. I never went back, but apparently the manager later called my teacher to say the girl had been fired.)

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They Don’t Have High Fidelity

, , , , , , | Working | March 31, 2018

(I’m at a well-known furniture store where there’s also a restaurant. Today there’s a special menu that’s cheaper than usual, but you need to have the store’s fidelity card, and only certain dishes are available. It is my turn to get the main dishes.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like two special menus.”

Worker: *happily chitchats with a coworker, ignoring me completely*

Me: “Uh… Hi. I’d like two special menus.”

Worker: *looks at me silently, doing nothing*

Me: “Could I get one of each kind of meatballs?”

(Still without saying a word, she proceeds to prepare three plates with meatballs.)

Me: “Why did you prepare three?”

Worker: “You asked for one of each, and there’s three kinds.”

Me: “Well, yes, but there’s only two available for the special menu.”

Worker: “You wanted the special menu?”

Me: “Yes, that’s what I said.”

(She then takes the extra plate off and again stays perfectly still, looking at me in silence.)

Me: “Okay, for seconds, it’ll be one salad and one chicken.”

Worker: *keeps silently looking at me*

Me: “Um… I said I want one salad and one chicken.”

(She prepares the plates and starts taking somebody else’s order without saying another word. I go to the cashier to pay for the food.)

Me: “Hi, this will be all. But there’s a bit of a problem; I forgot my fidelity card at home. Instead, I got this code on a machine that I’m supposed to use for this kind of thing? I’m not sure how that works.”

Cashier: *rings up my food* “It’ll be 16,98€.”

Me: “Is that the special menu price? I have this code I got on the machine, because I forgot my fidel—”

(The cashier starts talking with a coworker, ignoring me completely. After she finishes talking, she looks at me in silence.)

Me: “As I was saying, I forgot my fidelity card and I don’t know if this code I got will work for th—”

Cashier: “It’ll be 16,98€.”

Me: “Okay, but is that the special menu price? Because, as I have said, I forgot my card an—”

Cashier: “Oh, it’s a special menu? Then the price is…” *checks a bit* “…16,98€.”

Me: “So, it was the correct price. Good. Now, how does the code thing work? Because I d—”

Cashier: “I don’t need the fidelity card.”

Me: “Uh… Okay, I guess.”

(In the end I got exactly what I wanted, but I felt like I was talking to badly-programmed robots the whole time.)

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A Cents-less Amount Of Confusion

, , , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2018

(I supervise the registers at a popular home goods store. One day, two employees are running the customer service registers, where people can also check out, and I’m directing traffic and basically cleaning up the messes that are everywhere. My two coworkers are [Cashier #1], a 19-year-old who has run a register for six months or so, and [Cashier #2], a 30-something who has worked for the company longer than I have and is technically my peer, though I’m always teaching her things. I’m finishing up with one customer when I realize that both my coworkers are standing by the same register.)

Me: “What’s going on? Maybe I can help.”

Cashier #2: “I can’t figure out the change to give her. I put it in wrong.”

(I look at the receipt that’s sitting on the counter. It says that the customer bought one item, the total was $6.28, and the customer paid $6.30.)

Me: “How much money did she actually give you?”

Cashier #2: “$6.35.”

Me: *not sure I heard that right* “So, she gave you five cents more than you put in the cash register?”

Cashier #2: “Yes.”

Me: “Then you give her five cents more than the cash register tells you to give.”

Cashier #2: *blank look*

Me: “Did you give her the two cents from the receipt?”

Cashier #2: “No, because I knew it wasn’t right!”

Me: “Okay, well, she gave you five cents more than the receipt says she gave you, so you give her five cents more than the register says to give her.”

Cashier #2: *same blank look*

Me: “Seven cents.”

(In the end, I have to reach into her register to pull the change out for the poor customer. After she leaves, the other cashier drops this line.)

Cashier #1: “I couldn’t figure it out, either, so I told her just to void the transaction.”

Me: “Wait, what? Did we re-ring it?”

Cashier #1: “I don’t know.”

(We counted the cashier’s drawer and, sure enough, it was over by $6.28. We still had the receipt from the return, so we were able to re-ring the purchase to even out her drawer and our inventory. The worst part is that not only did two grown women not know how to “fix” a five-cent mistake, but the older one is actually a teacher by day!)

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How To Insult Multiple Generations

, , , , , | Working | March 17, 2018

(There’s a pretty big gap in age between my two half-siblings and me. Our dad got married for the first time when he was a senior in high school, had my brother and sister pretty close together, then married my mom much later and they had me. There’s at least a 20-year age gap between us, and I’m used to them being mistaken for my aunt or uncle. Once, someone even asked if my brother was my dad. When I am 13 years old, my sister gives birth to my niece. I love being an aunt, and I want to go with my sister to a sale at a local store for baby clothes. We pick several things out, and I’m pushing the stroller for my sister so she can count all of her items. Everything is going fine, and then we get up to the register.)

Cashier #1: “Did you find everything you needed today?”

Sister: “Yes! I’ll take these items, please.”

Cashier #1: “Sure!” *she sees my niece* “Oh, what a cute baby!”

Me: *excited to be out with my sister and niece* “Isn’t she? She’s so good; she slept through the whole shopping trip.”

Cashier #1: *to my sister* “It must be so nice having a day out with your daughter!”

Sister: “Yes, it is–“

Cashier #1: “And your granddaughter!”

Sister: *stares at the cashier, looks back at me, then to her again* “That’s my sister. She’s thirteen years old. The baby is my daughter.”

Cashier #1: *blushes a little* “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

Me: “It’s okay! We’re pretty far apart in age, so…”

Cashier #2: *overhears us and interrupts* “Don’t apologize to them! She shouldn’t be lying to cover up for her daughter’s mistakes!”

(My sister, [Cashier #1], and I are all speechless for a moment. [Cashier #2] gives me a dirty look and walks away.)

Cashier #1: *looking mortified* “I am so sorry!

Sister: *sighs* “It’s okay. Let’s just check out before she comes back. I really do want these items.”

Me: “Hey, [Niece] is awake! Want to look at her?”

(I held my niece up, and seeing her squishy baby face seemed to make the cashier feel better. We checked out and went back to my sister’s house. When we got there, we realized that the cashier had given us an extra discount on some of the clearance items, and had included a coupon for a future purchase. My sister really wasn’t that offended by [Cashier #1]’s misunderstanding; it was [Cashier #2] that threw us for a loop. Although, my sister told me she went back to the store a few weeks later to use her coupon, and found out that [Cashier #2] was “no longer with the company.”)

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The Checkout Line Has Seized Up

, , , , | Working | March 7, 2018

(I am in a supermarket at the tills when the young woman in front of me, about to pay for her goods, suddenly freezes. She stands still and stares into space, down at her purse, which is falling out of her hands. She is standing in front of a plastic wall.)

Cashier: “Excuse me, miss? Excuse me?” *to herself* “P****.” *turns to me* “Can I put your things through? I’ll void her stuff if she’s ignoring me. Self-entitled snowflakes and their phones.”

(I look at the woman carefully and notice she has an epilepsy bracelet.)

Me: “Erm, I think she’s having a seizure.”

Cashier: *condescending, as if to a child* “No, because if she was having a seizure, she’d be on the floor, wouldn’t she?”

Me: “I’m a doctor, madam, and I’d like to get your manager.”

Cashier: “No. She’s a snowflake who’s looking at her phone instead of paying, and she’s holding up the queue.”

Me: *sternly* “Madam, I really do think she’s having a seizure. They don’t all writhe around on the floor.”

(I called the number on the bracelet and the ambulance came within a few minutes. Last I heard, the young woman was fine, but the cashier voided the woman’s shopping AND mine, saying that it was our choice to step out of the queue and that I must be joking if I thought I was getting my shopping back, even though I simply went outside to the ambulance to explain what had been going on.)

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