I spent the better part of my shift today inside my own head coming up with the thirty biggest pet peeves that store clerks have and my mental responses to each. These are in no particular order and none of them are indicative of any specific establishment. I have worked in several retail settings and many of these are true across the board, no matter where one works. Some of these things are minor trespasses, while others are just plain ridiculous. Also keep in mind that I never actually say any of these things; I just think them. All of my examples are also from real life events and half of these things happened in one day alone during a six hour shift.
Enjoy and feel free to comment if you think I have forgotten any important ones.
1. CELL PHONES
Oh, you can’t hear what I’m saying to you? Maybe you should put your damn phone down for a minute. Just a thought…
2. TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE IN LINE
Hi. Do you remember me? The guy who is ringing everything up for you? Could you acknowledge my presence for a minute or two?
3. THROWING ITEMS
That package came open and you don’t understand why you have to wait for another one? Maybe it’s because of the way you were throwing everything on the belt. Maybe just maybe this is ALL YOUR FAULT!
4. PUTTING THINGS BACK
You don’t need this? Ok. (Fifteen minutes later) I’m noticing that half of your cart is going back. You are seriously inept when it comes to basic math. Please don’t come back. Ever. Because I know you’re going to do this every time you come in.
5. “I CAN’T FIND MY CARD, BUT I KNOW IT’S IN HERE SOMEWHERE!”
No it’s not. Just give up and move on.
6. COUPONS THAT DON’T SCAN
You couldn’t have used coupons that actually scan like they are supposed to? There goes another fifteen minutes of my life that I won’t get back.
7. “WAIT UNTIL I HAVE EVERYTHING UNLOADED.”
There are four people behind you in line and nobody in front and you need me to wait for you to have everything unloaded? And your arm is in a sling? F.M.L.
8. ASKING THE PRICE ON EVERY ITEM
B****, if you ask me the price on one more item, I will cut you. Asking about one or two items was fine, but now you’re pushing it.
9. GIVING THE CASHIER COUPONS AFTER THE ORDER
Oh you had coupons? That’s nice. Try mentioning them before I cash out the order?
10.MULTIPLE ORDERS ON THE EXPRESS LANE
Breaking one large order into three smaller orders is not a loophole in the policy. Not only have you ignored the sign and inconvenienced the people behind you, but now I think you’re an asshole to boot! Way to go, slugger.
11.MORE THAN THE ALOTTED NUMBER OF ITEMS AT THE EXPRESS LANE
Really, you only have twelve items? The register counted thirty-five.
I’m fairly certain that basic counting is part of the elementary school curriculum. So you’re either stupid or blind; probably both.
I see that you have at least a dozen credit cards in your wallet and for some reason you still don’t know how to properly swipe a card. Let me help you because clearly you’re an idiot.
13.COMPLETELY IGNORING THE CASHIER WHEN HE/SHE SPEAKS
Why hello there captain high and mighty. You’re too good to speak to me? You and your belly shirt, bulging tattooed breasts, and filthy neglected children are above me? Ok. Clearly I don’t know my place so I’ll just be quiet now and not ask for anything that may save you money…like a store card.
14.PAYING FOR EVERYTHING IN CHANGE
Are you serious right now? You are seriously giving me fifteen dollars in nickels, dimes, and pennies. Do you know who I am? I’m your executioner if you waste another twenty minutes of my time counting it out.
15.“I FORGOT SOMETHING/I JUST NEED ONE MORE THING.”
Woman, there are three people behind you in line right now and you have the nerve to take off for a can of tuna? I’m not going to be the one to explain why they have to wait for you and if they decide to lynch you for your crimes, so be it.
16.UNABLE TO SPEAK THE NATIVE LANGUAGE
It really is hard to learn a new language, but if we cannot understand each other enough to make it through one grocery order there is a serious problem here and it’s not on my end. Get your shit together.
17.“I’M IN A HURRY.”
That’s nice. I’m gay. I’m glad we got that out in the open. Maybe you shouldn’t be buying a cartload of groceries if you’re in a hurry because chances are that it could take a little bit to ring it all up and bag it. Please excuse me while I go slower.
18.“THESE BAGS ARE TOO HEAVY. I CAN’T CARRY THEM.”
If your arms had a weight limit, you probably should have said something before I bagged everything.
19.“ARE YOU WAITING FOR ME?”
Actually I’m waiting for the end of my shift or my untimely death; whichever comes first. So please do me a favor and wipe that smirk off your face.
20.GOING TO A CLOSED REGISTER
Not only is my light off, but the closed sign is up as well. Am I open? Are you blind or just stupid?
21.EATING SCALED ITEMS BEFORE THEY ARE WEIGHED
Put the grape down and nobody gets hurt. You do realize that you are stealing right now, right? The total price comes from the weight of the item. How are you not getting this?
22.“ARE YOU OPEN?”
No. I’m standing here behind this register while the light is on for no reason whatsoever. You are so astute that I am in awe of your brilliance.
23.“CAN YOU PUT THE COLD ITEMS TOGETHER?”
24.“THE SIGN SAID…”
No it didn’t.
25.HANDING THE CASHIER A CARD AFTER IT HAS BEEN IN YOUR MOUTH
As if your card isn’t disgusting enough with caked on crud from being in your pocket; now it has your saliva to boot! I definitely needed to meet my germ quota for the day. Yes I plan on sanitizing my hands the moment I hand it back to you and no I don’t care if you’re offended.
26.DECIDING THAT YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BAGS AFTER THE ORDER HAS BEEN BAGGED
Customer: I had my own bags.
Are you serious right now? If you had your own bags why didn’t you give them to me? Am I supposed to read your mind? No. Get your shit together.
I am not a bartender or your therapist. I do not need to know about the restraining order you had placed on your alcoholic son because he threatened the new ‘man’ in your life. All I need to know is how you will be paying and when you will be leaving because I’m already sick of you.
28.PLACING YOUR BASKET ON THE BELT AND EXPECTING THE CASHIER TO EMPTY IT
Oh no you didn’t…The basket goes in the same spot it has gone every other time you have come in. I don’t get paid to take the things out of it. Empty your things onto the belt the normal way or I’ll dump them out and see how well your tomatoes survive the fall.
29.A SIMPLE HELLO
I’m not asking for much. I don’t need us to be best friends; I just want you to acknowledge me as a person. A hello would suffice.
30.NOT KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE BUYING
Me: What kind of apple is this?
Customer: I don’t know.
You really have no idea what kind of apple you are buying right now? I think I hate you.
After reading this, if you have done any of these things while in a retail establishment, I encourage you to stop.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry
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