I was a cashier/bookkeeper for a small chain of supermarkets in NYC. I was about 18 when this story happened…
Part of my job as the bookkeeper was to handle phone orders. A phone order is when a customer calls the store and I write down their shopping list. I then shop for the items and our driver delivers them to the house. We mostly get elderly, sick, or invalid people who cannot shop for themselves. I shop for the customers in the order they call just to be fair, unless the phone order is very short and I’ll get that one out right away just to get it off my list. Some of my phone order customer were really nice, but some were absolute nightmares…and the following story is about one of those nightmares…
BTW, when a customer comes in, shops themselves and has it delivered, we only charged $1.50 ( no matter how large the order). A phone order was only $3.00…no matter how large the order.
It was a Saturday afternoon. Anyone who has worked a register or shopped on a Saturday afternoon knows that it is very busy. This day was particulary busy and I was running around the store…opening up the express line, dealing with cashiers, handling bills and money…it was craziness. Inbetween all of this, I was still answering the phones and writing down phone orders. I warned all the customers on the phone that it was very busy and would call them as soon as we had a total for them so they were aware of the final price. Most understood.
This one woman “Evil Customer” (EC) apparently did not understand this. She had a HUGE order (over $200), so shopping for it required a great deal of time. EC called a number of times and rudely asked where her order was. Again, I explained that it was very busy and I was shopping for the phone orders in the order they came in.
The owners of the store happened to come in that day. When they do, the two store managers walk around with them and they all talk, so I deal with customers on my own.
All of a sudden, the HUSBAND of EC comes storming into the store and demands to know where his wife’s order is. I was actually about to ring his wife’s order up and call the wife. He starts screaming at me and says that I’m not doing my job, etc etc etc. Meanwhile, my two mangers and the two owners just stand there staring. One manager finally says, “She’s doing the best she can…it’s very busy today.” In tears, I ring up the order and only charge $1.50 since he “came in” for his order. Yes, I shopped for the whole thing and had to deal with his rude behavior and he was only charged $1.50.
I was so shaken up after that. Of course, I had to finish my job that day. There was no apology from that husband of EC, the managers or the owners. No one stood up for me the way they should have.
When I look back on it now, being older, I should have said a few choice (and yes RUDE) words to this man. He couldn’t be bothered to food shop for his wife, but can come in and yell at me. Amazing.
I am ALWAYS nice to cashiers. 1228-10