Journal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Let's face it, if you have ever worked in retail, you know that you are going to face some challenges and some weird characters. This is a list that I've compiled of real life situations that life in a retail store has put us through.
1. 'Bag the bread white, wheat, white, wheat or I will have a fit.'
We had a woman that would come in at least once a week. She would grab three loaves of white bread and three bags of wheat. She would get so mad if we did not bag each bag with one wheat and one white. We tried asking her what all the bread was for and she said it was for her duck friends and the swans were mean to them.
2. 'It didn't ring up. I guess it's free!!'
So funny, we forgot to laugh. But yet we would have to fake laugh and smile.
3. *There are like two things in the bag.* 'Can you double bag that?'
A lot of people may not know this but bags are very expensive in stores. There are times where we might have a shortage because it may not have made it on a truck. People—well, at least I do not—get mad if you want an additional bag. But if you have like a toothbrush and a pack of gum in a bag and you want that double bagged, then you must be crazy.
4. *Shows me a receipt of something they bought two months ago* 'It is on sale this week. Can you price adjust it?'
Most stores have a set amount of time that if you were to buy something and it goes on sale, like two weeks later, you will get the honored price. But some people can be so unreal. I actually had someone come in and ask to adjust a price on something that was on sale on Black Friday and they wanted it adjusted in May. First of all, the person at the service desk can only do what the computer allow them to. So, please, try to be patient.
5. 'I don't want all these frozen/fridge foods.'
Great! Food that is taken from a fridge or freezer has to be thrown away. According to food safety standards, these foods have to go from the truck or big coolers/freezers to the home location withing thirty minutes. Given that we do not know how long the item has been in your cart, we have to throw it away. It's one of the biggest wastes ever.
6. *Puts huge $46 baggie in change which are mostly dimes and nickels on counter to pay for a video game*
Hey, I know that we may have all been here before and needed to resort to using change when it is really close to payday. But, please, do not hold up a line and try to count out 40-something dollars at checkout. Roll the money instead, go to a bank, or use a coinstar. We really do not have the time or room in our drawers.
7. Cashier: 'Hi, how are you?' Customer: 'Bad. My mother was murdered.'
Sorry that you are going through difficult times, but hey do not unleash the beast on a random stranger. Just still adhere to regular plesantries or see someone that is a professional on these issues.
8. Customer: 'Hey, you have some sexy nails.' *Calls security and cries inside*
The man that asked me this was not trying to be funny and even attempted to hold my hand. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about this day. He kept coming in too and waving at me after this.
9. 'Do you still accept cash as a form of payment?'
No, your money is no good here. I know that we live in a time that mostly everyone has and uses credit/debit cards. I've been asked if we accepted EBT and checks, but the cash question threw me way off. Oh and it does not help the matter that I was asked this exact question, years apart, three times.
10. Customer: 'Are batteries included with this?' *reads box* 'batteries not included' Employee: 'No.'
Despite what your teachers told you, there are such things as stupid questions.
11. Cashier: 'How are you?' Customer: 'Terrible. My boyfriend dumped me and stole my cellphone charger and, apparently, you don't sell the charger I need.'
Again with the oversharing! But it is not our fault we don't have a phone charger for your Nokia brand cell phone. No one sells those.
12. *Guy eats his plastic bag.*
This man, checked out through my friend's register, only bought one thing, so we put it in a bag for him because he was kinda creeping us out. He then stood right behind the registers and started swaying back and forth. We had other customers so we tried to ignore him. Then we noticed that he was ripping parts of the bag off and chewing them. We called security and when they approached him he refused to leave the store because the cashier gave him a bag with holes in it.
13. Employee: 'No, ma'am, I will not smell your pants.'
I get called over to the service desk because this woman and man wanted to speak to a manager. They wanted to return a pair of pants. But the pants were, clearly, used and abused, did not have a receipt, and there was, let's call it "a milky white residue" on them. I refused to return them and the woman asked why. I started saying that they are clearly used, have a stain on them, and she interrupts me and says, "Smell it. That's just powdered sugar."
14. Customer: 'Can I order my Starbucks from here (the register) and have it ready for me when I go over there?' Employee: 'No, sorry.' Customer: 'Well, that's ridiculous!'
Excuse me, you are ridiculous. Why does everyone want so many shortcuts in life? Anyway, there was not even a Starbucks.
15. *Card is declined.* Man yells, "AHH PISSNUTS!"
This one is kinda funny to me. Two guys come in and they were around my age. They instantly start flirting with me and telling me how much money they have, how they booked a flight for vacation, and how nice their cars were. I couldn't care less. But when "money man" goes and slides his card, it got declined. He asked to try it again and it still was declined. So he shouted, "Ahh, pissnuts!" Never heard someone say that before but it became my new favorite expression.
16. Woman shows me a dead bird In her hand while checking out and I scream... She asks, 'Why are you screaming?' (Oh you have a dead bird. No big deal.)
I honestly cannot come up with anything else to say about this, but who the hell carries around a dead bird!?
17. Cashier: 'Would you like a gift receipt for this?' Customer: 'What's a gift receipt?'
Come on, people, what does it sound like? It's a receipt that you give for gifts so the person can still return the item but not know what you spent on it.
18. *Register light is clearly on with me standing there.* Customer: 'Are you open?'
This one is almost as good as the "Do you work here?" It's like no, in my free time I like to dress up in red and khaki and spend my time confusing you.
19. *Store just opens and pays their $10 total with a $100 bill.*
This is the worst. It completely empties your entire drawer. You need to then ask for change and that may not come as quickly as you can get it.
20. Customer: 'Can you put this huge-ass-mother-flipping tub in a bag?'
I do not know what people think. The bags we have are not that big. But sure! I will continue to struggle for five minutes until you realize that it will not fit. Oh, and also I once had a guy demand that his twelve packs of soda be put into bags. I just do not understand.
21. *Puts basket completely full of stuff right on the belt and doesn't even attempt to take stuff out and put it on the belt*
This annoys like every cashier I have ever met! Did you know that cashiering is actually somewhat physically demanding? You stand on your feet all day and the movements of ringing items and bagging them sometimes can make your muscles sore. Having to reach in a basket requires more muscle strain then needed, Also, when we are on the subject, please hand your money to the cashier. Do not just place it down.
22. Customer: 'Can I speak to a manager?' Employee: 'I am the manager.' Customer 'Oh, no. I want to speak to an adult.'
I have a baby face. I have been carded for rated R movies when I was 22. So when people see me, they don't think I know what I am talking about. Calling me a child will not get you far, I will call someone else that is a manager that is either younger than me or will stick to what I told the customer originally (which was the truth, if you are keeping score).
23. *Finds wine bottle nips in men's bathroom*
Wine? Really? I figure that this must have been some kids. But it still makes for a funny story. The scary thing was when someone asked me what to do with them, I was not even a little surprised that they were there to begin with.