Time to “Checkout”: Adventures of Cashiers

Cecelia Germain, Co-Editor-in-Chief

If you like mayonnaise and you could basically get them for free, how many jars would be a reasonable amount to purchase? For me personally and a few other people I talked to, we would say two or maybe even three jars. What would you say to 128 jars of mayonnaise?  Well in my mind that is absolutely absurd; who needs that many jars of mayonnaise? A fellow senior who works at a local grocery store claims that this happened to him. Two guys, who are brothers, came in about fifteen minutes apart to buy mayonnaise. Apparently the both of them had a coupon: if they spent a certain amount, they would get $15 off their purchase and another coupon for $30 off their purchase. That of course caused a lot of problems because the store would be losing a lot of money. Eventually, the one brother successfully purchased a total of 64 jars of mayonnaise, and then proceeded to call his brother to tell him the coupons worked. Next thing the cashier knows, another guy is walking towards his register with 64 more jars and those same exact coupons. The cashier had to call the manager over, and an argument broke out between customer and the manager, since technically they weren’t allowed to buy 64 jars for a price of basically nothing. Eventually, of course, after he told the manager that his brother did the same thing, she let him have the mayonnaise.


What’s even worse is having a customer cry at your register. A cashier I know, let’s say her name is Sam, told me that she had a young female customer come to her register. Of course Sam asked her how her day was, and that’s when everything went downhill. The customer started pouring tears because, “I went to visit my grandmother and she told me she just wants to die.” Sam had no clue what to do in that moment, so she just said how sorry she was. The customer kept going on and on about her grandmother, and more tears were coming out. According to Sam, the woman did this for about five minutes straight, until luckily another customer came to Sam’s register, saving her from having to listen to the crying customer any longer.


Try this one… You have an hour left in your shift and still have not taken your break, and two girls come to your register. Not a problem right? But what if I told you they had two carts completely full of stuff? Okay, not too bad, you can handle that right? You were trained for this very moment. You’re ringing their items up, and they have it divided into three separate orders. They’re talking about things that aren’t appropriate for public conversation, but you mind your own business to finish and tell them it costs $673.58. And that is the moment it gets complicated. One of the women tells you that they can’t afford that and you need to void a bunch of items. You just got yelled at by your manager for voiding too much, whatever that means, so you are internally panicking. But you do as they say, and warn them that you can only void a couple of items. They decide it is fine and will just try to use their card anyway. It goes through (great that went smoothly), but you get another customer at your register while you are still ringing up your current customers’ second order. Just great, now you have to send him away; but the new customer decides to completely ignore you and continues unloading his cart when it is obvious that the two women have not finished paying for their last two orders. Anyway, 15 minutes later you’re pretty much done with the two women’s order, they just have to pay. One of the women’s credit cards would not work because she lives in a different state, and she didn’t have enough cash on her. You have no clue what to do so you just stand there, patiently waiting. Then the woman who thought she didn’t have enough money to pay for the first order, decides she will try and pay again. Thankfully it worked, and you can go on break. Well almost on break, you have one last customer.


This last story actually happened to a friend of mine who is a cashier, whose name is Christine. She barely made it out alive, it was just way too much for her. Then when she could finally go on break, she only had twenty minutes left in her shift.


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license