Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Cashier and the Cell Phone

The cell phone is everywhere today. You can't walk two blocks without running into 3 people with something stuck to their ear. It's just part of today's world. I'm just as guilty as the next guy of using my cell phone when I probably shouldn't. But the other day, I experienced a person so rude, I just had to tell you about it.

I just finished grocery shopping at my local big-box store. All my items were on the belt for the cashier and he was flicking them by the scanner one by one. The particular market I frequent has about 1 bagger for every 3 cashiers. I'm perfectly able, so I don't mind starting to bag my own groceries while the cashier finishes scanning my order. After all, I'd rather have the dedicated bagger help an old lady than me. I have a mountain of groceries stacked up, but i figure the cashier will help once he's done running my stuff through the scanner.

He scans my last item, tells me $93.14, and whips open his Nextel phone. I continue to bag thinking he'll get right back to me in a second.

"Hey girl" he talks to the phone after the familiar Nextel beep-beep-beep.

"You comin' over?", she asks.

"Who's dere?"

"X and Y are already here, we're waitin' for Z and you."

"Oh. I don't get outa here 'til 8."

I'm done bagging at this point, just a little ticked off. I go to the EFT pad, swipe my ATM card and key in my PIN number. The display reads "Waiting for Cashier". Yeah, no kidding.

Their teen-age banter goes back and forth for another two minutes. The yuppy woman behind me gives the cashier the "What the F*$K are you doing?" look while her significant other blatently flashes his wrist with and obvious look at his Fauxlex.

Two minutes later, we hear "OK, we'll hookup afta I get outa dis place."

He hits the magical combination of buttons to let me pay and I'm off just shaking my head at the poor customer service.


Thomas Kyte said...

Jeff -

I'm sure you know the "I'd like to speak to the duty manager" line.

I'd so be speaking to a manager at that point. Outrageous.

Niall said...

I'd agree with Tom. On the other hand it does rather sound like a store that has a policy of getting cashiers as cheap as possible. That's usually where disinterested teenagers in stores come from. so you might well get that guy sacked or given a warning, and then replaced with someone else with no interest.

like with the helpdesk/service desk in IT departments, it pays to put your sharp customer focussed and intelligent staff on the front line.

Jeff Hunter said...

I've gotten pretty good service at that market before, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that it's an isolated problem. The management was notified, but offline.

Joel Garry said...

Ever since the last big strike I'd just be happy if they'd be more gentle with the bananas and not pack the hot chicken next to the cold milk.

word: edmsg