cashier Archives - I Hate Working In Retail


This Is Why Your Whole Foods Cashier Hates You



In the religion of buying organic and local, Whole Foods is like the big, showy megachurch. There’s two-hundred plus of John Mackey‘s paeans to healthful eating in the U.S. and in each store there’s a throng of cashiers bleating the Whole Foods motto: “Would you like five cents back for bringing your own bag or would you like to make a donation to charity?” The prohibitive price of the groceries (Whole Paycheck, anyone?) coupled with the granola (and we’re not talking merchandise here) the company emanates attracts a certain kind of customer. If you’re one of those customers, know that even though your actions may come from a benevolent place, you might be driving your cashier nuts. Here are some helpful tips (culled from a former store employee!) to help preserve their sanity.

Don’t joke about your ID being fake.

You’re handing over the limited-edition six-pack of microbrew or a bottle of biodynamic wine and you crack wise about the validity of your ID. Understand that this happens one to two dozen times a day and by the 15th time, it is as fresh as any sitcom tagline. They see the smirk on your face, and it’s almost like they can hearJoey Lawrence exclaiming, “Whoa!”

They don’t run the store.

This may surprise you, but your cashier probably does not run the store. Don’t complain and/or chastise them because the herbal eyedrops have been moved and you can’t find them or the bulk lentil bin is empty. Again. It’s not their fault, and they don’t care that things are done differently at [insert name of your locally owned organic grocery store that you aren’t frequenting anyway].

Don’t talk on your cell phone.

Actually, go ahead an talk on your cell phone. Making small talk is part of the job, and if you’re on the phone they get to forgo the ritual. Just be prepared to answer all the pertinent questions, like, “How are you going to pay for these biodegradable picnic utensils?”

Don’t assume they buy the Whole Foods hype.

Just because someone works at Whole Foods doesn’t mean they buy into your piecemeal spirituality. Don’t tell them Mercury is in retrograde or lecture them about the latest international cause you’ve taken up. They’ve been standing in place for seven hours, trying to pretend they love every minute of it for fear of losing their job. You’re paying too much for your food, and they’re not getting paid enough to pretend they care.

Put your kids on a leash.

Okay, you don’t have to put them on a leash. It’s demeaning, we know. But learn the line between raising kids to be “free” and respecting others. Maybe they let Dakota express herself like that at Montessori school, but keeping her from scattering peanut butter pretzels everywhere won’t stunt her emotional development.

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Top 10 Ways to Make Your Cashier Hate You

When in the business of customer service, you will certainly at one point have to deal with difficult people.  See Customer Service.  There are ways to survive these people, but why should us service slaves always have to put up with a person’s horrible manners?



Starting off our list, the number 10 way to get your cashier to hate you is by being dirty.  Handling money is gross already, but it’s even grosser when it comes out of your pocket soggy and smelling like sweat and compost.  I understand that sometimes after a long day landscaping or doing construction work, you might not feel like washing all the dirt under your nails but THIS is unacceptable:

Your odor should not be so pungent that I can identify  which department of the store you are in.  Your clothing should not be so ripped that I have to revisit the no shirt no shoes no service policy.  In general, don’t be so dirty that I feel the need to rub hand sanitizer up to my elbows in order to avoid catching some strange disease.  Being dirty in any place where there is food or disease can easily be spread is unacceptable.
 Number nine may not be a problem in other stores, but at my grocery store it totally is.  This is in part because both a real pen and an electronic pen are attached to POS machine.  But everyday someone new scribbles their signature on the touch pad with a real pen, and everyday another customer points it out like:
“Look!  Some idiot signed with a real pen!”
I think what bothers me most about this is the sheer ignorance people exhibit when they realize the are holding a real pen.  They look at it for a moment like:
And then continue to write  with it as if they were completely unaware.
Eventually the signature pad becomes so scratched and covered in real ink that you can’t even read the prompts.  SO STOP IT AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

I feel as though I have a sixth sense for couponers.  No matter what I’m doing. if an extreme couponer is within a five mile radius of me, I get shivers.

They come with an envelope full of coupons, totally prepared to get a 200 dollar order of diapers for 2 dollars.  It is a long, excruciating experience, seeing as many of the coupons don’t scan and I have to enter them in manually.  Occasionally it takes so long I have to shut off my light temporarily so that other customers aren’t deceived into thinking I’ll be done in a minute or two.  Because I won’t.  I never am.
Then comes the expired coupons that they insist on you taking.  And the coupons which are supposed to automatically double their prices.  When you refuse to do so, the coupon Nazi appears.

The coupon Nazi insists that your grocery chain accepted the coupons at another location and threaten to never come back and make you lose business.  Though really, it’s not like they’re paying for anything.

And when it’s all over, you just feel dirty.  Like you’ve participated in a robbery.  We cashiers don’t necessarily hate extreme couponers  We just hate coupon Nazis.

I once had a customer come through my line with three small children.  She bought two six packs of beer, a chocolate bar (for her,) and at least a dozen of other flavored alcoholic beverages.  She then proceeded to pay for the order with an EBT.  One of her children asked if she could by some Macaroni and Cheese, and the woman said,
 “We don’t have any money.”
It makes me furious to see the way some people set their priorities.  It also infuriates me to see people using food stamps inappropriately.  These items are NOT for food stamps:
Energy drinks, alcohol, sodas, candy, junk food.  These aren’t foods for meals.  These are snacks.  You are using your EBT card inappropriately and I want to strangle you.
I don’t know what it is that makes my customers think that I have the final word over anything that goes on in the store, but it always seems to me that the cashier it always taking full blame for everything.  A customer will look at me sternly and proclaim that I really should change the price of bread if I want people to come back to the store.
I really don’t give a sh*t if you come back.
Let me break this down.  When a customer complains about something in the store that I have no control over, I imagine putting on a cape and whisking myself away to some, “Grocery Headquarters,” probably somewhere on a mountain where only employees who can fly, can reach them.  Hence it being my duty to fix this injustice.
Obviously at this point I bust in on corporate’s secret meeting to inform them of your shopping displeasure.
Unfortunately, this is not what happens.  And if you think I’m going to waste my time writing a letter that won’t be read to my superiors because you think your Frosted Mini Wheats cost too much, think again.  STOP BUGGING YOUR CASHIERS ABOUT PROBLEMS THEY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER.
Unless your significant other has just lost all of their arms and legs and is on fire, (or other similar emergencies,) if you come through my line chatting on your cellphone, I will loath you.
Here’s something no one’s said, ever:
Talking on your phone while in line is just plain rude.  No one wants to be forced to be a part of your conversation and when either of is distracted the order will take longer and there is more room for error, (like writing on the POS with a real pen).  Please put the cellphone away.  It won’t kill you, I promise.
We’re climbing our way to the top folks.  Number 4 on the top 10 list of ways to make your cashier wish you were never conceived is by leaving your cart or basket by the register and taking off to grab that one item you forgot.
What usually ends up happening is the customer takes forever to come back and I’m forced to start the next order or be hung by impatient village people.  Then the customer comes back and is all like:
Well I set your stuff to the side.  Because you took too long.  Because you WEREN’T, in line.  And how do I know that you’re even coming back?  If you want your cashier to hate you, expect that we’re totally fine with you holding up the line and us taking the blame for it.
I don’t even want to draw this out because it’s pretty self exclamatory.  I am not paying attention to your every movement.  I am multitasking at a million different things when I’m doing an order, whether bagging, receiving money, scanning coupons, etc..  Therefore you have no reason to get angry at me if I don’t know where one order begins and the other ends if you DON’T USE THE DIVIDE BAR.
This dialogue does not take place in my head.
“…Hmm apples, cereal, milk, baby formula, bananas…Bananas?  What?  Impossible! This cannot be the same order, it is improbable!  This woman doesn’t want bananas!”
I once accidentally had a woman pay for a teen’s entire order because the teen didn’t use the divide bar and said nothing as the order went through.  The teenager then spoke up immediately after the credit card went through, getting mad because of the extra five minutes it took to refund the first woman her money.  The girl said:
“I thought it was obvious that the Gatorade was mine.”
No.  It’s not obvious.  We cashiers don’t have a magical bell in our head that alerts us where one order ends and another begins.
I see you coming with your full cart.  I see you stopping.
I know you saw the express light.  I know you’re pretending to be totally unaware.
Then you come on through with your cart like, “No big deal, I’m a special circumstance.”  And when you’ve finished unloading all of your groceries onto the belt you go.
Like hell you didn’t know.  Like hell.
AAAAAND, the number one way to get your cashier to renounce their faith in humanity is to not know how much money you have spent on groceries.
The customer comes through your line with a full cart.  You know what’s coming when their hand is hovering above the belt and their eyes are glued to the total on the screen.  Then suddenly they say:
Which is totally awesome.  Because now, YOU get to put away the groceries they can’t afford.  You get to spend hours searching for the items they found and put them back on the shelf, because they couldn’t do simple addition in their head.  This is by far the worst, and most ignorant offense.
  I see almost all of these offenses in a single day, and this only the top ten.  There are many other ways to make us cashiers feel like gum under your shoe, but it would take too long to write them all down.  And if you’re guilty of any of these offenses take a good long look at yourself in the mirror.
This is the top ten list of what you can do to make your cashier hate you.  OR, what you can not do to make you cashier love you.  Basically, just don’t be an inconsiderate jerk.


10 Reasons Your Cashier Hates You

Everyone has worked a job at some point where they sit at a register and count money and ring out customers. No one can really say that they haven’t had at least some experience with this, so why is it that people are still dicks to cashiers? It’s as if some people wake up in the morning and decide they’re going to walk around all day being bitter to strangers.

Here is everything you do that makes your cashier hate you, and how you don’t know they’re retaliating.


1. “I’m just gonna leave this here on the counter, I’ll be right back.”

Oh, yeah? You know, just the other day we were thinking, shopping carts are just too much work to expect the customer to use, so why don’t they just leave all their shit in our work space? Perfect.



2. “You’re out of ______.”

Thank you, sir, I did not realize what that empty spot on the shelf symbolized. But I can check in the back to see if we have any more.



3. “YOU’RE OUT OF __________!”

You know, it can be very frustrating when you travel to a store and it doesn’t have what you came for. What’s even more frustrating is thinking raising your voice will solve the problem, or holding your cashier accountable. But the most frustrating part of all is that the item in question is probably back-stocked, but you’re such an asshole that nobody is going to look for you and just say tough luck, pal.



4. “Do you take checks?”

This customer is very easy to spot before they even pull out their checkbook, as they’re all 65+ and female. Do we take checks? Yes, Mother Time, unfortunately we do.  “Oh you do?” *proceeds to write check with the slowest preciseness and perfect handwriting that they’ll never see again while holding up the line*



5. “I’ve been to three stores already today and you don’t have it either.”

Frustration understood. Nobody wants to spend their day looking for things. But why the hell are you getting so frustrated at this point? Call it a day. Call the stores before you drive to them and ask if they have what you’re looking for. Better yet, go online. But it isn’t your cashier’s fault you avoided these wiser options, so don’t take out your misguided anger on them.



6. ” You don’t close for 2 minutes? Oh I’ll be right out I just have to get one thing.”

No. No. You won’t be right out, and it’s Friday. Why are you even at this store this late on Friday? Don’t you have anything better to do? Oh, of course not since you’re here, assuming your cashier also has no place better to be. No discounts for you.



7. “Do you price match your website?”

Did you really just ask if we could price match the internet? Let me single-handedly defeat the purpose of the world wide web for you. COME ON. The internet is supposed to be cheaper, bro.



8. “I slid my card. Why isn’t is working?”

Your cashier is here to assist you through your purchase, not hold your hand while providing step-by-step instructions for using an electronic payment terminal. It has a screen for a reason, uppity soccer mom who is rushing to be at peewee league on time. By choosing to pay with your convenient swipe card, you are choosing to complete your transaction with the computer, not the cashier. So between sliding your card and your cashier handing you your receipt, you’re on your own! If you can’t figure it out, well…



9. “That hundred looks good, doesn’t it? I just printed that one.”

You’re hilarious. And original. Your cashier just laughs at your shitty joke because they don’t want to explain for the 50th time that they will lose their job if they accept a fake bill. So yes, we will put your $100 bills under black lights and hold them up for the watermark. And if you look like a drug dealer or a crook, we’ll check your 20s and 50s too. Making this joke will not deter anyone from believing your bill may be fake.



10. “Can I return this without the receipt?”

It’s open, so it can’t be put back on the shelf. The price tag stuck to the box in no way matches any price tag used to mark items in this store. They paid cash, so you can’t try to pull up the receipt for them. Since when do you get to buy something, use it, and then return it to a store it didn’t come from? And now you’re going to get salty that I am returning your item, in exchange for a gift card? We don’t even believe you bought that here.


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