General Etiquette > general

Who Wants Me? or...Since You're Not Doing Anything....

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I have been a working gal for 20 plus years and, I can honestly say, since I have started over and have worked retail while going back to school, dealing with the public has been both a blessing and a major curse.  I would like to know if there is a polite way to respond to those who ask "who wants me?" when there are 2 cashiers open. What on earth do you say to that? The other thing that is confounding is "Since you're not doing anything..."
I have no idea what they think "doing" something is? Cashiers are very rarely allowed to even talk for more than 2 minutes to each other. Everything is on camera. We have to either count our coupons or sweep the floor or straighten things up. etc. There is no other job where "doing nothing" is not an option and it is a major annoyance when a customer thinks he or she is being clever by pointing that out.  How do you even say "not doing anything? I wish!"

Mental Magpie:
I'd make it into a game. The customer probably thinks she is being funny. "You win me! Come on down!" in an overly excited voice.

If you're busy, say so. "Actually, I'm cleaning up, but how can I help you?" Make sure to say it as a matter if fact, not snark.

Sara Crewe:
In terms of 'who wants me', some of these people might be trying to be polite.  I wouldn't necessarily assume a cashier is immediately free - they may be counting their drawer or doing some other task I know nothing about.  It could be a genuine enquiry as to who is available.

I've never had a customer say "Who wants me," however, when a customer says "You aren't doing anything," I almost always say "Yup, and I'm good at it too." 

The other one that bugs me is, "Awww you've been waiting for me," I really dislike that phrase. To that one, I usually say, "Nope, just standing here not doing anything, and liking it."

I try and keep it very light at work, keep the humor up, and laugh a lot, mostly because cranky associates lead to cranky customers, and that makes for a long day.

There may be things going on that aren't obvious to you.

I have a damaged spine, and shopping is an exhausting painful ordeal for me.  By the time I get to checkout, I'm often hurting badly.  I can't count the times I've chosen a register only to be told that I should go to a different one.  It hurts me to back up, twist, turn, pick up and carry my stuff elsewhere.  What I do now is to wait at the last neutral point, try to catch a cashier's eye, and ask if they're available. 

All of this could be avoided if one of the cashiers would make eye contact with me and motion me in.  This rarely happens.

I suspect that even non-handicapped shoppers would like eye contact and guidance.  I'm not excusing stupid or snarky customer remarks; I'm just pointing out that checkout can be confusing and frustrating for customers.


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