Okay, time for another rant.
First: I like people. I like to believe that everyone works hard at their jobs, even the ones they really don't want or aspire to do. I do not seek to 'attack' anyone...without provocation.
This weekend, I had two different experiences with cashiers at stores.
I used to work retail, so I appreciate how hard and demanding the job can me. My wife and I were at a Sears Home Essentials (converted from a K-Mart store) near our house. We looked around for a bit and got some items that we had planned to get. When we went to pay, there were what appeared to be two check out lanes open. We went in the shorter-lined one until we were informed that it was closed. Okay...so we go over to the only remaining line that is open.
While waiting in line, I notice that the cash drawer is open on a register to my right and no one is nearby...and hasn't been for quite some time. This isn't unusual, as a lot of stores, when a lane is closed, leave the cash drawer open with the cash tray removed. However, this register still had the cash tray in...with all the cash.
As we were in the only open check out lane, I started a mental debate:
Objective: To inform the management so that they can take care of the cash drawer while at the same time not delaying my ability to get rung up so I could get the heck out of the store.
Problem: Whom to inform, as my only immediate option was the one cashier who was handling my line.
a) Wait until I check out, keeping an eye on the drawer to make sure no one takes anything from it, and then inform cashier. Risk: Someone could still steal the money.
b) Tell the cashier immediately. Risk: I will be delayed in leaving as she will need to handle the situation...assuming she does.
c) Wait until someone else who works at the store wanders by and inform them. Risk: No idea if this would happen, chance money could be stolen in the intervening time.
Luckily, option c) presented itself. A woman who worked at the store was walking nearby and I approached her.
Me: Could you come here and take a look at this register? *pointing to the cash register about 20 feet away*
Woman: *walks about 10 feet in the direction of the register* Oh, that lane is closed. *turns around to continue on to where she was walking*
Me: *jaw drops, thinking: HELLO??!!? I'M TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION FOR A REASON, YOU TWIT!*
Me: *very firmly* Ma'am, can you come HERE and LOOK at this? *pointing to my eyes, and then to the cash register*
Woman: *walks closer, sees problem* OH! *turning to the cashier ringing up the people in my line* Do you know who is working this register?
At which point, my cashier proceeds to get involved, and I delayed my ability to get out of the store.
MORAL (for story #1): WHEN IN DOUBT, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
Onto today, when I'm at the grocery. I noticed when I walked in that the checkout lines were long. There's a freakin' Miami Dolphins game on right now, and people are at the grocery? Why aren't they at home watching the game? Oh, I know. People have realized the Dolphins are going nowhere this year as well.
So I'm in the produce section right after I walk in the store and *buzzzzz* power goes out. A few seconds later, it comes back on, but since the store's lights are mercury-type lamps, they take awhile to warm up. Light were on the display cases in the produce area, so I forged ahead, despite the warning from above that maybe...just maybe...I was headed for trouble.
I do my shopping. I need to pay, and, sure enough, the lanes are still filled. Very odd, as normally you only have 1 person ahead of you, but today they averaged 2-3 people per line before I got there. Fine. I choose a line and get in it, and finally I'm having my items rung up.
When she gets to the end, I have some coupons to give her. In particular is a Buy-one-get-one-free coupon for some gum. I gave her the gum and the coupon together, as I new she would have to enter the price of the gum when she entered the coupon. Scans the two gum packs...great...and then scans the coupon.
COMPUTER DISPLAY: ENTER PRICE OR PRESS CLEAR
CASHIER: Uh...*tries scanning coupon again*
ME: You need to enter the price. It was 99 cents.
CASHIER: Uh. *presses CLEAR, scans coupon again*
COMPUTER DISPLAY: ENTER PRICE OR PRESS CLEAR
ME: YOU NEED TO ENTER THE PRICE.
CASHIER: *completely ignoring me, turns to cashier one lane over* How do I enter a coupon like this? It's buy-one-get-one-free.
2nd CASHIER: *walks over* You need to enter the price, like this. It was 99 cents. *taps on keyboard.
COMPUTER DISPLAY: REDEEMED COUPON -0.99
This is a shortened version of the entire exchange. I tried telling her a few times (pleasantly but directly) what she needed to do, but it was like I didn't exist. She also had trouble scanning a couple other coupons, to boot, and had to call the other cashier over a second time. LOOK, LADY...YOU WORK IN A GROCERY STORE. COUPONS ARE PART OF THAT GAME, OK? HOW'D YOU EVER GET TO BE A CASHIER?!?!!
Mind you, she wasn't a trainee, either.
MORAL OF STORY #2: GO SHOPPING WHEN THE DOLPHINS AREN'T PLAYING.
God this weekend sucked for shopping.
Oh, by the way, the trademark slogan for the grocery store? "Where Shopping Is A Pleasure"
How about...WHERE SHOPPING IS HELL!