Sunday, November 13, 2011


Some handy hints for dealing pleasantly with your cashier:

1. When you're loading things on a belt that runs under a raised platform for anything, make sure the tall stuff will miss it. If you fail to do so, don't glare at the cashier when your two liter bottle of soda falls over.

2. Take a moment as you're loading the belt to realize that if you want things bagged in an organized fashion, it's far more efficient if you organize them a bit going in. Regardless of whether you're ok with your Irish Spring sitting on top of your ground turkey, they're not allowed to do it. Grumbling about having bags with one item in there is sort of counterproductive when you have chemical products scattered down five feet of belt, and one bag will hold approximately six inches worth of stuff on that belt, reasonably. Less, if it's heavy.

3. If you have special requests regarding items, for instance, if you want a price check on something to make sure it costs what you think it costs, put that either at the front or the back. If you stick it in the middle of four million tiny items and tell us about it while it's still in your cart, we will forget, because we have a lot more shit going on than you realize.

4. It's not the cashier's fault. Unless that person dropped your eggs or threw your bananas against the wall a few times before throwing them in the bag, they have no control over what happens to your shit prior to it landing on their belt. If there's a problem in the store, by all means, inform someone, and the cashier may be the only employee you see during your visit, but don't throw blame at them. For the most part, they only leave their register for breaks, and they damn sure aren't spending their breaks running around the rest of the store messing stuff up. In fact, chances are, they're spending their breaks huddled out of the way somewhere trying to convince themselves they need the job more than they need to strangle the next customer that attacks them for something they have no control over.

5. Yes, at our store, we have a system to call the people who handle the front end management electronically, but please remember, there are several cashiers, other customers, and other responsibilities. They will get the message, but they may be running around the store for another customer, or helping another cashier, or doing a dozen things that require their attention, and they will get to your problem as soon as they can. Your issue is important, but we have no way to prioritize these things, it's first come first served. And no, there isn't a code for "this customer is going to punch me, come quick!" Although there should be.

6. If you're at a checkout that doesn't have a belt, please remember that we don't get the go-go Gadget arms until we've been with the company five years. If the counter is five feet long, and your stuff is at the end? We can't reach it. Much as we appreciate your concern for the well being of our muscles, by the middle of a shift, your attempt at assisting us in stretching and limbering up is not going to be as appreciated as you would like it to be.

7. Last, but certainly not least.... When there is limited space on the belt, and you want to get your stuff on there, we totally understand if you want to stack some stuff on top of other stuff. However. If you put long items under or behind other items where we can't get to them, eventually we have three feet of cleared belt, but for one item, which we can't move because there is other stuff on top of it, and we can't reach the rest of your crap either. Leave heavy items in your cart, they give us hand scanners for those. Place long items on top of everything else, not on bottom. Oh, and clothes? If you have five hanging items, and fold them all together on the belt, the chances of our ability to handle them smoothly and efficiently drops to zero. You don't like waiting, we don't like making you wait. If we work together on this and you don't do dumb stuff to make our jobs harder, we'll all have much better success.


JD said...

I never ran a "belt-fed" cash register, but in a former life I had way too much experience at a retail counter, so can only imagine.

Also, do you know what's up with the Atomic Nerds site, I haven't been able to access it for a couple of days.

Joat said...

JD, from what I heard the Nerds hosting company got hacked, I haven't heard when they will be back.

Matt said...

Most of this falls under "don't be a jerk, moron!", but at least one item (the bit about not folding up clothes together) is actually something that I didn't realize was annoying to cashiers, and will thus immediately cease doing.

Thank you.

Old NFO said...

I'm with Matt, and one of my cousins runs a grocery store, and I think I've heard him complain about much the same thing... He's always exactly the opposite corner of the store from where the page wants him to be! Hang in there FG!

mustanger said...

I've been thinking of this topic for a good while. The local grocery here hires high school kids and, strangely, there's no real rhyme or reason for the way some of them bag groceries. I'm 37 and I was bagging groceries before they were born. I try not to create problems too. But most of the problems enumerated in Farmgirl's post aren't what I come away shaking my head over. One item per bag, but were not talking about chemicals, which I can understand not bagging with food, so much as just wasted space. I like to get some semblance of organization too. Ice cream's another matter... if I say I want the ice cream bagged in double paper, they're okay with it, but it's usually when they see I've already gone for the paper bags and started doubling them. Otherwise, most of the teenage boys bagging wouldn't care what I'd just said... in one ear and out the other.

OrangeNeck said...

The people of Wal-Mart has you in their clutches! Muahahahaaa!!