I had to release a sequel to my first article, Five Things That Annoy The Crap Out of Cashiers. People just sometimes do not realize how things that they do can aggravate a cashier, and also reflect on their job performance. Cashiers are often rated on the speed and accuracy of each individual checkout experience. I once had a job as a cashier at a Target store. It was very stressful because each and every single transaction was timed and recorded, and at the end of the month, the times of each transaction were averaged together. Depending on your score, you could fall into three zones: the green zone, the yellow zone, and the red zone. I don't remember the exact time limits for each zone, but I do remember that the green zone was an absolutely rediculous score; something like an average of 12 seconds or lower per transaction. The yellow zone was a little more forgiving. Maybe like 30 seconds or less. But the red zone was anything longer than that on average. As silly as this sounds, these zones were taken very seriously at this store. People who were in the green zone often received rewards, people in the red zone often received a reduction in work hours. What made this system so unfair was that they did not take into account that customers may do things to hold up the transaction, like decide that they don't want something, or maybe an elderly lady wants to write out a check and takes a little longer because of the arthritis in her hands. The point is, sometimes customers do rediculous things that seem perfectly fine, but they could possibly be causing the cashier to get docked a couple hours pay on their next check.
1. When your card is declined, you blame the cashier
So you swipe your card and enter your pin number. The cash register makes a weird BEEP sound that you've never heard before, and instead of the cash drawer opening, a tiny little slip is printed out. So the cashier tries to politely and discreetly tell you that your card has been declined, and ask you if you would like to use another form of payment. Instead of you being civilized about the whole thing, you loudly tell the cashier that something is wrong with the machine, you just used your card an hour ago, and to redo the transaction. So you re-swipe your card and the same thing happens again. Well now its a conspiracy. The cashier is incompetent and you demand to know why. Well, news flash. The cashier does not know why your card was declined, which is why the register printed out that little slip with the 800 number on it. And its obvious that your card is not going to work. So why hold up the line with all your rants and raves about speaking to a manager. Just pay with another method, or don't pay, and get out of the way.
2. You allow your unruly children to wreck the store
Its annoying when the cashier has to become the parent. I once had a child climb over my bag rack and start playing with the electrical cords under the counter. It took me a few minutes to realize what happened because I had a long line and I was really into what I was doing. I only realized what had happened when my monitor blanked out. So i say to the kid "No! Stop, that's dangerous. You have to leave from behind the counter." As he began crawling back across the bag rack, the mother starts cursing at me and telling me that I am not allowed to give her son orders, and if he is doing something wrong, I should tell her, not address him. At this point, I got angry, and a few choice words slipped from my mouth. After I turned my monitor back on, I cancelled her transaction before she paid, and told her that I refused to be her cashier. I took her products back out of the bags, placed them all back into her cart, and told her she would have to get in line at the other checkout lane. She was cursing me the whole time, but it felt good to see her get pushed aside as the next customer walked up to my lane with an approving smirk on his face. She was left standing behind the customer looking a little confused and a lot angry at the thought that she would have to wait in line again. The manager had seen everything, but I had a very understanding manager so I did not get into any trouble. I was lucky to have a very understanding manager. The thing is, I wasn't just angry because the kid turned off my monitor. I don't want to see the kid get hurt anymore than the parent does. So naturally, I'm going to react if he/she is doing something wrong. However, it is not a cashier's job to teach other people's children how to behave.
3. You try to purchase tobacco or alcohol without an ID, and then get angry when we ask you for it
Everyone in the country knows that you have to be a certain age to purchase tobacco, alcohol, and even certain types of OTC medicines. And if you've been good to yourself, you may be asked to present a state ID. So why not bring it with you in the first place, and have it ready when you get to the register? Cashiers don't enjoy having to go through the extra step of asking for ID and then typing in the birthdate. However, if they don't, there is a strong possibility that they could be fined, lose their job, or even arrested for selling products to underage persons. Cashiers did not make these laws--politicians did. So if you don't like them, write a letter, express your views on YouTube, call up C-Span. But until the revolution is over, bring your state issued ID.
4. You don't look gender appropriate, and we call you by the wrong title
I know this sounds rediculous, but I've had this happen to me on quite a few occasions. A woman comes in with a shaved head, has much less than an A cup, is clearly dressed in men's clothing, and has a moustache. So she gets to the checkout lane, and the cashier says "Hello, Sir. How are you today?" The lady promptly replies, "I am a woman!" and now has an attitude with the cashier. Why even bother to correct the cashier? If you want to be a woman, look like one. If you want to be a man, look like one. But unfortunately, since the general population does not possess psychic abilities, you don't get the benefit of looking like one and being addressed as the other. The same rule applies for men.
5. You let the cashier ring up all of your items, then present your paycheck as payment
This has always baffled me. There are many stores that offer check-cashing services, but not at the checkout lane! There are common sense reasons for this. Number one: The cashier may not have enough cash to cash your check. Number two: The cashier may not have enough cash to cash your check then help all the other cash-paying customers behind you. Number three: If the checkout lanes are busy, it takes up too much time to cash your check. So now all these items have been scanned and the cashier has to cancel the transaction, which, in some stores, takes up a lot of time because a manager has to come over and approve the cancellation. Just take your check to customer service, or the money center, or anywhere besides the checkout lane.
Dani Alicia (author) from Florence, SC on January 28, 2015:
Thank you very much!
MacAllister Bishop from Bonne Terre, MO on January 24, 2015:
I had number five happen to me just a few nights ago. He insisted he called and asked if he could do it before hand and was told he could. I really like your articles.
Dani Alicia (author) from Florence, SC on September 17, 2014:
Wow, I hope they didn't bring a whole shopping cart full of stuff and then had to leave it at the register!
Missy from The Midwest on September 15, 2014:
LOL people used to always hand me their paychecks when I worked at Target. I was like, Wait, what am I supposed to do with this?!
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on August 14, 2012:
LOL. But this actually happens. Some customers can be oblivious of the obvious. Cashiering can be a tough job!
Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 17, 2011:
I used to work as a cashier in Michigan back in my college days, and it always amazes me how some 'guests'(that's what we call customers at the store I worked at) would hold up the lane while they run back in the store to get something they had forgotten. Then they come back and throw a feat because their transaction was suspended so that the other guests can be attended to.
And then you have those guest who chose to pay for their transaction with their life savings of pennies in a jar.
NateSean from Salem, MA on March 17, 2011:
Oh my god, yes! A fellow customer serivce victim who speaks to my heart.
Are you aware of a website I like to visit called customerssuck.com? I highly recommend you pay a visit. You'll get along there perfectly.