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    That Age-Old Problem

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words, New Hires

    (I am training a new employee on how to run the cash register. A trainer is expected to cover every topic in the store. After around six hours of babbling, my mouth is running on automatic. A woman in her 30s enters the line and asks for cigarettes.)

    Me: “Okay, [New Cashier]. Whenever you’re running on a normal register, you need to page customer service to get cigarettes. Remember, you’re also responsible to check IDs. You really don’t have to now, but—”

    (The new cashier turns and gives me a look of horror while the customer scoffs.)

    Customer: *sounding offended* “Thanks a lot!”

    Me: “What?” *the realization of what I said then sinks in* “OH! Oh, no I didn’t mean anything by that! I meant that, uhm… I’m sorry?”

    (The customer refused to look at or listen to me, and I lost my train of thought and fell silent. She paid for her cigarettes and left without another word. Sorry, Customer! I really didn’t mean to imply that you looked old!)

    Literally Asking The Impossible

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests

    (I’m running the control center for the self-checkout lanes. Because we’ve just opened, it’s only me, the service counter person, and the manager. A cashier doesn’t arrive until we’ve been open for half an hour, and all customers know this, so the self-checkout gets a lot of traffic in the early morning.)

    Manager: “Hey, [My Name], I need you to jump on a register.”

    Me: “I’m already on a register. I’m actually on six. I’m doing self-checkout today, remember?”

    Manager: “Just get on lane three.”

    Me: “Boss, I can’t. I’m already logged in as the self-checkout person. I can’t be on two systems at once.”

    Manager: “Well, then log off and get on a register!”

    Me: “You want me to shut down the self checkout?”

    Manager: “No, you’re the only one here who knows how to run it. Just get on a register!”

    Me: “It’s not possible. The system won’t allow me to—”


    (Aisle 15 is the very last aisle in the store, the furthest point away from the registers.)

    Me: “So you want me to be on self-checkout, lane three, AND in aisle fifteen all at the same time?”

    Manager: “YES!”

    Me: “That… that’s not physically possible.”

    Service Desk: “I can get on a register if someone needs—”

    Manager: “NO!” [My Name] needs to do it.”

    Service Desk: “The system won’t let her be logged in to two places at once. Either I get on a register, or you do. She HAS to stay there.”

    Manager: *goes red with rage* “FINE. If you can’t do it, then I’ll get someone who CAN!” *stomps off*

    Me: *to Service Desk* “But we’re literally the only people here.”

    Service Desk: “I do not have enough caffeine in me to deal with this.”

    Might As Well Just Be Giving Them A Raspberry

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bosses & Owners, Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I am extremely sensitive to pesticides, and as a result, I always buy my berries organic. The store has a huge sale on non-organic raspberries which completely sell out. Since organic raspberries are $1.50 more, there still are plenty.)

    Cashier: “How did you find these? I was told we are all sold out!”

    Me: “Well, your regular ones are sold out, but these ones are organic, so—”

    Cashier: “Hold on, these aren’t ringing up on sale.”

    Me: “Yes, that’s fine. They’re organic, so they cost more.”

    Cashier: “But raspberries are supposed to be on sale. Let me see if I can get a manager for you.”

    Me: “The REGULAR raspberries are on sale; the organic are regular priced. It’s fine, really.”

    Cashier: “No! Raspberries are on sale!” *begins paging the manager*

    Me: “No, really it’s fine. I’ll just pay this price. I need to get home.”

    Manager: “What’s the problem?”

    Cashier: “This woman is trying to buy these raspberries, but they’re not ringing up on sale.”

    Manager: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, the sale only extends to non-organic raspberries.”

    Me: “I KNOW. I’ve been trying to explain this to the cashier here, and I’m okay with paying more, but she’s not hearing me.”

    Manager: “It’s just that organic berries cost more to maintain, and—”

    Me: “I KNOW! Look! I. WILL. PAY. THIS. PRICE. I’m not looking for a discount, I just wanted organic raspberries!”

    Manager: *looking confused* “But… they’re organic. We can’t give you the sale price.”

    Me: “I know, and I already said REPEATEDLY that it’s fine.”

    Manager: “You know what? I’ll make an exception for you this time. But next time, we’re not giving you a discount for buying an organic product!”

    (He then gave me the discount for the regular raspberries. I’m not entirely certain it was worth the headache.)

    Pranking As Sour As Vinegar

    | MI, USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (We just hired a new bagger at our store. After a few shifts one of the cashiers decides to prank him.)

    Coworker: “Hey [New Hire], will you go shake the vinaigrette dressings in the condiment aisle? Customers are more likely to buy them if they’re mixed up.”

    (The new hire is gone for 45 minutes and freaks because he can’t keep the vinaigrette dressings to stay mixed on the shelves. The manager overhears what happened.)

    Manager: “Coworker, normally I would write you up for doing something like that to a new hire, but that was too funny. I won’t write you up if you don’t do it again.”

    Doesn’t Have This In The Bag

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (Typically when I get groceries I use the self-checkout lanes, because the baggers here are notoriously awful. However, I had a few coupons today and the self-check always has issues processing coupons, so I go to the regular checkout.)

    Me: “Oh, and, I don’t mean to be rude but, can you please make sure the bread goes in a separate bag?”

    Cashier: “I know how to do my job!”

    Me: “I’m not saying you don’t! I’m just a bit paranoid from having it crushed a few times.”

    Cashier: *looks offended* “Well, I’m not an idiot!”

    (The cashier then proceeds to not only shove the loaf of down into the bag in such a way that it’s almost folded over in half, he then DROPS a 2-liter of soda on top of it, and flips the bag over a few times to ‘tie it off.’)

    Cashier: “Here you go.”

    Me: “Did you do that on purpose?”

    Cashier: “What are you talking about?”

    (I still don’t know whether he was just faking innocence or if he really didn’t realize he ruined two items simultaneously. Thankfully, the customer service desk let me replace the smashed-to-pieces bread, and the explosion-waiting-to-happen soda.)

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