Dude, really, stop.


A few weeks ago I discussed my disdain for being approached by strangers. I forgot to mention that I don’t like talking to anyone else either. Specifically, I hate cashier conversations.

Now before you label me a snob, allow me to impress you with my employment past. I have been once, twice, thrice, quice – that’s my word for four times – a cashier gal. Actually… five times if you count my one-day stint working at a deli. Once I realized how motherf*cking hard it is to work in food service, though, I threw in my hairnet and called it a day. But aside from my short-lived career making cappuccinos and paninis, I have spent many an hour behind the cash register. And I’m not just talking cutesy boutiques where you get one customer every two hours. (Though I have had that job.) I’ve put in time at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, y’all. I know the deal.

And here it is… They say that multitasking gets twice as much done in the same amount of time. I also say that multitasking gets twice as much done – as long as you don’t mind it getting done half as well as if you just focused on one thing at a time. Which is my point.

Whenever a cashier strikes up a conversation with me, he double swipes at least one thing I’m buying. Without fail. As a matter of fact, it’s even happened to me twice in the same week. So this isn’t a superiority complex thing. This is a cold hard cash thing.

The first time was at Target. Of course. I’m there all the time, but I made the grave mistake of wearing a provocative shirt. Nothing sexy, mind you. On the contrary, I had on a huge, very un-sexy T-shirt that happened to have my alma mater’s name emblazoned across it. Without so much as saying, “hello,” my cashier instead blurted out, “I used to live in Chicago.” Great.

Some people may call me cheap. I prefer thrifty. While looking up alternatives for the word thrifty, I found parsimonious. I like that one, too. Anyway. My thrifty ways likely come from my Dutch blood, but I’m cool with it. Yes, I add up every item as I put it into my cart. I also watch the price display like a hawk when I check out. But because I can’t multitask, if the cashier starts talking to me, there’s no way I can keep track of the register’s beeps. And neither can he.

The cashier then tells me that he loved Chicago but left because “the winters are so cold.” Yeah, I’ve never heard that before. Finally, we wrap up our convo, and I walk away, intensely scanning the receipt for mistakes. And there it was… a double charge for exactly 97 cents.

I know what you’re thinking and I don’t care. That’s 97 cents that I could use for ChapStick.  So you bet I went over to customer service and made them refund it to my credit card. Ain’t no shame in my game.

The next afternoon, I was at the grocery store. Why I didn’t just use the self-checkout, I’ll never understand, but I was immediately punished for my laziness once the cashier started ringing me up. For one, the dude had to pause every three items to cover his mouth and cough. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he was also having a conversation with the next cashier over about the best home remedies for a cold. Apparently the other guy is a big believer in wonton soup. So not only is my cashier hacking all over the groceries I will soon be eating, but also he’s not paying any attention to ringing me up. In fact, I saw the double charge as it happened, but he was so engrossed in his conversation that I couldn’t get his attention to stop him.

With lips pursed, both from annoyance at my bad luck and fear of catching his germs, I swiped my card and waited for my receipt. Once in hand, my eyes immediately found the double charge – it’s like my superpower – and I pointed it out to the cashier.

He was totally nice about it, but because he was also so totally out of it, he proceeded to refund me for three boxes of cereal instead of one. Dammit. Now what? Though I’d love to have that extra $5.36 in my pocket – not to mention, I felt like the grocery store did owe me for my future cold expenses – I knew it would be wrong. So I informed the cashier of his second charge error. I truly hope I was his last customer of the day because it took about three tries before he understood what I was saying.

No wonder why Amazon is worth 90 billion dollars.

Image courtesy of farconville / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Responses to “Cut The Chatter, Red Two”

I’m the SAME way! I watch the screen like a hawk at every store. My husband used to think I was NUTS until I started catching mischarges over and over and over again. Now, he thinks I am a genius and has adopted the habit himself!

January 28th, 2013

PS that happened to me last week at Target. The girl was so distracted telling me how impossible the security device was to get off the portable DVD player I was buying, that she forgot to ring it up.

I didn’t REALIZE this until I tried to take it back the next day (impulse buy). It wasn’t on my receipt. Crap.

January 28th, 2013

THANK YOU!!! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one. Those pennies add up!

January 31st, 2013

Okay, as bad as this sounds, that’s kind of awesome. It likely makes up for all the times you were overcharged, right? Plus, it was an innocent mistake, right?? 🙂

January 31st, 2013

Pick up your visual scanning[, Red Five].

February 7th, 2013

Stay on target… Stay on target!

February 7th, 2013