The Only Line I Speak Is The Checkout Line

, , , , | Right | March 17, 2020

(It is midnight and I am just getting off my shift at a family-owned grocery that closes at two in the morning on Saturday nights. I’ve been at work for ten hours now, taking in extra hours after a coworker was sick. My boss puts my chain up on my lane to let people know that I will not be checking anyone else now because I am clocking out. My light is off and everything. A Mexican lady comes through and takes down my chain and has her two kids push two grocery carts full of food. I am a white Irish female.)

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, I am clocking out. I can’t check you out, but we have four other lanes open and they will be happy to check you out.”

Lady: “I don’t speak English.”

Me: “Okay.” *points to light* “I can’t serve you; I am going home.”

Lady: “I don’t speak English.”

(An older woman coworker, who is also Mexican, comes over as the lady starts putting her groceries onto the belt.)

Coworker: “What’s going on?”

Me: “I am trying to tell her that I am clocking out, but she does not understand me.”

Coworker: *speaks Spanish to the lady* 

Lady: *looks confused* 

Coworker: *speaks Spanish again, and sighs* “You don’t even speak Spanish, do you?”

Lady: *clear English* “She has no one in her lane! She can check me out. I just want to go home!”

Coworker: “Well, miss, I was told that she has been here for ten hours; she wants to go home, too. Please go into another open lane.”

Lady: “But it’s sooo busy. I don’t want to wait around!”

Coworker: “Miss, please go into another lane before I call my boss.”

(The lady finally left and went to another line. For the past three weeks, no one has seen her, and my coworker and I still have a good laugh about it.)

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