Interested in blogging for Time Out? Contact us here
If you're lucky enough to live in one of the best shopping cities in the world, you should also know how to treat your cashiers. After working as a cashier at a sporting goods store for four years during college, I still have retail PTSD from nasty customers, never-ending lines and an endless stream of stress-inducing comments. No matter what store you're shopping at, please don’t ever say these 11 things to the cashiers you encounter. (Your bartenders and your waiters have notes for you, too.)
"Do you work here?"
No, I just like wearing khakis and a name tag for fun. Conversely, if I'm wearing a jacket and sunglasses and clearly about to walk out the door for my lunch break, then no, I don't work here at the moment.
"Can you look in the back?"
It's not a mythical land of unicorns and unlimited shirts in a medium; it's just extra candy to stock by the register and a dumpster of returned broken junk. I'll go "look," but I'm really just looking at my phone.
"I have a coupon at home."
That's nice. I have Netflix and leftover Thai food at home, but neither of us are getting what we want right now. If you're extra nice, I may sneak an extra 15 percent off, but if a customer interrupts my mandated extended-warranty speech with a harsh “no,” of course I will not have any extra coupons.
"I want to talk to a manager."
Sure, I can set that up. But the only real qualification of a manager is the willingness to work 40 hours a week at a dead-end job. Since I'm in the middle of the action when I'm chained to my register, I know the rules and procedures better than most of them, and they’re just going to repeat the same thing I said. And yes, we'll both complain about you behind your back once you're gone.
"Where do I swipe my card?"
If you've been living in a bunker à la Kimmy Schmidt for the past 50 years, I get it. Otherwise, opening your eyes is a good first step.
"Oh my God, so I said to her, I can't believe he was 25 minutes late to dinner and you still waited! Anyway, I'm on my way now, I just needed to pick up new swimming goggles for the kids.... Excuse me, where do I swipe my card?"
Hang up your phone and notice that I'm a real person with a real brain, not a robot here to do your bidding. Cashiers already feel shitty enough working at a minimum wage job before being completely ignored by customers.
"Can't you open up another register?"
Cashiers don't enjoy having long lines at their registers, but not every other employee knows how to work a register or should be trusted with several thousand dollars in cash. What you think will be a 40-minute wait will be more like seven minutes. Patience.
"I used this for three months (in ways the directions expressly say not to) and lost the receipt—can I return it?"
What? No! You cannot! But customers think I'm the unreasonable one for saying that.
"There's no tag, so it must be free!"
Hahaha a corny joke that cashiers hear a minimum of three times a day. It's neither funny nor true.
"Can't one of those boys help me out instead?"
Sorry, I hadn't realized we time-traveled back to the pre-equality era. I'll get one of the men to help you and go back to being a stupid female in a corset. My mistake! (Blood boils.)
"Are you closed?"
I could point out that the dimmed lights, lowered gate and sign on the door saying we closed 10 minutes ago are your answer, but this customer would just ignore it and launch into a 20-minute exchange anyway.