From TheAmazingFailure, Tales From Retail
I work the cash office and customer service desk of a very busy grocery store. We've got the highest volume of sales in any grocery store within our district, and possibly outside of it.
I live in FL, right next to the largest retirement community and snowbird haven in the country. Snowbird season is just starting out, and people are flocking to the area in very large numbers. So, we're busy. Very busy.
Hurricane Matthew was making it's rounds, coming right at us, and people started to panic. Sensible, considering it was a Cat4 and the eyewall was looking to tear us a new mudhole or two. Not everyone panic'd though. No, some people just didn't care. Some people like Lottery Lady just batted an eye like it was another day.
To set the scene, It's the 5th, and the Hurricane is going to hit the state late night to early AM on the 6th, and we are packed full. Every cash register going, with lines of about 15-20 people each. Customer Service desk also with a line about 20 deep. It was like a big box store on Black Friday. For every person that left the lines, another had joined. I had been checking out huge carts full of groceries at a tiny CS Desk for the entire day and it was all one big blur, until Lottery Lady made it to my desk.
Lottery Lady didn't have any groceries to buy, she was buying lotto tickets. The "Online" tickets with weekly drawings. National Lottery stuff. She had filled out the paper slips, and handed me a stack of them. I didn't count them, but it was two fistfuls. I asked her if she was serious, and she was. I start running her slips through the machine, one by one.
Once everyone in line realized what she was doing they all groaned. I didn't groan, I was angry. She was buying the 50 cent to 1 dollar lotto tickets, hundreds of them. I asked her if she'd step out of the line so I could take care of other customers, and thankfully she did.
I'd ring up customers, pull her tickets aside because the machine can probably only handle 10 in the slot before it jams and stops. I had a good handle on everything and managed to check out quite a few people while I took care of her tickets, setting them aside to clear the machine out. It seemed like the machine just printed and printed for an eternity. And she just stood there quietly and watched as I checked out other customers.
In the end, after her tickets were done printing I looked at the total; $350. This woman stood in line for what ended up being close to 45 minutes, got to my counter and stood there probably another 45 minutes, in the busiest grocery store in the area, during preparations for a hurricane, in our busiest time of year, in all that damn madness, and bought $350 in cheap lotto tickets.
She wasn't rude, on the contrary she had a pleasant demeanor, and moved out of the way so I could keep checking people out. But really? Lotto at this time in particular? Really? And this much of it? What the hell TFR? What the hell?