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You Are The Only Cashier For Me

I could fill volumes with stories about bad customers, but here’s one of the worst:  I work at a gas station, and there are two registers in the store.  It always seems that if there are two people at the counter, any given customer will immediately go to the attendant who is the busiest.  Usually I just laugh this off, but this lady was intolerable.

I was standing with my back to the second register stocking cigarettes on the wall behind me, my co-worker was standing completely idle at the next register just waiting for a customer to come in.  But this lady HAD to be helped by me, couldn’t be bothered to walk the extra 4 feet to the available attendant.  She walks up to the register and says, “EXCUSE me,” in the rudest way possible.  I ignore her as I often do when this happens, and my co-worker says that he can help her at the other register (and he is by no means soft-spoken).  No dice.  Apparently it has to be me.  Again this time, louder and ruder,  “EXCUSE ME!!!! ARE YOU GOING TO HELP ME?”  At this point my manager is also up front, she knows I can handle customer BS, but is always willing to step in if needed.  All I really want now is this person to leave the store so I go ahead and help her out for which I get a huff and “Finally!”  Whatever, she’s about to leave.  I hand her her change and she doesn’t reach out to take it so I set it down on the counter.  I turn around to get back to stocking, and I hear, “Aren’t you going to put that in my hand?”  No, you are perfectly capable of picking that up yourself.  My manager picks up the change, places it in the woman’s hands, and tells her not to come back to the store unless she finds a better attitude.

Fortunately, the rest of the day went smoothly, and I have been in customer service jobs way too long to let somebody’s snarky attitude and bad day get to me.  I haven’t seen her since. 0517-09


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kathryn November 8, 2011, 5:11 am

    Three cheers for the manager!! Yay!

    Bad customers come and go, but an awesome manager is a precious thing indeed!

  • MellowedOne November 8, 2011, 7:34 am

    This customer started off by being very rude, no doubt about it. But your being rude in return (and yes, ignoring a customer when they are trying to get your attention is rude) did not help calm the agitated customer, it merely increased her anger.

    If you had directed her attention to the waiting cashier and said, ‘Maam, she can take you right now’, the situation would have been likely diffused.

    When someone starts a fire, throwing gasoline on it won’t put it out.

  • Laurita November 8, 2011, 7:42 am

    The customer in this situation was certainly rude, but the cashier’s attitude comes through loud and clear in every line. Ignoring the customer? The whole situation could have been avoided if the cashier had turned, smiled, and said “my co-worker would be happy to help you over there.”

  • Niamh84 November 8, 2011, 8:09 am

    I don’t want to defend this customer as she does sound rude, but can I ask why you didn’t just turn around and politely say “I’m sorry, this till is closed at the moment but my colleague would be happy to help you at the next till”.

    It seems to me that this woman may have become rude as a result of addressing someone only to be completely blanked by them. Don’t get me wrong, when walking up to a few tills where some are busy and some aren’t I will wait to catch the eye of someone not busy and then walk up to them when it’s clear they are waiting to serve me. But if I walked up to a till and attempted to get the tellers attention only to be completely ignored I would think it rude. Having said that, I wouldn’t make an issue of it like this woman did, I’d just go to the other till, but I wouldn’t be returning due to the poor manners of the initial teller.

  • QueenofAllThings November 8, 2011, 8:26 am

    “I ignore her as I often do” – frankly, if I was the customer, I’d be annoyed too. Could she have gone to the other cashier? Yes. But she didn’t, for any number of reasons that may be legitimate for her. It doesn’t sound like customer service is part of the OP’s vocabulary.

  • Jenny November 8, 2011, 8:32 am

    Eh… I feel like the OP could have handled this better. If this is the worst retail story, you got super lucky. I think a simple – “I’m sorry, this register is closed but Bob is available to help you.” would have diffused it.

  • Sharon November 8, 2011, 8:55 am

    So now you have one less customer to worry about. Keep it up!!

  • Timothy November 8, 2011, 9:29 am

    I’m trying to think of a store where the cashier puts the money into your hand. I really can’t think of one.

    And ignoring the cashier that’s open just so she could be insulted that you weren’t dropping what you were doing to help her? Someone has a serious entitlement issue.

  • jch November 8, 2011, 9:32 am

    I’m sorry, but I have to say that I was a bit more struck by the rudeness of the poster in this scenario. I, too, work in a similar setting, waiting on customers, and in my opinion there is never an excuse for ignoring a customer intentionally. My own job means I often have several people waiting in line, and I always acknowledge each of them with either a “I’ll be with you in a moment,” or at the very least a quick smile. It doesn’t take anything away from whatever I may be doing or from serving other customers, and it makes the customer feel better that they’ve been acknowledged.
    “I ignore her as I often do when this happens…” No, I’m sorry, but that is not acceptable.
    The least any customer deserves is your acknowledgement. Simply turning to her (preferably with a smile) and saying “John will be happy to help you at register one,” wouldn’t take much effort and might have avoided any rude exchanges here.

    I also get the impression that the OP may have been too impatient to wait for the customer to finish fumbling with her purchases and so just set the change on the counter with irritation. Maybe I don’t have enough info here, but what has been shared leads me to think that the customer may have had a reason to feel slighted. Not an excuse for her own rudeness, but a reason for her reaction. I suspect that her anger and subsequent rudeness was in response to being completely ignored, then having the attendant turn his/her back on her. The message she received from start to finish told her she wasn’t worth even an acknowledgement – that stocking cigarettes “trumped” customer service. As a customer, while I wouldn’t react as loudly and rudely as this one did, I would be a bit annoyed and put off by such treatment, too.

    Customer service can be a tricky thing. There are certainly daily challenges. But those of us who wait on customers can go a long way toward setting the tone and trying to make sure that things *don’t* escalate into rudeness and mutual unhappiness. Simple acknowledgement (even if you are busy) of the people who, in the end, make your job possible is a good start. JMO 🙂

  • Katie November 8, 2011, 9:42 am

    If that’s the worst customer you’ve ever had, then I think you’re doing pretty well!

  • Kovitlac November 8, 2011, 9:48 am

    “I’m trying to think of a store where the cashier puts the money into your hand. I really can’t think of one.”

    Timothy: I’m actually trying to think of one I know offhand that doesn’t. I know I did when I worked retail at a popular gaming store. It seems odd to me to place change on the counter when customers are perfectly capable of cutting out the middle man. Plus coins can be a pain to pick up if you have something already in one hand.

    As for the story, I agree that the OP could have handled it much better. Yes, the lady was hugely rude, but my manager would never let me get away with just ignoring a customer, even if I was on my way to the backroom for break. I’d probably have been fired, or at least severely reprimanded, for pulling what you pulled.

    Sometimes we just have to deal with stupid/lazy customers, whether we want to or not.

  • alex November 8, 2011, 10:03 am

    Sorry OP but I think you were wrong in your attitude and by your rudeness the customer’s rudeness grew. I don’t think the customer was right at all but I do think you really should have just turned around and said, “I’m sorry I am busy but so and so can help you at the other register.” To ignore someone you are being just as rude as they are.

    I also feel it is extremely rude to not put change in someone’s hand as it is basically saying I am better and don’t want to touch you. I don’t know what the situation looked like here and that she didn’t grab it. I honestly cannot believe your manager was okay with your behavior.

  • hannabanna November 8, 2011, 10:17 am

    How does OP know that the customer wanted something other than to be checked out?

    Perhaps she wanted to ask about a cigarette brand or be handed one? Maybe she wanted to know where “X” item was in the store and knew she probably shouldn’t stand in a customer line and bother the cashier to do it? My goodness, anytime someone says “excuse me”, I’m going to turn around and say “Yes?’.

    Odd post.

  • Melissa November 8, 2011, 10:17 am

    If there are two people working behind the desk at the gas station, I always go for the busier one, too, where there is a line. How am I supposed to know what the other person is doing? Usually there is one customer being helped in that line, while there are 2 or 3 in line in front of me. I think, is that a Lottery line? Some sort of moneygram line? Can I pay for my gas over there? I don’t know! And if I can, then why didn’t the cashier direct all of the people in front of me over there? So yeah, it makes perfect sense to me that customers always go to the longer line or busier cashier.

  • Susan November 8, 2011, 10:36 am

    Ones rude customer is another’s rude cashier.

    I wonder why she HAD to have you? Maybe the other attendant gave her back the wrong change last time?

  • Britt November 8, 2011, 10:41 am

    Yeah, kudos to your manager for supporting you but I think a quick, “My colleague can help you out,” would have diffused this. She started rude but you finished rude.

  • WildIrishRose November 8, 2011, 10:44 am

    @OP: There’s never an excuse for rudeness–not even someone else’s rudeness. And you were rude to a CUSTOMER. Have you forgotten that these people are your bread and butter? The manager was wrong not to call you on this. Shame on both of you.

    @Timothy: I can’t think of a place where the cashier DOESN’T put your change in your hand! In fact, I get just a teeny bit annoyed at the way they do it: They usually put the bill flat on your palm and then the change on top of it, which makes it difficult to put the money away without dropping it. But I’ve never had a cashier just put the money on the counter. And when I pay for my purchases, I make a point of putting the money in the cashier’s hand and not just on the counter. To me, that smacks of an I-don’t-want-to-touch-you attitude.

  • TheVapors November 8, 2011, 10:51 am

    I worked as a cashier at a grocery store for a few years, so I’ve had my fair share of “those” customers. The ones who walk up to my register as I’m clearing things or cleaning or restocking bags while my neighboring cashiers are ready and happy to take their carts… but, while a little annoying, it’s just part of the job.

    So this particular customer wasn’t as friendly or polite (or aware of her surroundings and the open register) as she could’ve been. But, the OP -ignoring- a customer is worse.

    If you weren’t cashiering at that moment, a smile and a friendly “I apologize, ma’am, my hands are full. However, my co-worker at the next register would be more than happy to ring up your order and assist you with whatever else you need.”

    Even then, if she declined and wanted your help only, okay… yes… annoying of her. But in this case I’m still inclined to say that this is on the “light side of rude” and that helping the customer should’ve been top priority.

    Being rude back to a customer not only isn’t the right thing to do, but it’s just feels unnecessary in this case when a little kindness would’ve gotten her out of the door faster without all the huff ‘n puff.

  • Chris November 8, 2011, 11:26 am

    Kindness and courtesy beget the same. The customer made an assumption and acted rudely. I see no reason why the OPs response is so horrid as to deserve the lambasting they are receiving here. The only legit reason the customer might have had for not being willing to move to the other lane and/or expect the change to be handed to her is if she had a physical disability making such actions on her part to be a difficulty.

  • Hemi Halliwell November 8, 2011, 11:44 am

    Sorry, OP but *you* were just as rude as the customer. You wrote ” I ignored her as I often do when this happens”. As other commentors have suggested, you could have simply said I’m sorry this register is closed, John can help you and she may have gone to the other register. If she did not, then your manager could have stepped in.
    Ignoring customers when they are trying to get your attention is rude and will likely result in losing their business. If this happens often enough, your colleague may have to wait on customers AND stock cigarettes.

  • Sarah Peart November 8, 2011, 11:50 am

    I would have said to the other cashier “Mary, could you help this customer?”; then “Mary could help you as I will not be free for at least five minutes!”. This leaves her deciding to go to Mary or waiting for you for whatever reason. I have to say that being ignored is not something that leads to being polite when that person finally pays attention!

  • LovleAnjel November 8, 2011, 11:52 am

    How difficult would it be to turn around and say, “I’m sorry, this register is closed. You can check out down there.” Is it that your register is actually open, but you just didn’t want to be bothered with a customer? Sorry, but that’s your job. You busying yourself with stocking cigarettes is akin to the checkout person who spends 5 minutes carefully opening a tube of coins for their till instead of looking up and saying “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

  • Laura November 8, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the customer the OP is talking about one day showed up here and wrote about the worst customer service she ever received, and she’d be right.

  • Calliope November 8, 2011, 12:33 pm

    I agree with others. This woman’s behavior may have been brusque, even a little rude, but on the Bad Customer Spectrum, it barely even registers. If I were that customer, I would have been annoyed to be ignored by the OP, and much more annoyed when he turned his back on me immediately after completing our transaction. I honestly can’t believe the manager had the nerve to scold the woman about her attitude after witnessing this.

  • Dark Magdalena November 8, 2011, 1:30 pm

    I just wanted to point out that the other cashier DID say that he could help the customer; why is it so important to everyone else that the OP say it, too? The OP ignored the customer because the other cashier was trying to handle it, not because the OP wanted to be intentionally rude.

  • Gracie C. November 8, 2011, 1:41 pm

    The OPs tone and attitude make me question her ability to even judge this woman as rude – as she clearly does not recognize her own rudeness:

    “Usually I just laugh this off, but this lady was intolerable.”

    – Really? She sounds maybe annoying, but “intolerable” seems extreme.

    “But this lady HAD to be helped by me, couldn’t be bothered to walk the extra 4 feet to the available attendant.”

    – Perhaps she did not see your coworker. I have a colleague with a vision impairement that prevents her from seeing anything in her peripheral vision. Perhaps, for some reason, she didn’t want to deal with a male attendant.

    “She walks up to the register and says, “EXCUSE me,” in the rudest way possible.”

    – again – based on your other statements that show your own rudeness, my guess is the women said excuse me loud enough to be heard, and not rudely at all.

    “I ignore her as I often do when this happens”

    – inexcusable. Completely inexcusable.

    “At this point my manager is also up front, she knows I can handle customer BS”

    – if I were your manager, I don’t think I’d allow you to deal with customers at all. She knows you can handle customer BS? There’s a difference between not tolerating abusive customers and ignoring them altogether.

    “I turn around to get back to stocking, and I hear, “Aren’t you going to put that in my hand?”

    – seems pretty dismissive to me. Doesn’t even sound as though the transaction was really completed before you turned your back on her.

    “No, you are perfectly capable of picking that up yourself. My manager picks up the change, places it in the woman’s hands, and tells her not to come back to the store unless she finds a better attitude.”

    – I would have responded. “Oh, no worries. I won’t be back. And I’ll be sure to spread the word that customer service is not a priority here.”

    “I haven’t seen her since.”

    – and I’m quite certain she’s just as happy to not see you.

    I have to tell you, this story really annoyed me (if you couldn’t tell). I can’t even imagine being in any kind of customer service situation where an employee felt that ignoring me, with their back turned, despite me attempts to get their attention was acceptable. I can’t imagine a manager supporting that employee. And I, quite frankly, can’t imagine ever giving that place my business again. If your register was closed, one sentence from you, OP, would have clarified the scenario. Your rudeness was appalling. The fact that you brag about how often you ignore customers, is appalling.

  • Rmmuir November 8, 2011, 2:03 pm

    In all fairness to the OP, the customer wasn’t ignored. They wrote: “my co-worker says that he can help her at the other register”. If the OP has been told by her manager, the next thing I want you to do is restock the cigarette shelf , and she is the only person on the tills, then the customer takes priority. If there is someone else on the tills, then restocking takes priority. The customer wasn’t ignored by all the staff in the shop, which I agrees would be very rude, but is in fact just a sucky customer.

    As for the not handing her her change, the OP did go to hand her it, but the customer didn’t take it. Now this may be rude depending on whether or not the lady was fumbling with her bag to get her purse etc and that’s why she didn’t take it. But it could have been the lady just being rude again.

  • AS November 8, 2011, 2:12 pm

    I agree with other commentators here – the OP was just as rude as the customer. I don’t see why you should ignore her as I often do when this happens . I am imagining a situation where someone (maybe not the particular customer) who cannot go the other counter for whatever reason (maybe disabled, or something), and comes in and says “excuse me” in a loud but polite way and you ignore them (they were loud, and hence has to be rude, right?!?). I was also wondering if you are a woman, and this customer was purchasing some feminine products and was embarrassed to go to your man-colleague.

    I was expecting the customer had done something awful. I don’t condone rude behavior, but this seems this was pretty tame as compared to all the stories we read in the site, or even whatever I have seen myself (which I thought were tame too, though worse than this). As much as I am in favor of managers who can stand up for their employees, I can’t believe that she told the customer off and you got away scratch-free even though you ignored her!

  • Jones November 8, 2011, 2:18 pm

    If this occurred at the gas station I think it did, my husband’s aunt used to work for them and they are a very unreasonably managed corporation. The employees are on payroll as “cashiers”, but there are no stockers/cleaners etc. Each cashier, depending on what shift they have, is required to do a checklist of items during their scheduled shift; overtime is not acceptable. This means that whenever I frequent this gas station, there will be two cashiers on duty; unless it is busy, though, only one will be cashiering while the other is busily going through the shift checklist: tearing down and cleaning the slushy machine/refilling the coffee/mopping the floor/putting hot dogs on the roller, or even restocking the shelves with tobacco products.
    The OP was not cashiering when the customer came up, and did not have to acknowledge an unreasonable request (putting down her/his current job to work on another) since the other cashier promptly spoke up and said HE was the one with the open till.
    When the OP tried to hand the customer the change money and the customer wouldn’t take the money, OP was perfectly within his/her rights to put the money down until the customer was ready to pick it up. After all, OP has a job to do within a designated amount of time, and this special customer was not scheduled in on the checklist. OP probably already did the designated time cashiering, while another cashier did their shift’s checklist earlier.
    As a former cashier, here are my 2 cents: OP should have reinforced that she was not cashiering at the moment, and asked if there was a problem with dealing with Bob. Once Bob had taken care of the customer, if she wouldn’t take the change from him, he could have wasted his time holding it (after all he’s the current lead cashier and will have the last half of his shift to do his duties) until she was ready for it…unless another customer came up for his attention, then he should have put it on the counter for her to pick up at her convenience (I used to have customers who actually preferred this). Oh, and if this is “one of the worst customer stories” the OP has, the OP had some very, very good customers.

  • Tracey November 8, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Here is another issue I had beside the ignorance of the person serving the rude customer: the manager didn’t help the person either. Manager should have taken care of the customer and then pulled the worker in the back and said, “That will never happen again. If it does, you will need to find another job.” I have never had a manager that would have put up with that behavior, no matter how rude the customer was. If a customer swore at me, then, I was allowed to either hang up the phone or walk away.

  • Goldie November 8, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Oh for crying out loud… remind me never to submit anything to this site. Where did everybody get the idea that the customer was not offered to step to the second register, and that she was abandoned as soon as the transaction was completed?? Says right here in the OP’s letter

    1) “my co-worker was standing completely idle at the next register… and my co-worker says that he can help her at the other register (and he is by no means soft-spoken).

    2) “I hand her her change and she doesn’t reach out to take it so I set it down on the counter. I turn around to get back to stocking, and I hear, “Aren’t you going to put that in my hand?”

  • GroceryGirl November 8, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I’m surprised the lady got mad that the OP wouldn’t put her money in her hand. I am also a cashier and very often people won’t put their money into my hand. They kind of pitch bills across the counter at me. I know people who hurl their change back at them when they do that but usually I’m too much on auto-pilot to bother. I do find it pretty offensive. How dirty could I possibly be that you’ll let me touch your food but won’t hand me money?

    I will count out peoples changes in nickels and dimes if they really irritate me though…with a cheerful smile of course!

  • GroceryGirl November 8, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Also, someone saying “excuse me” is a real treat. Usually people just start talking and you’re never really sure if they are talking on a bluetooth, to themselves or you (ex: “I wonder if they have more apples”). Or they just yell “Hey!” from across the way.

  • Leslie Holman-Anderson November 8, 2011, 3:05 pm

    I spent many years working retail. I never, never, NEVER ignored a customer, even a rude one. My manager would have been justified in firing me if I had. As others here have already said, it’s important to acknowledge the customer every time, and if possible, to help them. If you’re up to your eyeballs in something else, direct them to someone who can help them. And if all you’re doing is stocking — unless you’ve got one of those weird bosses who thinks stocking takes precedence over customer service — you stop what you’re doing and help the customer. Your customers will love you, which makes your working day much pleasanter. They’ll spend more money in your store, which will make your boss love you, which will make your job even MORE pleasant. And maybe more lucrative.

  • Carpathia November 8, 2011, 4:18 pm

    The customer sounds demanding and her attitude was rude, but I agree that the cashier was rude too. There could be many reasons for a customer coming to speak with you even if there’s another staff member close by and not busy. Perhaps she was partially sighted, perhaps your colleague had turned away or also looked busy and the customer chose the closest person to interrupt.
    Acknowledge a person; they feel validated and any subsequent contact will likely be pleasant. Pointedly ignore them and you will put their back up and they won’t make any effort to be polite.

  • Ann November 8, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Would someone please let me know where that gas station is so I can take my business elsewhere? Thanking you, in advance…

  • Tanz November 8, 2011, 4:50 pm

    I’m going to disagree with everyone else: I don’t think the OP was rude. Brusque, maybe, but not rude: the entire blame for the situation sits squarely on the shoulders of the customer imo. She ignored an open checkout where there were no other customers waiting, and even ignored the other cashier when they offered to help her. Instead of going to the available and waiting employee she directed her attention to one that a) was clearly engaged in another activity and not free to help and b) had his/her back to the customer! Talk about a sense of entitlement.

  • Allie November 8, 2011, 5:01 pm

    I’m afraid I have to agree with those who say the OP was rude in this situation. OP, you are there at work and on shift and someone is asking you for help. I don’t see how it’s acceptable for you to ignore her. Sounds like you don’t want to be there. Maybe you should consider another line of work.

  • Timothy November 8, 2011, 5:28 pm

    @ WildIrishRose: Every place I’ve shopped (which, granted, aren’t many places) hands the bills to you, and has an automatic coin dispenser.

    And on second reading, while the customer was a bit rude, the majority of the blame does fall on the cashier’s rudeness. Regardless of the initial tone of the customer’s voice, ignoring her just escalates things.

  • Enna November 8, 2011, 5:30 pm

    @ Mellowed One -the OP should have spoken up and said she was busy and the till was closed however it is clear she was busy with sorting other stock.

    Considering the customer ignored the OP’s colleague that could be rude but she could have been hard of hearing – some deaf people rely on lip reading.

    I think both the OP and the customer were rude but if the manager told the woman not to come back maybe the customer was more aggressive then the OP suggests.

  • SleepyKitty November 8, 2011, 5:51 pm

    To play devil’s advocate here, and giving the OP the benefit of the doubt – the story starts off with the woman using what the OP calls a rude and obnoxious tone of voice. The OP doesn’t respond, and the available cashier explicitly tells the woman waiting that he can help her immediately, at which point the customer ignores the available cashier and again using a rude tone of voice, yells at the OP to come and help her. Again, giving the OP the benefit of the doubt and assuming the OP was accurate about the events up until this point, I don’t see how the OP did anything wrong. Frankly, when I was working customer service, I never expected anyone to be nice to me, but if they couldn’t at least address me in a civil tone of voice, then I would finish the transaction as quickly as possible and return to whatever else it was that I was doing. And as for the OP turning her back on the customer once the transaction was over – she clearly had other work that needed to get done in between customers. What was she supposed to do – stand there staring at the woman?

  • Echo November 8, 2011, 6:23 pm

    The OP wasn’t standing at a register waiting to serve someone, she was filling stock. When I filled stock I also ignored customers because a) my manager had designated someone else to deal with customers and b) stock fill goes so much more smoothly when you get into ‘the zone’.

  • Calliope November 8, 2011, 9:12 pm

    @Goldie and SleepyKitty, I do think it’s rude for the cashier to turn his back on the customer as soon as the transaction is over. Showing someone your back is definitively shutting that person out. I don’t think the cashier should stand there and stare at the customer, either, but turning his back makes it seem like the customer was an inconvenience, taking valuable time away from other duties. It may be true that the customer really was taking up time the OP could have used to do something else, but a good cashier would not let the customer see that.

  • Mariel November 8, 2011, 11:19 pm

    Oh geez. The cashier is not at fault in this situation. She was in the middle of something and the other cashier was not. So the other cashier TRIED to help this woman. There is absolutely no reason the OP should have stopped what she was doing when there was someone else clearly ready and willing to help. Think about it. You are at work in the middle of a project. Someone comes up to you demanding help. Your coworker, who is steps away, jumps in and offers their assistance. The person wanting help refuses to be helped by your coworker even though your coworker is fully capable of helping and insists that you drop everything instead. Don’t you think that would be extremely frustrating?
    Someone said that maybe the customer had a disability. She has a disability that meant she couldn’t move four feet? That seems unlikely.
    Someone else suggested that maybe the customer didn’t want to be helped by a male attendant. This would be extremely sexist and I don’t understand how that could be a valid reason.

  • Melissa November 8, 2011, 11:40 pm

    I’m sorry, but I think the OP is in the wrong here. The OP’s attitude towards his or her job comes through loud and clear, and it is not respectful. An employee that helps a business lose a customer is never a good thing, and that is exactly what happened here. If I were the manager, I would have reprimanded the OP for such rude behavior. Especially in the economy at hand, a business cannot simply afford to ignore an employee like this.

  • GroceryGirl November 9, 2011, 2:26 am

    OP was a little more brusque than perhaps was absolutely necessary but the lady was being kind of nasty. I certainly wouldn’t consider this a terrible customer experience though, I read a story hear once where someone’s nose was broken at a register and the customer flipped out on her because she couldn’t complete the transaction! Customers tend to think they know how a store works when they really don’t. I once got into an argument with a man who insisted I open up for him. I told him over and over I didn’t have a register (we alternate on- and off-register hours to avoid carpel tunnel), to which he replied “of course you do! I know you do!” This could have been handled a little better but the lady was clearly being difficult.

  • Cupcake November 9, 2011, 2:28 am

    @Timothy – I’ve shopped in lots of places and I have never seen an automatic coin dispenser outside of places like banks.

    The OP should have acknowledged the customer and directed her to the other cashier, but the customer seems extremely rude to me – ignoring the cashier who said he was available to help her, hassling the OP when she knew he/she was not available and someone else was, kicking up a fuss about having to pick up her own change from the counter, having a bad attitude the entire time. And since the OP tried to hand her change to her and she didn’t take it, I’m thinking she was maybe standing with her hand open and expected OP to put the money straight into it rather than reaching out to meet halfway as one normally would. If so that is also pretty rude; in any case, the OP didn’t just put the change down he/she did try to give it to the customer first.

  • Marna November 9, 2011, 2:49 am

    Mariel – Someone else suggested that maybe the customer didn’t want to be helped by a male attendant. This would be extremely sexist and I don’t understand how that could be a valid reason.

    I don’t know. Depending on exactly what items I was purchasing, I might prefer a female clerk over a male. I would imagine it might also be true of an older female customer. Let’s not call out the old “discrimination” card without justification, OK?

  • ellesee November 9, 2011, 3:54 am

    I’m surprised at the tone here. I don’t think the cashier was at fault. I definitely agree with Goldie, Echo, and Mariel.
    The customer had a sense of entitlement, expecting any employee to drop what they are doing and help her at her whim. Honestly, who asks the person stocking product to check out when there is a clerk perfectly available (and tells you so)? I understand it’s rude to ignore a customer, but if the customer needed some sort of “validation” with a response, she got it with the other employee but ignored that! The woman had her sights set on OP for some unknown reason and was quite rude about it.
    Also, after a transaction ends, it’s not a big deal if the employee turns around to continue their work. They are, after all, working. It’s a gas station, not an upscale department store.
    And kudos for the manager.

  • ellesee November 9, 2011, 4:04 am

    I also like to add that OP and everybody has the right to not hand money directly to a person’s hand. It’s not an “I-don’t-want-to-touch-you” snobby attitude….it’s called personal space. Some people don’t like touching or to be touched by other people and I find that perfectly fine and not offensive.