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  • Establishing Order Over Tall Orders
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  • Category: At The Checkout

    Needs An Application Of Listening

    | USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Time

    (I’m at a large department store fairly early in the day. My items are a little more expensive than I would like, but they offer a 20% discount if you sign up for a card. There’s only one cashier at the station I’m at, but two registers.)

    Manager: *passing by* “Hey, [Cashier], when you’re done with this customer, we need you at the front.”

    (The cashier looks extremely reluctant, but nods.)

    Cashier: “All right. As soon as I’m finished.” *turns to me* “It’s just going to take a few minutes more to finish signing you up for the card.”

    (At this point I’ve looked up the bus schedule on my very slow phone and realized I have ten minutes to get to the bus.)

    Me: “Actually, I kind of need to go. Could you cancel the card?”

    Cashier: “Oh, I’ve already run your credit card. With [Store Card] linked up to your bank account, your life will be a lot easier!”

    Me: “That’s great, but I’m running a little late.”

    Cashier: “This will only take a few more minutes. Can I have your bank account number?”

    Me: “What? No. I don’t want the card. I need to go.”

    Cashier: “It looks like there’s a problem. Hold on, let me call them.”

    Me: “Call who?”

    Cashier: “Sometimes we need to call them, sometimes we don’t. I think it depends on how busy it is. It’s not very busy now.”

    (I can see a line forming at the front station, which is clearly understaffed. A few other customers have wandered over and are waiting in line behind me.)

    Me: “Actually, it looks like it’s getting a little busy. Can I get the card later?”

    Cashier: *shushing me* “I’m on the phone.”

    (She talks for a few more minutes, while I try to find another employee to flag down so I can get my items and leave. Suddenly, she holds out the phone to me.)

    Cashier: “They want to talk to you.”

    (Reluctantly, I take the phone.)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Caller: “Hello, ma’am, I just wanted to confirm your application for the [Store Card]. You put down your income as [amount]; you do know this is yearly and not monthly, right?”

    (At this point I am a little annoyed; I don’t make a whole lot of money, and I’m buying clothes for a job interview right now.)

    Me: “Yes, but I actually don’t want the card.”

    Caller: “You don’t want the card? Then why did you call?”

    Me: “I didn’t. The cashier did. Can you cancel my card application, please?”

    Caller: “Of course, ma’am, but I just thought you should know that with [Store Card], you can get—”

    Me: *finally losing patience* “Great, thank you for cancelling the card application. Goodbye.”

    (I reach over and hang up the phone before the cashier can get to it again.)

    Cashier: “What happened?”

    Me: “I don’t want a store card. Did you pay for these items when I handed you my credit card, or should I give it back to you?”

    Cashier: “I’ll take it now. I’m very sorry about the wait. Sometimes they’re just so slow!”

    (She finally processes my payment. By this point, the line at front has dissipated a bit, so she turns to help the people who were behind me. Another cashier also steps up to help. I’m walking away, mentally writing it off as her having an off day, when I hear her talking to the other employee.)

    Cashier: “Oh, no, honey, that’s not how you do it. You must be new. Here, let me get this gentleman’s purchases, and you can watch me.” *to the other customer* “Would you like to sign up for a [Store Card] with us today?”

    Sharing Is Scaring

    | San Jose, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Employees

    (My best friend moved recently and lacks some necessities like toilet paper so while we are getting snacks I grab a pack. The cashier that evening is very grumpy.)

    Cashier: “You guys gonna share?”

    Friend: “Yeah, wanna join?”

    It’s A Repeat Order

    , | Reno, NV, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    Me: “Hi, can I have a chicken bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken?”

    Worker: “You want a salad?”

    Me: “Yes. Chicken bacon ranch salad.”

    Worker: “A bacon salad?”

    Me: “Yes… a chicken bacon ranch salad.”

    Worker: “You want a bacon chicken salad?”

    Me: “Yes, a chicken bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken.”

    Worker: “What kind of dressing?”

    Me: “…ranch.”

    Worker: “You wanted chicken on that? What kind?”

    Me: “…grilled.”

    Worker: “Okay… okay… ranch bacon salad with grilled chicken and ranch?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    (Luckily they got my order right…)

    If Only They Could Hear Themselves

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I am 23 years old and due to some complications when I was younger have hearing loss in my left ear. I do have a hearing aid but it occasionally cuts out if a noise is something that will harm my ear. My hearing aid is a BTE (Behind The Ear) model and i have my hair cut in a fashion to cover it. I have come to the liquor store to buy some drinks to mix for a party I am having. I approach with a cart that has various types of alcohol (about 20 bottles total). The cashier is an older woman who looks down at the cart then up and me and huffs.)

    Cashier: *as I reach into the cart to grab the first few bottles to place on the counter* “I hope you have your ID, otherwise you are going to have to put all those back.”

    Me: *I grab my ID and hand it to her* “Sorry, I should have got that out first.”

    (I go back to grab the bottles. Note my ID is still the ‘underage vertical’ so bars can tell the difference quicker. But it is still valid for five more years.)

    Cashier: *barely looking at the ID* “Sorry hun, looks like you are going to have to put it all back. Your ID says you are underage.”

    Me: “Umm… If you look at my birthday you will see I am 23.”

    Cashier: *she looks closer at my ID* “Still, your ID is invalid. You needed to get a new one after turning 21.”

    Me: “It’s still valid until 2019. I do not need to renew it until then.” *I continue to unload my cart*

    Cashier: “Fine, then.” *she starts to ring me up then says* “If you can pay for all this crap.”

    Me: “I am sorry, did you say something?” *the beeping of the register caused my hearing aid to cut out*

    Cashier: “Do you have enough money to pay for this? I don’t want to bag everything just to have to put it all back.”

    Me: “Yes, I have enough; I have been saving up for it.”

    Cashier: *continues to ring me up* “You shouldn’t be drinking this much alcohol, you know. It makes people stupid.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Cashier: “Alcohol makes people do stupid things.”

    (I ignore her comments for the remainder of her ringing me up, and am not focused when she mentions the total.)

    Me: “I am sorry could you repeat the total, please?”

    Cashier: “I thought you said you had enough money.” *she says with a sly grin*

    Me: “I do. I just didn’t hear you.”

    Cashier: “Kids these days don’t listen to a thing people say. I said your total is [total].”

    Me: *I open my wallet* “You said the total was [total]?”

    Cashier: “Yes, gawd, are you deaf?”

    Me: “Half actually.”

    Cashier: *looking at me quizzically* “What did you say?”

    Me: *flipping my hair behind my hearing aid, then grabbing the amount in cash out of my wallet* “I said that I am half deaf. You should be nicer to customers, and never assume anything based on age or appearance.”

    Cashier: *deer in headlights look* “Here is your receipt…”

    Establishing Order Over Tall Orders

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m in line at a coffee place. When it’s the turn of the guy in front of me, he rattles off a ridiculously complex order, with all sorts of alterations. At no point does he say ‘please,’ nor does he even bother looking at the lady taking his order. Surprisingly, she seems to get happier and happier as he spends a few minutes saying his order. By the end, she’s positively beaming.)

    Barista #1: “All right, sir. If you’ll wait over by the side of the counter, please, your order will just be a moment.”

    (The instant she finishes saying the word “moment”, she suddenly starts making the man’s drink with incredible speed. She’s flying around making the complex drink, pouring and stirring and grabbing various ingredients with astounding dexterity. Her movements are so rapid and precise that it’s like watching a sped-up version of a dance. Her face shows intense concentration, and all the other baristas and staff have stopped what they were doing to watch. She finishes after a minute.)

    Barista #1: “Here you are, sir! I hope you enjoy your drink!”

    (Suddenly, another barista calls out.)

    Barista #2: “She did it!”

    (The staff near her begin to clap her on the back, congratulating her, and generally acting like the event is a minor celebration. After a moment, she turns to serve me.)

    Barista #1: “What would you like today, ma’am?”

    Me: “Actually, can I ask what just happened?”

    Barista #1: “Oh, we have a competition among the staff. If anyone can make a drink in less time than it takes the customer to say what the drink is, the manager has agreed to take us all out for dinner, on her. [Barista #2] was timing, and it looks like I made it!”

    Barista #2: “Yeah, it makes us actually like the customers with over-the-top, customised drinks. They’re the only ones we stand a chance at beating! Normal drinks, like, ‘tall flat white,’ only take two seconds to say, so we can’t compete. That guy’s order was record-breakingly long, though!”

    (The guy, who had been ignoring them and inspecting his complex drink to look for flaws, turned red and slunk out. Later, I found out that the manager had created the competition to address the negative morale caused by difficult orders. It was obviously working.)


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