I’ve been a cashier at a store that is to remain anonymous for about a month now. It’s to remain anonymous because I fear my corporate overlords are watching me.
Anyway, throughout my relatively short time here, I have experienced customers that range from just a questionable demeanor to those who have such low levels of sympathy that it borders on being villainous. Here’s a list of my faves!
- Grape lady: This lady came into the express lane with nothing but a bag of grapes. The bag was pretty empty; there couldn’t have been more than like 30 grapes in there. It should have been a quick transaction since it was just one item, but customers have a way of bending time to their will. The grapes weigh in at 1.32 lbs or something. She asks me to re-weigh it since the scale in the produce section told her they weighed 1 lb. I do it again and it slightly changes, but not by much. She is still not satisfied. We repeat it at least seven times, with the line growing longer exponentially. She settles for 1.24 lbs. It was a 10 cent difference. I know times are tough, but really?
- Devout gamer: So, we do this game where we hand out different amounts of game pieces with each purchase. It’s mostly just small coupons, like a free donut or 30 cents off some obscure item, but of course, there’s a minute chance to strike it big. This particular customer had already held up the line due to his invalid coupons, which he blamed me for. He nevertheless had earned like 70 game pieces. I wasn’t going to count them out on the spot because I had a long line, so I just handed him a stack of pieces. I do admit that I had vastly underestimated how much was in the stack, but I really think he blew it all out of proportion. He counted them and got angry with me when he counted only 24 pieces. I apologized and explained I didn’t intend to give him less, it was just very busy so I couldn’t count them immediately. He told me that if I didn’t want to count, I shouldn’t be working here because that’s my job. It’s also my job to serve customers other than him, but oh well. I had to drop everything and count out his pieces before it got worse.
- Probably a scammer: This woman came in to buy nothing but deodorants and detergents. That’s the easiest way to spot a couponer. She was very friendly, which is honestly not typical of couponers. Her coupons cut her total down by HUNDREDS of dollars, and I was a little alarmed. I personally don’t really care if customers come in and rob the store of everything it’s worth, but I could be on the line for any losses the store faces. I continued the transaction since I was unaware at the time of the potential repercussions. She asks me my name and when I’ll be back, and I thought to myself “she really is taking advantage of me and plans to come back.” Sure enough, she did come back. I made sure to read every word on the coupon, and told her that there is a limit of four. She said okay and we just kept going. She left with her detergents once more. One of my managers asked me about it later and told me I should not have approved the coupons. She said the store doesn’t accept anything above $4, and her’s were for $9. Oops. Whether they were fakes, we don’t know. I will fight her if I see her again
- Dinosaur: This old woman came in to buy four things. I asked her if she has a phone number with us, which is standard procedure, and she said no. She asked how she can sign up, and I handed her one of the papers and explained that she can go online and apply in a few steps. She went from 0 to 100 in literally a fraction of a second. She got as loud as an elderly person can get, yelling that she has no computer and is not going to get one, or anything from this store. She literally walked out of the store without her items because of this.
- Korean War Vet: This really old guy with a Korean War Veteran cap came in and started a new war, with me. He was a little snarky from the start but he really got all bothered when it came time to pay. He was paying with a SNAP card and didn’t know how to do it. I was trying to help him, so I asked if he knew whether his card was in SNAP cash or some other form of SNAP I have since forgotten. He was just yelling. He was all “WHAT???? I DON’T KNOW!!!!” and I was like ok I’m just gonna push the SNAP cash. Luckily it worked and he left.
- I can’t read: This is a whole group of people. A herd. They come in herds. On days when I have the misfortune of working express, they come to me. The register clearly says 15 items or less, but there seem to be people who read it as “MINIMUM OF 1500 ITEMS! GO CRAZY!” Once one person comes in with a truck full of groceries, others follow. There’s no end once it begins. I wouldn’t care so much if the express register wasn’t a grand total of 1 square feet of space.
- An Angel: I thought I’d wrap up this list with a good, wholesome customer. She was a very friendly old lady, and I enjoyed being her cashier. She had an actual human conversation with me, which is refreshing after hours of being treated as if I exist as a free emotional punching bag with every purchase. She told me about allergy struggles and other normal topics and I empathized with her. We were taking surveys that day so at the end, I asked if she could leave a nice review of her experience today. She said she didn’t want to leave her personal information online because she hated getting calls and emails, and I said that’s perfectly fine, no problem at all. She went to my manager instead and told her I was the most respectful cashier she’s ever had. That was just so nice that I could cry. It’s customers like her that balance out the evil ones who want to crucify me because they don’t understand the internet.