Work Rant

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

No, I don't work at Wal-Mart.

I have found myself running the Self-Checkout machines at my work location often. Not many of the people who work there like that spot, some get frustrated with the computer aspect of it and some can't keep up with watching and monitoring 4 transactions at one time. I think it's kind of fun, and I don't mind it at all. So, I volunteer to go over there...

Over the past couple of weeks I have dealt with some of the most rude, mean and angry people I have ever come across in my lifetime. I have dealt with rude people before, believe me. Working in Orlando theme parks you run across people who think they own you and you do what they tell you to do. They loved to tell me my job and how to do it. Arrogant Morons.

Well, lately it's been insane at work! This is what I think...

Times are tough. We are in a recession and people are losing their jobs left and right. My Mom and my roommate still haven't found work, and I know tons of people who are in the same boat! It's depressing and people are very worried.

People are stressed out. How are they going to pay their bills? How can they keep up with house payments, car payments, utilities, put food on the table if times are so tough? I am stressed out, and I HAVE a job. I can only imagine what some of these people are going through... especially if they have a family to take care of.

The weather sucks. If you live in the state of Utah, you know how cold and snowy it has been lately. When I was dropped off at work the other day the temperature was seven degrees. Brr. No one enjoys being so cold and wet all the time. I don't.

Okay, here is where all this fits in...

When people get angry about life, they take it out on people who don't deserve it! I understand that they might be going through a lot, but that doesn't give them the right to talk to me as if I am an idiot who can't handle a different job (just because I work behind a register they assume I am stupid and can't take on a more difficult task).

Here is a list of the things that have happened to me this past week:

  • A lady didn't know how to use self check out, and didn't bag the items she was purchasing after she scanned them. She started huffing and puffing when the machine wouldn't let her scan more items. I explained to her that she needed to hit the "skip bagging" button if she didn't want to bag the items. Her comment? "You guys have the stupidest system!" Um... yeah... all self-checkouts do that. Not our fault you don't know what the hell your are doing.
  • One guy had a credit card that wouldn't read. The card was very worn, cracked, and there is no wonder the machine couldn't read it. The magnetic strip was next to nothing! Of course, it was *my* fault that the card wouldn't read, and the stores fault for buying such "crappy" machines. The guy was a moron.
  • I was helping a gentleman (I use that term loosely) with a rather large purchase and I asked for ID after getting his credit card. This is for *his* protection. Would he like it if someone stole his credit card and spent next to $900 for a bunch of stuff? Probably not. Instead of just showing me his drivers license he went into a rant telling me that I was being racist (he is white, I am white... didn't get that) and that I wasn't trusting him. I explained that all credit card purchases require proper identification, and he told me I was stupid. Yeah.
  • Old guy walks up in a nice suit, white shirt pressed and perfect, shoes shined, and says to me, "Here... this is your job." Actually sir, this is the self-checkout lane. It's YOUR job. If you don't want to use self-checkout, go to a different lane. Is it that hard to understand?
  • Yesterday a young woman walked up to the machine with an already present attitude problem. When she didn't bag her items she looked at me as if she wanted me dead and buried. Her mother was with her, and her mother didn't say a word. I couldn't believe the the attitude they both had. They were both dressed pretty well, and they were buying expensive stuff, so I got the impression that they felt they were "above" doing any work for themselves. Again, if you don't like self-checkout... don't use it. She sucked.
Here is a little reminder of how to operate self-checkouts... I wrote this a long time ago, but I think it's important to help me release all this pent-up anger with these horrible people... I wrote it after a busy Saturday at self-checkout...
Today I worked at a Self-Checkout aisle on a really busy Saturday. I have figured out a few things people should know about these handy little computers that save time... they only save time if you know what you are doing and pay attention.

Let me give everyone a quick little lesson in Self-Checkouts...

If you have a ton of items, and are frustrated quickly, Self-checkout is *not* for you. Self-checkout is fantastic if the store is super-busy. If you have just a few items and you don't want to stand in line behind people who have a million things in their shopping carts.

Press the "English" key for English. Press the "Spanish" key for Spanish. You might laugh as you read that, but you would be surprised at how hard it seems for people to grasp.

Scan your items. Seems simple, huh? Well, sometimes it's not. If the barcode on your item is small, covered with a sticker, or the label is missing you are not going to be able to scan the item. You are going to have to wait for someone to help you. Most self-checkouts have 1 attendant to 4 self-checkout machines... so be patient. Best thing to do is make sure your items have the barcodes on them when you place them in your cart. That way, there are no surprises.

After scanning the item, put the item in the bagging area. There is a reason for this. It's not "Stupid." The bagging area in the self-checkout has a scale in it. If you scan something really heavy, the scale will expect something really heavy. That little computerized scale knows how heavy everything is in the store. It will tell you to stop scanning if the item weight is wrong, or if the item was taken out of the bagging area.

I can't tell you how many times people start getting mad because they don't put the item in the bagging area. The scan it, then hold it. Then they reach for something else, and try to scan it... the computer won't let them because the computer is waiting for the 1st item's weight to register. It's not that hard, and it prevents theft... that is why the scales are there. The stores would lose too much money if the scales were turned off. Just deal with bagging the items, it's how it is.

Now, if you are shopping in a store that has HUGE items, the attendant can access a scan gun and scan the item for you so you don't have to lift it. When the attendant does this, he/she takes control over the checkout station. You will not have to put any items the attendant scans into the bagging area.

If you have a coupon, let the attendant know!!! Some self-checkouts allow the customer to put in the coupon, others require the attendant to get involved. If you scan your debit or credit card, it will be TOO LATE to enter your coupon. There is nothing the attendant or the store can do if you have already started the payment. Be aware of the coupons you have, and use them at the right time.

When you are done scanning items, click on "Finish & Pay." Many people stand there and scan their credit/debit cards over and over again getting angry that the machine isn't working... when in reality they are not telling the machine they are done. It's a very easy mistake to make, so don't get angry or frustrated if that happens.

If you are paying with cash, keep the bills face up... just like a soda machine. Here is a small tip for you. If you are using coins, put them in first. That way the machine will give you your change in bills instead of coin if possible. Trust me, it works.

Since self-checkouts are used so often, you might have to scan your credit or debit card a couple times for it to go through. Don't panic. The machine will not charge you twice if this is the case. If you are concerned, call the attendant over. If the credit card scanner isn't reading your card, they can enter it manually... if they do enter it manually, it will be processed as a credit card even if you have a debit card. Don't panic about that either. You won't even notice a difference in your bank statement.

Don't forget to take your change!!! This happens a lot, especially if people are busy/in a hurry and don't look for the bills that come out of the bill slot, which is sometimes under the scanner (a really bad place in my humble opinion). Double check that you got your money! Don't forget the receipt! If you have to return something without it, you might get stuck with a merchandise credit instead of cash!

Now, here is the deal. Shit happens, I am aware of that... I really am... happens to me all the time. Thing is, don't take your bad day out on the person trying to help you. If your coupon is expired, it's not the cashier's fault, is it? No. If the line was long and you were waiting and waiting... it's not the cashier's fault. They were the ones who showed up to work! They are the ones doing their best to help you out. Getting mad and huffy with them isn't going to make anything better... as a matter of fact, how helpful would you be to someone being rude to you for something that wasn't your fault?

People take out their daily frustrations on innocent people all the freaking time. I have seen it over and over again.

Today this guy pulled up to a self-checkout register and started pushing buttons, he didn't read the buttons, or listen to the voice prompting him to bag his items. He started getting frustrated when the machine would tell him to press the "Skip Bagging" button if he wasn't going to put the item in the bagging area. Then I, the attendant, had to press the security button over and over again because he didn't bag anything. He started getting angry, and I tried to explain to him what was going on. He wasn't listening to a word I said.

Other customers in the area were staring at him in horror and amusement as he started throwing his items back in his shopping cart and swearing that a "real person" needed to help him right now! He started pushing the void buttons, and I had to clear the security for the voided items... on my way over to assist him, he walked right into me... when I say walked right into me... I mean, WALKED RIGHT INTO ME. He saw me coming, he didn't move. He was angry and he wanted me to know it. He was a big guy, and I now have a small bruise on my shoulder to prove it.

Unfortunately for me we were insanely busy, and I didn't have the time to stop what I was doing to call my supervisor on his sorry ass. If I ever have this guy get nasty in my face again, and touch my body in any way, I will press charges. I will. Asshole. It's not my fault you don't know what you are doing... it's not my fault you can't read or listen. Ugh!!!

How can people get so angry over things that are so controllable? Just calm the hell down and pay attention.

Thanks guys... I needed to rant. I feel much better.


  1. purple-goat Says:

    Why do people who have no clue how to operate the self-checkouts try to use them?

    I'm sure that the only thing more annoying than being stuck in line behind someone with 40 items and no idea how to use the self-checkout is being the *store employee* who has to deal with someone like that. I'm sorry.


  1. j.catapano Says:

    I think Workrant is a great way to blow off some steam without getting fired. Unless, of course, your boss catches you on the site...In that case, it's a hell of way to go out!

    -Jared J. H. Catapano (