Just a lowly cashier complaining about the unknowing irritation you cause by everyday purchasing transactions.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Price Debaters, No Personalities, and the Unwilling Buyer

Yesterday I worked a long shift until 11 while talking to every customer felt like I was swallowing broken glass. Not fun. Yet, only one customer mentioned my croaky voice. I was still a little out of it and a couple of times nearly ended up in the greeting cycle which goes like this:

Me: Hello, how are you?
Customer: I'm well, how are you?
Me: Fine, how are-

If I'm a little foggy and not all there, the greeting has the potential of becoming a never ending cycle of pleasantries.

Today, in Customers That Annoy Me we have three types that were displayed yesterday: The Price Debaters, The No Personalities, and the Unwilling Buyer.

A couple came up to my register with a cart that was brimming with toys: scooters, bikes, electronic learning pads, Barbies, you name it. I patiently rang everything up, bagged the bulky and oddly shaped packages, asked them nicely if they wanted replacement plans for everything the register prompted me to and gave them their total: $420. The man's eyes bulged and he looked at me incredulously as if I had pulled those digits out of the air. He voiced his disbelief (despite his wife urging him the large total was correct) and had the audacity to accuse that I rang up things multiple times. The moron still insisted upon this after I gave him a copy of everything I had scanned, complete with prices and product descriptions. There were like 30 items and the first three added up to $75 alone. Clearly, this man had failed basic math. I can't just magically multiply and I don't make up prices. All I do is beep-beep-beep and scan stuff. After more time he eventually pulled out a HUGE wad of cash and paid me by throwing the money on the belt (which I HATE, so rude) and left. And by 'left' I mean, pulled to the side and attempted to add up his receipt before giving up and leaving the store. What an annoying asshole.

But that's a Price Debater... sometimes things are wrong so I have no problem correcting a mistake if they are polite and reasonable. Don't fucking accuse me of doing anything. I stand in the front and check people out. What's beyond the register area, I have no control over. Price Debaters are also known to watch the price screen for every single item I ring up as if I'm suddenly going to decide that I want to raise the price on their bucket of Crisco. Do you know how long it would take me to change the prices on things?! That's right: FOREVER. And I don't want you standing there with your moles hanging off your face as you watch every item I scan, I usually just want you GONE.

Everyday I come into contact with many people with absolutely zero personality. They aren't only the types of people who just look at me blankly and emotionlessly when I ask them the difficult, "How are you?" question but even on the off-chance there is an opportunity for a joke they don't even register that it happened. Am I just taking for granted that my joke is funny or is something else at work? I truly don't think that it's my jokes that stink because a lot of the time when I look at these people it's like looking at a shell. Their eyes are empty and their faces are completely expressionless. It seems others may have noticed their lack of a personality and wish to avoid them because they're usually shopping alone. It's almost as if there's an alien inside them working the controls and it hasn't grasped "social interaction" yet.

The Unwilling Buyer comes in many forms but it is most often women. I don't know why that is... maybe men make the "Should I buy this?" decision more easily than women (who like to hoard it in their cart until they can pawn it off on me). But it's usually when I'm beginning to greet the customer that they feel the need to shove the questionable article at my nose and say, "I don't want this" instead of registering that I actually addressed them. It annoys me because here you are, you've walked through the ENTIRE store and could place it item anywhere where someone who gets paid to put things back could have found it but instead you brought it to me so I can try and stuff it under the register with all the other shit people don't want. Thanks...

But last night had a special idiotic circumstance because my customer decided he no longer wanted the personally sliced deli meat.

Customer: "I don't want this anymore, they were supposed to give me only a half pound."
Me: "Why didn't you tell the person back there who cut this?"

He just stares at me blankly as if the thought had not occurred to him.

Customer: "Well, can you just put it back?"
Me: "Uhh.... no. We can't sell this now, you know... something about sanitation."

DUH! Really, put it back? For all we know you took it down some lonely aisle and violated the lunchmeat, used it as a Kleenex or something. I don't know but why wouldn't you mention it to the person back there who actually gave it to you?! DUMB ASS. I think he just didn't want to spend the money on the lunchmeat because it was like $5 so... that not only makes him a dumb ass but a liar too.

And one more thing... the trip from the time clock to the front of the store with the registers is riddled with inquisitive customers just lying in wait for me. It's almost like navigating a minefield because... I'm just a cashier, I don't know where shit is, what shit costs and when we're getting in the shit. I'm sorry but I don't know and you need to find someone that has "Sales Associate" on their tag. You also need to open your freaking eyes and read all the signs we have in the store alerting you where the hell things are. People have absolutely NO desire to find things on their own. It's a pretty easy process that must stress their brains a lot. Here's what seems to occur and where the problem lies:

Customer's brain: What am I looking for? Shave gel. Where am I? Cosmetics... ahhhhhh. Abort mission! Must get help. Must get help.

That actually happened yesterday. Why wouldn't you go to the shaving aisle and look there? At least BE in the right section?

Usually I can tell when someone's about to ask me something. They look ahead to where I'm walking and register the name tag, navy shirt and khaki pants and their eyes and face light up. It is at this moment that my eyes dart to anything that I can look at that isn't near them. I still get stopped and asked a stupid question. Yesterday, I tried a new tactic... dart away from the walking course and hope to give them the slip. Didn't work, he tracked me down. I guess I'll have to perfect this move but it also throws me into the path of other customers with probably more questions...

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