They have a lot more power than most people give them credit for. They work long hours for low pay and know what they are doing. One discount store cashier was exhausted after a long shift. He was trying to help his customer the best he could, but she insisted that he was wrong and she was right. So, he gave her exactly what she asked for.
Customers Always Right, Right?
So I work as a minimum wage cashier at a discount store. I see a lot of people in a day, especially people who know how to do my job better than me, due to their lack of experience and profound understanding that my job is the easiest in the world.
Now I always shut that sh*t down, in the classic corporate happy-public service employee way: 'We'll actually It makes it a little easier this way, but thank you so much for helping!' Like I'm talking a toddler down from an upcoming tantrum, but I don't leave room for arguing. It's almost like I'm playing a character honestly. It works for me.
But I never just let someone do something stupid, like letting them walk out with a bag too heavy without double bagging it, or letting them leave without putting their receipt in their bag if it looks like they might want to return it.
But not today.
It’s Saturday, so it’s busy. All day as I would finally get a minute to get my other work done, someone would come up taking forever to consider the impulse buys while I'm stuck waiting for them at the register getting nothing done.
This woman did that, but twice. She got up there, pondered for a minute, got a line behind her, decided to go look at something else. I'm stuck with this line till just before she gets back and ponders again before finally getting to me.
She's your average looking middle-aged soccer mom. But already she's getting on my nerves, but hey it's Saturday every customer gets on my nerves, so whatever.
She's got a lot of larger but lightweight items with some smaller items, like bags of candy and socks. So I'm getting half of it in one large bag, half of it in another large bag.
I go to get the second bag handing her the first one when she goes 'no, I don't want a lot of bags, you can fit the rest in there its fine, you should ask before getting more bags, it’s your job to do things how the customers want. Otherwise you should just know to do one bag if you can. It's wasteful. I only want one bag.'
And I thought to myself, 'wow, it sounds like she's never done retail a day in her life, she must know what she's doing.'
Now it’s also worth noting she had a few heavier items, not many, but a few. They were glass jars of sauces with lots of pigment and staining properties.
It’s also worth mentioning she was getting some chips that came in bags with pointy sharper edges that eat bags for breakfast, the bag gets too heavy and they press into the sides at any angel and that bags toast.
It’s also ALSO worth mentioning she was getting several white clothes made of very stainable material. Nice clothes, she said they were for an important party she had to go to that night, bragging.
Normally I would double bag, which would keep the sharp corners in check. But she was right. She only wanted one bag, so that must be all she needs.
So I get the glass jars in with the clothes, nested in there nicely spaced out where they wouldn't hit each other with clothes between them, and the bags on top spread around the top so it was easier to lift the bag. Just like she wanted.
That damn bag was already looking like it would bust wide open any second when she took it from the counter. Luckily, a line hadn't formed behind her yet. Just someone looking the impulse buys over, so I couldn't really step away but nothing to do but watch where I had a clear view of the parking lot.
I watched as she struggled out the two front doors - no automatic - got 1/4 of the way to her car when the bag burst.
Glass and sauce everywhere, sad she had like 15 dollars’ worth (About 5 jars). She struggled to force them back into the bag, hoping she could at least pile them in her arms with the bag holding it together, trying not to cut herself on the glass she had wrapped up.
It broke some more. She tried to salvage it and balance it back up. Failed, gave up, grabbed as much of an armful as she could, had to take like 5 trips her blouse and pants, ruined.
Huh. Maybe after over a year and a half of cashiering nearly every day, I know what I'm doing? Shocker.
Where I worked you’d have customers call back later and then almost invariably make shit up to bolster their case because they knew it was their own fault but were too embarrassed to admit it.
Luckily most times no employees faced any consequences, often because we all wore headsets so you had multiple witnesses contradicting their version. I swear, a lot of people would rather lie and get someone fired rather than just admit they were wrong.
The other day, my spouse had a woman in his store who was going absolutely ballistic on one of his employees for no reason. She pulled out her phone and started recording, saying she would post it to Facebook to ruin them and that she would do anything she could to get the guy fired.
The staff weren't worried about her making a video because they did literally nothing wrong and the management is chill, but the kicker to me is that several customers who witnessed her freakout recorded her and stayed after she left to make sure management knew she was a psycho and that the employee was blame-free for when she inevitably called to make a bigger ass of herself.
You can tell which customers worked in retail at some point. What bros.
I always hated the customers that would be like 'don't put that bag of marshmallows in with my eggs! I don't want them crushed!' Like lady, a loaf of bread or a bag of marshmallows will not crush an egg carton. It's physically impossible.
Actually had a lady throw a loaf of bread at my face once because I put it in the same bag as her chips.
The worst was when a customer threw a bottle of wine at a cashier because she didn't have her ID and the cashier refused the sale. 17 stitches and a concussion later and now that cashier has a permanent scar.
When she pressed assault charges on the lady, Walmart fired her. Same happened to an electronics employee. Customer argued about a TV on black Friday. Punched the employee in the mouth and broke his tooth.
Manager just have him the tv for the sale price even though he missed the sale. Employee was told not to press charges or he'd be fired. He did, so they fired him. Gotta keep those violent customers happy. Don't miss retail at all.
The secret I have found to telling people something they don't want to hear is.. to tell them a secret. (leaning closer) 'The company switched to these really cheap bags last month. You really will need two of them for this much stuff.'
What this does is give them an 'out'. They can change their minds without being 'wrong', because you have given them new information.
Further, they don't look stupid for not knowing that information, because it's a 'secret'. Finally, you have demonstrated that you have experienced this before, that you know what may happen.
And if they choose to ignore that? Well, that's on them, and they will feel doubly foolish for not having listened, and might actually listen next time.
Sorry you have to put up with people like that. I'm so happy I don't work with customers or the general public any more. It really takes its toll on you.