From u/RoseaMarie Tales From Retail:
I'm a cashier at a grocery store with a primarily elderly customer base. A good majority of them are friendly, but there are a handful who are mean or condescending. A few days ago, during a late evening shift, I encountered what is perhaps one of the most evil elderly couples that shops at my store.
This man and woman come up to express lane (15 items or less) with two carts, both of them 1/5 full, and mainly with cases of soda. The woman rolls her cart up first and starts loading her stuff on, more or less ignoring me and talking (kind of arguing) with her husband. I bag the first few items, and the woman says to her husband "Honey, could you pass me the milk?" as he had the carton of milk in his cart. He passes her it and she loads it up with the rest of her groceries, her husband still not doing anything with the stuff in his cart.
I come across the first of the cases and ask if she would like them bagged. She tells me yes, and that she would like it if they were doubled. Her husband (still standing at the end of my lane, not doing anything with his cart) says "Make it 3, to be safe." His wife laughs at this, so I assume it's a joke and double bag the first one. I pick up the second one, this time breaking the hold things (not sure what they're called. It's the area on a cardboard case that you can break and use to carry the case, like any normal person would.)
She very quickly stops me, suddenly enraged. "NO. No. Don't break the holds." I look up, very confused. This is the first time in my year and a bit of cashiering that anyone has told me not to use the holds. "I don't want the holds broken because when I open it from one side and stack the cases, the cans will come out wrong"
(I might be remembering her reasoning wrong, it was a very weird explanation that made no sense to me.) I say okay, and she sighs loudly, clearly annoyed. "Now I have to get a new case of diet coke. Give that one to me." She points at the one with the broken holds which has already been double bagged. I grab it for her and hand it over. She walks away to get a new one, leaving me with her husband. I notice that he has finally loaded his 4 cases of cans onto the lane, however there is a very large space between his items and her items.
"Is this one transaction, or will it be separate?" I ask, wanting to make sure that I'm not going to have to void his items. He looks up at me, shooting lasers from his eyes in anger.
"What do you think." He says, unbelievably angry. I look down and continue bagging his wife's cases, not using the holds.
"Together?" I ask, no longer wanting to speak to either of them.
"Yeah. That's right." He says, still angry. He looks over to his wife, who is by the stack of cans on sale by the door, getting a new case. "Honey, pass me the milk." he mimics his wife from earlier, snarling at his cart. "Separate transaction" it sounds like he's about to spit at me. His wife returns and hands me the case of coke, which I rebag and put with the rest of her items. Once I'm near the end of the transaction (which has well over 15 items) another man comes in line behind them. The woman clearly knows him, and starts up a conversation about his kids with him.
In the meanwhile, the husband passes by me with his cart and looks at the bags beside me. "is it triple bagged?" He asks, obviously still angry. I panic and say yes, then quickly add an extra bag to every single already bagged case. He starts putting his bags away while his wife chats with the man in line. The husband is clearly having trouble lifting the bags with cans, as they're on the heavier side and he is older, so his wife marches over to him and demands that he stops so she can do it for him.
This starts a very brief argument between the two that ends when she notices I'm done bagging the items and tells her husband to move so she can pay. I ask her how she'll be paying, she tells me MasterCard, so i punch it in for her. She taps her card against the screen and doesn't listen for the beep to indicate it went through. She puts her card away and walks over to continue putting her bags in the cart.
After a few moments, i look at the terminal and tell her it didn't go through. She walks back over and I have to explain that tap is unreliable and she'll have to swipe or insert. The conversation takes enough time that by the time she swipes her card, the transaction has expired and I have to put it through again. She swipes as she's looking at the new screen and notices that it says she could have tapped. "It says I could have tapped." She looks up, glaring at me.
I explain that, while yes, she could have technically tapped on the second transaction, since it didn't go through the first time it would have been safer to just swipe the card (nevertheless the fact that it only told her she could tap because it took her so long) she squints at me and says "I could have tapped and it would have worked. Then we wouldn't have had to keep this lovely man waiting, now would we?" She grins, very condescendingly at me.
I mutter something in agreement, then hand her the receipt. I help the man in line (who was very nice. The opposite of the couple before him) and go to talk to my co workers at customer service to vent about the interaction. One of my co workers tells me that as they were leaving and passing customer service, the woman said "They think they're helping by using the holds" to the lady behind customer service.