04-20-2013   Leave a comment

Everyday seems like an adventure to me and not always in a good way. I constantly people watch like everyone else but most things that make me the craziest occur in retail stores, specifically at the checkouts.  I worked for retail companies for almost twenty years and hated every minute of it. Companies are always preaching "Good Customer Service" but it never seems to happen.  The reason is simple.  You need good people as customers to start with.  Here’s a partial list of recent things that make me want to scream and run from the building.

  • Store Checkout Lines – Just once I’d love to get into a checkout line and be rung out immediately and leave smiling and happy.  I’ve been waiting for that for decades but it never seems to occur.   It’s always the wrong lane for me.  I could have one guy in front of me with six items and as soon as I line up behind him the cashier has to page for a price check or has to send an employee back into the store for a price because no one responded to the damn page. If it’s like this for everyone else then we have an even a bigger problem than I first thought.
  • Express Lanes – Don’t even get me started.  Fourteen items or twenty items, it doesn’t matter how many. I guarantee the person in front of me will have fifty freaking items.  If you say something then you’re the asshole.  If you don’t then you end up being pissed off all day and taking it out on someone else either in another store or at home.
  • Line Jumpers – The store opens a new register when your third in line at a busy one.  Before you can react, the people five places behind you in your line dash to the new register. I have a new term for you to mull over, "Store Rage".  It’s these little things that begin to accumulate over the months and result in bigger and more interesting arguments at the most inopportune times.
  • English Speaking Cashiers – I love diversity as much as the next guy but you can’t hire people who don’t know the language of the customers they’re taking care of.  Simple right?  I guess not. Part of the problem is that out of every five cashiers hired, four either fail the background check or the drug test.
  • Chatty Cashiers – I hate to say this but they’re normally a chubby women in her fifties who wants to be everyone’s best friend and confidant.  She spends more time yakking about stupid stuff than checking your purchases out. Please, shut the hell up, smile, and get me the hell out of the store.
  • Stupid Customers- Don’t show up at the registers with a bunch of products that are either missing bar codes or price tags.  Don’t ask the cashiers to do price checks for you while there are twenty people in line behind you. Could someone be any more  ignorant?  It happens all the time.
  • Coupon Freaks – I love nothing better than being behind a women with forty items in her cart and a stack of thirty coupons that must be checked individually.  The only thing worse is when the cashier discovers that more than half of the coupons are outdated or the customer is trying to scam her using incorrect products.  Do your freaking shopping at three in the morning for God’s sake where you take all the time you like sorting through your bag full of coupons and the women with Food Stamps behind you can just wait. She’s probably just buying booze and cigarettes anyway.

I could continue this rant for another thirty paragraphs but I hope you’re getting my point.  This posting was prompted by my last twenty visits to Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and a host of others.  I actually feel a lot better after venting like this but it’ll start building again as soon as I go shopping the next time.  I really don’ t anticipate any improvement so expect another posting just like this in September.  It’ll take that long to really piss me off again.

The straw that broke my back this time came to my attention from my better-half who still works for a major retailer.  She’s front-end manager who’s required to babysit a large group of girls (not women) in their late teens and early twenties who really don’t want to work.  They apparently live for drinking, partying, and screwing everyone they can get their hands on. The turnover is high as you’d expect but hiring really good employees is difficult when they pay slave wages.  They recently  hired a cashier who barely spoke English and who didn’t understand our monetary system.  And they wonder why their customers are outraged when a cashier can’t make the correct change even after the register tells her how much it is.

I won’t even start with my experiences with the bastards using cell phones and texting while I wait impatiently in line behind them.  Kill me I’m begging you. 

Thank God for Amazon, Ebay, and Internet shopping.

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