Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Sigh-Worthy New Year

So, I am thrilled to be moved from 'seasonal' to 'part-time' at my store...but it turns out that thanks to the new year, my hours have been cut...Yeah! I went from 20 hours a week to 10.

So for a bit, I'll be reduced to having to do stories of the past 3 months. Then weekend at my work, is like a lifetime of laughs.

We'll play it by ear, eh?

Happy New Years Everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Is that a bunny in a boiling pot of water?!?

I am sad to announce that I cheated. Yes, I am a retail store adulterer.

After arriving in Alabama to visit family, I realize that I have forgotten the one job I had for this gathering. The gift.

It slipped my mind completely. Of course, I remember with only an hour to spare. Frantically racing across the Alabama/Mississppi line, I have my first sinful thought.

There,glowing like the north star, is the same retail store that I work at begging me to see what the grass on the other side looks like. I might have shaken the thought, but then the image of my 10% discount flashed across my mind sending my turn signal on and my car racing.

The moment my foot is in the door, I stop in amazement. This is no regular store. This is the Nirvana of all retail stores.

The cashiers actually had someone who would bring them change or do price checks! Those same cashiers looked thrilled to be there! The lights worked properly and none of them pulsed above your head as if sending some unknown Morse code message is being sent. Objects were placed in their proper locations!

I felt like a cheater when I left, gift in hand. I had crossed over to the dark side.

This store made mine look like a kitten next to a tiger.

But, oh, it felt so good to be bad....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tis the Season!

Unlike the majority of the stores in town, my store decided to rebellious and stay open till the wee hours of 10. Even the almighty Wal*Mart was closed by then.

At 9:55 p.m. the closing announcement was proclaimed and the herds of bargain shopping cows decided to finally give up. Slowly grazing to the front, they pile their stuff on the counter.

One particular couple bought $33 worth of stuff and then the drama begins...

"I have $5 on this particular bank card can I just use it? You know...just to get all the cash off of it."

I sighed lightly trying to hide my annoyance. I understand that the holidays are tough for everyone, but this kinda stuff just kills me. At my particular store, if you try to scan your card first, the register will take the total amount off. If the funds aren't on the card, it will simply decline the card.

Trying to explain this to the lady, I can see the confusion of my words twisting her face into a scowl.

Her husbands trys to explain what I had said as well, and still, she remained confused.

Finally, she seems to understand the concept and in slow motion, I watch her hand me two $20's.

Now it was my turn to be confused. Why would you make it complicated if you had the money? *sigh*

The lady then tries to do the unthinkable. I cannot fully explain in words the exact idea, but somehow she wanted me to split the cost of into thirds using only 2/3rd's for the total, and give her the remaining....

At this point, she loses her mind. Literally, she flings her purse onto the table and yells over the crowd for me to go, and I quote, "Fuck myself".

The registers for the first time, quiet to an amazing hush. All eyes are on me and my reaction. Oh, the possibilities were all there for disaster. Unfortunely for this lady, I was onto her little scheme and my stubborness refused to let me go down like a punk. Hell no! My skin is thicker then that.

Like that of a saint, I calmly hand her the change and bag her items with nothing less then a full "Eat shit and die" smile.

Turning towards her husbands, the following words leave my lips...

"Happy Holidays, SIR."

She whips around and calls me every name in the book for that, but it was all worth it.

Tis the season, I suppose. Speaking of which, I hope everyone has a great holiday. Stay safe and please, make sure to compliment your cashier.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chinese Christmas

I know that I rant quite a bit in my blog and usually it is about the negatives to my job. However...occationally, I do encounter people that make my shift a lot easier through their kindness.

One such example happened the other night...

It was another stressful pre-holiday night with mostly tyrant shopper despritely trying to get as many bargains as possible.

A gentleman (probably in his late 60's) walks through my line with a teenager by his side. Like something out of a cheesy christmas Lifetime movie, his cheer was contagious and instant put me at ease.

"Hello there dear. Your going to be seeing quite a bit tonight. Hope you don't mind!"

He later went on to explain that he had 8 granddaughters. Years before, he realized that everyone was spending too much money on gifts for the holidays so he started a tradition where each of the grandchildren bought a gift for under $15. Then on Christmas Eve, they all draw numbers to figure out who gets what gift. He called it "Our Chinese Christmas".

His story was glowing after seeing and hearing all the whining about everyone elses problems.

"Honey, I hate to bother you, but do you mind double bagging her stuff? I got a bunch of nosy women in my house. They won't make it til' tomorrow if the peak!"

Laughing about the bag within a bag within another bag, I gave him his change and set him on his way.

Minutes later, the gentleman returns, another teenager by his side. smiling as if this was the most fun they'd had ever.

"Howdy again! This is granddaughter #2! Don't hint at what #1 got cause they are all nosy."

This continued all the way to #8. By this point, I looked forward to seeing this man and his family. They seemed to generally understand the idea behind the holidays and their cheer was starting to rub off on me.

Finally, the whole crew walks through my line where the man proclaims with the enthusiasm of a child.

"Everyone make sure you thank this young lady! She has been the most help an old man could ask for. Sweetie, I'd like to introduce you to my soulmate, this is my wife. You and her have a lot in common, you know. You both have the patience of a god."

The sea of grandchildren part to reveal the most classy lady I've ever seen. The lines framing her face speak of only laughter and wisedom beyond my comprehension.

Even after clocking out or the night...this family's presence made an impression on me. I hope they had the best Chinese Christmas of all time. I also hope that they grandchildren let this tradition continue through the next generation.

It gave me hope, something there is just too little of.

Happy Fracking Holiday!

Tonight was just a strange night for cashier's around the world. I don't have solid facts to this exaggeration, but if it was anything like my strange....

Let me start off by saying that I do not celebrate Christmas and will only acknowledge it's existence to small children. It isn't my job to crush their dreams. We'll leave that to the schoolyard bully and/or their own parents. So when people leave my register with a "Merry Christmas!"...I ALWAYS reply, "Happy Holidays."

It is my way of being polite without covering up my beliefs that Christmas is a load of crap and should be banished from history from this day on....

So, I started an experiment to see if I can correctly guess the number of people who will call me out on this. My guess tonight was 3. I was off my 5.

8 people stopped to question my saying, "Happy Holiday's" instead of the traditional greeting. Most were simply curious, but some acted as if I had broken some untold law of St. Nick.

One man in particular thought it would make him seem stoic to question me in front of a line FULL of customers.

"Merry Christmas young lady!"

"Happy Holidays to you sir."

"What?...I'm more of a Merry Christmas kinda guy myself."

"*deep sigh of frustration* Interesting...I'm more of a "Holidays" kinda gal, but we're all different."

"I don't really care what you are...It's technically Christmas...You can't take CHRIST outta Christmas. Our ancestors....Blah...Blah Blah...Blah..."

Another occasion was enough to make me physically laugh out loud , losing my composure completely.

"Merry Christmas!"

"Happy Holidays"

"Can I ask you something?"

"Yes mam. Whatcha' need?"

"Are you being held down by the man?"

Trying despritely not to crack a grin, I squeezed out a "Mam, it is my own personal choice. The only thing the man is holding down is my paycheck."

Needless to was an interesting night.

My question is, "When did America become so one-sided that we can only accept those who fulfill the requirements of the majority and their views?"

Forgive my need for change, but I will continue to say "Happy Holidays" until the 'Man' hands back all the money I've spent on tuition, taxes, gas, and Starbucks coffee.

So from this cashier to you....

Happy Frackin' Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's the best time of the year!

I apologize for not writing for awhile. Hellsville has been booming with the crazies and I'm not even sure where to begin.

Just to give you the cliffnote version of the last two weeks.

-Starting January 1st, I will officially be promoted from seasonal to *gasp* part time. I was quite thrilled by the advancement of my career and perhaps will move up even further if I continue to kiss the managers asses daily.

-I have decided that the General Manager, to whom we'll call Bob, of the mystery store I frequently dwell, is a sexist douchbag. Rumor is that 5 years ago, one of the associates got him so stressed that he had a stroke in the store. My official mission in life is cause his next. Muhahahaha!

-I am slowly learning that their are several types of shoppers and I will have to take the time later to post them all.

-Cart boys are whiners. Yes, I said it. They are the biggest babies of them all. I have been on my feet for six hours dealing with psychotic bargain shoppers. I don't give a damn that it's sprinkling outside and you don't want to mess up you new Converse. Push your buggies and leave your insistant whines for someone who does less then you.

-Christmas is the devil's holiday. Nothing good can come from fat free egg nogg and glittery ornaments that only leave little shiny pellets all over me and my register.

That's it folks. That's just about it. I have a few quaint stories to pass along and post at a later date.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble...Really now?

You would think that the holidays would bring out the best in people, but it's really quite the opposite.

Customer become raging maniac's when it comes to them and their money.

Case in point...

The store I work at had a HUGE Thanksgiving sell today. I was lucky enough to only have to work the afternooin shift, but it was busy none the less.

On several cases, I found myself face to face with some of the rudest people you could possible imagine. I had a man literally throw money in my face in order to avoid spending another minute in my line. On another occasion, a women in my line decided to tell someone at another register to shut her kid up.

Amazing when you really start to think about it. What is it about these times that makes people go crazy. It's as if we get so caught up in the image, that we forget to stop and take a breather.

I for one, am thankful for...

-Debit/Credit Cards (making my life 10x easier)
-15 minute breaks. (A life savor.)
-Patient people (They make my job bareable)
-the Scan-gun thingy-doodle. (allowing me to feel like the Cash-inator 24/7 and giving me the satifaction of imaging scanning bitchy customers to oblivion)

Things I am not thankful for...

-Screaming children. (Please, either take the time to quiet them or be considerate enough to come back at another time.)
-Price checks. (You know who you are. One price check? Cool. Two price checks? Okay. 8 price checks? Shananigans!)
-Grunters. (When I say "Hello. How are you today?" and all I get is a grunt, it only says one thing. You are so exceptionally rude that you cannot manage to inhale the brutal air to say something back so instead you will create an internal noise in order to prevent yourself from having any sort of conversation.)
-Those who insist on paying a $20 purchase with change.

Happy Gobble Gobble Day.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


Thanks to hard economic times, there is a new trend quickly taking flight. The ability to pay for large items, solely with small bills or coins, is the new black.

Yesterday, a lady goes through my line to pay off her credit card. I pull up the program to do such activity on my register and then am blown away with what happens next.

The lady lays down a bank bag with $400 in ones. The best part? I have to manually count every single one to confirm the total.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have, by far, the worst case of A.D.D possible, so to have to count ones and be expected to keep up with the numbers is rediculous.

Then, today an older women pays for her purchase with $20 worth of quarters in a ziplock bag.

The economy is bad, but please keep in mind that your cashier HAS to count every coin and/or bill to make sure they have the right amount.

Don't make me want to shove those quarters up your nose or give you dollar cuts. It's not a pretty sight.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hell with a price check...

When I walked into work yesterday, everything seemed to be going relatively smoothly. The other cashiers were still smiling and the new girl being trained, wasn't in fetal position crying.

Convincing myself that these were signs of a good night, I open my register and turned on the glowing light of death.

I don't know what it is about people feeling the need to race over to a newly opened register, but it's like a scene from a WWE fight. Buggies plow into each other, obscene words are thrown out, children are shoved in order to get a head of the's pure madness.

A couple walk up (both heavier set) and chunk their stuff onto the counter. Neither of them answer my routine question of "How are you?", which leads me to believe that manners are not a requirement to shop here.

The lady purchases a pair of lepard print thong underwear which only brought repulsive images to my already exhausted brain.

Shaking off the terror, I continue with their purchases only to find that the man of the house has bought, not one, but THREE boxes of jumbo condoms.

Your own jokes can be inserted into this particular scene, but mine was simple. Why the hell would you need that many Jumbo sized condom?

I was so tempted to just show him the Hefty Gladbags (cheaper, and no ripping!), but I need this job therefore, I quickly scan the items and shove them into a victimized bag of grossness.

One of the many downfalls of being a cashier, I get to see first-hand the crap you buy leaving plenty of room for sarcasm and interpretation. I could work for SNL with the stories I make up in my head using only the stuff on my counter.

But seriously, three boxes?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A bit about me and my ramblings...

I can't tell you much about the place I work, except that it's a fairly major retail store in the middle of a crappy town. It preys upon the weak student begging for a job. That's where I come in.

I'm a full time student at a local community college. I'm currently going into the Premed program, so most of my time is filled with papers and random tests.

Recently, I realized that I was tired of being dependent on my mom and got a job at this particular store as a seasonal cashier.

Having never done any sort of cashiering, much less worked a part time job, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was shocked at the drama that unfolds everyday in my semi-cubical of hell. I've only been working there for two weeks and already, I am fearful of what the future brings.

Everyday, I deal with price checks, non-English speakers, people who feel a need to throw their money at me, screeching children, paranoid ladies who are convinced I'm out to take their money, dirty men who stare at my boobs the entire transaction, and, oh, so much more.

Then only thing that keeps me there is...
A) the money. (Hey, some of us really need to see some green, ya know?)
B) subborness. (It's a blessing hidden deep in the core of a curse)
C) the rare nice people.

C is what makes my work almost enjoyable. I love the few that make me laugh or say something that inspires me. On a few occasions, I've stood and realized that there are still some good people in the world today.

Normally, I just rant to my mother about the trials of my job. However, I'm realizing that even she is getting tired of my ramblings. A blog seems to be the next best thing.

Thanks for the free therapy.

-Your friendly Cashier-

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