Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Checkout-line Chronicles

What with the wet snow, heavy rain, and local power outages as the morning's appetizer, and the need the crazies have to purchase those last minute items, I was certainly glad that I had a short four hour shift this morning. I most likely wouldn't have made it through the rest of the day without hurting somebody.

Store opens at 7am.
At 7:05am a harried looking man pushes his cart to the register, which is an express. He has about 15 items give or take. There is no one in line.
"Are you the only register open"?
I slowly turned around to look at all the other registers, none of which had their "open" lights on, nor did they have cashiers at them.
"Yes, sir, I am". 
Because I'm the only one here?

Woman unloads her cart onto the belt.
Regular customer, a well off ex-New Yorker.
Today buying only food.

That'll be $27.89, please. 
She swipes her EBT (food stamps) card through the machine, looks at the display and reads aloud,

"Balance or Purchase"?

 "Which do I want?"

Woman purchases a bouquet of flowers. Would you like me to put a bag around the wet stems for you? "You don't have one of those sheaths?" Yes, those are right back in the flower department by the door. "You mean I have to do it myself?"

Woman puts all her purchases on the belt and then takes off. I ring everything up and wait for her to get back. "I can't find any Heath bars, which register are they on?". I'm sorry, we don't have any on the registers. You might try the candy section in aisle three. "Can I go look now?" Why don't you pay for these items,and then you can go look and people in line won't get upset? She scowled at me as though I were an ill behaved child of three, threw her bagged groceries into her cart so loud they clanged, and stomped her way out of the building while threatening to complain to management.

Woman swipes her EBT card.
That leaves you a balance of $2.50, please.
The advent calendar wasn't covered, mam.
"Why not?"
Because it isn't food???

That will be $4.86, please. Woman counts her change. "Oh, I'm short the 86 cents. I'll have to go out to the car and get see if I have change there." She works nearby, so I put up a dollar to keep the line from outright revolution. She puts her hand out for the change. And takes it.

Good Morning! How are you today?
"I couldn't find any of those cherry sours in a jar. You have the ones in a box, I want the ones in a jar. The shelf there was empty, and you're the only store that has them".

Oh, I'm sorry.
Do you know Tui (pronounced 'twee') ?
She's the Asian woman working right over there. We got a huge shipment from the warehouse this morning, and she would know if they came in. They might even be on her cart. 

"Oh, I don't have time for that'.

Customer buys about $2.50 worth of whatever. Hands me a fifty dollar bill. I call a shift leader. We wait. The man starts getting steaming mad. The shift leader arrives, uses a detection pen on the fifty dollar bill, hands it back to me and says, "Okay". The customer glares at me, "Do you check every fifty dollar bill?" Yes, sir. "Why?" It's company policy, sir. "Do you check hundreds?" Without waiting for an answer, he continues angrily, "do you check twenties? Do you check thirties?" There are no thirty dollar bills sir. He storms out.

Customer starts emptying cart onto the belt. I bag her groceries as I go. She finishes ahead of me, stands there watching. Just as I put the next to last item in a bag, "I have my own bags."

Number of completely frozen turkeys purchased for tomorrow night's dinners: I stopped counting at eight.

Truth in advertising: The advent calendar story happened yesterday.

All other events occurred at my register in a four hour period this morning.

Thanksgiving with starlet Barbara Bates.

1 comment:

Austan said...

Thankfully, it's over for another year.
Onto the Christmas Follies.