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You’re My Number Code-One Customer

| Working | January 31, 2017

(I work in a department store. For some reason, they switched calling up extra cashiers from “to the front lanes” to “code one.” It may have been to sound more official, but it really caused confusion, especially when customers overheard. The week before Christmas, for unknown reasons we only had three cashiers scheduled to man our twelve check-out lanes, and one called out. Needless to say, the front manager was calling more and more floor workers up for “code one” by the minute. I don’t keep track of this until I realize I’m surrounded by people asking for help with everything from hardware to groceries to clothing.)

Me: “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude, but am I LITERALLY the only person still on the sales floor?!”

Customer #1: “I think so!”

Customer #2: “No, there’s still the guy at the electronics booth, but he’s got a longer line than you.”

Front Manager: *over walkie-talkie* “[My Name] to the front end for a code one.”

Me: *back to him* “I’ve got almost a dozen people I’m trying to help right now. I’ll be up ASAP.”

Front Manager: “We really need you up here; make it quick.”

(I “make it quick” as much as I can, but for every person I help that’s just “it’s aisle B6 on the back end,” there’s two that need product checked in the storage room, or need help getting down a bike, or simply expects me to run and grab things and bring them back. Needless to say, the manager is getting more irate, and almost calling “code one” faster than I can help individuals.)

Customer: “Is there some sort of emergency? He keeps calling codes.”

Me: “No, that’s just calling me up for register assistance.”

(I pick up the walkie talkie, but the little old lady next to me suddenly snatches it out of my hand!)

Lady: “This boy’s the only person you have out here and he’s bending over backwards to help us all! Leave him alone and check those people out yourself!”

(I got yelled at for “allowing” her to do that… Worth it, though, especially for the cheers of the people around.)