Work In Retail, Lose The Will To React

, , , | Right | January 12, 2020

(My friend and I are driving from Florida to New York when we stop for gas and snacks. We gather our goodies and wait for our turn. The woman in front of us walks up to the register and dumps an armful of candy, soda, and chips on the counter. The cashier scans her items.)

Cashier: “Okay, your total comes to [total].”

Customer: “You didn’t ask if that was all I wanted.”

Cashier: “Oh, I’m sorry. Would you like anything else?”

Customer: “I want cigarettes. [Brand].”

Cashier: “Sure thing. I just need to see your ID.”

Customer: “No.”

Cashier: *momentarily confused* “Uh, I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You don’t need my ID.”

Cashier: *gestures to a sign* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I do. You see, the system is set up so we have to ID for all tobacco sales. There’s no way around it.”

Customer: “Don’t I look eighteen?! Are you seriously going to say I can’t have my cigarettes?”

Cashier: “I’m just following protocol, ma’am.”

Customer: “F*** your protocol, you ugly-a** b****. Do I look like I’m under eighteen?”

Cashier: *calmly* “Clearly not.”

Customer: “So? Give me my f****** cigarettes before I really get mad.”

Cashier: “I need to see your ID before giving you these cigarettes. I apologize for the inconvenience but that’s how the system is set up.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have it, so now what?”

Cashier: “If you don’t have it, I can’t sell them to you. Your total is [total]. Will that be cash or card?”

Customer: “I’m not buying s*** from this f****** store. You can go f*** yourself!”

(The cashier picks up the woman’s purchases and puts them behind the register. The two stare at each other in silence for what seems like forever — probably only about ten seconds — before the woman leans over the register and screams right in the cashier’s face. She barely reacts, only sighs and waves us forward. The woman storms out.)

Me: “How did you not smack that woman stupid?”

Cashier: “It would seem someone else has already done it for me.”

Me: “You do not get paid enough for that.”

Cashier: “Nope. I stopped getting mad a long time ago.” *shrugs* “It’s not worth the stress.”

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