Dealing With A Basket Case

| North Vancouver, BC, USA | Working | May 9, 2017

(I love going to the dollar store. I’m one of those former retail slaves that gets asked where things are because even when I’m in a tank-top and shorts, I apparently look like I work there. I also tend to put things back where they belong. This happened today while I was gathering personal stuff, and some stuff for work, into a hand basket. I get up to the till.)

Me: “I have two separate transactions; is that all right?”

Cashier: “Sure, no problem.”

(I sort through things quickly, stopping when I reach my work limit and adding the rest to my personal pile. It goes very quickly, and there’s only one person in line behind me. I pay for the first transaction, and then put the rest of my stuff on the counter.)

Me: “I’m just going to go put the hand basket away. I’ll be right back.” *expecting him to just keep ringing*

Cashier: *jaw dropped, frozen in place when I return to till* “NO ONE PUTS THEM BACK!”

Me: “Oh?”

Cashier: “NO ONE! YOU’RE THE FIRST PERSON TO PUT THE BASKET BACK!” *normal voice* “I always tell people they have to put them back, and they say it’s my job. No, my job is to take your money and tell you to leave. You have to put the basket back. Cause I can’t leave the till to go put it back when I’m alone, and if they put it on the next till, when I call for backup, that cashier has to put it away. And then, if they leave it on the floor, where I can’t see it from here, then the next guy trips over it, and they say it’s my fault, but it’s the guy who left it there’s fault, not mine. Or at the end of the counter. I had a lady just push her cart over there, too lazy to put it away right, and it knocked over ALL my glasses.”

(It honestly felt like he said that all in one breath, maybe two. I look over at the display of cheap sunglasses and reading glasses, nodding slowly, feeling more and more uncomfortable because there’s a line growing and this guy is pretty much calling everyone in line lazy, since the whole store heard him yell that I was the only one who puts them back.)

Me: *quietly* “I used to work retail… I think it’s just nice to put it back, that’s all.”

Cashier: “It is! But no one ever does! And it makes a mess. Cause no one cares.”

Me: *pays as quickly as I can* “Yes, receipt in the bag is fine. You have a good day now…” *walks out of the store very fast*

(I don’t think he’ll have a job there very long…)

Put-Back In Their Place

| USA | Working | March 29, 2017

(In high school I get a job at a high-end dollar store where the majority of the staff are teenage girls like me. There have been a few instances of drama, but I keep to myself and mind my own business so most of it goes over my head. Our store keeps a basket at the register for items customers decide not to buy at the last minute, and figuring out where those things came from can be difficult since we have so much random stock, so everyone hates putting them back. I just came back from lunch, and before I left I was in the middle of putting out new merchandise. One of my coworkers at the register calls to me as I walk into the store.)

Coworker: “[My Name], [Manager] wants you to do the put-backs.”

(I’m already suspicious, because why wait for me to come back and not ask one of them to do it? I could confront her, or just go ahead and take care of it, but as I’m House Slytherin, I smile and say:)

Me: “Okay, let me ask her if she wants me to finish my project first.”

Coworker: *insistent* “No, she wants you to do the put-backs.”

Me: *giving her a vague, confused stare* “Okay, but I was in the middle of a project and it’s not done, so I’m just going to ask her what she wants me to do first.”

Coworker: *even more impatient and insistent* “Did you HEAR me? She WANTS you to do the PUT-BACKS.”

(At this point, if she had fessed up and apologized, or even just backed down, I would have let it go. But she doesn’t, so I keep staring at her like I am honestly confused, and say:)

Me: “Okay, but I need to know what she wants me to do first, so I’m just going to go ask her.”

(I head for the back office and poke my head in.)

Me: “[Manager], [Coworker] said you wanted me to do put-backs. Would you like me to finish my project first?”

Manager: “I didn’t tell her to ask you to do that.”

Me: *cue look of vague confusion* “Oh…?”

Manager: “Go finish your project.”

(They called her over the PA a few minutes later, and apparently she got fired for that. I regret nothing. Never try to play a Slytherin.)

Speaking Outside The Box

| USA | Working | October 25, 2016

(This is a very small store that usually only needs one cashier unless it’s a weekend afternoon or near a holiday. Whenever the cashier is working, the store manager gives us work to do between customers so there is no downtime, with the understanding that customers always take precedent. However, today’s assistant manager is the only other person there and she seems to be in a bad mood.)

Manager: “[My Name]! How many boxes have you gotten up?”

Me: “Only three so far.”

Manager: “Keep working at it.”

(Forty-five minutes later…)

Manager: “How many boxes have you done so far?”

Me: “Still only three.”

Manager: “Why only three?”

Me: “Because I haven’t had a break in customers in at least an hour.”

(Still later…)

Manager: “You need to get those boxes up, [My Name]!”

Me: “I’m doing the best I can.”

Manager: “I’m just letting you know!”

(Later still…)

Manager: “Why are there still so many boxes here?”

Me: “I’ve been really busy with this crazy new thing corporate told us they wanted us to do. They call it ‘waiting on the customers’!”

(There was an awkward silence as it dawned on me that I said that out loud instead of in my head like I meant to. Even my customer looked uncomfortable. The manager looked at me and I couldn’t read her expression, then she went in the back to finish her manager work. She didn’t bug me again about the boxes for the rest of the day and I didn’t get written up for that. I don’t condone mouthing off to your superior, but I think she did need a reminder that we were busy and customers come first, and that’s what she chose to take it as. In the future, though, I’ll phrase it a bit better!)

Having An Off Day Off

| Fort Wayne, IN, USA | Right | October 10, 2016

(I work two jobs, and one of them is at a dollar store near my house. Since I’m there fairly frequently, and because it’s so close to home, I tend to help close versus working the morning, thus seeing lots of people during the afternoon when everyone is getting off work and school. I see many regulars and they recognize me pretty easily since I work there so much. I’m shopping on my day off and standing in line to purchase some things, check my schedule, and then leave. We are busy so the manager-on-duty opens the second line, calling to anyone who wants to switch lines. No one moves, so after hesitating in case someone else moves I move next in line to purchase my items. Then, as I am heading to the door, a regular pipes up:)

Regular: “Hey, I know you work here, but next time things get busy you should just wait in the back of the store until everyone’s done.”

Me: *momentarily speechless* “Uh huh…”

(I chose that moment to leave, thinking that was the end of that. No dice. He apparently felt that my response was incorrect; he tried saying I said it was “beneath me” or what have you, a bunch of he said/she said. The manager-on-duty reiterated that I was A PAYING CUSTOMER on my DAY OFF and was, indeed, next in line. The regular contacted our district manager, who contacted our store manager, who spoke with the manager-on-duty, and she explained the situation. I still don’t understand what it was that offended him so much but, curiously, he’s not been in our store for over a month. Weird.)

The Conception Of Bad Products

| ON, Canada | Working | August 20, 2016

(We have a very low-end dollar store chain in Ontario, where everything used to be one dollar. It’s gone up a bit in price, but the products are exactly the same. I am working with a male co-worker.)

Me: “I can’t believe we have pregnancy tests. These are probably wrong 90% of the time!”

Coworker: “I know. I did one just for fun and it said I was pregnant.”

Me: “Congrats! The only way this could get better is if they sold protection.”

Coworker: “Buy one get one free?”

Me: “No, a combo pack!”

(Two years later we’ve both long-since quit and are browsing another store when we see them.)

Me: “Look! It’s a combo pack!”

Ex-Coworker: “That is just so wrong.”

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