This was a customer who seemed very intent on trying to exchange money as quickly as she could. I rang the last two items, and while still holding them hit the Total key. Told Grabby her total and then went to bag the items. Grabby already had out a big bill to cover the purchase, and held it out over the check counter and well into my personal space trying to get me to take it while I made sure her items were properly bagged, double-bagged the sack of cans I had just finished ringing, and turned the bag carousel so she could pick up her last bags. I swear she would've shoved the money in my face if she could reach that high (alas, she was somewhere around 5' tall or less, and I am a good 5'11" in bare feet. Finally, I took her money.
She immediately held her hand out waiting for change, even before I'd repeated the payment amount back to her and entered it on the register screen. I pulled out her change, double-checked it (all the while with her hand thrust out waiting for me to deposit her change in her little mitt), and fetched the receipt. I turned to count it back to her. She lifted her hand a bit higher.
I managed to swallow my smirk as I deposited the coins in her hand ("There's 37 cents, ma'am"), then counted out the bills in front of her as she tried to reach for the paper money. Her arm was about two inches too short. Finally, having counted her change out to her, I deposited it in her hands.
She did remember to return pleasantries when I wished her a good day, at least. Some days I love being tall (like when I get wheelchair-bound customers and elderly folks gushing thanks at me for fetching an item off the top shelf for them).
There were others…
These customers regularly come through my line. Spinners are the ones who will nod when I tell them their total and say, "You have two bags left on the rack," while pointing, and then will give the bagging carousel a hefty spin anyway "just to make sure." It's worse when my hips happen to be in the way of the spokes of the bag racks (the pegs on which the bags actually hang), because then I end up with big bruises on my hips, half-intentioned apologies from the customers, and then furtive looks (also from the customers) as they continue to inspect to make sure I haven't hidden one of their bags between two empty sacks.
The World's Last Smoker
…Or so you would think, to hear him talk.
I overheard this exclamation while working on the register next to the cigarette lane one day:
WLS: "No, a book of matches. Doesn't anybody smoke anymore?"
I turn around then, because the cashier had called my name for some help. Apparently this older "gentleman" wanted a matchbook (instead of one of the pocket-size boxes we sell in large numbers on the impulse racks), for use with his cigarettes (or possibly cigars, since a lot of or older male smoking customers seem to be cigar lovers). Unfortunately, our store doesn't carry matchbooks, and I mentioned this to The World's Last Smoker. He threw a big fit over it and, I believe, stormed out, leaving his wife (who was much more pleasant) behind to pay.
The World's Last Smoker also seemed to think that the cigarette cashier was stupid (she's not) because she didn't know if we carried matchbooks. She wasn't sure if we did or not, but he seemed to interpret it as confusion over what matchbooks were (as evidenced by a loud description he went into over what matchbooks were) or a language barrier (because this particular cashier is from Columbia and speaks with a noticeable accent, despite speaking very good English).
This lady came through my line with a large purchase and three children in the cart (two of whom were sitting in the basket because there was, obviously, only one seat). She managed to leave all the bagged merchandise on the bagging rack until after I handed her the receipt. This is especially annoying when there's more than enough merchandise to fill all six bag spots and the flat space on top of the rack and sitting around on the floor to boot. I did my best to keep it all orderly and in place. However, when I removed my hands from one sack on top of the rack (holding two boxes of chocolate-coated ice cream popsicles, a plastic trick-or-treat candy bucket, and two tubes of Pringles) to turn the rack for her so she could collect more bags, the sack in question decided to tip over and land on the floor. Why she didn't grab the bags on top first, I don't think I'll ever find out.
I immediately apologize and start to pick the items up for her. The containers seem unhurt.
The lady then looks at be, an annoyed look on her face, and asks, "Would it be possible to exchange some of those, in case they're broken?"
Fair enough, I think, since the Pringles themselves are probably a bit injured from the fall (though, as my dad would say, they'll still taste the same going down). So I pull out the Pringles and nod. "No problem."
"And the ice cream too?" she asks, with a look on her face that just dares me to argue with her. I almost gave her the are you kidding? look.
"Umm, I think the ice cream bars are okay. They don't look like something that would break like that." I rebag the Pringles. "But if you want, you can just take these items to Customer Service to exchange them, since you already paid."
"Okay." She collects her things, and starts to head back into the store.
"Umm, ma'am, you need to take those to Customer Service first." I point to the front corner of the store.
She suddenly looks very peeved and put out that I make her walk all that way to return potentially damaged merchandise. I merely give her my cheerful Wal-Mart smile. Finally, she rolls her eyes and heads over to CS.
I'm just glad she wasn't too worried about whether the trick-or-treat bucket (plastic) was okay.
These are the customers who have at least one thing they hate, and loudly, about the store. The ones I hear the most are:
"I hate these bagging racks! I always forget something on them!"
"I hate these things (pin pads)! They're always different, and so confusing!"
"I hate these self-checkouts! I never know what to do with them, and I always have problems with them!" (Then why do you always use them instead of going to a regular line?)
With the self-checkouts and pin pads, the only thing I can see is that it's a problem on the user end. The ones hating are usually the ones who can't figure out which way the credit card is pointed in the little diagram on the pin pad, or who can't seem to grasp the concept that the touch-screen on the self-check will tell them what to do next.
As for the bagging racks, it's partially the fault of the cashiers, who should be checking after each transaction to make sure the customer gets all their bags. I know I do. It's also partially the fault of the customer, who is often so preoccupied with tucking away their checkbook or going over every inch of the receipt that they forget that they haven't put a single bag back in their cart. I personally love the bagging carousels, because they hold more bags than the old system (two racks wide, barely deep enough to hold two loosely-filled sacks) and because I don't have to load the bags into the customer's cart much anymore.
Old and Confused
This guy couldn't seem to pay attention to anything I said. Luckily his purchase was a small one (Express-lane size).
I finished ringing his items and told him his total. He tried to hand me his credit card, and I directed him to the pin pad. He answered the survey, pushed English, and then swiped his card. I pressed the credit key, and the pin pad went to the signature line.
He swiped his card again.
Me: "Sir, you don't need to slide your card again. Just sign on the line and press OK."
So he swiped his card yet again.
Me: "Sir, just sign on the line."
He signs, but doesn't hit OK and instead sets the pen back in its holder.
Me: "Sir, please press OK."
He swipes his card again.
Me: sigh. "Sir, please press OK."
He manages to hit OK, then goes to slide his card again.
Me: "Sir, you don't need to do that. You're done." I grab his receipt as he goes to slide his card again, and log off the register to boot. "Here's your receipt sir."
He slides his card again anyway, and then realizes I'm holding his receipt. So he takes the receipt. And then swipes his card again.
Me: Resisting the urge to shake my head or perhaps his. "Have a nice day, sir."
He swipes his card again, and then realizes he's got his receipt and his bags, so he leaves.
I grit my teeth and smile at the next lady (also elderly, but hopefully less confused), and resist the urge to use the magazine rack as a forehead tenderizer.