Cashier Hell: When Best Intentions For Customer Service Go Awry
This happened yesterday, it wasn't super busy, but customers would come in bursts that lasted for quite some time. Naturally, so the people in line wouldn't wait too long, I moved quickly and tried to make sure things went smoothly as possible.
A man came to the register with a bag of dog food and a few other items, which he set on the counter. Before I could even greet him or ask for his club card, he noticed the dog food bag has a tear.
Man: Can I just run and grab a new bag?
Me: Not a problem! I'll hold your other things here.
There was another woman in line, who only had a single item: a bag of dog food, already flipped in the cart so the UPC was facing me. She was the last one in line (for now), so I figured I could help her quickly, so she wouldn't have to wait, and the line wouldn't grow if more people showed up while we waited.
Me: Hi, I can help you if you're ready!
Woman: Uh...are you not going to wait for him?
Me: If you'd like to wait, we can, but he will be a moment and it didn't seem like you had much today!
She stepped forward and we had a quick transaction. The man came back as I was handing the second customer her change.
He glared at me, and I was taken off guard for a moment.
Woman: I told them to wait for you!!
Me: I'm sorry sir, it's nothing against you! It's been a little busy and I wanted to keep things moving. She only had one item, and we're already done, I can help you.
He didn't say anything more, but was a little more stern through the whole transaction, still polite, just not as friendly. I apologized again, but still didn't feel like it was that big of a deal.
I asked my store manager later, and she agreed that most people wouldn't have been so upset by that, and that I was just being efficient. Part of me still feels like I might have done something wrong, but I know I've done similar things with no issues.
And, as expected, when I was done with his purchase, there were 3 more people in line anyway.
Obviously, he expected the world to stop turning while he left. How 'dare' you take care of someone else?
Posted by: Lightning | Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 02:41 AM
Sounds reasonable to me. Suspend first transaction. Help the other person, resume the original transaction. It's what I always did when it was busy, and if the person took a little longer, I wouldn't make him go to the back of the line, but he could wait while I took care of whoever was next until he came back
Posted by: TenebrisVenator | Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 11:10 AM