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Department Store Hell: Why closed registers need to stay closed



From All_Nighter_Long, Tales From Retail:

During this time, I’m working in the men’s department in my store. Typically because of the lack of foot traffic in this department, it’s registers stay closed. Now the registers are blocked off and have signs stating they are closed and to head to another department.

But no one reads. So I end having to tell nearly everyone who stands there obliviously that it’s closed. at this point me and my manager are setting up signature assortments for Fourth of July when I see an old couple walk up to the terminal.

OL = Old lady, me=Me

Giving an internal exasperated sigh, I tell them it’s closed.

OL: Angry Sigh “Where are we suppose to go then? He has bad knee and can’t walk that far.”

Now I’m all for opening the terminal for the sake of customer service. But the attitude she starts giving off ticks me off. I give a quick look to my manager who’s looking to see what I’m gonna do.

Me: “ I can open the register for you. “


Setting the business date and counting up the starting float. I check them out. Not wanting to get off task too long I silently pray that no one gets in the line.

Next thing I know I get a line of customers


Next customer comes up, she wants to split her transaction up to use up both her coupons. That’s fine. It’s time consuming to do so, but still it’s fine.

I get through the second lady fine. But instead of leaving immediately. She sticks around to look for her keys in her purse.

Blocking the ability for another person to checkout.

I ask if she can move so I can take some one else and she exclaims she needs to empty her purse to look for her keys.

I wait five minutes hoping she finds them quick, but I quickly lose patience with the building line of customers

I move over to another terminal and open it.

By this point all four terminals are open with associates from other departments manning them to quell the building line.

Except one new guy that I’m training. To which I’ll mention never got an assigned associate number for the terminal.

Not his fault, but it only adds to the frustration as he needs help getting setup while I take customers


Cue difficult customer three.

Rudely she states.

Cu: “ Are you open?”

Me: “Yes Ma’am.”

Cu: “Are you sure?”

Me: Internally “You can walk your ass to another register if you keep up that attitude.”

Me: “Yes Ma’am”

She’s buying a pair of sunglasses and they come to about $14.

She pays with a hundred.

Meanwhile I only have a hundred in fives, ones, and a ten.


Cu: “Do you have any fifties to give me?”

Me: “ No Ma’am, I only have small bills.”

Cu: “Okay” Still pays with $100

Great now I’m gonna get cleaned out.

I get all my tens, all my fives, and most of my ones, and give her the change.

Cu: “ Ohhhhh, that’s a lot of change. Don’t you have anything bigger?”

Me: “No Ma’am.”

Cu: “Can’t you get some bigger bills from there?”

She points to my coworker’s register.

Me: “No ma’am, it would cause a variance.”

Cu: “Okay... I’ll pay with my card then. I’m not taking that much change.” Pushes change towards me

Are you fucking kidding me!

Me: “I already processed the purchase miss. I’ll have to return it.”

Cu: “Oh, okay.”

One return and a purchase later and All the customers are gone. I’m stuck with closing all the terminals.

I need a drink.






If you take 5 10-dollar bills out of your register and put it in coworkers register, and take a $50 out of coworkers register then you don't get a variance. You take out what you put in. That lets you have bigger bills to give to the customer. What she asked was for annoying, but not undoable.

Misty Meanor

I absolutely ABHOR people who pay with large bills and expect you to give them the change they want!


Why would you exchange cash between the registers? This causes a lot of security issues [you can lose the money, someone can take it from you, the co worker may hand you back counterfeit money from their till and so on]. It is a practice that is banned in some of the stores. Not to mention, why would you go out of your way to give the customer the money in whatever bills they fancy at the moment. You give them the merchandise, the receipt and the change back in the right amount and that's it. Go to the bank if you want something else. And pay for their time.


"But can't you just this once?"
"No I Bloody Can't!"
"Why not?"

~Simon Travaglia, BOfH

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