Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cashiers, Clerks and Customers (part I)

I had a very bad streak today with store people. Luckily I was in a good mood and not all stressed out so I was able to avoid my most favorite of coping skills, wonderful sarcasm! That allowed me to save up my sarcasm and dump it all right here!

So my first trip today was to Wal-Mart. Usually I am not a fan of Wal-Mart (Sorry Anne!) but there are a few things I will make a special trip to the hundred acre store for.

I was in a hurry today, I got off at five and had water aerobics at six so this was an in and out job. Fortunately since testosterone dominates my system I am capable of walking straight into a store, getting the things I want and leaving immediately. :)

I do realize this is not a skill all people posses. :)

However, the long check out lines were foiling my plans for efficient shopping. I get up to the cashier and stereotype of stereotypes she is a pretty, very young blond named Brittany. I am watching my stuff go by on the little screen and I can see her scan one item but I see that item hit the screen 4 times real fast! It was a $20 item. It was also the last item so she instantly hit ENTER or what ever they do to tell the computer they are done and total it up.

I am paying with a credit card and I had already swiped it and now the little screen is flashing for me to sign it and hit OK. Bear in mind I have like five items total.

Now the adventure begins.
"That last item scanned 4 times."
"No you had 4 of those items", instantly leading me to believe another aspect of the Brittany stereotype might be correct in this case too. :(
"I was watching, you just ran that item over the scanner once but it hit the screen 4 times"
Shit! When it went to the signature screen it cleared the items purchased for the signature screen and this Wal-Mart apparently does not have another display anywhere so now I can not point to it. So, Brittany goes through the seemingly agonizing process to make a receipt print before I have signed the credit card screen.

So now we have the receipt in hand and you can clearly see four of the same thing in a row. I point and go, "See, right there, it hit four times."
"No, you have four of them", we have now come full circle Obi-Wan.
So at this point I really have the urge to get snarky but I manfully resist and just gently say, "Really, point them out for me..." waving to my cart…
You can actually hear two or three neurons firing while she looks over my cart, I never realized until today that neurons make an odd sound as they fire. They sound just like the silent drive on the Red October- Joosssh... Joosssh.... Joosssh! It's very creepy! Then in a sudden shower of firing neurons brilliant Brittany states, "Oh, you do just have one; I wonder why it scanned four times?"

Yes! Oh YES! Brittany finally grasps it! My sarcasm gland is just pumping mass quantities of sarcasm hormone into my blood stream and all my little sarcasm nerve endings are just aquiver yet I just mildly say, "Good, I am glad we agree now, so take the extra three off."

Now it really gets fun! Brittany says, "Oh, I can't take those off, I already hit ENTER, you will just have to go to customer service and get a refund."
These words really just did not make any sense to me so sounding really bright and living up to my nerdy redneck stereotype I said, "Huh?"
"Yes, just go ahead and sign the credit card thingy so we can finish then you can go over to customer service and get a refund."
"Then I said something that clearly they do not cover in Wal-Mart corporate drone training because I could see I just clearly blew her mind with this unimaginable answer. I said, "Ummm, no."

Judging by the wide eyed slack jawed look young Brittany was giving me clearly she was stunned and had no idea what to say next so I elaborated for her benefit,
"I have not paid you yet so I don't need a 'refund'. Additionally, I have no intention to pay you for things I did not buy so I still won’t need a refund.”

Now Brittany starts to impersonate a carp, her mouth is opening and closing slowly in what I can only guess was a futile attempt at pumping oxygen rich water over her life giving gills?

Clearly somewhere Brittany-fish was taught the value of repeating herself. Repetition is the key, the way to get things done is to be repetitive because what did Brittany-fish say next? "Sir, just go ahead and sign that then you can get your money back from customer service." I almost did my fish impersonation at that point.

Then the plot thickened; the young pretty woman in line behind me is starting to get antsy, she is tapping her credit card on the counter, shifting her weight back and forth and making that incredible noise that only women know how to make that can just send men into orbit, you know, that smack your lips and sigh real loud sound? Yeah you know the one doncha? Here is the funny part though, she is not fed up with Brittany-fish she is mad at ME. She barks out to me, "Oh just sign it already so we can all get out of here!”

Now someone should call the pope because it was clearly a bona fide miracle that I kept my cool and held my sarcasmey juices in check after her blatant lip smacking! I just said calmly but in a clear, loud voice so the people behind her could hear me too, "Sure, no problem- I will sign right now if you just pay me the extra $60 bucks she rang up and I’ll give YOU the receipt to go stand in another line to get it back. How does that sound?" then I held my hand out for the money.

After a few seconds of eye locked silence I said "That's what I thought, you might find another line because I have a bad feeling about this one." and turned my back on little Miss Smackey Lips.

Meanwhile Brittany-fish called upon all of her Jedi training and decided to get her manager.

So we got to play the same game with the manager again, "Ok sir, she has already rang it up so you will just have to get your refund at the customer service desk."
"To quote Cool Hand Luke, what we here a failure to communicate; Ma’am, I have not paid you yet so there is no refund needed. Furthermore I have no intention to pay for what I did not buy so I can stand in yet another line to get 'back' the money I have not given you yet. Are you following me?"

I swear to GAWD at this point her eyes started to glow red and she said in this creepy voice "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!"

Actually she was quite apologetic and just explained that as much as she wants to she just can’t modify the order after a certain point in the process- so I HAVE to pay for it.

That concept still hurts my head. I MUST pay for something I don't have. That is the only way the system works. I MUST! Owwwwwwww!

I am looking at the signature screen and under the signature line it says OK and CANCEL. So I ask what happens if I hit cancel?

Brittany-fish and the Borg group leader look at each other and 1-of-9 says with some honesty. “Uh, I don’t know?”
“Well, since this is going no where lets give that a shot.”
Too late! I tapped the cancel button and to make an already too-long story short after just a little maneuvering there were able to just ring me up again and all was well this time.

Oh so much debate for what turned out to be a very simple thing! So class, how do we defeat the evil computer empire? Why just hit the Cancel button. Duh!

Still the best part of this story is how clearly Brittany-fish has never had anyone tell her “no” before. I am willing to bet that later on she was in the break room going, Oh. Mahhh. Gawwd- I had like this customer who would just like totally NOT do what I told him to do! I mean someone should totally explain to this nerdy redneck dude just who is in charge around here! Customers follow orders damn it! When I tell him to pay me then stand in another line he should like totally do it- Right?”

After aerobics I went on another blog worthy shopping trip but since this post is already too long I will save that story for a part II tomorrow.


Bollinger Byrd said...

I would talk some more to you, but I've gotta go to the seaside for the weekend!
So carry on without me if you can!

tammy said...

LOL! I don't know what's funnier, the actual event, or you re-telling it. Wow. And just to set things straight, I'm not a true blonde, so let's not go lumping me in the same category as Brittany-fish.

I was at Wal-mart last week, and due to a computer error, the clerk not knowing what to do, and the manager making things worse, I somehow ended up with $130 free groceries + $20 cash back. When I realized a couple days later that they totally cancelled my transaction and my bank account never got charged, I thought about going back, but couldn't see myself trying to explain what they'd done, without making it worse. Besides, I'm sure they've overcharged me at some point in my life of shopping there.

Crazymamaof6 said...

holy crap! that was spectacular! glad it was an easy fix. can't wait to hear the rest of your
shopping adventures. this was riveting. and love the carp description ,and the lip smacking sigh . you sure have got women pegged. i do a mean lip smacking sign. i hate that BULL $hit about going to get a refund. at least you caught it before you paid, or you'd have to wait in the mega line. i hate that.

Erika said...

Good thing you took your sarcasma that morning!

House of Jules said...

I could use some of that whatever it is you put to use in that situation... esp. the part when you said no and waited for the manager to come over! Golf claps in your direction!
House of Jules

Melissa said...

I'm with Jules. Being an adult in a bad situation is always needed here. Do you buy your sarcasma at Walmart? ;)

Sauntering Soul said...

I always feel insane when I go to Walmart. I would have lost my cool had I been in your shoes. Way to go for being so nice!

Mags said...

I hate Walmart. This is not an isolated incident-it happens at all Walmarts. Hate it.

As for the lady behind you-I would have shoved that credit card she was tapping up her ass.

Jenifer said...

Good thing you took your daily dose of sarcasma! Hate Walmart. They are all dumb.

Shilly Sit Knitter said...

I'm thinkin they need to do IQ tests to be allowed to work with the public anymore. Sheesh. I's have smacked both the Brittany-fish and the Lip smacker both. But then again I have issues with stupid people.........

Kat said...

Ohhh my Gawd that was like totally funny like. I mean like she was just some blonde, dumb like bimbo like you know, like a sterotype.

That would've made me so mad I am sure I would have wanted to punch her in the face. I know that violence is not the answer (well in my imagination it is) and you can't go about hitting random people. After all that would be anti-social.

I loved the argument with which you have silenced smacky lips.

Lakota said...

honey, your first mistake was walking through the doors into Wallymart. Tsk, tsk. No help for you if you decide to live on the edge like that. ~shuddering at your bravery~

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Customer service is SO bad these days, isn't it? Some of these cashiers have NO CLUE what is going on, and they give the customer service people who DO have a brain and who DO give good service a bad name!

I have had some of that myself recently - - Lord only knows how I have kept my temper (and sarcasm gene) in check!

Melek said...

OH MY GAWD I HATE WAL MART!!! i think on the job application it says "must be stupid to apply" or something.

congrats on not killing the brittany fish!

my friend went in the other day and tried to buy some bug spray. it wouldn't ring up. the guy punched in the numbers. nothing. so he told her she couldn't buy it. he didnt call his manager or anything. just sat it next to his register and told her sorry, you can't buy this. she was dumbfounded, and left the store in the traditional wal-mart stupor.

Beth said...

wow.....is it EVER easy to just go to Walmart? and are things ever easyfor YOU?!! I love your stories.....they're priceless.

Stacey said...

Apparently I'm the only one who felt that the truly funny part of the story was water aerobics. (wiping away the tears right now) Didja miss me?

Anita said...

@ melek
+1. There must be asinine questions on the applications, i.e. pigs can fly Y/N? Anyone not checking Y is instantly disqualified.

Tanya said...

I think you would enjoy this lady's blog. She is a cashier and writes stores about her dumb customers.


Tanya said...

Sow i just totally sounded like a spammer. Sorry bout that.
I like to watch cashiers think when you give them change after they have already put the amount in the register.

JoeyfromSC said...

ROFLMAO!! You are an amazing story teller!! Hilarious!!!

I will be back to your blog!:)

Sorcerer said...

"Cancel Button We have..Worry we should not"