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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Hate Being a Customer

The worst part of my week has got to be grocery day.  I can think of quite a few people who feel the same way about grocery shopping (probably most people hate it with a passion).  But, it's not the shopping I hate but the forced interaction with fellow customers that causes my blood to boil. 

When I lived in Arizona, the town was smaller and there were good and bad times to go to the store.  There were times when there were hardly anyone in the store and you could shop in peace.  But here, where the population is huge and basically always on top of each other, there are no good times to go.  

The shelves will always be missing something you need no matter what time you are shopping.  There will always be some asswipe with a stroller up your ass or rolling over the top of your foot (this happened to my husband this last weekend).  There will always be the annoying family who, rather than putting their barely-walking child in the cart, makes them walk and get in EVERYONE'S way while they casually stroll along without a care in the world besides "Rice crispies or cinnamon toast crunch?" 

There will always be the aisle-blockers who put their cart on one side and stand right in the way so no one can get past.  I usually stand there, clear my throat and stare at them until they really zone out and I have to loudly and sharply say, "Excuse me."  And then they turn to me and genuinely look surprised and say, "Oh, I'm sorry!"  Then I feel like a rude asshole.  But, I also think to myself, "How fucking stupid are these people to completely be oblivious to their surroundings that they can't understand that there are others trying to move in the store?!"  It seriously is as if their brains can only hold one thought at a time and all their brainwaves are occupied contemplating brands of shortening and prices. 

There's always the token screaming kid and mother, the moron who can't drive the motorized cart so every five seconds you hear the *beep beep beep* of them backing up into something, and the old lady (or man sometimes) who can't reach something and looks to me as if I'm some Amazon lady who can get it down for them (not that I especially mind, I like being tall...).  

I hate walking in the mall during a busy day and I look off into the distance to see a stampede of strollers coming my way, forming an impenetrable barrier of offspring.  They're usually young mothers in ugly yoga pants and unbrushed hair walking handle bar to handle bar and completely oblivious to the world around them.  There are times when I don't move and they look at me as if I'M the rude one taking up all the space. 

I also hate shopping in stores where I'm the only customer and I've got three sales people trailing after me asking if I need help.  How many people really need help shopping for clothes, I wonder?  Wouldn't I be the best person to consult on what I'm going to wear?  It only makes sense. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rewards For Being Morons

Well, the book has stalled for now.  Sometimes it's hard for me to stay focused because I'm the queen of the "there's always tomorrow" excuse.  I've got to get it through my thick head that that's not necessarily true and I should take advantage of all this time alone at home to write!

To all the men who call women "sweetie," "baby," or "sweetheart": STOP IT!  Whether you realize it or not, it's condescending and rude.  I am not any of those things to you and it makes me feel like a "little woman" when you say these things to me.  It's usually the old, ugly fucks who say this to me from the other side of the register.  I guess there are worse things to be called but I don't appreciate being called a "sweet" name.  It makes me feel insecure, stupid, and incompetent.  And when you accompany any of the above names with a wink, it makes me want to knock you upside the head with my debit machine.  

Things I Don't Miss:

-People who would bring up a handful of items and say, "I guess you know what I'm having for dinner!"  For one, I don't care.  Two, I usually don't really pay much attention to the shit that I would scan.  Three, NO I can't tell what the fuck you're having for dinner because I fail to see how bread, a can of anchovies and milk constitutes a dinner.  
-When I would announce the total while still continuing to bag groceries, there was always that rude moron who would shove their bills under my nose so that I'd take them immediately. It was so annoying and inconsiderate that I wanted to take their $50 and shred it in front of them and blow the pieces in their face. 
-Donut theives.  When I worked at my convenient/grocery store job we had a large donut case.  People would graze past there as they entered the store, fill up a bag or box and eat throughout the store.  They liked to lie about the number of donuts too so I always had to pay attention to if they were eating their donuts or not and I'd always have to open the box to see if they were lying.  A lot of the time they were.  Why would you bother stealing a fucking .65 donut when you're paying about $25 for the rest of your groceries anyway?!
-When I was a cashier/Sunday morning manager at my last job I'd have to deal with product returns.  It was usually people complaining about bad meat (which didn't happen very often but once it did they'd say "UGH this is the [exaggerated amount]th time I've gotten bad meat from here!").  I distinctly remember one customer who brought me a just a shopping bag of sausage.  It smelled terrible like she'd left it on the counter all night.  She had no meat wrapper and no receipt.  It took all my energy not to scream at her, "What the fuck do you want me to do with this?!"  Seriously though... what is the mental processes that are going on in people's heads? (Are there any...?)

Speaking of "bad" food, when I worked at my last job I dreaded the Summer time.  Not because it was so deathly hot outside when I took out the trash that I'd be covered in sweat by the time I got back from the dumpster.  Not because there were intervals in which business was mind-numbingly slow.  Not because I hated working weekends and seeing everyone come in for the cookout and pool party supplies.  But,  every Summer we had a wave of morons that would come into the store and complain that our dairy products or meat had spoiled.  What these fuckwads failed to mention was that the above items had spoiled because they had left them in their 124+ degree car after they bought them.  Is your car a fucking fridge?  Of course it spoiled, genius!  Even though my boss highly suspected they'd abandoned their groceries in their hot car, he always gave their money back.  I hate when people are rewarded for being complete idiots. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gross Hands and Boob Money

Throughout my entire customer service experience, I have come into contact with some of the most disgusting hands and fingernails that the world has ever seen.  

When I worked at Little Caesars and served cheap-o $5 pizzas with the innuendo "Hot-N-Ready" emblazoned over my chest, we had plenty of construction worker customers.  Now these men are hard workers, there's no doubt, but what extra effort does it possibly take to wash construction shit off of your hands before you go to lunch?  I have no idea why anyone would really want to walk around with dirty crud underneath their fingernails and on their hands that makes it look like they were elbow-deep in a cow's ass.  And I KNOW you aren't going to use a fork for that pizza so now you're eating that nasty crap off your hands.  SICK. 

There are a few types of grossness that have come into contact with:

-Mechanic-gross hands (oil and grease in the dry, icky cracks of their hands)
-Construction worker-gross hands (mud and dirt and dry, cracked hands) 
-Diseased-looking gross-hands (warts, dry and pealing skin, scabs, open sores, bruises)
-Surprise!  Missing finger!/hand! gross-hands 

It wouldn't really bother me that other people have these revolting types of hands if they... DIDN'T HAND MONEY TO ME AND BRUSH THAT SICKNESS AGAINST MY SKIN.  I despise the stranger-hand touch and it makes it a hundred times worse when that hand touch is coming from a zombie hand. 

The last type of gross hands, the Missing Finger! hand has got to be the worst.  It's not even necessarily that it's gross but more like the crazy shock you get when you realize that only four fingers are handing you the money!  Then, you have to act like nothing is wrong and that you hardly notice that the man is missing his index finger.  

It reminds me of all the times this one guy would come in at Little Caesar's with his hook hand and would count out the money and hand it to me.  I tried to look normal but who knows what my face really looked like? 

I used to dread the Summer months in my desert town in Arizona for two reasons: the extreme heat and wet money.  The construction workers that had disgusting hands would retrieve the money from their pockets (that was wrinkled into a wad) and hand it to me, sopping wet.  That was the most disgusting thing ever.  I even reserved a special place under my cash drawer to lay out sweat-soaked bills from construction workers' pockets. 

But still, worse than that was boob money.  For some reason there are women who think that their bra doubles as a wallet/purse and will hide things in there.  While this may be a good idea for enjoying Mardi Gras or the NYC New Year's Eve ball drop, a trip to the store shouldn't employ such aggressive laziness/anti-theft tactics.  I don't want to touch anything that you pull from your bra especially anything that has been up against your breasts long enough to be as sweaty-wet as pocket money.  I also don't enjoy you and your friends talking about how much money you made dancing at the club when you pull money from your bra.  Even if it's a joke, please... spare me the mental image that you just gave me by placing you in a strip club (because I need to go bleach my eyes now). 

Friday, March 4, 2011

A New Direction

So, I finally figured out how I think I want a book based on this blog to go... and I started writing today.  I reasoned that most of my blogs fit into the following categories: arriving, shopping, and leaving.  Here's what I've got right now as a work in progress for the first chapter of the book so far. 

The parking lot is the first indication of the condition of the actual store.  It is also a place of great idiocy and rudeness on behalf of the customers.  Most parking lots that are frequented by a great many people, as the Supercenter’s was, are littered with everything imaginable: fast food bags, dirtied baby diapers, drink cups, socks, and shirts that have remarkably found its way off of the wearer.
And despite the fact that there are many trash cans that are conveniently located throughout the parking lot, people take the path of least resistance and dump their shit out on the pavement rather than walk an extra two steps to deposit of it properly.  This behavior is not unlike the lazy assholes in movie theaters who leave their popcorn on their seats and their drinks in the cup holders (because carrying it out the door and next to the trash can would be too much activity to handle). 
To further drive home the true laziness of the Supercenter’s classy clientele, the manner of parking was also indicative of the customer’s true lack of conscientiousness.  
There’s a special breed of people (whom I have named parking piranhas) that cruise the parking lot for the closest spaces in order to attack it as soon as one backs their vehicle out.  There may be many parking spaces a few spots away but they seemingly cannot live without the space being as close to the door as possible.  I have even experienced being stalked by people driving in their cars in order to find where I was parked so that they may grab up my spot with the greediness of a two year old child.  To catch them off guard there are a few tactics I have employed to throw them off (you may steal these if needed):
  • Walk insanely slow, stop, look at your imaginary watch and glance around the parking lot as if you cannot find your car.  Throw up your hands in exasperation and soon they will get frustrated and drive off to another victim. 
  • Pick a random car out of the parking lot and slowly walk to it.  Fumble with your keys for effect.  When the car approaches you and your fake car, run in the opposite direction to your car.
When you finally get your car parked in a carefully chosen space, it is now time to take a deep breath and brace yourself for the hectic store environment.  
Have you ever experienced inclement weather while out shopping?  Have you raced through the rain/snow/sleet to the store entrance, went to grab a cart and there are none?  Or there are carts but you turn up your nose and cry out in exasperation that the carts are wet?  Yes, the carts go outside and outside is where it is raining so logically the carts will be too.  Wipe off the cart and move on. 
And when there are no carts but the parking lot was covered in a foot of snow, what the fuck are you doing out in the snow shopping for?  (Why did you risk your life to come and get a bag of chocolate-covered donuts and a t-shirt?)  These are the same people who cannot figure out why there are no carts in the store.  If you had a hard time walking into the store, how fucking hard do you imagine it is to walk, push carts, and avoid the asshole drivers of the parking lot?  Yeah, pretty damn difficult.  If I were a cart handler, I would not be the slightest bit tempted to go outside and grab carts in terrible weather and risk bodily injury just so customers can push it around the store to gather things to stuff their faces with.  Go get your own cart or grab a hand cart.  Why are you grocery shopping in this weather?! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Not The Only One

My husband and I went grocery shopping at Walmart yesterday and we went at a time that was super busy, dinner time.  It felt weird walking into the store and as I passed the registers I glanced around to see who was working: Trailer Park Girl (still sporting the dark hair and greasiness), the cashier I beat for fastest IPH, The Twilight guy (his name is the same as one of the characters), and grumpy Gloria (she trained me but upon further examination I realized just how grumpy she was to everyone). 

I'd have to say that as a customer, other customers annoy me even more.  They stand in the way, they walk slow, they pay no mind to what's around them and are generally very inconsiderate.  But now... I get to leave and I breathe a sigh of relief once I get to my car to be out of the store that's filled with assholes. 

While shopping I encountered a woman whom I was hired with and she asked me if I was still working there.  I had no qualms telling her that I quit because I hated it and I was beginning to get panic attacks.  

"Then you did what you had to do," she replied before complaining about her own work schedule.
"It was the customers, they're so rude," I said.
"Yeah, I just shrug it off, pay no mind and don't let it get to me."

How come I couldn't just shrug it off?  Maybe she's more easy-going and laid back than I am? I tried and tried for months to just shrug it off and usually I managed to.  Then, I came home just to bitch about it on my blog.

She mentioned that she was actively searching for a job still (because she hated Walmart too) and before parting we wished each other luck.  Unlike the insincerity of most casual goodbyes, I really meant it.