So unlike last week’s tales, this week has shown me how sweet and kind the people are that come in to the store.
Late last week, this lovely older lady came to my till and had her own bags. In theory, we are not supposed to help people bag their own groceries – and this is strictly because of Covid. She was clearly struggling to put her groceries on the belt, so I thought that I would help her, despite the rules. Well she was the sweetest old lady and she looked teary-eyed when I told her I would help her put her groceries in the bag. Once I got everything in her bags and let her know the cost, she started telling me how sweet I was, that I reminded her of her daughter, and called me dear about 100 times. She made my day that’s for sure.
One thing about the Covid crisis is that people are getting very creative, and the beauty is coming out in everyone’s masks!!! There are so many women who have matching masks to their outfits, little girls who match, little boys who have become superheroes, men with masks on that have a beard, mustache and lips. The creativity is endless! I love seeing all the different masks.
So, while I may get annoyed by people who call my darling, I am so grateful to work at a place where I get thanked EVERY SINGLE DAY by numerous customers for being there for them, working through the pandemic and coming in every day, putting our lives at risk so that they can feed their families.
So this past week saw us not as busy, at least right after the Canadian Thanksgiving last Monday. It was quiet-ish for Tuesday and Wednesday, and then BAM, on Friday, Sunday and today – it was quite busy! We have some good sales on at the store and I know a lot of people were taking advantage of them. This is where the part 2 begins…
With sales come big orders. I easily had 10 orders in the past few days of over $300 each. To me, a single woman living by herself, that is a LOT of food. There was this one guy who came up to my till with a grocery cart that was literally over-flowing – he was grabbing things as they were about to fall off of the cart and trying to keep it all together. So I finally said, okay you can start unpacking, he did something that irritates me to no end! He started piling stuff up on top of each other! Okay I get that he wanted to get it all on the belt, but do not put vegetables on the belt, and then put meat on top of them – and then tell me to be sure I put a plastic bag on the meat (that has probably already contaminated the vegetables) because it was packaged properly. Oh to keep my mouth shut – it is a terrible burden sometimes haha.
A helpful hint to all of you who do pile the stuff up on top of each other – at least pile things that go together. Like maybe cans. Or boxes of crackers or cereal. That is okay to pile up. Don’t put bread on the bottom and then put stuff on top and blame ME for squishing your bread. Because yeah this guy did that too. I was biting my tongue the entire order.
So on to the next challenge – the challenge to not sneeze or cough especially when someone comes up to you at the till who has clearly BATHED in her perfume. Seriously, if you need to wear that much perfume, take a shower. It will make you smell way better and then there’s no need to try to kill everyone around you with the overwhelming stench of your disgustingly strong perfume. Yes – I have allergies, and YES I sneezed more than once. And she gave me a look after sneezing. All I could say was I had allergies. What I wanted to say – well I won’t repeat it here because there’d me a lot of swearing and perhaps I’d be censored! Restrain on dousing your body with perfume or cologne – there are a lot of people who have allergies and it is very hard for us not to sneeze or cough!
But the biggest challenge happened today. And I almost lost my shit. I was not pleasant with this customer and I’d be surprised if she didn’t complain about me. Cell phones. Or perhaps better- conversations on cell phones when you are in line at a grocery store. This woman was so engrossed in her conversation she didn’t hear me say twice, very loudly, that she could start loading her groceries on the belt. The man behind her had to go up to her close and say she’s calling you up and pointed at me, at which time I waved at her. The eyes rolled at me (ask my children – this is probably the worst thing anyone could do to me – I despise that as much as I despise lying!), and she continued on with her conversation while throwing her groceries on the belt. I started to ring them through and asked her if she needed any bags, again twice, and she finally lets out this giant sigh and says to the person hold on – and looks at me and condescendingly says I am on the phone and yes I want bags! and went back to her phone call.
Needless to say, first eye rolling then yelling at me, I was not going to be pleasant. So I rang her through as quickly as I could. When I was finished, I looked at her (who was still talking) and said as loudly as I possibly could without screaming – do you have air miles? She jumped (which made me laugh behind my mask… they are good for some things!) and pulled out her card and looked away while I scanned it. Then again, as loudly as I could, I said debit credit or cash? To which she responded, you do not have to yell at me. I said, oh so sweetly, well I wasn’t sure how to get your attention away from your phone! Once again the eyes rolled, she paid and then she had to say good bye to load her groceries in her cart (Thankfully that is NOT a job we have to do!). She looked at me and said you are kind of rude. I just looked back and then turned away.
Hard to believe but after she left, my shift supervisor came up to me and congratulated me for keeping my cool! I’m glad she saw what had taken place. Made my day better and then I came home to my delicious homemade soup!
All in all, I had a good day, despite cell phone lady. Please please please – make your calls before or after you are rung through at a grocery store. We do our best to serve everyone politely but if your phone call is that important, finish it before you come shopping.
It has been one month since I started working at a local grocery store as a cashier and there are some interesting aspects of this job! I am1. sure because of the pandemic it is making it extra interesting, but these are my first 5 takeaways of the job.
Sanitize sanitize sanitize! My hands are raw from all the sanitizer. We have to clean the belt after each customer with sanitizer, as well as sanitize our hands after each customer as well. I should not get a cold or any kind of sickness with all this sanitizer in me!! On the plus side – the grocery belts have never been so shiny and clean!!
Learning the codes. So many codes!! Produce that is foreign to me, trying to figure out what the picture of it is on the system, and having customers look at me cluelessly when I ask them what it is – standard answer “aren’t you supposed to know?” Umm no not when you’re buying some new produce that I have never seen or heard of! Why can’t they just tell me?
The mask situation. I have heard some of the other cashiers asking customers to pull the mask up over their nose but I just don’t want the backlash that some of them get. We have a screen protecting us, and while I know that’s not the best, I also have a mask on that I wear properly! These are adults – do they not realize that they need to cover the nose too?? Oh the pandemic times we are in.
The elderly customers. We have sweet elderly people come in and want us to pack their groceries for them in their reusable bags. We are technically not supposed to but we all do. How can you say no I can’t do that an elderly person who is clearly not able to do that? Of course I’m going to help! And if I could go home with them and unpack for them, I would! I only wish that everyone would be patient behind them. Most customers are, but there are also the ones who are waiting and breathing heavy in frustration waiting. Go to self check-out if you have a problem!!
My fellow cashiers. They are all awesome and very helpful!! I have a positive attitude no matter where I work and once again have found a job that I really enjoy going to every day. I am fortunate that I have been so lucky with the jobs I have obtained in my life. Most have been great and this one is no exception!
Stay tuned for more tales from a grocery store cashier!