Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crabby Mc CrabbyPants P.S.A.

Since Thanksgiving is Thursday and the day after that marks the official beginning of the season of joy, glad tidings, hearts overflowing with happiness, crass commercial consumerism, well, we all know what that means --- that the vast majority of us are about to spend way more time than normal in relationships with retail cashiers (except for a few smug individuals who are already done with their Christmas shopping, not that I'm bitter, I used to be one of you and what the hell happened to my organizational skills????)

So, since I have vast retail experience (hey, I really *DID* work in retail in high school and college .... how did you think Blaine and I met? A Victoria Secret autograph signing???) I think it only fitting that I share a few basic rules with the cashiers and customer service agents and clerks out there:

1. I don't give a shit when your break is.

2. I don't give a shit how early you came in today.

3. I don't give a shit when you're getting off.

4. I don't give a shit how many hours you've already worked today.

5. I don't give a shit about how this was supposed to be your day off and so-and-so from Housewares called in sick and now you're stuck here working when you're supposed to be going to the movies with your friends.

6. I don't give a shit that Stewie from Automotive ate the Lunchable you left in the community fridge in the breakroom.

7. I don't give a shit that you've had to skip lunch because your store is so short-handed.

8. I don't give a shit how tired you are, or how hard you're working, or how excited you are for when you get off this evening.

THIS is what I give a shit about:

I give a shit that there be enough of you working that I don't stand in line for thirty damn minutes waiting for a register. I give a shit that you greet me (eye contact and smiling politely is a plus, but not required) and ask if I found everything ok. (PS. If I'm already unloading my crap on the conveyor belt, chances are the answer is "yes" ... otherwise I will go to the Customer Service Desk and ask, I'm not a moron, after all.) I give a shit that you ring me up in an efficient manner, and that if we do by some chance run into a problem, I give a shit that your manager be close at hand to answer any issues that arise. While I won't blame you personally if your register runs out of tape, you need to be able to put in a fresh roll of tape quickly and without needing assistance. I give a shit that I be able to read the receipt, in case a return is necessary. I do NOT give a shit about your ten percent off credit card .... if I wanted one, I need to take the time to fill the freaking application out in advance, and NOT tie up the one single god-forsaken lane for ten minutes and make everyone in line behind stand there while I contemplate my application (Why, yes, this did happen to me today, how did you guess?) I give a shit that you help me put the bags back in my cart, just for nicety sake, and then I give a shit that you say something pleasant as I'm leaving. Nothing deep or profound, just a simple "have a nice day" will do. When I say "have a nice day" to YOU, I give a shit that you don't reply with, "Heh, heh, I will when I get off work in about an hour!"

Your schedule is not my problem or my concern. Your social, business, or personal life is not of any interest to me and quite frankly is not something I want to hear about while contemplating how I came into Target for socks and a curtain rod yet managed to spend $150. I'm sure you're a lovely person, but this is not the time nor the place. If you have a boss or manager who didn't give you the day off you wanted, or forgot to schedule your lunch, or is making you work late ..... then ..... it sucks to be you. And I?? Do not give a shit. Please remember that and the Christmas shopping season will be much easier for both of us.

And this concludes my effort to spread just a little holiday cheer.


Anonymous said...

I 100% agree!!


ps - you forgot "Because if I wasn't here shopping, your tired, whiney, pathetic a@@ wouldn't be getting paid!""

Anonymous said...

I agree but I must say I don't ever expect the cashier to assist in putting my bags into my cart because I live in New York. However, that is my favorite part of stores in the South! Happy Holiday Shopping!! I'm thinking of doing it all online this year!

Cate said...

You are the greatest place for radio show prep on the web!! Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

That is so true! I did notice on Sunday at Walmart that almost all of the check out lanes were open! By God! Anyway, then I saw a commercial that said the same store was going to have "more lanes to make your shopping easier." And by golly it was true. So even though the parking lot was jammed (I call it a little more excercise parking THAT far out!), I was able to check out in half the time it normally takes! So my 1st official "holiday" shopping spree was actually peaceful. Knock on wood. Cause I know the next one will SUCK and I'll have to tell them about how I don't give a shit about their break :-)
Claire in TX

Cindy in Yukon said...

I bet you give a shit that TSO is this Sunday!! See ya there!

Melenie said...

Thank you! I also worked in retail (we won't say when) and I would have had my ass written up if not fired for some of the crap that goes on now! Especially at Christmas time...I worked in a toy store for heaven's sake! I agree...I think I'm shopping online...my computer is much nicer and certainly smarter than the cashier making minimum wage.

Kim said...


in a world surrounded by men said...

I just read this out loud to my husband and we busted a gut laughing.

Amen sister!

Anonymous said...

THAT is why I refuse to go out on Black Friday. As if being up at some heinous hour of the night/morning isn't enough to make anyone rather "blackish" in their mood, oh my goodness, the lines and crabby pants people will do it. Nothing like a little holiday "cheer" to get you going for the Christmas season.
Happy Holidays!
Tammy in really snowing and cold OH

Over Coffee said...

This is one of the best posts you have done! I love how many times you said shit! ;-)
I hope a few cashiers in my neck of the woods read this.

Alicia said...

Kristie, I understand where you are coming from, and as a cashier at a retail store (hardware, but we carry a lot of Christmas stuff)I do have to say that I hope you do give a shit about a cashier who has been on her feet for 9 hours, with no break and no lunch. I know it sucks to be the customer in such a bad line in the holiday season, I have been there, too, but it also sucks to be a cashier and have nothing but rude asswipes (Not you!!) coming through without a hello, or a please or thank you. And I bet I see a lot more rude customers Friday than you see rude cashiers. Also, if my manager does not show up when I call him 5 times, please do not rip me a new asshole, I can only do so much, and when the line is held up because of a credit app, plase take note, we get "shopped" and I am sure you know what that is if you have worked retail, if we get shopped by a mystery shopper and we have not asked you if you want a credit card, we get fired. THEY make the rules, we have to abide or get the hell out. If my manager does not hear me ask you about a credit card, he can fire me on the spot. And the last thing that I want is to suck you in for a 25% interest credit card. Really. I am in school and will graduate and leave retail, and I will not look back. But for the time being, I do not make the rules, I follow them. I give excellent customer service I greet you, chat with you, tell you goodbye and even tell you I look forward to seeing you next time. And I mean it, even on Black Friday. So please remember that. Love your page!


jeri from hawaii said...

Amen to that, sister!

Anonymous said...

Damn girl, at least those people are working and putting in their 9 hours for crappy assed pay. Better than them all being on welfare, eh? They probably see far more asshole customers than the customers see asshole cashiers. I am thankful beyond measure I don't have to work a cash register again. I spent my time in retail hell too. People that bitched about how long the person ahead of them took. WTH was I supposed to do, throw them out the store to save said whiner 5 min? People that didn't have enough money to pay for their shit and then got pissed, as if I raised the prices just on them. People who swore their ugly assed sweater was on sale for 30% off and held the line up only to find out they were wrong. People that told me their entire freaking life history and all their medical problems because they had no one at home to talk to and I was the extent of their social interaction. Do you realize how many hemmoroid/gallbladder/kidney stone stories I sat through? And then the whiner behind them gets pissed it is taken too long. Then add a manager I could page 5 times before he showed up because there were 10 other PITA customers tying up those cash registers and the whole store started bitching. Damn, chill and hold tight a moment, 1 manager, 10 whiners, you do the math. Hours on your feet, nasty custoners, asshole managers with a God complex, OMG, worst. Job. Evah. All for the princely sum of $7.00 an hour or so.(eyeroll).

Be greatful you have been priviliged enough in life to not have to work and to be able to be a SAHM. I know I sure am, I know I am blessed. And I swore I would never turn into one of those annoying assed customers who just looked for things to complain about and made major drama over the mundane. Life is too short. And you never know what could happen in life that force you to stand on the other side of a register again. (Shudder!)

Cathy said...

This is my first holiday season in 13 years that I DON'T have to work the weekend after Thanksgiving. I worked for Linens 'N Things and I have to say that their closing was the best thing that happened to me. I was one of the fortunate ones to immediately find another job, (with a school district, 9-1, M-F) with a MUCH higher pay rate. The customers, or "guests" as we had to call them, are one thing I DO NOT MISS at all! The whining, complaining, arguing about prices, returning merchandise they used once and decided they didn't want; DO NOT MISS! Granted, cashiers do not have to stand around and complain about their hours or their jobs or their co-workers but it was probably someone in their teens or early twenties you ran into. I am pushing 43 and knew how to be professional in that position. Most of the "12 year olds" as I called them, had a "I don't want to be here attitude" but there were a few of us who knew what it meant to be responsible and have a job. If you came to my store and came to my line, I would've gotten you in and out reasonably fast and despite the company policy of asking if you wanted a credit card, I would not have asked because I hate that!!!

Anyway, go a little easy on the poor cashier; it's not an easy job but someone's gotta do it (I'm just glad it's NOT me anymore!!).

Have fun at TSO!

Santa Clara

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

Kristie, I think I am seeing both sides here. As a former retail cashier (CVS) when I was just out of high school, I saw a lot of awful customers. I also worked with some really awful cashiers. So it works both ways. But you are right- attitude and professionalism are important in any business and although it may suck to be working over due to staff shortages, it should never be taken out on the customers. And may I add to the cashiers: please wait until customer A has gathered their bags of purchases BEFORE you start putting my purchases in the bagging section- it really only takes a few seconds rather than customer A having to sort through the bagging carousel to make sure she has everything while I worry she may accidentally take one of my bags! (yep- happened at wally world last night). And customers, remember these people are working and not sitting home mooching off the system, so lets try to be a little nice to them. Dealing with the public is hard work.

TuTu's Bliss said...

Laughing, pointing and patting my own back for already completing all of my shopping via the internet!! But you can blog over and rub it in when I start blogging on Thursday about forgetting it was even Thanksgiving and not being able to find one flipping Turkey on the entire Island!! Oops there goes the mother of the year award..again!! Now I'm out of the running until 2018

Rob said...


Too funny...yet too true.

Love the blog!!

Anonymous said...

Here in the Northeast service and cashiers at Target are far superior to Walmart. Not sure what drives this, same sort of retail environment. I refuse to go in to a Walmart because the cashiers are so bad. I fault the management not the cashiers for this, perhaps not enough training? Tell you what though, not a job I would want to do! I did find you post very amusing.

The Running Girl said...

Very well said!!! I so dread going out and getting the shopping done.

Marisa said...

HOLY SHIT !! I have been "retired" 15 years. The stock market is our "income" My husband and I took part time temp Christmas jobs. I went to Macy's, he is driving Fed-Ex home delivery. I really like my little job at Macys except for the fact that I am right with you when I am on that side of the counter. I AM the new sales associate that needs help with every freakin coupon, changing out the register tape, and we HAVE to ask every customer who is not paying with the Macys card if they would like to open a new acct and save an extra 20%..almost every transaction is different in one way or another. I will be thinking of you Friday everytime I have to stand there and ask for help!!! Actually, I have become a more patient shopper since I started this little job.
Please have a just a tiny bit of compassion for us "old" people that are new temporary help, that have had to go out and fill in gap of our retirements going down the drain from the failing economy!
Oh by the way, I have spent more than I make!!! ha ha
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Hope Blaine is feeling better.
I am still cracking up and glad you won't be shopping in Louisville Ky at Macys!!!!
That would be too funny!! I can see it now !!!

Anonymous said...

As a Former Pharmacy tech at CVS (Shouting HEY! to Trish in Leesburg!), retail totally sucks. OMG, the customers there are the worst. It is not my fault your ins will only pay for generic Percoset when you believe the brand gives you an extra buzz. It is not my fault your ins won't pay for anything at all. It is not my fault your Dr forgot to call your RX in, not my fault he won't renew your script for whatever reason. I can't help the fact that 30 people came in before you and you have a 1 hr wait. Probably a 2 hour wait since most of those people will have at least 1 of the above problems. And to the lady that came in covered in blood and needing bandaids, so sorry I offended you by not wanting you to handle your blood covered money, but I was pregnant and I was a Pharmacy Tech, not a doctor or Urgent care.

Oh God I would rather slit my wrists than ever work retail again, lol.

sarah said...

I can't stand when people are having personal conversations when I'm buying stuff. I always want to point out that I am not deaf and I can in fact hear them talking, although I'd care not to.
My mom's favorite saying is "You're in coustomer service, so SERVE people"

Alicia said...

Kristina, I am not sure how I missed your post last night....lucky, I guess. I am appalled at this comment of yours....

ps - you forgot "Because if I wasn't here shopping, your tired, whiney, pathetic a@@ wouldn't be getting paid!""

What an awful thing to say!

Before I get slammed by regular posters here, I HAVE posted here before, and I love Kristie's blog, and I have read every word of Kendrie's caringbridge site, as it happened. I cried with Kristie and her family over Kendrie and Blaine, and sat with a smile at their good fortune when things went well.

But what you said, Kristina, shows what the Christmas season is all about, unfortunately, for many people. Calling people in retail names, taking out your frustrations on them, spreading bad feelings. Well, I am going to tell you, or ask you, to re-think this. If we all could be a bit nicer to one another, this season might be more about what it truly is rather than a retail based time to spend money people do not have, for the most part.

I hope that we all try to be a bit nicer to one another, whether it be a retail experience, driving in awful traffic, or spending time with family.

Because isn't that what this season is about? Taking time to be grateful, to spend precious moments with family and friends, to try and maybe put ourselves in the other persons shoes for awhile?


Anonymous said...

Do you have a chip on your shoulder or what??????? Has your Sunday School teacher read this? Man!!!!! What happen to compassion and patience and kindness during the holiday season hope I'm not in the line with you at Wal-Mart!!!

Jeanette in Ga said...

Cone on, Kristie. Tell us how you REALLY feel. :)

Could've been worse-you could've had a screaming two year old in the cart the whole time. (Why yes, that has happened to me, years ago!)

Anonymous said...

I did all my shopping on line this year. No crowds and no lines to stand in. I didn't feel the stress I usually do, and I actually finished earlier than usual.

I have never worked in retail, but I must say I sympathize with them. They put up with a lot of crap from customers, and it usually isn't their fault.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Rosemary said...

OH my God.. I'm still laughing at this post.. and as sympathetic as I am to the cashier who has to work with the public.. been there, done that.. the things you are talking about are really annoying. I am tired of cashiers talking to each other and ignoring me, the customer, who is waiting to pay. I am tired of hearing how they don't want to be there. I am tired of hearing about when they get off.

Alicia, I do have sympathy for the people who work so hard, but the things Kristie has mentioned are things that unprofessional BAD CASHIERS do.. and, even as a former cashier who understands the frustrations.. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT EITHER. Just do your job and we'll all be happy. I am always nice and polite because I know what a hard job it is.. but some people should just not be working in retail.

I agree, lets all be nice to each other.. and do our jobs with at least a smile.

Jenner said...


Jen in WI

Jen said...

LOVED this post, thought it was spot on... to some of the other commenters: HELLO, she's ranting against the CRAP cashiers who are completely unprofessional and nasty, she's NOT complaining about the nice ones who actually do their job correctly... sheesh!

Lisa L said...

For the Pharmacy Techs reading this go to the blog 'The Angry Pharmacist'....it is freaking hilarious and you will lol as you read. *warning* some bad language

Lisa L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

Oh My-- are you in the Holiday spirit yet?
Please drink some holiday spirits and feel better.

Amber said...

I saw your blog on the blog lists of LaDonna,Niki&Nathan's blog and I have to say that this post cracked me up!!! Partly because when I was younger I worked at Target as a cashier and some of what you mentioned I was guilty of. And partly because almost every other time I go to the store, I hear the same stories and I wondered if it was just me who go the sob stories!

Anonymous said...

I always read your blog and follow along with your day to day life. let me just tell you that I'm a offended by this post and won't be reading anymore. I'm a cashier, a damn good cashier and trust me we have even less tolerance for customers who are this ungracious. I dont mind working black Friday, in fact I welcome the challenge, but when people have attitudes like this, it just ruins what everything is suppose to be about.

Lanette, PA said...

To "anonymous" who said....

"I always read your blog and follow along with your day to day life. let me just tell you that I'm a offended by this post and won't be reading anymore."

Ohhh yes you will..and you know it! Hee hee

I am not sure which is more hilarious..Kristie's post or all you people who can't see the humor in it. I, for one, am LMAO at both!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! I worked in retail for 12 years SELLING SHOES!! I can't tell you how many times I went to the stockroom and called many customers "tired, whiney, pathetic a@@" plus a lot more. I had customers ask for a size 10 in a shoe and when I told them a 7 & 1/2 was the largest I had in stock, they would ask to try it on "cause it might run large"!!!! My daddy gave me a great piece of advice the day I started my first job. He said if you are not feeling well or having troubles at home, drop them off at the door before you go into work & pick them up when you leave! Always worked for me. Another thing I always thought about when I would be with a customer....If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have a job!
Have a very Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving and I hope you GOBBLE till you WOBBLE!!
Hoover, AL

Anonymous said...

You dont know how many times I have felt this way.