View Full Version : Glaciers are quicker...

01-30-2015, 07:14 PM
Than the cashier who's line I got in during my last trip to the local Mart. But she wasn't being sucky about it, very polite in fact. She was on her second day on the floor. And she was an older woman, clearly uncomfortable with the whole computerized technology thing. She should not have been operating a register, especially not one of the express lane registers, without someone right there at her elbow for at least another several days.

And yet, I found myself having to actually restrain myself from going all SC on her. Why?

The person in front of me had an item that needed a price correction. The cashier wasn't sure how to do it. Pick up a phone and page for help, or ask one of the other cashiers near how to do it, right? No, no, that would be entirely too sensible. This woman opted to do 'stand there looking around vaguely helplessly, hoping someone who knows what's going on will notice and come help.' This continued for several minutes before the customer got visibly fed up with it and sent her teenage kid to the customer service desk to ask them to send help. Help comes (and goes... nooooo, come back!).

So, finally, it's my turn! And I knew, knew what was going to happen. See, I'd gotten several packages of cream cheese, and the prices on the huge sign on the wall above the cold case and the shelf tags for the cream cheese had different prices, $1.78 on the sign and $1.98 on the shelf tag. I was pretty sure it was going to ring up at the higher price, and I.... was RIGHT! Cue more helplessly vague staring around by the cashier. I was trying to come up with some way to say "Look, just go actually ASK for some help, right!" that wasn't just entirely too catty or sucky. Just before I gave up trying to find a way to be nice about it, a passing manager came over and was sent back to check the sign. I've got a really good idea how long it should take to walk back to the cold case, look up at the wall, look down at the shelf tag, say to one's self "Yep, different prices." and walk back to the register. After taking something like three times as long as it should have taken (yes, yes, probably he was stopped by other customers along the way) he comes back and says "You were looking at the wrong sign. That sign is for the bagels those are what's $1.58." Nice to know the price of your bagels, but that's not the sign I meant.

I admit I did verge right on having a tantrum then and there, telling the guy he'd looked at the wrong sign, and wondering out loud how he could miss a sign several feet on a side that was DIRECTLY ABOVE their cream cheese and showed PICTURES of the aforementioned cream cheese and NOTHING ELSE along with the 'everyday low price' slogan and the price. Of $1.78. (The sign for the bagels was above a different case, near the cream cheese.) I was ready to drag the guy back there and SHOW him the sign I meant. I plead sheer frustration, not that it excuses anything.

So he backpedals furiously, tells the cashier to change the price and how (interestingly enough, the EXACT SAME procedure used to correct the price of the previous customer's stuff). And finally I'm free!

I hate shopping.

01-30-2015, 09:05 PM
I'd have been annoyed too. I wouldn't have gone all crazy and shouty, but I may have told her that asking for help is not BAD, and can get things done a heckuva lot quicker. Some people are very stubborn. If you're new, you're gonna have to ask for help. I know I did when I started at Land of Quid.

01-30-2015, 09:42 PM
I probably would have walked out long before, having little patience...

01-30-2015, 11:16 PM
Some people are new and still competent, some are helpless no matter how long they have worked there. There are coworkers of mine who flat out refuse to try to learn how to look something up on the computer, do a special order, or do a stock search on the handheld. These drive me crazy. It makes SCs think we all suck. Yet other brand new coworkers know to ask before they give an answer, and even remember the answer!

Semi-related, in my hometown at a smaller grocery store (no SCOs) this one cashier is SO SLOW. She is often on the express lanes, too. This is how she rings, keeping in mind that if you look receptive, she will chat. Your. Ear. Off. Pick up an item and look at it. Scan it. Place in bag, while fussing with the bag and/or other items already bagged. Pick up next item. Look at it even more contemplatively, possibly imagining what I'm cooking with it. Place in bag with head tilted slightly to one side. Move item around in the bag. Generally act as if she's on some hardcore muscle relaxers.

I wouldn't be a SC to her, but I tend to get very tense and stressed just watching the whole process.

01-31-2015, 12:39 AM
I couldn't handle this right now. Winter is pushing my buttons so damn hard that I'm frustrated and pissed off about 90% of the time, especially when other people are involved. I'd have probably put my cream cheese down and left. I admire your ability to stay calm through this.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-31-2015, 01:15 AM
Try having a couple cashiers like this, who frequently are scheduled the same shifts because they have daytime availability, and management sees no reason to get them to move faster or move them to a different department.

Oh, and your workplace has a rule that people must be called off the salesfloor to open registers if there are more than 2 people in each open checkout line.

Yup. Almost incessant calls for backup cashiers. Those calls start being ignored because we have too much going with our own jobs to hang out at the registers all day. Then management complains about the lack of responses to backup calls when the customers start complaining about the long waits, or just abandon their full carts and leave.

01-31-2015, 01:58 AM
"And off she went like a herd of turtles crossed with turkeys." That has been used to describe those who live in the perpetually slow/helpless state whenever my father had to deal with them. I have no issue with cashiers who need to slow down to reduce errors no matter what reason. I have no issue with new cashiers who are hanging themselves on the ropes as fast as they can. I have issues when a cashier can't shut up long enough to actually ring things up or manages to ring things up incorrectly, in spite of being slow!

01-31-2015, 02:56 AM
I'd have been annoyed too. I wouldn't have gone all crazy and shouty, but I may have told her that asking for help is not BAD, and can get things done a heckuva lot quicker.

I managed to keep the volume low enough that it wasn't shouting, quite. But shouting was definitely the next step up. With the manager guy who tried to tell me the price of their bagels, that is. With the cashier, I didn't talk much, I was afraid that I'd sound rather snappish with much of anything I could think of maybe to say. But what I did say was at the very least civil, and I tried to stay polite even while I was one step away from shouting at the manager.

Abandoning the cream cheese wasn't really a viable option, I'd have just have had to make another trip to get it. I made a cheesecake for boyfriend's coworkers, at the request of one of them. I trust boyfriend's judgement about whether (and which of) his coworkers deserve to get baked goodies made by me. :D

Sapphire Silk
01-31-2015, 03:20 PM
I think I would have just paid the 20 cents, and gone to the customer service desk to have it corrected while complaining to the manager about the clueless cashier.

Would that be sucky?

01-31-2015, 07:13 PM
I think I would have just paid the 20 cents, and gone to the customer service desk to have it corrected while complaining to the manager about the clueless cashier.

Would that be sucky?

..... You know, that never even occurred to me? I was so focused on getting stuff paid for and OUT (with increasing emphasis on out). It probably would have been, well, I don't know about quicker, but I wouldn't have had to deal with that cashier so long. I skipped the self serve registers, too, thinking it would be quicker since I was pretty sure it was going to ring up wrong to go to an actual cashier. Bet I was wrong about that.