When They Push You Too Far

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2020

I’m a head cashier at a home improvement store, and I’m closing up the outside garden registers for the night. Our cashiers know when the registers out there close, and they know to announce to all customers present that they will be closing soon. After confirming with my cashier that she’s informed all customers present of the closing, and seeing no one present in the vicinity, I lock the gates and begin to close out the registers. After I’ve closed out the very last till, about ten minutes after closing the gates, a customer who neither of us saw approaches the register.

Customer: “What’s going on? I need to check out!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but these registers are closed for tonight. The registers at the front of the store are still open for two more hours; you can check out inside.”

Customer: “NO! I have a heavy cart full of stones, and you want me to go inside?! I demand that you reopen the registers and let me pay here!  No one told me you were closing out here! Someone should have told me!

The cashier looks at me, worried she’ll get in trouble.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We didn’t see you out here; otherwise, we would have told you. However, I can’t reopen the registers. You’ll have to go inside to pay.”


Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can’t reopen the registers. If you’d like, we can go inside, ring up your purchase, and then come back out here, and I’ll open the gates for you so you can wheel your cart to your car more easily, but you’ll still have to pay inside.”

Customer: “No! You have to reopen the registers! This cart is too heavy! I can’t just push it inside! OPEN THE REGISTERS! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME?!”

I am a skinny, 4’11” female, but everyone in my store — and most of my regulars — knows that I am more than strong enough to perform most tasks on the job. The customer is a man at least 6’1″ and healthy-looking.

Seeing my cashier becoming visibly upset and concerned, I am getting annoyed.

Me: “I am sorry for that, sir, but if you’ll just wait one moment to let me finish my till, I’ll be glad to push your cart inside for you, and after you’ve paid, I’ll even push it out to your car and load it up.”

Customer: *Turns beet red* “That’s not the point! THAT’S NOT THE POINT!”

The customer turns and pushes his cart inside dramatically.

Cashier: “I told everyone I saw that we were closing, I swear! I never even saw him until he came up here. It had been dead for the last half-hour we were open.”

Me: “Don’t even worry about it, love. Enjoy the rest of your night off!”

I later told my manager about the exchange and the offers I made to the customer to try and rectify the situation. He said I did the best I could, and that no, I was NOT required to reopen the tills.

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