Wrong Side Of The Till And The Argument  

, , , , | Right | October 24, 2019

(At my store, we have two “stand up tills,” designed for small basket shops of just a few items. We stand behind the tills, with the screen facing us, and the customers stand on the other side. Behind us is the back end of a long magazine stand, which acts as the boundary for the till area. It’s a bit of a squeeze to get to the staff area of these tills, but it is fairly obvious which side the customer goes to. It should also be noted that our uniforms are black. One day I am serving [Customer #1], a lady wearing a black top.)

Customer #1: “I was looking for a small chill bag to put my steak in, but I couldn’t find one. Do you have any left?”

Me: “We should have some over by Till 2. I’ll get someone to check.”

(I ring for a supervisor, but it is busy and they are all dealing with other customers.)

Me: “It’ll be quicker if I grab one myself. I’ll be right back!”

Customer #1: “Thanks!”

(Luckily, we have a few of the chill bags left, so I grab one and head back to my till. I have been away ten seconds at most. When I get back, there is another customer standing behind my till! She is talking to [Customer #1].)

Customer #2: “I just want to know how much this is!”

Customer #1: “But I don’t work here! You’ll have to ask that man.” *referring to me*

Customer #2: “Why won’t you tell me how much this is?”

Me: *realising what has happened* “Madam, I’ll find out how much that is for you in just a moment, but you need to be on that side of the till. Customers aren’t allowed on this side.”

([Customer #2] moves over to the correct side of the till.)

Customer #2: “Your coworker is very rude!”

(I mouth an apology to [Customer #1] and do the price enquiry for [Customer #2] to get her out of the way. She leaves with the item and [Customer #1] and I just look at each other in a “Did that just happen?” way.)

Me: “I’m so sorry about that. I guess she saw your top and thought you were one of us, even though you were standing on the customer side with your shopping right in front of you!”

Customer #1: *laughing* “I thought so. But perhaps I won’t wear it here again.”

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