Well, it’s been a looong time, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I find myself working the grocery line again. NOT my favorite thing, but income is required. So it is hoped that I will have some great new stories. Stay tuned.
Wow! My third bounty! I don’t know if I’m hyper-observant or what, but it happened again the other night.
Lady comes to my line, I’m checking her groceries, and I come to a bottle of wine. I look up at her to make sure she’s over 21. Oh, yeah, WELL over 21, looks like she’s had a hard life, wrinkled like a prune, bad makeup, just kinda sad looking. So, as I scan the wine, I realize that this is one of our most expensive bottles of wine at $53.00, and IT DOESN’T HAVE A BAR CODE!!! WTF?!? So what did I just scan? I look at my screen, and it’s showing “Wine Accessory” at $19.99. Usually, this particular bottle has a bright green PLU sticker, and we punch in the number to get the price. There’s no green sticker, just the “Wine Accessory” bar code. That item, just in case you are interested, is a plastic wine bottle looking thing that contains things wine drinkers would use, like a corkscrew, bottle stopper and other items of that ilk.
Just so happens our cash office manager is standing right at my register, so I say to her: “Hey, Gayle, can you look at this for me?” I explain the situation, and she picks away the bar code sticker, only to find the green PLU sticker! At this point, the customer is getting kind of agitated, and saying stuff like: “That’s OK, I don’t want it” “I don’t know how that happened.” Yeah, right! You don’t want it lady, because you know you are sooo busted and you know exactly what you did!!
Now, here’s the kinda sad part: the lady paid for her groceries using food stamps; she also had items not covered by the food stamps that she had to pay for with cash. She paid and left. Gayle made a copy of the receipt to show the store manager what had happened. Part of me felt bad, because this woman had enough money to purchase a less expensive bottle of wine or liquor. Why did she try to do this? I just don’t understand what motivates people sometimes.
I later learned that our store manager had briefly dated her son, and she told us that the woman was an alcoholic, and kinda crazy. That explains the look, but not the attempt to get a price reduction. I spoke to a couple other cashiers about this, and they feel they would have totally missed this and she would have gotten the wine. Maybe she’s even done this before, who knows?
Now I get my third $50 bounty, which comes with the motivation to catch more thieves! This company should just hire me as security instead of the lame-ass dude they have now, but that’s another post.
Today, I’m working the express lane, 20 items or less, AND I can actually turn away people with more that 20 items! That’s awesome. At first, I didn’t like the express lane. BUT, then I figured out two things. 1) SMALL ORDERS 2) LOTS OF COOL AIR BLOWING DOWN FROM THE VENT Let’s face it: it’s hot in Louisiana during the summer!
So, here I am in the express line,checking out all the small orders. I’m always the one to chat with my customers, especially the regulars. I’m doing my thing, and all of a sudden, this is what I hear (from the NEXT customer in line): “OMG, I’m Late!!!!! YOU NEEED TO HURRY UP!
Wait a minute! I’m busy with the customer in front of me, and it’s NOT you! I make eye contact with her, smile, and say: “I’ll be with you in a moment.”, and continue with the current customer, who rolls her eyes at the one behind her. LOL, but I can’t say anything! Oh, but what I’m thinking!
So, when the “late” lady’s turn comes, she starts berating me, saying things like: “You need to hurry, I’m late” “Why do they always put the slowest cashier in the express lane?”
Well, lady, you just pissed me off, big time. I’m not slow. If you had addressed me politely, said “hey, I’m running late, what can you do to get me outta here quickly, can you help me out?” I would have done anything to make it happen. BUT, you just called me slow. You wanna see slow? OMG, I acted like I was mentally deficient to the max. Not only did I scan slow, I made errors such that I had to call a manager for an override, further delaying her happy ass! But the best part is, she got it. She’s now one of my sweetest customers. YEAH! Don’t piss me off. I won’t spit in your food, but I CAN make you regret being rude!
Another busy day. Next customer in line is wearing a company uniform, so she’s an employee. I don’t know her, but that doesn’t mean much. She could be from another store, or work in the back. There are many people working behind the scenes, and I just don’t know them all.
We are having a huge sale on canned foods like ravioli and such. Her order mainly consists of canned goods on sale and other “kid” foods. I get to the end of her order, and there’s a bag of deli lunchmeat. I pick it up, and it looks like ham. There’s a sticker on the front with the barcode & price, and I flip the bag over to scan it, and I see something else (and it’s white) in the bag. I flip the bag back, and see ham, over again and see white. I look at her, and say: “Um..what” and she jumps in immediately and says: “It’s ok, I don’t want it.” Okaaaay. I call for a manager, because anything that’s perishable needs to be returned to the area or department that it belongs in. Manager comes, I give him the bag & just say she doesn’t want it, and complete her order. After she leaves, I call the manager back and tell him that he needs to check that bag, because there were clearly two different items in it.
A while later, I’m called off my register to be questioned by one of the store managers, Ms. Toni. She asks me what happened, and I tell her the whole story. As I’m being questioned, I find out several things. First, this gal is an employee at our store. She’s just returned from maternity leave and has been promoted to deli manager. Second, the “ham” item was a more expensive product than what the label indicated, AND there was some more expensive stuff also in this bag (the white stuff). So, when this lady comes in tomorrow morning, she’s going to be confronted and most likely fired. I totally feel like shit! The manager assures me that I did the right thing, and I know I did, but I still feel bad that this person with a new baby is going to lose her job. I’m totally bummed for several days afterward even with the promised $50 bounty. The store director even personally thanked me. Made me feel even shittier!
But then one of the deli workers asked me what happened, I told him, and he told me that he thought she’s been doing that for a while, and it’s about time she got caught. I still felt bad, but not as much.
At work yesterday, the gal next to me, let’s call her Amy, is a very nice college student. When a customer comes through her line and they have liquor, she ID’s them. EVERY TIME. They can be as old as dirt and grey as Methuselah, but Amy cards them anyway. Actually not a bad practice, since if we sell to someone underage, we can get fined $500, the store gets fined, and we get fired.
So, this guy is buying beer, and she asks for his ID. Since he is still unloading his buggy, he whips out his license, and flings it down the belt. She picks it up, keys in the birthday, and flings it back down the belt to him. Except. OOPS!
The license skids down the belt and falls into the little slot between the belt and the metal barrier. Amy tells him: “Don’t worry, it will move down with the belt, and come out in the little drawer I have by me.” I look at her and say: “Um, no, it won’t. That only works if it falls down the slot in front of you.” That’s how the really broke cashiers collect change for their cold drinks. No, really, and it’s quite gross, as it’s full of onion skin fragments and other detritus that lands on the belt and falls through.
So we end up calling a manager and getting some screwdrivers to detach the metal barrier and retrieve his license. Mission accomplished about 10 minutes later. The guy was actually quite gracious about the whole incident, even taking blame for having starting the fling fest. Of course, he could afford to be gracious since we were able to recover his license, LOL.
After he left, I commented that he looked a lot like Gary Sinese. He really did. The reaction I got? Who’s Gary Sinese?
A few months ago, I caught a shopper stealing. He wasn’t putting stuff in his pockets or a bag like you would think most shoplifters would; oh, no, he was VERY clever! Here’s how it happened:
It’s about 9:45PM, I’m the last (and only) cashier, and this man comes to my line with a fully loaded buggy. He unloads the buggy & I start scanning items. He leaves to get something else. While he’s gone, I come to a bag of cashews (our store sells a lot of high end items in a bulk section, where you bag your stuff & write a code on the twist tie), punch in the number, and my screen shows: Flax Seed $6.99. Whoa! That ain’t right! I know the difference between flax seed and cashews, LOL! I set that bag aside, and punch in the code for some pumpkin seeds; my screen shows: Oats $4.99. I call over the manager, we look up the correct codes and charge the correct prices: cashews: $17.48, pumpkin seeds: $12.58. At this point, the man returns, and my manager informed him that he had written down the wrong codes, but that we had corrected them for him. Surprisingly, he didn’t argue, just said: “Thanks, I’m tired.”
I finish his order and he leaves, but something is bothering me. I scanned a deli bag containing proscuitto at $13.84. In thinking back, I realize that he had close to two pounds of proscuitto in that bag. Our proscuitto ranges in price from $14 to $18 per pound. SHIT!!! He got me! I am pissed at this point, and I ask the manager if I can check out something in the deli. I go and ask the deli person if he remembered cutting some proscuitto for a man, and he says yes, he cut two pounds for the man and put them into 2 bags. This very clever man just put one pound of proscuitto into the other bag, and ditched the empty bag and paid for one pound!!!! The deli guy also told me that they guy was hanging around the bulk items for a while, looking suspicious. I told him what had happened with that, and said he should call a manager if he ever sees this guy again.
He paid with all store gift cards, which told us that he does this a lot, and then returns the “stolen” items for store credit. I hate when that happens. The upside is that until last week, I have not seen him again. Last week, he was getting a movie from Red Box. I had to pass by him. I greeeted him and said: “No proscuitto today?” He turned bright red and left. Made my day.
The best part was when the store manager informed me that our employer pays a bounty if you catch someone stealing. So, even though I missed the damn proscuitto, I still got $50. How cool is that?
Well, since it’s only June 29th, and the full moon is not until July 6th, I will probably have a few more parts to this topic. OMG, sometimes people can be so stupid and annoying that I don’t even have the words to describe them.
Today was abnormally busy, even for a Friday. My take is that because the 4th is midweek, many will celebrate over the weekend. I normally work the late shift at my store, so from about 9:45PM to close at 10PM, I am the last (and only) cashier. The next-to-last cashier left at 9:38, warning me that there was a shopper with a very full buggy. Sigh. Well, it is my job, and that would have been fine, if she had been the only shopper.
She gets to my line a few minutes later, and that cashier was not kidding! Her buggy was overloaded. I do my standard meet & greet & start scanning and bagging. And scanning and bagging, on and on. At one point, I look up, and there are about 8 other people in my line. The. Only. Line. All of them are glaring at me as if it’s MY fault that they all decided to shop at 9:50PM. Yeah, right!
I finally get to the end of her order, and she gives me a coupon. Since the coupon won’t scan, I will need a manager’s override. I send the bag boy (oops, now they are called service clerks, LOL) to get the manager. The coupon was for baby food, of which the customer had purchased A LOT of. She seems to think that the coupon should take $.25 off of EVERY baby food item purchased. I show her the coupon, which clearly states $.25 off 1 item. My manager confirms that, which only aggravates her more. She pays & leaves.
My next customer is a young lady with groceries and wine. I ask for an ID, and she shows me her state ID. The birthday is fine, she’s legal, but I comment that the picture does not really look like her. She shows me her driver’s license, which DOES look like her, and I proceed with the sale. She proceeds to get snarky with me about the state ID, saying that she’s never had problems before. I explained that it was NOT a problem, just that her driver’s license photo looks more like her than the state ID. She continues to be snarky, and I swear, if there weren’t 12 people in line behind her, I’d take back the wine & refuse the sale. No time for that. She pays & leaves.
The next customer is a regular late night shopper, usually has 5 or 6 items, and is always very sweet. I apologize for the delay, and she immediately begins commiserating with me about weird/nasty people. I tell her that people like her are what make this job bearable, wish her a goodnight and go on to the next customer.
Meantime, the cash office manager finally got a clue, opened a line, and was checking people out, making my line shorter. Hallelujah!
I finally get everyone cleared out but 1 guy, and as I start ringing him up, he tells me that the front end manager is taking care of some steaks for him. She comes up and tells me to ring the steaks at a certain price. We are not supposed to change prices, but if a manager says so, we do it. Get him out, and the manager tells me that he was throwing a fit because we are currently having a special price on whole rib eyes, cut free. Of course, our butchers go home at 8PM, so no one was there to cut a fricking rib eye for this guy, so he convinced the manager that she should give him the sale price on a regular package. She was very nice to him, explaining that he could call ahead and have it cut and ready, even if he’s coming in at 10PM, and that sorry, but there was no way she could cut a whole rib eye for him. So, he says, well, it can’t be that hard, just slicing it into steaks. Did I mention these are bone-in? Yep. So, I explained to him that first of all, the whole thing has to be trimmed, fat & other things removed, then cut AND sawed. Oh, he says.
I think people plan this, knowing that if they complain enough, they will get something. A whole bone-in rib eye averages 12 to 15 pounds. The butchers will cut it for free, but you are paying for the whole thing. Unless you ask, whatever is trimmed, you lose. I can guarandamntee this guy would not pay $70 to $100 for a whole one.
My manager and I were chatting afterword, and she commented that people really should have a clue about late shopping. It’s never a problem for us with the last minute person needing necessities like milk, diapers, etc. It’s the fools who think they can come in 10 minutes before closing and do a whole week’s worth of shopping and get pissed at us because we are short staffed! I thanked her for sharing her thoughts, which were identical to mine – it sort of proved that I’m not as crazy as I sometimes think I am.
But really, why can’t people be more considerate?
We all know that more craziness occurs during a full moon. Well, if you are blessed with a job in retail, I am sure that you see even more craziness than the average working stiff. In my neck of the woods, it seems to start about a week before the actual full moon.
Last night I checked out a lady and her four children. Their total was $8.29. She gave me a $20. I punched in $20 cash, and she then told me she had the change and gave me $.30. So, I proceed to punch in $20.30 in cash and it now looks like she has given me $40.00. It was late; I was tired; BUT, I knew better. Even though the receipt said she should get $32.00 in change, I was at least awake enough to only give her the $12.00 that she had coming. I wished her a good night, and raced for the restroom.
Upon my return, I see her speaking with the cashier next to me, who sent her to the service desk. As she was walking to the desk, she shot me the most venomous look I have EVER received, especially from someone I don’t even know. What’s up with that:? I asked the cashier what was up, and she said something about giving the wrong change. Not worried, the service person is smart, and he would not just cough up $$ until he checked with me.
A few moments later she leaves, and again shoots me this really mean glare. The service guy came over and told me that she basically accused me of punching in the wrong amount so that I could pocket the “extra” $20!!!! REALLY??!!! Well, anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a very honest person. He told me that he said to her that if I really did that, I would be caught at the end of the night when I turned in my till. She didn’t seem happy with his response.
Needless to say, my tilll was NOT $20 short. People are just crazy.
So, here I am, back behind a cash register. Yes, I’ve ridden in this rodeo before. Didn’t like it much then, and don’t like it much now, but it’s a paycheck and fodder for the crazy things people do and say.
For example, our store takes the bruised, brown and otherwise not
saleable pristine bananas, puts them in a bag, and sells them for $1.49 FOR THE WHOLE BAG. The bag probably containes 3-4 pounds of bananas, with the savings averaging about 50% or more off the regular price.
This Indian lady, wearing a very beautiful sari comes to my line, places the bag of bananas on the belt, and says to me: “OH, you must be new! I don’t have any money, but I have my credit card with me. But they know me here, and you can just let me take the bananas and I’ll come pay for them tomorrow. They know me and let me do this all the time.”
Yeah, right! Not my first rodeo, remember?
I smile at her, and very kindly say: “I’m sorry ma’am, but if you have your credit card, you can pay for the bananas using the card, or I’d be more than glad to call a manager for permission to let you pay tomorrow.”
She said, “no, that’s ok, I’ll use my card.”
Later, I ask the front end manager about her, and I am told that she tries that scam on every new cashier. HaHa, she didn’t get me!
Several days later, I am off the clock and shopping, when I see her again. She stops me and asks where are the bananas in bags. I don’t see any. All I see are beautiful, pristine green and yellow bananas. I tell her we don’t have any bags and that the produce people are gone for the day. She asks me to make her a bag. Really? I don’t think so. I tell her I am off the clock, but that she should check at the service desk, and maybe they can help her. Later, I find that she never did go to the service desk.
Every time I see her, she tries to get me to get her banana bags, and I also found out the she harasses the produce people for them. I mean, come on! Bananas are probably the cheapest fruit ever. You can’t pay full price for nice ones?
So, here I am, trying to create this blog, navigating the options, and having no clue what I’m doing. Anyone want to help? Widgets? Options? I’m clueless!