Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm nobody's property

In the past few days, I've noticed a disturbing habit amongst customers. When I am closing down to leave the register, I'm always very cheery and polite about it. If you were in line before I turned my light off and put up my 'Lane Closed' sign, I am required to wait on you. I always make sure people at the back of the line know that they don't have to leave because I am closing. However, many seem to feel that being my last customer of the day/before lunch means that they own me and can therefore take their sweet time with the transaction.

Today my last customer lost points as soon as I started her order. I gave my obligatory "Hi! How are you today?" greeting and was met by complete ignorance. She was on the phone and her useless kid just stared blankly at me from the other side of the cart like I was some sort of otherworldly life form. It was a pretty huge order, too, over 100 items. Not that I mind, those kinds of orders keep me busy and make the time go by. I was scheduled to leave at 3 o' clock today. 2:50 rolls around and I shut of the light and put up my sign, and I'm done ringing the order within three or four minutes. Customer runs a food stamp card and the PIN she entered is wrong. So after a grueling 30 seconds away from her cell phone, she whips it out again to call the guy who OWNS THE CARD. No answer. Then she proceeds to spend the next ten minutes shuffling pointlessly around in her purse, looking for Eru knows what. My sanity was probably rattling around in there somewhere, no doubt. It tends to vacate me at times like this. During this, her friend rolls up with another enormous order, reads the 'Lane Closed' sign, and leans up against it anyways, getting in line. I tell her I'm closed and get the cat-butt face from her. I frankly don't give a crap if your friend is in front of you and I waited on her. Closed means closed. Go away and bother one of my coworkers. My friend Denise went through the checkout line at 11AM this morning and then walked outside for lunch. Did I go glossy-eyed, start drooling, and immediately run off to join her just because we're friends and I should get to do whatever she does? No, I did not. I have more than two brain cells to rub together, you see. Eventually, a CSM came to take over the register for me because *gasp* the lines were getting backed up! She eventually just suspended the transaction so I could sign off the register and go home. How long the poor woman stood there waiting for Einstein to figure out the EBT PIN, I don't know. But I do feel badly for her. I wonder if the customer got upset because we swapped out in the middle of a transaction? I'd try to figure it out, but my give-a-damn's busted :D

The point is, I don't think people realize that cashiers close down for a reason. We are not being lazy. We are not shirking responsibility or trying to slack off on the job. If we don't go to lunch when we're scheduled, the CSMs will get in trouble. Heck, we might get in trouble too. If we don't leave on time, it could put us into overtime or get us called into the manager's office and questioned about it. Some people are really polite about the whole thing and tend to try to rush through an order if they know I'm leaving. Completely unnecessary, but I appreciate the fact that they're trying to be considerate. So, to summarize . . .

  • You do NOT own me or my time if my register is closed
  • No, I cannot take 'just one more'. The person in front of you, in fact, is usually the 'just one more' I was nice enough to go ahead and take. Usually because they looked tired and hassled and I felt bad for them. If I keep doing this, I'll never get to go.
  • You, sir . . . yes you, who saw me last night, putting the lane closed sign at the end of the belt, and proceeded to LEAN AGAINST IT with your enormous body so that no other customers could see it . . . you are a Grade A Asshole. The guy who got in line behind you and your damn posse felt really bad when you moved your bulk and saw the sign, but I took him anyways because it wasn't his fault. Turns out he was buying a battery because his vehicle crapped out on the side of the highway. He was really nice though. May Karma come your way, and soon, Leaner.
I don't mind working when I'm scheduled, I really don't. Even if there are times I'd rather be conversing with the cute guy in the Produce department. Yeah, the one on probation for the next 8 years. He was building a display of peanuts today and asked me if I wanted any.

"No thanks", I said. "I'm already nuts enough."

1 comment:

  1. Awww I love your posts!! Keep 'em coming :) And the last paragraph was very poignant and beautiful.