Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lessons learned

Confession time: I spent most of Friday night and a good chunk of the a.m. hours of Saturday morning at a banging house party knocking back shots of tequila, drinking sangria and dancing like a fool. So needless to say, I rolled in to the 11 a.m. shift at the Wal-Mart on Saturday distinctly the worse for wear.

I wasn't hung over and did not have a headache (always drink as much water as you can and take some aspirin before you go to bed) but I was still suffering from the stomach flu -- which sangria doubtlessly helped! But still -- banging house party, dancing -- total fun!

Now, I dislike the 11-8 shift, because there is no "quiet time" at either the beginning or end of that shift - you come in when it's busy and it stays busy till you leave. So for the first three hours I stood up there at Customer Service with one hand wrapped around my stomach and the other pressing buttons on the register - all the time praying I wasn't going to hurl. I'm sure the customers thought I was a total nut case.

Now, aside from totally losing your mind and giving voice to your internal monologue and cursing an idiot customer out, the one thing you really, really, REALLY don't want to do when working a register is screw up your cash till.

So all morning I count, double-count and triple-count money before I ever bring it up to the customer -- and then I double-count it again. I'm crap at money when I'm distracted -- and it would be just like me to give away an extra hundred or something.

So lo and behold, this guy comes up to cash a paycheck. Nice normal paycheck. The guy is obviously a construction worker or some manual labor type -- and he's as filthy as sin -- but I'm not complaining -- dude's got to get some cash.

I run his check through - it was for $576 -- which, minus the $3 check cashing fee would have been $573. Which is what pops up on the screen when the drawer opens. Me, I'm off on another planet thinking about how my feet hurt, my stomach hurts and I'm never going to knock back two pitchers of sangria and a bottle of wine in one night again and I stand there and count out the following three times over my drawer and another two times in front of him and start to hand it to him:

Five one hundred dollar bills
One fifty dollar bill
One twenty dollar bill
One five dollar bill
and one single -- which is $576 -- which was what I was fixated on.

He sees me counting out $576 and goes "That's not right."

I'm thinking. "Jeez. He probably thinks I'm trying to screw him over and short him." So I look at the total again and realize I'm giving him TOO MUCH.

So I go "Oh wait, you're right. I'm giving you too much. Let me take some back." I hadn't actually handed over the money, so I drop it back down into the drawer, put the five back and take out two more singles. And count it out to him again. He's happy. I'm happy.

He leaves, good karma intact, and I'm thinking "God, I hope didn't overpay anyone else!" although I did catch myself trying to put a $10 in on top of my singles later in the afternoon.

Today's lesson? Never work a cash register after an all-night house party.


MavenofMoxie said...

Good for him that he was honest. I never understood people that knowingly allow the cashier to give back more than they are supposed to receive, even if it's "just" a couple of dollars.

Hope you had some fun and are feeling better. :-)

Mag said...

A positive story about a customer? Am I on the right blog?

Tracey said...

Whoa! You found the one walmart customer that isn't trying to pull a scam! Congrats!

FARfetched said...

What everyone else said! :-)

And post video!

WhoKnew said...

I'm glad there are some honest people out there.

I know what you're saying...I can't count money under stress to save my life. One reason why I've only had one cashier job. I choose not to put myself in that situation, if at all possible. I just don't get as stressed.

Anonymous said...

I always give the money back. Either the cashier's going to get bitched out or it's going to somehow come out of his/her pocket. Bad karma all around.

Now if the item wrings up wrong on the scanner - that I'm not going to correct. I figure it's the big heartless corporation losing out and not the individual person.

Of course, the corporation does pass that kind of stuff down to its employees in the form of lower paychecks... Oh F it. I need to stop thinking so much.

Anonymous said...

"ring" not "wring"


hockeyfrog said...

Yay for a story that goes from gut-wrenching (sorry about the pun) to heart-warming. Its good to know that there are still a few honest people out there... and that are willing to save you from getting a pink slip from accounting. Since quitting Wallyworld, I've done a number of jobs, and right now am working two, one as a Technology Industry Competitor Analyst (big fancy title, easy job), and the one that should make me cringe is that I'm a hostess at a restaurant. I'd never worked food service before, and I've always heard stories... but I really enjoy the job. Its not terribly hard work, but its really just those 2-3 parties a night that make me smile and feel like its worth it. I hope that the good-natured is contagious and it spreads!

grundes said...

>A positive story about a customer? Am I on the right blog?

Let's see where it will go. May be we've slipped into a parallel universe or something.

/Was the check issued to a M. Arturo?

Anonymous said...

Party on, Wayne...Party on, Garth!

Anonymous said...

The guy is obviously a construction worker or some manual labor type -- and he's as filthy as sin -- but I'm not complaining -- dude's got to get some cash.

Dude was white, right? You need to check your bigotted racism.