Thursday, June 07, 2007

Can you press credit? Can you shut up?

Hi. My name is Parvati. I'm your friendly Wal-Mart Customer Service associate. My Customer Service Manager just paged that customers with less than ten items can check out at the Service Desk because it is Sunday and our checkout lines are longer than a fat girl's lower intestine.


"We've got about fifteen things. They're they're all big items. Can you check us out?" Um, OK. There's not a line right now. And you got to help me bag.

Yeah. Big items like throw pillows on top of a cart FULL of little items. And tons of food. So much stuff the wife had to GO GET ANOTHER CART to start transferring the bagged stuff to it.

And while I'm sitting there gamely scanning all this with my gun - and they're trying to stuff all this in bags and going "Thank you for doing this," I'm thinking "You pieces of crap. You just lied to me and now I look like a fool in front of the huge line of customers who are all waiting for returns while I sit here and scan your crap." The final count? 47 ITEMS!

And while I'm trying to help the wife bag the last few things, the husband slides his credit card through the debit reader thing.

Now, after you slide the card, there is a message that pops up that says "Please tell cashier to hit 'CREDIT' key."

So this entitlement-junkie, who I'm currently helping bag his damn groceries, goes "Can you go ahead and hit CREDIT, we need to get home?"

I swear ... it took everything I had not to just haul off and slug him.

Don't get me started on the asparagus woman. No ma'am. I don't have a scale. No ma'am. I don't care that the asparagus costs "about a dollar-fifty a pound." I don't know how much you got. Fine. Leave it then. I really don't care. It tastes like grass and looks like a weed.


Anonymous said...

Just make sure you politely point out the line on the receipt that says, "47 items". I used to read that aloud in express lanes when they had too many items. "Have a nice day, you had 27 items today". (Big Smile)

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just say "No, I can not scan more than 10 items"? It irritates the living crap out of me when I'm in the express lane with a case of soda and the lady in front of me is getting 30 things scanned in. It's not like the checkout person can't see into their cart. I assure you that all of the other customers in that line will thank you for booting the abusers out of the line.

Anonymous said...

Just makes you want to use the ZX81 method (that's where you punch the information into them repeatedly). You *punch* had *punch* 40 *punch* 7 *punch* items *punch* today *punch*. Then punch credit :)

Gladys Kravitz said...

I wish the cashier announce "15 item limit" if there's a line at express. There are the jerks who will stay but some will get the hint.

The line about 47 items is fabulous. The above jerks need it.

Erin Bradley said...

The prob is he'd probably get yelled at if he told the over-item-limit people to get out of the line.

If you really want to be considerate to others, don't ask for SEPARATE CHECKS at a restaurant. Unless the restaurant has software that does it automatically (and few restaurants do) it's a royal pain in the ass for the server, especially when it's a large party.

Some poor table of two has to wait a half hour for their food/check/etc. because you're running credit cards for 15+ people, all of whom skimp you on the tip, figuring "Oh well, it's such a large party, someone will make up for the extra..."

And they never do.

Anonymous said...


Just so you know, I always tip 25-35% when with a group & 20-30% when by myself. I also bitch a people who don't tip at least 20%. I appreciate the separate checks. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh I do hate that "ask cashier to press credit" blurb. It pops up immediately, and I think half of my customers think I'm deliberately holding them back by not pushing it fast enough. Reminds me of the a-hole drivers that honk at the person in front of them for not hitting the gas pedal within a millisecond of a stop light change.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

I can just picture that a-hole saying that, and I don't even work behind a couner. If I did, I'd probably dump his 47 items out of their bags and onto the floor.

I've had people say stuff like that to me at work -- do you think you could hurry up, I have to get home or I have to pick my kids up from school, etc. -- after they have DAWDLED around and totally wasted MY time. I've even had people buy stuff from me on eBay who don't pay for weeks, pay suddenly and then send an email saying "Can you send that out right away? I need it by X."

GRRRR! I feel your pain...

Erin Bradley said...

Oh - hey Anonymous. Sorry, I wasn't directing that at you personally.

I was just talking in general about the concept of making other people wait for you, like the person with the 47 items.

Sometimes people do it on purpose (47 items), sometimes they do it inadvertently (separate check people at restaurants).

McBain said...

HEY!! you say what you will about humanity, but you leave poor, defenseless, delicious asparagus out of this!

The Sassy Editorialist said...

This is not about the post, although I do bitch, moan & curse LOUDLY when entitled Ass Baboons pull that stunt in front of me.

It is proper etiquette to always tip a minimum of 15%, regardless of the quality of the service. You tip 15% and take the issue of sub-par service up with the manager. If a manager isn't available, call or e-mail corporate. For great service, you should tip 20% or more.

If you can't afford to tip, don't go out to eat. A few years ago when I was in college, I was fortunate enough to work at a place where we could refuse to wait on people. Habitual bad tippers got the shaft from all servers.

Anonymous said...

Tipping is extra, for good service. There should never be a mandatory "tip" amount. Dont get me wrong I usually tip 15% for good service and more for truly exceptional servers.

But if you give crappy service, expect to get stiffed.

I realize that many restaurants pay their servers less than minimum on the premise that its made up in tips. A server still has to earn it. Its not my job as a customer to make up for the crappy wages your employer pays you.

Library Rat said...

Sorry for the continued threadjack, but I've got to agree with Anon, rather than the sassy editorialist.

"Mandatory tipping" is yet another sign of how we've become a serious "gimme" state. I grew up in Europe while my Dad was stationed there, and (at least in the mid-1980s) NOBODY tipped there. They almost took it as an insult, that we would pass extra money that way, as if we're saying that we're better than them.

That said, I generally tip 15% for decent service. Crap service gets you nothing, good service gets you a bit more.

I am not a fan of tipping.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a "mandatory minimum 15% tip". Sorry, I know you like to think there is, but there isn't.

For me, Good but average service gets 15%. Great service gets 20-25%. Crap service gets 0% and maybe a call to the manager.

Erin Bradley said...

I disagree with a 15% tip, regardless of quality of service. If you gave shitty service then you deserve to get stiffed.

HOWEVER, the problem is that most people don't realize that, in many situations, it isn't the server's fault.

Example - The cooks are slow and your food takes forever to come out. Who gets blamed? The server.

Example #2 - You have a hostess who doesn't know what the hell she's doing and seats you five tables at once. You run your ass off and do your best but it's a losing battle. You can't keep up. Who gets blamed? The server.

Servers are not part of the "gimme" culture. The people who run the restaurants and set up the pay structures are. Servers just have to live with it.

Why don't we take away 80% of your salary and make that amount contingent on the whims of other people. These people have to eat, I don't see how that's selfish or ingratiating.

Amanda said...


i hate it when they're like "please ask cashier to press the debit key.."

it's just one of my pet peeves. i usually try to finish their sentence.

Anonymous said...

Erin Bradley-

I disagree that its not the servers fault that your food is cold/slow to arrive/ etc. It is their job to act as a go-between the kitchen and the customer.

I dont think it's fair that servers income is so dependant on the whims of others, but a lot of jobs are that way.

Almost anyone who works on any form of commission is subject to a lot of the same pressures.

(And under the current labor laws, essentially a 'tip' is a form of commission for your wait staffs' service.)

While the current pay structure sucks, no one is forced to work there.

smolljr said...

When I was working at the register, it became a game for me. Hit the key as fast as possible when I'd figure out what method of payment is used. But cash doesn't have a key, does it? Hit the "cash" key? LOL. SM.

Anonymous said...

grrrr that drives me nuts. 98.97% of the time i have already hit the appropriate key before they possibly have the time to smugly say "would my cashier please press the credit key" and i'm like i did, 5 minutes ago--we're waiting on your signature buddy.

and other customers can complain a lot louder about people having too many items in express lanes than we can. in a lot of stores the cashier isn't even allowed to. i've definitely let them know how many items they purchased though.

btw i'm a new csm and i've been perusing your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. thanks!