Monday, September 22, 2008

Information for Shoppers

So, I have now worked in retail for a year. (I never thought I would be there a year) Well, I actually worked retail while I was in college, but it was at a very small Christian bookstore, which was a completely different experience than this year at Target. So, I have done lots of different jobs while at the great big bullseye, and I am now ready to write about some of it. I realize that not everyone has had a job in retail, so there may be somethings that the average shopper doesn't know. Well, I am judging by some of the people who came through my line during my 5 1/2 hour cashier shift the other night.

1. Get off the phone. I understand there are emergency situations where this is not possible. But, please don't stand there and have a personal conversation while checking out. You can't possibly pay attention to what is going on and talk at the same time. It is so much easier to fix a mistake before the transaction is closed. Once you hang up and look at your receipt and realize that the item you thought was 29.99 rang up for 49.99, it is much harder to fix and involves more people.

2. Get ready. It should come as no surprise to you after you have stood in a check out line that at the end of it, the cashier is going to expect some sort of payment. If you're paying cash, get it out. Unwad the dollar bills and, if you absolutely have to make exact change, get it out of the bottom of your purse. (By the way, there is not actually an award for paying with exact change or getting an even amount back, I promise.) If you are paying with a check, write out what you can. The name of the store, the date, your signed name, etc. If you're paying with a card, get it out. If it's a debit card, know your PIN. If you aren't sure of your PIN, run it as credit card, don't try different PINs, it slows everything down and I am being scored on the speed of the transaction.

3. Keep your children out of my space. I too shop with multiple children and I seem to be able to keep mine out of the cashier's area. So can you. I'm pretty sure you can keep them from jumping up on my conveyer belt and scanner area too. If they jump up there, I at least expect you to make an attempt to get them down. I don't think that's unreasonable.

4. If I offer you a store credit card, please realize that it is only because the computer has prompted me to do so. I don't personally want you to have one. Feel free not to share your credit history with me or why you think the card that earns you points at Disney World is a better idea. A simple, "No thank you" or "Not right now" will suffice. I am secretly hoping you say no anyway, because it takes more time to fill out the application. But I have to ask, because there are secret shoppers and I got in trouble for not asking before.

5. Just because I have on the appropriate colored shirt and a nametag does not mean I have been thoroughly trained in every area of the store. I will do my best to help you or try to find someone who knows the answer to your question, but you cannot look annoyed if I don't know the answer right away and you for sure cannot be rude. Do you really think I am going to try to move quicker if you are rude and insulting?

6. Sales Tax is more in Tennessee than it is in Georgia. We don't have an income tax. If you purchase a dress for $19.99, it's going to cost you $21.84 in Tennessee or $21.19 in Georgia. I have no control over it. Do you want the dress or not?

7. Any kind of return policy that we have implemented (which, is implemented at the corporate level and the girl making $6.50 an hour at the guest service desk is not just being unreasonable) is that way because people try to cheat and steal no matter what you have in place and it is the best system that corporate could come up with to keep the least amount of people to steal and cheat. Please take the online survey and complain to corporate, but no amount of cursing at me and calling me names that I've never even heard before will override my computer system.

8. Last, but not least, the check out line is not the appropriate venue to share your political views with me. I don't want to hear your views on McCain/Palin, Obama/Biden, the environment, abortion, creation vs. evolution, what the US should do about their dependence on foreign oil, etc. Just because I am a cashier does not mean I am not educated and am not informed on all of these issues. I don't have time to actually teach you why you are wrong or to discuss why I agree with you if you are right, so it's best just not to share.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it hits the highlights. In the movie "Men In Black", Tommy Lee Jones makes a great statement. "A person is smart. People are stupid." There is some definite truth in that statement!


Mrs. Tara said...

All very true! You make me laugh! How do you remember movie quotes? We recently got a Target in Cleveland and we were ALL so excited. Have a great week!

Christine said...

Love this post! I believe this is your best one yet. It reveals your true self, the humorous, part sarcastic, honest side. Write more like this one. :)

Triathamom said...

Might I suggest that Adam have the kids in bed, a bath drawn, your favorite jammies, candles & a glass of Jesus' 1st miracle waiting for you when you get home, 'cause it sounds like you need it after a day at your job! :)

Everyone should either work in retail or wait tables at least once in their lives. It will make them a nicer customer. I'm so thankful for my 18 months as a Shoney's waitress.

Great post!!

Mrs. Tara said...

You make me laugh- thanks for that along with your honesty. I have awarded you a blog award- go to to find out more!

Andy Morris said...

Sis - you still crack me up.