Lame Excuses For Lane Butting

by admin on June 29, 2010

I have to condemn someone to EHell, but it unfortunately means also turning in a very good friend of mine as well. In her defense, she was trying to defend my honor.

Last weekend, I was out shopping with several girlfriends at a department store. Just as we got in line to check out, the registers stopped working, forcing the cashiers to start processing the debit & credit transactions manually. This slowed things down considerably. To move things along, one of the employees comes through the line asking if anyone is planning to pay in cash and can they please move to the express lane for quicker check out. (This is important for later.) Not many people move. I am the last of my friends to make my purchases, and just as I reach the head of the line, the overwhelmed cashier announces that she needs a break. After a brief discussion with another cashier, the young lady decides to close our line and have everyone move to a different register.

Now, I seem to remember learning in kindergarten about line etiquette and the importance of not “cutting” in front of another person. Apparently the women directly behind me was absent that day in class. She scurried as fast as she could to the next register and got ahead of me. Having already waited a good twenty to twenty-five minutes in line, I was pretty peeved and let out an audible sigh, hoping the woman would notice her faux pas and allow me to have my place back. She ignored me and proceeded to put her items on the counter. The more I think about it, the more I think I should have said something, but I decided to let it go and not make a fuss about it. One of my girlfriends though is not one to shy away from confrontation. She witnessed this woman’s rude behavior and spoke up. She started out nicely enough: She asked the woman if I could please go first since 1) I was already ahead of her in line to begin with, and 2) I had an entire group of people already checked-out and waiting on me. The woman refused, stating that she only had two items and it would only take her a few seconds. I myself only had two items; it would take me the same amount of time! My friend pressed the issue and said we had all been waiting quite a long time in line, but the woman countered that she had too. This is where it gets ugly. My friend calls the woman “rude” to her face and begins to mumble insults under her breath that were actually quite audible. I finally signaled to my friend to please just let it go.

When it comes time for the lady to pay, she decides to pay with cash! I didn’t know whether to be grateful (because it was quicker than debit or credit) or more infuriated (The cashiers had asked that all those paying with cash move to a different line. Had she listened, we could’ve avoided this whole ugly incident!) When she gets done and starts to leave, she approaches my friend and says, “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” My friend responds, “It would have been easier if you weren’t such a *****.” The lady tells my friend in so many words to kiss her behind and storms out.

I’m grateful to my friend for standing up for me, but I don’t approve of the way she did it. I’m really not sure whose behavior was worse. 0628-10

Ooo!  Butting ahead of the line are some of my favorite stories and my favorite faux pas to actually speak up and say something.   I’ve recounted the tale years ago of standing at the fabric cutting counter of a crafts and sewing store during lunch hour when a woman cut in front of about ten of us to get to the front of the line.

“Excuse me, the end of the line is back there,” said I as I pointed behind me.

“I only have this small amount of trim to get cut,” she replied.

“I’m so sorry but we ladies have been patiently waiting our turn and you can, too.”

“I’m on lunch break and have to hurry.”

“Our time is just as valuable as yours.  Please wait your turn like we have.”

Ten pairs of scowling eyes bored into her.   Even the gray haired, little old ladies were using their rheumy eyes to communicate like little lasers just how they felt about her lame excuses.  The cutting counter employee said nothing so Mrs. Butt-in-sky got her way.

The hubris of thinking one’s time is infinitely more valuable than others and that one’s business is profoundly more important!

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

yarngirl July 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Side note: the quote, “be the change you wish to see in the world,” means exactly that. YOU be the change. If you want the world to be more polite, be more polite yourself. The quote is meant to illustrate that we are the world we live in. You can demand other people change all you like, but to really lead a revolution you must be the change and inspire others. You cannot bully other people into doing what you want, only show them the way.

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Livvy July 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm

@Jenny – with all due respect, high morals don’t put food on the table, and being fired has the added punishment of making it hard to find another job.

That said, to me, all of this boils down to a Corporate / Management issue. Managers need to be instructed to empower their employees to refuse to be treated badly, and to service all of their customers fairly, by insisting order in line be honored, etc. It’s bad policy to allow some customers to spoil the shopping experience of others.

As an added aside, in the USA, it’s also the Manager’s legal responsibility to sheild employees from customers harassing behavior, the same as they must protect them from co-workers harassing behavior.

I also believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to insist on their rights – even Miss Manners says that it is we ourselves who give others permission to take advantage of us. Not speaking up is the same as giving your permission. I see orderly lines / fairness as a right, rather than an etiquette issue, so I don’t have any problems with your friend’s behavior, other than perhaps her lack of consideration for your discomfort in being part of such a scene.

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Andromeda July 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Sorry – reread the original post. I was under the impression that another cashier was going to take over for the one who was closing down – my bad.

I worked at Wal-Mart as a cashier for four years – I finally quit after being told to apologize for being an inconvinience to a customer who had yelled at me because I couldn’t bend the policies for him. Since then, I have worked in places that have a lot better policies, and the managers stand behind you. In these places, I have been able to say “Oh, this person was ahead of you” – no way I could have said that at Wal-Mart.

OP – I don’t think what your friend did was right, but I can definitely understand her and your frustration. I don’t drive, and if I need an item badly and debit and credit crash, I don’t have the opportunity to leave the item and come back at a convinient time. I’d be annoyed too if I had to patiently wait my turn, only to have someone else jump line – unless I didn’t mind waiting, and could see the person behind me really needed to get out of the store.

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Aunt Entropy July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm

For those of you who think cashiers shouldn’t do the right thing, and assume that I don’t know what it’s like to work retail, you are wrong. I am a cashier and have been one for decades. So don’t assume I don’t know what I’m talking about because of your cynicism and because you assume cashiers should have neither spinal column nor brain stem.

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yarngirl July 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

Aunt Entropy- We aren’t cynical, we’re experienced. I’m glad you have such a supportive job as a cashier, but I’m horrified/amused that you really think that every single cashier has a job exactly like yours.

Please re-read our posts before responding so harshly. None of us are assuming cashiers don’t have a spinal column or brain stem, we are saying that cashiers can be FIRED for standing up. Your response indicated that you either think we are lying or just don’t care.

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A cashier July 2, 2010 at 9:37 am

Jenny and Aunt Entropy-

I work at Wal-mart as a cashier, and so does my friend V. V has a spinal column, a brain, and does believe in standing up for what’s right. She leaves works in tears some nights because she’s been threatened with firing for holding up the good morals her momma taught her.

Why doesn’t she stand up for what she knows is right and let herself be fired? Because she’s 18 and her momma is dying of cancer, and V’s job is what keeps a roof over both their heads.

V can’t afford to be fired to hold up your high standards of etiquette, and being a high school student and 18 doesn’t let her find a better job. I’m sorry both of you seem to think that means she is a terrible, immoral cashier. You could go through her line at Wal-mart and let her know how terrible she is for not risking her momma going without dinner, but V probably won’t hear you. She’s too busy praying her momma lives to see her graduate from high school.

But if you come through my line and say that about her, I will gladly get fired for correcting your poor etiquette in assuming that everyone else’s lives are just as easy as yours.

Please don’t be so cavalier about other people’s lives and livelihoods. You aren’t us, you don’t know us, don’t assume what we can and can’t do without.

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Another cashier July 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

Um, yeah, my friend dragged me to the computer to show me this thread. I’m not an etiquette guru, but isn’t it kinda poor etiquette to assume that everybody’s situation is exactly like yours, and if they don’t do exactly what you think they should then they are worthy of abuse?

The attitude of “well I can do what’s right without being fired, so obviously you can too” and “hey, you might get fired for stopping this minor violation of etiquette, but so what you don’t need the job” is chilling to us who barely make ends meet.

With the economy and job market as it is, I’m surprised anybody has the guts to insist that other people don’t need their jobs. Um, nobody loves being a cashier. We do it because for some reason we need to. We get poor pay, no benefits, hard work, and tons of abuse from customers. Now, apparently we’re the bad guys because we can’t force customers to be more polite, or because we’re not willing to be fired to protect other people from rudeness.

Sorry I’m apparently such a villain. But I have to wonder, if someone in your place of work is rude to me, will you willingly break the rules and get fired to protect me from the 15 seconds of mild inconvenience?

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Aunt Entropy July 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Okay, forget it. Let the cutters cut, do nothing for the poor people who have to suffer the rude ones. I’ve had many jobs as a cashier, and I’ve never not served people in the order they are supposed to be served. I can’t believe that this is even an issue. But I guess that explains a lot of the bad service I get these days from those who apparently hate serving the public, since apparently “no one” likes being a cashier.

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TheBardess July 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Aunt Entropy- good for you, always serving customers perfectly. But maybe, just maybe, there are some people, as pointed out above, who know that if they argue with a customer, no matter the reason, they will be fired. And maybe, just maybe, as pointed out above, there are some people who will literally starve and go homeless if they are fired. Do you really want people like Cashier’s friend V to go hungry or lose their homes because YOU were mildly inconvenienced? Yes, line-cutting is annoying and rude and wrong, but at the end of the day, it is NOT the end of the world, it is NOT the huge issue of pressing morality it is being made out to be, and for the vast majority of cashiers, it is NOT worth losing their daily bread over. Again, maybe you have been lucky in the jobs you have worked, but there are some people who WILL. BE. FIRED. if they argue with a customer, EVEN IF the customer is in the wrong, and many of those people literally CAN. NOT. afford to lose their job. Frankly, if it comes down to me sticking up for the proper line order and keeping my family’s food on the table, then yes, let the cutters cut. It’s more important to me that my kids continue to be fed, and to insist that your convenience should take priority over me ensuring my family has food (which is what you are doing when you insist that I reprimand a customer for cutting even if I know it will cost me my job) is beyond self-centered. If the cutting bothers you so much, YOU say something. It’s not your home, your food, your livelihood on the line.

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Erin July 3, 2010 at 4:57 am

Aunt Entropy, are you actually serious? Are you actually proposing that they should be fired so YOU are not inconvenienced in a line for an extra five minutes? Because that is an incredibly entitled and selfish attitude and frankly, the definition of poor etiquette. I understand that you are a cashier and that you, happily, work in a place that allows you to assert your moral standpoint, but clearly this is not the case for the majority.

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A Cashier July 3, 2010 at 8:21 am

Aunt Entropy- did you actually even read my story? Yeah, my friend V. will not do anything “for the poor people who have to suffer the rude ones.” Such a horrible person, making you suffer like that because she wants her dying mother to have a roof over her head and food on the table. You should go let her know that she’s responsible for the bad service you get everywhere, not those pesky managers. While she’s skipping having a graduation party to save money for her mothers funeral, I’ll make sure to let her know that you’re really the one suffering here.

And it certainly isn’t people’s responsibilities to be courteous themselves. Nope, it’s the cashiers job to FORCE them to be.

I agree, I can’t believe this is even an issue.

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Voice of Reason July 3, 2010 at 8:27 am

Hey, just pointing out that cashiers assume that customers have brain stems and spinal columns, and that if someone being rude bothers you that you’ll say something. If someone cuts in line and you stay quiet, the cashier might just assume you don’t feel it’s worth fussing about or don’t care!

But I do love the idea that some folks think cashiers are the etiquette police. Cashiers job is to help you check out, pay for merchandise, and be polite to you. I’ve also worked as a cashier for years, in different stores. We are not told to enforce line etiquette, we are told to never correct a customer or do anything to make them mad or be suspended without pay, given a warning, and fired next time. Not to take a bullet for you and lose their job by ticking off another customer to protect you from *gasp* someone being rude.

Seriously people, if you refuse to stand up for yourself and are arguing that other people should lose their jobs because people are RUDE to you, you shouldn’t go outside anymore. If the cashier is rude, that’s one thing. If customers are rude? Yeah, not the stores fault. Do you also blame the store if it’s raining outside and you wanted a sunny day to shop?

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Aunt Entropy July 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Wow, I never said anyone should be fired. Apparently managers everywhere like to fire good cashiers for poor reasons. That’s not usually the way it works. Okay, maybe you don’t have to treat your customers fairly, but you have to be fast and efficient, have your drawer be even and be reliable in your work, and do more than the bare minimum expected from your employer. If managers are firing those people willy-nilly, they are shooting themselves in the foot. But I don’t expect they are. If you are fired without good cause, there’s always unemployment.

Let me get this right. If a child is swinging from a fixture, should a timid retail bunny say anything? Of course not! They may be fired for correcting those people. “They were picking on my child!!” That the idea?

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Elizabeth West July 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I had someone do this to me at Toys R Us. The cashier did nothing. I said nothing either, but looking back, I wish I had, for no other reason than to possibly shame the culprits a little bit (if that was possible). I hate line-cutters and think they should be flogged, but that’ s not within my power, unfortunately.

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Calliope July 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm

If someone cuts in line ahead of me, I just say, “Excuse me, but the line starts back there,” and smile, as if the cutter must simply have made a mistake, and couldn’t possibly have been cutting on purpose. It would never in a million years occur to me to just stand there silently, expecting the cashier to scold another customer on my behalf.

Anyway, the “excuse me” and a smile thing almost always works, and the few times that it hasn’t aren’t anything to dwell on. I would bet that less than an hour of my life thus far has been wasted because people cut ahead of me in line. I guess I don’t see this as some pressing moral issue.

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Kitti July 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm

I’ve had several cashiering jobs in my lifetime. BTW, I loved it. So much for the statement that “nobody” likes it. However, the pay stinks, so it’s not feasible for me as a career.

Anyway, I can see both sides of the issue here. As a cashier, I have told line-cutters, “I’m sorry, but that other lady was first.” But then, I guess I’ve had the luck to work at places in which I didn’t need to worry about getting fired for not allowing line-cutters to have their way.

On the other hand, I understand that some employers are tough. At my local grocery store, I all too often see people go through the self-serve checkout with CLEARLY more than the 20 items allowed. The first couple of times, I went up to the employee watching over the self-checkouts and complained quietly. Both times, I was told they’re not allowed to turn anybody away from the self-checkouts for having more than 20 items. OK, fine. I get that.

So I have started doing one of the following things with fellow customers who refuse to get that they aren’t special snowflakes. I will take my cart and stand directly behind them, even if there are other open checkouts, and fix them with my hairy eyeball. If I’ve been able to count the items they’ve already scanned, I will begin at Item 21 and begin announcing loudly, “21. 22. 23. 24.” You get the idea.

Or I will go up to the employee and complain very loudly, making sure everyone can hear, “THAT PERSON HAS A LOT MORE THAN 20 ITEMS.” I already know the employee can’t do anything about it. But it does call attention to the perpetrator. Maybe they’ll think twice next time.

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NKKingston July 5, 2010 at 10:05 am

A good place of work will stand up for good employees. If you’re lucky enough to get a job somewhere like that, great. If you’re a good cashier with years of experience, you’re likely to end up working for companies like these. They’re proud of offering good service and going the extra mile for customers that deserve it. I’m going out on a limb and guessing this is the kind of place you work, Aunt Entropy? It’s the kind of place I used to work, and I really enjoyed it.

However, a lot of places see an advantage in high staff turnover. You owe them less holiday, fewer rights, less redundancy etc. They’re less likely to feel in a position to complain about conditions. It’s easier to make significant changes because no one remembers how it used to be. You can usually spot companies like this, because they hire a lot of teenagers and students, knowing they won’t stick around for long for their own reasons. They’re usually not particularly desirable jobs, but there’s always a huge pool of potential employees because they take people better paid jobs wouldn’t. If an employee doesn’t fall into line it’s easy to boot them out and replace them.

And a lot of big shops are precisely this kind of employer (and call centres, at least the one near me; anywhere with a large number of temps, tbh). No wonder cashiers don’t stand up for themselves, when their employers have no intention of standing up for them. Why should they? One scanning monkey is much like another, especially when your idea of good service is pandering to the loudest customer. They don’t want good cashiers, they want quiet ones. This is the kind of place people like Cashier’s friend V work.

It’s easy enough to tell the two types of business apart. If being polite gets you a discount, it’s the first kind. If being rude gets you a discount, it’s the second. Patronise the former enough and maybe the latter will start treating its employees, and by extention its customers, slightly better.

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Simone July 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

@ Andromeda – You quit after being told to “apologize for being an inconvinience to a customer who had yelled at me because I couldn’t bend the policies for him”.

I’m sorry, what? You were following store policy, recieved abuse from a customer for doing so, then they threatened to fire you? That is the worst example of mismanagement I’ve ever heard. Poor you. No wonder (some) cashiers are so terrified of speaking up.

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yarngirl July 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

Aunt Entropy- I’m sorry, but that last post of yours is by far more offensive that any story that has been posted on this site.

Yes, cashiers can be fired for acting the way you want, we’ve been telling you that. The fact that you don’t think it makes sense doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. You’ve ignored what we’ve been trying to tell you, and are now saying that we’re lying. Not in so many words, but that is what you are saying with all your “doubt” that what we are saying is what is happening. You’ve shown that you do not care one whit about the cashiers who need to keep their jobs, insisting that they put themselves in a position to be fired in order to cater to you. You’ve put yourself above everyone else by insisting that your being inconvenienced by a rude customer is worth someone losing their job. And you add insult to injury with your snarky comment about unemployment, as if that somehow makes it okay to demand people get themselves fired for your benefit.

Assuming that every job is like your job, that everything works the way you think it should, that anybody who says contrary cannot be right, and that people should gladly sacrifice their livelihood to defend you from the horror of someone cutting in front of you in line…that is truly selfish, rude behavior worse than the line-cutters themselves.

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yarngirl July 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

Simone- that is exactly what happens to cashiers everyday at Wal-mart, Meijer, and Target, and at plenty of individual other stores as well. And it is exactly why we’re afraid to speak up. Heck, I got forced to apologize to a mother when I spoke to her about having found that her toddler, running around unaccompanied, climbed up a shelf display in order to jump on the back of someone else’s service dog! Never mind he could have been hurt, the SD could have been hurt, it practically counted as assault and kids aren’t allowed to be unaccompanied according to store policy. I was still forced to apologize to her for my “rudeness.”

I’m still glad I did, because that was unsafe, but this is why cashiers are really careful about choosing their battles. They can’t afford to protect everyone anymore.

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Simone July 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

@yarngirl. Wow. I can’t think of how to reply to that properly without saying something political or rude, so I’ll just say thanks for the information. :)

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Twik July 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm

One of the worst things about the management approach of “never offend the offensive customer” is they always overlook the good, decent customer (you know, the ones that a business actually wants to keep) who learn, after a while, never to shop there, because one is likely to be abused by idiots. So, the store keeps the jerks, and loses the regular people. Then they wonder why business is down.

Look at the number of people who have abandoned going to movies. Not because DVDs have stolen them away, or because they pirate movies, but because they simply cannot watch a movie stuck in among people who are talking, romancing, texting or otherwise making viewing impossible.

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Jane July 10, 2010 at 9:00 am

“Let me get this right. If a child is swinging from a fixture, should a timid retail bunny say anything? Of course not! They may be fired for correcting those people. “They were picking on my child!!” That the idea?”

You know up until this comment I was sort of on your side, Aunt Entropy. I agree that it isn’t a cashier’s job to enforce line etiquette if the wronged person won’t stand up for themselves, but I also thought that other commenters were very much overreacting to what you said.
Then there’s the ‘timid retail bunny’ bit. For that I had to force myself to take a moment to cool down so that I didn’t condemn myself to EHell.

I work at a children’s clothing store, so your proposed scenario is very relevant to my experiences. First, I assume you meant it to be hyperbole? Well just to let you know, it isn’t! No we’ve never had a child swinging from a light fixture, but there was one day when I was having a conversation with a customer while her son repeatedly took breaks from running around in circles to punch me in the leg. She would tell him to stop each time, but I never said one word. Because I’m a ‘timid retail bunny’?
Far from it! To prove my point, EHell violation or not, I would have responded exactly the same way the friend in the original story did!
However, while I’m at work, it’s a different ballgame. In the instance I mentioned the kid wasn’t hitting me hard enough to cause lasting injury, so I deemed it not worth making waves over.
If there were a child swinging from a light fixture, or climbing up a display, or something like that, I’d say something because it’s a safety issue. If that child falls and injures themselves, next thing we know we have a lawsuit on our hands. I would, however, be anxious about how the parents would react because there ARE plenty of parents who would complain that the employee was picking on their child!
Now, I work for a very nice group of people, so I don’t think I’d be fired if something like that happened once. However, in this economy a job is hard to come by. So unless it’s absolutely necessary, no, I don’t say anything to customers even if they are being rude. If the child I mentioned who punched me was punching another customer, I probably wouldn’t say something then either. That sort of issue is his mother’s job to deal with, not mine. Just like in the OP, following line etiquette is the violator’s job police herself about, not the cashier’s.

It’s a practicality issue, and does not warrant name calling.

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TheBardess July 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm

“Let me get this right. If a child is swinging from a fixture, should a timid retail bunny say anything? Of course not! They may be fired for correcting those people. “They were picking on my child!!” That the idea?”

Aunt Entropy- this comment was completely unwarranted. For one thing, a child swinging from a light fixture is NOT comparable to someone cutting in line. The first is a matter of safety; the second, a matter of a temporary and minor inconvenience. If I were working in an environment where I knew I could be fired for arguing with a customer, even if the customer was in the wrong, I can assure you that I would pick my battles very, VERY carefully. Would I say something is someone cut in line? Probably not. Would I say something if I saw a child swinging from a light fixture? Absolutely. Why? A child swinging from a light fixture is, as I said before, a safety issue, so I would say something even at the risk of being fired. To me, it would be worth risking my job to save a child from sustaining a serious injury. Saving you from 60 seconds of inconvenience because someone cut in front of you in line and you did nothing? Yeah, not so much.

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Eve July 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm

As a cashier I would like to relate a story. I had just opened another register to help out another cashier and called over the next person. Instead, a man who was behind her came over and laid down his things. I politely told him that I was going to ring out the woman who had actually been in front of him and then I would scan his purchases. He reached across the counter and grabbed my arm, hard enough to bruise, leaned in really close and said “I’m here so go ahead and check me out now!”

My manager ran over and pulled him off of me while on of the customers called the police. The guy got charged with assault.

So to those of you who think it is my job as a cashier to enforce order in the line I apologize. Because I will no longer call someone out for line cutting because I don’t want to get physically assaulted to save you three minutes of time.

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Kay July 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

Cashiers shouldn’t have to say anything; if you are slighted, speak up. Politely, of course.

My favourite line is “Pardon, but I beleive your spot is there. I have poor eye sight, I sometimes make the same mistake!” It usually sends people scurrying.

I’ve never seen such line cutting as visiting Disney. One instance was a woman wading through a crowded line with her kid in tow saying “Excuse me, excuse me, I’m not cheating anyone, I swear, excuse me…” My father, raised with old fashioned manners and an intolerance to the heat, snapped “Yes, you are cheating, and no, I will not excuse you.” Not very polite, but a few people did clap…

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Dazee September 17, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I have a line cutting story, that has a bit of back story. I will admit, my behavior probably wasn’t the most ‘proper’ but it was certainly the most deserved. It was back in high school while waiting for the bus. Well, lucky for me (and I mean that with all the sarcasm in the world) my house was close enough to the school that I wasn’t given the luxury of getting a school bus to and from school, I actually had to take the city bus which easily came half an hour after school ended and if you missed it you were waiting another hour or walking. I live in Wisconsin, and as anyone can tell you the winters there get extremely cold. But even during these cold winters students would be out waiting for the city bus very shortly after school let out as you didn’t want to miss it for the reasons stated before. Now there was no real need to form a line until after the bus stopped, because you couldn’t say for certain exactly where it was going to other then roughly in front of bus sign, and they always waited a few seconds before they opened the door to let everyone on. I was never on first and didn’t really mind as I knew I was going to be getting on it eventually, which meant I was going home and that was good enough for me.

Now, that we have the back story out of the way. It was on one of these cold, winter days when the bus approached and actually stopped right in front of me. “Sweet!” I thought, and actually said to my friend behind me as everyone started to line up getting ready to get on, I was actually a little excited about being able to be able to get on the bus first. I was about as close as I could be to the doors and still allow for the driver to be able to open them, when out of no where this skinny little kid pops right in front of me. I think I blinked, mouth agape, both offended and surprised that he would have the nerve to do this. I believe my body reacted on it’s own me possibly even saying, at the very least thinking “Oh, HELL no.” And brought my arm up, shoving the offender out of the way just as the bus doors opened and I proceeded on the bus, gripping to my friend behind me with pretty much, “Can you believe that!” kind of lines exchanged. As I go to give my money for the fare, I see the bus driver just cracking up laughing, obviously she had seen the whole thing. The young man that had cut in front of me ended up having to get in much further behind in the line and was obviously slightly embarrassed by the whole ordeal, though he was trying to be light hearted about it saying that I had ninja elbows because they just came out of no where… though I think he was just trying to be a ‘good’ sport about it as he was already getting quite the teasing from other people, or he was trying to bring me down a bit as well by teasing me too. I just kind of smiled and laughed, not wanting to add more to it, but I’m really not sorry for what I did. I suppose I could have been polite or passive-aggressive about it later, but this is a much better story to tell people and sometimes people shouldn’t be allowed to get away with their rude behavior even if it requires someone else to be ‘less the proper’.

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Moi September 21, 2010 at 12:33 am

I feel like there is a lack of tolerance here. It is not that bad to wait 5 or ten minutesnin a line. What the woman did was wrong but cutting is not the END. I’ve had many many people cut me but I’ve never given it a second thought. Sure, I would think to myself what a lack of manners that woman has but I wouldn’t go to such drastic measures as complaining to the cashier. Neither would I get mad that the cashier didn’t care that someone cut me. Maybe some people think much differently but… Yeah.

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TMS October 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Long time lurker, and this is the first story that encouraged me to post. A lot of the comments before mine were what encouraged me, regarding cashiers who speak up and end up getting fired. I frequent another blog where “retail slaves” as we jokingly call ourselves gripe about customers who complain and get their way, why? Because the customer blatantly lied to management to get their way, getting the employee, who did nothing wrong, sometimes quoting company policy back at the customer in deep trouble. The results? Write ups, cut hours and firings. It seems to me (from what I’ve heard and seen over all my years in retail) that managers would rather keep rude customers than loyal employees. Sometimes loosing them in the middle of busy shifts, as they take the time to reprimand the employee for following company policy (usually due to a lying customer), and having the employee quit in the middle of the shift rather than take unwarranted abuse (these of course were people who could afford to quit).

It’s for that reason I only work the overnight shift when there are no customers in the store (I work on the overnight stocking/price changing/ad-set teams), because I’m the kind of person who would last literally one day on registers, because I’ve always been taught to stand up for myself, and would not stand for customers being rude to me, and then turning around and getting me in trouble by lying and making me look like the bad guy.

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