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The One Thing They Should Have Been Looking For Today Is Some Patience  

, , , , | Right | January 24, 2020

(I am a cashier at a large chain hobby store. It is truck day, and as we are not very busy at the moment, I am the only person on a register while the backup cashiers are helping to put out the impulse items stock. I am just finishing up with a customer when two other people come and get in line. On truck days, we only call up backup cashiers if there are more than two people in line, or if a person gets in line with a large number of items. I can see that each of these customers only has a small basket and neither basket is even remotely close to being full so I choose to not bother calling backup. I hand the receipt to the customer I am now done with and get started ringing in the next customer’s items. I’m attempting to ask the customer I’m working with the standard questions we ask customers.)

Me: “How are you? Did you find everything you need?”

(But before I can even get finished with the first question, the next customer in line interrupts me:)

Impatient Customer: “Isn’t there anyone you can call to help you check people out so we don’t have to wait so long?”

(Only about thirty seconds have passed since she got into my line, so I’m caught a little off guard for a minute. The customer I am with now sort of glances behind her before smirking and shaking her head slightly in disbelief.)

Me: *looking at the five items the lady in front of her has, that I’m now done ringing in, and already bagging* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m the only available cashier at the moment. Our truck is here at the moment so a lot of our staff is tied up trying to make sure everything gets put onto the floor in a timely manner.”

(It irritates me that I have not been able to really interact with my current customer other than barely managing to get out part of our standard greeting, as at this point I’m just waiting for her to pay. I hear the impatient customer sigh several times. I am starting to notice several other customers hovering around the front area, browsing the impulse items, but no one has gotten in line yet. I finally finish up with the customer I was working with and get started on Ms. Impatient; she has only two items. As I’m checking out the impatient woman, three people come up and get in my line, one right after the other, and as she is handing me her money, another two people come up to get in my line. I finish out the transaction, and as I’m handing Ms. Impatient her receipt and change, I decide to pick up my phone and proceed to call for cashier backup over the intercom, before saying one last thing to the customer.)

Me: “Have a nice day today, ma’am, and thank you for shopping at [Store].”

(She just huffed and walked out without saying anything. Her total time in line was less than three minutes, and if she hadn’t been so rude and disruptive to my other customers, I would not have been so snarky with her.)

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