Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oh, I didn't want to pay that way

There are a many, many things at the Wal-Mart that make me cringe inside.

Howlers monkeys do it every time. Seeing an open CD or DVD. A burned out toaster. White trash. The piles of stuff we find every morning that's been stolen. The lines every weekend when I'm stranded alone at the Service Desk. Pickles. People walking in with dogs. Dead rose bushes. And I could go on.

But I live to serve.

Nothing makes me cringe more than when someone comes up with a huge long receipt and says some variation of "I paid with my credit card/check/EBT and I didn't want to pay that way. I wanted to pay (insert alternate method of payment here)."

This is just a nightmare. For the life of me, I don't UNDERSTAND.


Once the transaction has been tendered and a receipt has been printed out, our options are VERY limited as to what we can do that won't take a huge amount of time. Take today.

This woman rolls up with a buggy overflowing with stuff. It could feed a family of six for a week and probably will. The total bill is pushing $150 and she said that she "accidentally" slid her credit card instead of her EBT card. Now she wants to pay with her EBT card. **SIGH**

But I live to serve.

Try not to cry inside. Walk around and get the chair from the hiring computer. Call for help. Explain what happened to supervisors. Explain to idiot woman that this is going to be awhile.

And then I sit down and start to work.

There are two options here. One is to have someone either go void the transaction, in which case I have to take all her stuff out of the bags and then re-scan it all. Or I can return it all by typing it in line by line off the receipt, one ten-digit UPC at a time, all $150 of it, and then re-sell it to her, again line-by-line. (Although I have a shortcut for that - print out defective tags for everything as you return it, then just scan the defect slips. Works like a charm.)

Tell idiot woman that no, I can't just "scan" the receipt and magically charge her all over again. IT DON'T WORK THAT WAY!

Either way, I've either got to type it all in or unpack and repack the whole buggy. As fast as I can type punch numbers, and with the limited keyboard space I have, typing is faster.

Anyway. I start work. I type and I type and I type. The woman starting to guess that she would have been better off just leaving. Yeah you stupid cow, if I've got to do all this work, you're going to stand there and have everyone look you right in the back and know that you're the reason they're having to wait in line.

But I live to serve.

I miss the return mark by two cents because I screw up the price of ribs. It's not worth re-doing the whole thing. I come up short on the recharge by 76 cents because I think I missed a can of evaporated milk somewhere. It's close enough for me and it's not an overcharge. I tell her to slide the EBT card and she's done.

I'm nearly cross-eyed. She's unhappy but I don't really care. She's finally figured out that I'm not a happy camper for doing all this, and she probably would have been better off just letting it go — it's not like she couldn't have spent the rest of the EBT balance in the rest of the month.

But I live to serve.

Even better are the ASSOCIATES who make us do the same thing for Tire & Lube Express transactions when they forget to slide their discount card. Those are truly evil. Associate stupidity should not be my fault. Hell, customer stupidity should not be my fault.

But I live to serve.


Anonymous said...

God. Reading that just made me tired as if I had been doing all the typing myself. And annoyed at the "lady" and I wasn't even in line behind her. Oy. Did she not comprehend when you told her that it might be awhile that her better option might be to write out a check for her CC from her DEBIT instead? Gotta love clueless people. Hopefully she'll pay more attention as to what card she's scanning next time but I wouldn't hold my breath.

OnTheFrontLine said...

Yep. It's usually a customer, one hand on a cell phone, another hand trying to keep a monkey from crawling out of the cart onto the belt, pulling something out of their wallet with their teeth who then says "I meant to pay with my Quest (EBT/food stamp) card." Fortunately, my line is "sorry, once it's been processed, I can't do anything." I'm a cashier in Arizona and very much appreciate your blog.

Kasia said...

Gack. My condolences on that one. I'd forgotten what a pain that could be...

Anonymous said...

She was ridiculous for paying the wrong way but when you said:

Tell idiot woman that no, I can't just "scan" the receipt and magically charge her all over again. IT DON'T WORK THAT WAY!

how the hell would she know that? Wal-Mart receipts have a barcode looking piece at the bottom, it's not that far-fetched for her to think to ask that.

Some of these people are idiots for things they ask but you can't expect customers to know YOUR job; hell, your managers don't even know how things work. How can you fault her for asking that.

Try some thorazine cookies before work. These morons are making you way too jaded.

Retail Recorder said...

Hey anonymous--When you deal with stupidity all day, every day, how is it possible to NOT be jaded? At how stupid some people are. At how stupid so MANY people are.

When an employee explains to you that it "is going to take awhile," an intelligent person SHOULD say, "Oh, don't worry about it," and accept that it was their own fault to begin with.

It sounds like Wal-mart needs a computer upgrade. Badly.

Anonymous said...

No other real place to put this, so it is going here.

This one particular Walmart has apparently had every employee go AWOL...


Anonymous said...

What? Now you're disrespecting your associate brothers and sisters? Get real. You've got a semi difficult and somewhat unthankful job position, but when you start dissin' your retail bros, you it's time to check ourself.


Anonymous said...

Oh please Jess!! Associates are the worst customers!! They think they know every way to get around the system!! And somehow because they "work" there they are to be allowed to fudge policy-- At our store associates always forget to use their discount card, I never knew you could scan the defect ticket--thanks for the tip!! I absolutely love your blog and wish you worked at my store-- I am a CSM and would absolutely love sharing the front end with you--

Anonymous said...

"associate brothers and sisters"...give me a fucking break!

These are words from a Walmart "lifer".

An idiot, surrounded by fellow idiots, fulfilling their true calling!

This blogger cleanses themself of their daily ration of asshole entanglement, be it customer or fellow worker, by letting us, the reader, in on the unquestionable stupidity that abounds in Walmart.

Jess, you apparently haven't figured that out by now!

You also haven't figured out that blogger is college educated and biding their time, while searching for a job suitable to their degree.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
frannie jo said...

Oh, I'm so sorry - that was clearly a horrible experience. Maybe next time you can make a quick estimate of the time needed to make the change, and tell the shopper upfront how long she'll have to wait. It may not work all the time, but you might just find some people who are suddenly think it's ok the way it is.
And you could also let the people further back in line (you probably already did this) that it will be a long time, so they can go to another cashier.

Anonymous said...

Aww I literally know how this is. I was buying groceries and was going to pay in half cash and the rest with ebt. I payed with the ebt first and it wouldn't let me pay the rest with case. Eeep! So everything had to be rescanned. I felt so stupid and apologized to the cashier. The woman should have payed with EBT in the first place instead of changing her mind after the transaction was over.

David Heinen said...

Back when I worked at Target a couple years ago (at Guest Service), they introduced a new feature called "Fix It Fast" that lets you do things like this really quickly. You just scan the receipt, select Fix it Fast, and it will void the transaction and then ring everything up, one by one, until you're back at the total. It's really cool.