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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Unfiltered Story #190893

, , | Unfiltered | March 27, 2020

I work as a hostess at a popular Italian restaurant and we offer free unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks WITH an entrée. If we gave free salad and breadsticks to everyone who walked in the door without them buying an entrée, we wouldn’t make a profit. A group of ladies walk in and we seat them with one of our best servers who gets call tables all the time. I did have the pleasure of not dealing with the following customers a server, but they still made me angry.

Customer: I would like the unlimited salad and breadsticks

Server: You want the salad and breadsticks as your meal?

Customer: Yes, it’s free right?

Server: It’s free when you order an entrée, but it’s (total) if you want it as your entrée.

Customer: That’s ridiculous! Last time I came here I got it for free!

Server: Whoever did that was not following policy, you have to order an entrée for free unlimited salad and breadsticks.

By this time I was walking by and the lady stops me

Customer: Do I get free unlimited salad and breadsticks?

Me: Yes, but you have to order an entrée.

Now she is really angry and wants to speak to the manager. I believe the manager gave her the salad and breadsticks for free and probably took a certain amount off the bill.

In A Vicious Elliptical Cycle

, , , , | Working | March 26, 2020

(We’ve purchased an elliptical exercise machine to replace an old broken one. I am at the point in life where “delivery and setup,” even with a service charge, is a nice thing. The salesman pulls me aside.)

Salesman: “Uh, we’ve had some problems with this company. Expect a call from them within 24 hours to schedule a time. After that, they will call the day before delivery and cancel, typically rescheduling the delivery for the following week.”

Me: “Uh, okay.”

(I work from home, so while annoying, this isn’t inconvenient. Also, the neighborhood I live in is fairly new, with several houses still under construction. The back-and-forth between myself and the delivery company plays out pretty much like the salesman said, except I get a call on the rescheduled delivery day:)

Delivery Company: “We’re really backed up, so we’ve outsourced your delivery and setup to another company. They should be there today.”

Me: “Okay, thanks.”

(They show up as expected and do a great job setting up the new elliptical.)

Me: “Thanks, guys. Uh… how much to haul off the old elliptical?”

Delivery Guy: “Does it still work?”

Me: “No, the bearings are shot.”

Delivery Guy: “$20 okay?”

Me: “Sure!”

(I gave them $20 plus a nice tip. They hauled off the old elliptical and I was happy… until the next day, when I saw my old elliptical peeking out the top of a construction dumpster one street over.)

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Unfiltered Story #190580

, , | Unfiltered | March 24, 2020

[Note to NAR: I’m sorry if this is a resubmission, my browser is acting up.]

(So, I’ve worked at this convenience store for about… Oh, say a month and a half, roughly. I’ve worked some rough jobs before, for the past eight years, in fact, and this one is no exception. Rough, in the sense that I have to deal with some of the meanest people in town. Don’t get me wrong… Most of my customers are actually really nice people, and some of them are a pleasure to serve and to chat with when there’s down time. But then there’s people like the following man. I hope you enjoy.

I’m at the register. I’m closing, it’s around 9:15ish, give or take about 5 minutes. My co-worker had just left around 9, so I was there alone, hoping it would slow a bit so I could get the rest of my chores finished. No such luck, but all I really had left was to mop the floor. No biggie. This man walks in, tosses (literally) a $100 bill on the counter, points out to the pump he’s at, and walks toward the door before I could fully ask him if he wants me to break the $100 and put only a certain amount in. Much easier for both of us, that way. He turns to look at me, aaaaand…)

Customer: I just want to fill my f*****g tank! (Storms out the door)

(I go to set the pump at $100 and get it ready for him. Now, I work two jobs, so this was the end of job 2 for the day, and I was thinking to myself, ‘It’s okay, it’s just one guy, you’ll be out of here soon enough anyway.’ Well, I slip up, miss a 0, and put it in for $10. Honest mistake. I caught it immediately, and told the guy at the counter (another customer) that I’ll be back in just a sec (about which he was very calm and polite) and run out the door. Note: the guy hadn’t yet put the nozzle in his car, he just had it in his hand.)

Me: (Approaching pump) Sir! Sir, I accidentally set the pump for $10, if you’ll hang it up real quick and give me just a second, I–

Customer: (Pointing back toward the building) JUST START THE F*****G PUMP!!!

(Bewildered by such an unnecessary response to me trying to HELP the man, especially since it would’ve made it so much easier to just stop the pump for a second and redo it for $100, I turn back to the building, wait for him to finish, and take care of two more people. As soon as he was done pumping, rather than hanging up the nozzle and letting me do the next $90 transaction, he immediately reaches into his car and blares the horn. I try to stop the pump and finish it properly, but because the nozzle’s still sticking out of his tank, I can’t do it. The pump is still technically ‘in use’ at this point. As I’m scrambling to get it right, he storms into the building.)

Customer: JUST RESTART THE F*****G PUMP, IT’S NOT THAT HARD.

Me: I’m trying, sir. It’s not working for me, you’ll have to give me a second.

Customer: THIS HAPPENED TO ME THE OTHER F*****G DAY, TOO. YOU GUYS HAVE DONE THIS S**T TO ME TWICE NOW, IT’S RIDICULOUS.

Me: I understand, sir. I don’t know about the other day, but I’m trying to get it right now. This is a new system, so I’m trying to–

Customer: I DON’T F*****G CARE ABOUT THAT, JUST GET IT WORKING.

(At this point, I’m shaking, thinking he’s about to come around the counter. I think to call my manager, and since I’m wearing my earbuds around my neck, I plug my phone in and start the call. I even tell the guy I’m gonna call my manager to find out what to do.)

Manager: Hey, what’s up?

Me: There’s a man here who gave me a $100, and I accidentally missed a 0 when ringing him up. I charged him for $10, and now I can’t finish the other $90. I don’t know why, and I don’t know if it’s just the new system, or–

(At this point, I begin to suspect what my manager is about to say, because this sort of thing has happened before, albeit with a much more polite customer.)

Manager: Is the nozzle still in his car, or did he hang it up?

Customer: (During the whole conversation, under his breath) I can’t f*****g believe how stupid people have to be these days. It’s a simple f*****g thing, I give you the money, you get the pump ready, I get my gas, and I f*****g leave.

Me: (Trying to defuse the man) Sir, if you hang up the nozzle, I’ll be able to complete the transaction. It won’t let me continue because it’s still technically ‘in use’.

(Without another word, the guy stomps out the door again, grumbling something else I couldn’t even hear. He gets to his pump, and I watch as he yanks the nozzle out of his car, splashing it with a little bit of gas. He then turns around and slams the nozzle into its holster. I quickly do the transaction for the remaining $90, and he stares me down until I turn toward the window. He didn’t hesitate to put the nozzle back into his car, angrily of course, and continue pumping– until he spilled even more gas on his car and on the ground. Once that started, he stopped in a hurry, put the nozzle back, closed his tank, etc. And I’m dealing with more customers in the meantime. He comes back in (stinking of gas) and when he gets up to the counter, he says nothing. I say nothing. I stop the pump and give him the remainder of his change: $76.17. He only needed $23.83 of gas.)

You Can’t Counter That Level Of Stubbornness

, , , | Right | March 23, 2020

Me: “Welcome to [Shoe Store]. What can I help you with today?”

(The customer brushes me off as her herd of kids, ages toddler to preteen, run around the store disrupting customers and making a large mess. I’m used to both these things so I’m not overly stressed about it. Her kids start running in and out of the door, messing up our conversion — how many people come in versus how many people buy something. Again, this happens a lot so I’m very tolerant. She finally comes to pay for her shoes, about ten pairs. She sets all the shoes on the wrong counter.)

Customer: “Who the f*** shoes are these?!” *pointing to an exchange I am waiting to complete* 

Me: “Those are shoes from another customer I am waiting to exchange, but if you help me move your shoes to the other counter I can scan your shoes.”

Customer: *stares at me with disbelief* “You’re rude!”

Me: “I’m sorry… but I need to move your shoes to the other counter so I can finish the sale.”

(The customer throws all the shoes on the floor and starts to storm out as my coworker comes out from one of the aisles after hearing the noise.)

Customer: *points to me* “She’s a f****** rude little b****!” *leaves*

Coworker: “You just asked her to move the other counter right?”

Me: “Yep.”

Coworker: “It’s going to be a long shift.”

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