The Top 10 Annoying Customer Habits

1 Aug

In my 8 years of retail work experience I’ve dealt with every customer under the sun. Most of the people I work with now are fairly normal and understanding, but of course there are the looney birds.

There are always situations that rise up on a daily basis that just annoy the crap out of me. And they happen all the time. Mainly because I know the people have no consideration for me, or anyone else in the store. Then again, I also understand that most people don’t realize how annoying some things are until they are on the other side of the counter. So I compiled a list of the most annoying things customers do. Here it is:

1. Stay in the lane.
I don’t care that you “forgot to grab one thing.” When you forget something and run through the store for another stupid thing, you hold up the sale, then the line. Then guess who gets yelled at by other customers? Me. I hear all of the problems, and it is my fault that you forget your free-range eggs and now everyones days are ruined because of me. Just do me a favor, get what you forgot after I hand you the receipt.

2. I didn’t make the prices.
So don’t yell at me when they don’t meet your expectations. It is pretty much plain and as simple as that. If it were up to me, I would just give everything away. And when there is a price error, you usually get what you want for free. So be nice, calm down and don’t freak out: I’m not trying to ruin your life, just trying to get through my shift.

3. Quit watching and help me!
When you unload 200 things, chances are it’s going to take me a very long time to bag them. Don’t just stand there staring at me while I rush through your groceries and then correct me after I’ve bagged them, combing through your bags pulling out what you don’t want there and what you do want here. Just grab some bags and help me.

4. Control your kid.
I get tons and tons of really cute and well-behaved kids coming into work that are an absolute blast to talk to and laugh about, but it only takes one little screaming monster to really ruin things. It totally blows me away when I see the way kids talk and behave around their parents: screaming, hitting, just being completely awful. When you allow your kid to sit and scream in the middle of the store and do nothing to stop it guess who is actually being punished? Everyone else in the store.

5. I don’t know you.
I don’t know your life and I have no feelings whatsoever about you. I will be nice to you because I’m going to automatically assume you are also nice, so there is no need to return my smile with anger or hostility. After you leave my line we will never have any form of interaction again. I have no intentions of ruining your shopping experience or attacking you in any way, because then I will lose my job. Let’s not make this personal.

6. Save the drama for your… umm not in my aisle.
The other day I had a husband and wife screaming at each other the whole time I rung them up, calling each other names and fighting over who was going to pay for groceries. Then, after the husband walked away, the wife kept apologizing because her husband was “such an ass.” See #5. I don’t want to know your life, especially the part where you hate each other.

7. Don’t insult me.
I know, I know, I am a grocery store cashier. Pretty much the lowest common denominator of jobs. You don’t have to remind me by laughing about my apron or making a crack about how I shouldn’t be tired- my job’s so easy right!? It’s almost surprising how many people think it’s okay to just joke about my job without stopping and realizing that they are complete strangers and this is my actual life they’re teasing. Of all things, this one actually hurts the most.

8. I know what I’m doing.
There is no need to tell me how to bag your groceries. I work in a grocery store. I have bagged groceries before. I know that cold stuff goes with other cold stuff and all the crap you think you’re teaching me. It’s not like I’m performing heart surgery, I’m putting food in a bag.

9. Figure out who is paying before you come to check out.
I know that it is considered polite to stand in front of the cash register and fight with each other over who is paying- not to be sexist, but mostly ladies- but it is extremely awkward for me. I’m not apart of this whole lunch that you had planned, I’m just the gateway to your food. Don’t make me stand there adding and removing meals while you and your friend bicker over who owes who lunch, I don’t care.

And, most importantly,

10. Get off of your phone!!!!!!
Here’s the thing. I may just be your cashier, but I am also a human being. I am not just a person to be written off and completely and totally ignored. In this time, cell phones are pretty much attached to peoples faces, and very rarely do people actually look up from from their phones for even a minute out of every day. But here I am, ringing up your food and your groceries and your crap, and you can’t even look at me and acknowledge I exist!? How rude can people be!? Here’s the thing, readers: when you get to the checkout, no phone call you are on is that important. If it is, you shouldn’t be buying your precious Quinoa.

Overall, I think the world would be better if people just stopped and treated others as they would want to be treated. It’s that simple. Just be courteous!

3 Responses to “The Top 10 Annoying Customer Habits”

  1. broadsideblog August 1, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Fantastic freaking post! I hope you’ll come visit my site for my new book about working retail…which has a chapter called Customers From Hell, in which I list the six reasons (as if there are only six) why customers treat retail workers like shit.

    I lost my journalism job (hah!) and went to work retail at 50. Thus, the book. It’s been optioned as a possible sitcom by CBS. Payback!

    I’m linking this terrific post to Malled’s Facebook page, where I post stories and posts on retail a few times a day.

    Good luck…If you write this well for your blog, you’re in good shape as a future journo.

    • ericabauwens August 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

      I was just checking out your book today! It looks hilarious! And I have always thought that the stories I have from my jobs would translate so so well to film or small screen. If you’re ever looking for a writer, I’ve got some serious laughs stored up.

  2. craigsdump August 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    I was hoping to see “why cant you put your money in my open hand? Why must you dump it on the counter and watch as i struggle to pick up the coins from the slick surface?”

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