Monday, January 19, 2009

Burn my bra! It's gonna be one of those days!

I absolutely LOVE the people who blame cashier's for all the problems in the store.  If the dressing room is messy, it's the cashier's problem.  If the coke machine is out of Diet Coke, it's the cashier's fault.  

A large, sweaty man with one lazy eye walks through my line with Shout cleaner and something man-like for cars. Scanning both, I read out the total to him.  At first, he begins to thumb through his wallet for the cash, but then, as if his internal lightbulb prematurely flickered, he demands that I do a price check on the Shout.

"There was a HUGE sign in the back that said $2!  What kinda scam are you trying to pull lady?"

Without any emotion, I trudge to the phone and call housewears.  Before I can even explain the product, the man turns a rare shade of purple and storms to the back, shouting at me to hold his spot the whole way back.

The poor people waiting behind him, nervously shuffle and sigh knowing this is going to be one of 'those' types of customers.

He returns empty handed while I'm on the phone with the associate who explained to him that the $2 was for a generic brand next to it.  The man takes one look at me and unleashes a river of hatred towards me.

"It's not a MAN's job to have to read signs. It's a woman's!  I had to have some BOY tell me that you all are crooks.  This place is ridiculous!  You have MEN doing women's jobs all around here!  Folding clothes and scanning shit!  Why...if times were like that of my grand-pappy, I would have a women tell me the price and I would get the Shout for $2 because it's obviously a mistake made by her to get my hard earned money!  I'm a bread winner, so I won't put up with this kind of thievery!"

Needless to say, it was nothing but a scene to say the least.  It didn't help that after all that, the lady behind him and to say, "I agree whole heartedly.  The man should do the man's work and the women...women's."

After giving him his 'hard earned' change, I monotonously do my usual, "Have a nice day, sir."

My friend at the register behind me had to literally put a hand on my shoulder to keep from lunging at his face when he smirked, "Wow, I really got you hot and heavy, didn't I?"

I hope a women is the one to take him outta this world....because that is a WOMEN's job! ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Something says High School Musical won't pick this story up...

This story will seem unreal and down-right crazy to 90% of the people who read this, but I can assure you, I shit you not.

I punch in at 10:30, thrilled to even be working. Even better, the other two cashiers are friends of mine. Yeah!

My first customer is a girl about my age (18-19) who purchased a variety pack of Trojan Condoms. From the get go, she seemed a bit twitchy, but really? Isn't everyone a bit twitchy when buying condoms at 10:30 in the morning??? Anywho, she pays for them and leaves.

An hour or two later, a boy no older the 5, comes through asking if he could return something. I redirected him to the Customer Service desk and thought nothing of it. My manager comes racing towards my register and says,

"Did YOU sell a 5 year old condoms???"

I must have given my "Huh?" face, because she burst into a grin and explained. The 5 year old that had come through was returning condoms that had been bought through my line earlier.

Now, I don't memorize who all buys what, but I know that I had only scanned one box of THAT particular item. Yeah...cashiers remember those sort of purchases.

Later on, we were able to get the story out of the boy. Turns out that the sister had bought the Trojans for HIM!!! The boy decided he'd rather have the money for a video game and that's where the return came in.

Crazy, isn't it? We live in a world where 5 year olds are bought condoms. Looks like parents are bringing a whole new meaning to the word, "Over-Protective".

Friday, January 16, 2009

There's no need to fear! Underpaid is here!

Thursday morning, I drag my corpse of a body to my last class of the day. The whole campus resembles a scene from "Dawn of the Dead". Groans of anguish echo throughout the hallways.

Opening the door to my Prob & Stats class, I hear a familiar voice beckoning from behind me. Turning, I see the face of one of the few coworkers I like. He, like myself, seems to live to be the reject of our store.

"Hey hon! I haven't seen you in forever. Where you been?"

"They cut my hours. Amazing, isn't it? The holidays arrive and we are worked to the bone. Then it leaves, and we're pushed to the side like bad puppies. They've got to hurry up and get our schedule back to normal."

"I know...I am thinking about looking elsewhere. I mean, I can't afford to pay for tuition, my car payment, and rent with 9 hours each week."

"Trust me. I understand. If all else fails, I say we storm the place and blackmail them to work us. It's an unusual approach, but someone has to do it, right?"

He chuckles a little. His good humor allows him the ability to see right through my sarcasm. Others might have reported me to the authorities, but this guy, is on to me.

"D, you should have a blog about the things that go on in your life. It would amaze people at the complexity you call, "Everyday"."

Now it's my turn to laugh. I keep this blog as secretive as possible. I don't want anyone to know who I am or where I work for fear of getting fired....or worse...dealing with the managers.

"You're completely right. Luckily, I'm just not into 'blogging'. I guess you'll have to pitch your idea to someone else. How about "Bob"???"

"As if he even knows what the internet is! His blog would be on stone and read by Moses and the baby Jesus!"

We exchange farewells and part ways, leaving only the feeling of being some sort of secret agent left in my creaking bones. Student by day, Cashier by Dusk, Blogger by Midnight. There's nothing she can't do....or make into a humorous paragraph!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Alex, I'll take "Things that cross the line" for $200.

"I know, right? As soon as she said she was getting her lip pierced, I couldn't resist!"

My co-cashier worker friend and I were chatting it up a couple minutes before the store closed.   The topic of choice?  My decision to get my eyebrow pierced.  When a customer would walk through, we'd immediately hush, but that didn't stop one lady from giving her views.

"You're getting your eyebrow pierced?" 

I look at her a bit skeptical of where this conversation was going, but I'm like the Indiana Jones of cashiers. 

"Yeah, tomorrow I'm going with a friend. I'm a bit nervous about the pain, but I think I'll be fine."

In an instance, the middle aged women cups her breast and says like a true saint, "Last year, I had both my nipples done!  It was the BEST decision of my life!"

Red faced, I give her the change, and fake a Customer Service desk problem that needs my assistance.  If I've typed it once, I'll type it a thousand more times...cashier's like talking to you, we just don't want to know EVERYTHING about you.  We're perfectly content with knowing the bare minimum.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Robert Frost, You've got some competition!

I had a major connection with a four year old at my work awhile ago.

Before this story, though, I should give the back story. Friday night, while I was at work, my parakeet, Isabelle, grew another pair of wings and went to Birdie Heaven. It would have been a year next week that I had had her. Naturally, I balled my eyes out. Saturday morning, I just kept looking at Fernando (Isabelle's spanish lover) in his cage and realized that he too looked sad.I had to be at work by 5. 

So there I was, still in mourning, scanning diapers at KMart.That's when it happened...This lady dragged her four year old son to the counter while I did the usual routine.

Scan....Bag.....Scan.....Bag.....Scan....Bag....Price Check...Scan...Bag....

The boy looks up at me and in an instance we had a major connection. Without even a hint of hesitation, the conversation went something like this:

Boy: Hey.

D: Hey.

Boy: Your name really D****?

D: Yep.

Boy: So it's not short for anything?

D: Nope.

Boy: I knew a D****. It was short for something.

D: It happens.


Boy: My fish died.

D: My bird died.

Boy: Yeah. What kinda bird was it?

D: Parakeet. What kinda fish was it?

Boy: Koi. 


D: What did your fish die of?

Boy: Cancer. What did your bird die of?

D: Don't know.

*more silence*

Boy: You know animals just die, right? It happens.

D: *stares* Yeah, well... it shouldn't. 

*Silence x12*

Boy: You can't blame yourself. I don't blame myself for flipper dying.

D: Flipper is a fish. Isabelle was a living being. She was like my sister from another mister....You know?

Boy: Word.

That four year old kid will be the next Ghandi....or Snoop Dogg. Either one seem efficient and worldly.

Friday, January 9, 2009

This message brought to you by Depends!

I'm slowly losing my mind. It's been 2 weeks since they cut my hours and I am ill over it. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd miss the black hole of death, but I do. I miss the few coworkers that make me laugh and the money. Oh, how I miss the minimum wage money.

At my store, there are three people that are what we small cashier's call, "The Big Dogs". One of them I've mentioned before under the alias, "Bob". The other two are older women, one of which has made it very well known that she wishes me death, and the other has taken it upon herself to be my Retail Mentor.

So that means 2 out the 3 hate me more then Black Friday and the other one wants to adopt me. Good odds, right?

My "Mentor" called me Tuesday morning and begged me to work. One of the daytime newbies had up and quit, leaving them without a cashier for nearly 2 hours. Let's be frank, I need the money. They could call me at 2 A.M and I'd go in. It's that bad. I accepted the extra hours with open arms.

The shift was dead for awhile. A few early risers walked through, but that was it. "Mentor" decides that since I'm enjoying the quiet, this would be the perfect time to give me my first evaluation.

Ahhhh, yes. The ole', "Come in and save us from going under!" trick got me again! Dang, she's good.

The evaluation went well. My strength's were that I had a awesomely friendly attitude (which means great customer service skills) and got work done when told. My weakness? I don't trust myself to answer questions from customers. In all reality, this is true, but really? Of all my weaknesses, she chose THAT one? How about, "Sarcastic Overflowth from register" or "A.D.D creates hostile enviroment for small children"?

Overall, I got a cool 97 as my employee grade. In my book, that is best grade I've gotten without cheating, so I was thrilled.

"Bob" then walks in the office and decides to stick his old nose where it doesn't belong.

"Whatcha doing, Mentor?"

"D's quarterly evaluation. She's being promoted from seasonal to part time."

"Evaluation, eh? You had BETTER put "Talks too much" as a weakness. I mean it! *stabs paper to death with finger* This girl is a trouble maker. If she could scan as much as she talks, she'd be a star employee! Humpf!"

Steam pours out of my ears. This sexist jackass loathes me. How he is able to walk around and talk, without being propped up, is beyond me. He's convinced everyone that he is deaf, but I have my doubts. It seems as though he is working some ancient Chinese torture on me. Instead of slowly pouring drop of water on my dehydrated forehead, he is popping up when I least want him to and spouting sexist waste onto my life.

"Mentor" sighes and scribbles down that I talk. Anything to shut the Bob up. That knocks my score to a 92. Either way, I passed the evaluation, but it just kills me that he had to pull his usual stunt.

Here's hoping the diarrhea fairy makes a stop at his home and leaves him with the gift that keeps on giving!

Monday, January 5, 2009

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"

Frustration was beating me senseless.  My register has froze yet again and I was stuck restarting the 20 year old system.

The poor guy (who we shall call "#2") on the register next to me decided to see if there was anything he could do.  While doing so, an East Indian man and his wife walk through #2's line.

Acknowledging the man, I smile and tell him,

"Sir, we're having some technical difficulty, but if you'll give us just a sec, he'll be over here to help you."

The man throws his hands up in the air, rolls his eyes, and shouts in an unfriendly tone,  "This is ridiculous!"

He then drags his wife to my register where I inform him, yet again, that someone is coming to the register he was on.  The moment the words left my lips, #2 runs to his cubical and tells them he is ready and apologizes.

The man once again, throws his fists up in the air, except this time, he shouted his hateful words in his native tongue.

Marching, chin in the air, the man ends up at the customer service desk where the store manager just happens to be working.  I hear him say several times that he would sue both #2 and I for racism and that we refused to help him because of his appearance.

Buddy, I hope you sue us.  We work for minimum wage in a run down part of town.  I don't have a car and live at home.  The court might require me to hand over my McDonald's giftcard, but that's about all your getting outta me.  Good luck with that.

He parting words, as he was checked out through #2's line was the following, "Oh, I see!  NOW I'm privileged enough to have your service!"

Somehow, I don't think this is what Gandhi had in mind when he starved for India's independence.....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Mi nombre es cajero. ¿Cómo puedo ayudarle?"

"You wanna go on your 15 minute break now?"

" you even have to ask?"

Before I could shut my register light off, a little old hispanic lady whips into my line and throws her one item onto the counter.

Sighing heavily, I scanned the one pair of reading glasses and told her that total was $14.38.

Within seconds, the lady has poured an entire purse full of coins onto the counter and in Spanish instructs me to count out what I need.

Now, I don't speak Spanish fluently, but if spoken slow enough, I am able to understand the conversation and might even be able to respond with one of 7 known phrases. 

This lady denied my request to slow down her speech and spoke at 70 mph, leaving me in a cloud of confusion.

I counted out about $10 in nickels, dimes, and quarters.  

At my store, we are instructed to ALWAYS count large amounts of change out on the counter so that the camera can see everything.  That way, if the customer turns around and says that we stole from them, they have the evidence on tape of what they paid, laid out.

So there I was, desperately trying to make the lady understand how much she owes in my best high school spanish.

Finally after she pulled change from her purse, pockets of her jeans and coat, she needed just $2.38 left.

In slow-mo, I watched her reach back into her change purse, and pull out an untold amount of dollar bills waded up and gave the remaining amount.  

Even better, in that wade, I saw a fresh, brand spankin' new $20 bill staring right at me.

All this took a total of 15 minutes.  Had I been a split second quicker going on my break, I could have avoided the whole thing.

Later it dawned on me why the whole event occurred....she simply needed to get rid of change. So I was the victim of her wrath. 

When the $20 winked at me from her purse, I almost Starky and Hutched my way over the register to price check her eyes out.

It's a harsh world and I don't get paid enough to be a hero.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

All the kids are doing it...

It was a couple of days before Christmas and my line was crazy.

When I clocked in, I was informed by the manager that the entire store was out of regular sized bags. Instead, the cashier's would have to make due with the teenie tiny bags that are for cd's and jewelry OR the HUGE bags that were made for third world countries or smuggling large amounts of watermelons.

So for the people who buy a ton of medium sized are just out of luck.

A creepy, thin man walks through my line with a buggy overflowing with boxes of Little Debbie Christmas Tree snack cakes. He looked like a grey headed Steve Buscemi.

Immediately, he informs me that he didn't count the boxes.

Seriously!?! Now I've got to count the boxes individually with my line backed up and countless pairs of eyes rolling in the back of their heads.

46. Read that again....The man bought 46 boxes of Little Debbie Christmas Tree Snack Cakes. 46.

One of the cool cartboys told me later that he even asked one of the floor workers to get him the ones we had in stock.

His total was over $130 for those interested.....

My curiousity got the best of me during the transaction:

"So...are these for you students or a boy scouts event?"

"No. Why?"

*awkward silence*

" reason."

Does anyone else find 46 boxes of snack cakes suspicious, or is it just me? Is there a new way to make meth using Christmas Tree cakes that I've not yet been informed of?

What a bizarre job I work.....

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