11 Things Store Cashiers Secretly Wish You Would Stop Doing
Every job comes with its own set of nuisances and for store cashiers, these are it.
Don’t get in line until you’re done shopping
During rush hour at the grocery store, it can be tempting to put your cart in a checkout line while you pop out and grab your last few items. Maria Camby, a current grocery store employee, asks that you gather all of the items you need before getting in line. “It ends up really slowing down the checkout line and the people behind your cart in line often get annoyed.” It’s also one of the 13 rudest things people do at the grocery store.
Put your phone away
Unless it’s an emergency, phone conversations can wait. “Whenever a customer is on their phone during checkout, the process takes much longer,” says Jay Reid, a supermarket cashier. “Either they’re not paying attention when it’s time to pay or they want to change something about their order after they’ve been rung up and we have to start the process over again.”
Have those coupons ready
You’re trying to save money and those handy coupons you’ve clipped can add up to big savings. But make sure you have them out and ready to go. “I’ve had a long checkout line stacked up because a customer is digging through their bag trying to find coupons at the bottom,” says Melanie Carson, a grocery store cashier. “I’m happy to honor your coupons, but try not to keep other customers waiting, if you can.” Besides, the savviest shoppers know the best grocery store coupons are on their phones.
And another thing about coupons
Rules on coupons may vary from store to store and many don’t accept expired coupons. “Again, happy to honor current coupons, but the store I work at doesn’t allow for any that are expired,” says Carson. “I’ve had shoppers try to argue their way into having me accept it anyway. I can’t. I’m just doing my job.”
Don’t haggle set prices
Whether it’s a department store, grocery store or any place else that sells goods with set prices, don’t try to negotiate a better deal with the cashier. “You wouldn’t believe have many customers have tried to haggle over the price of an item,” says Morgan Winter, who has worked in retail for over a decade. Instead, try these methods of saving money at the grocery store.
Sales tax isn’t optional
Cashiers don’t set the sales tax, so do not ask them if there’s a workaround. “A customer asked if I would not charge tax if they paid cash,” says Jessica Lee, recalling one of her experiences while working in retail. “I don’t control the price of the products and I definitely don’t control the sales tax.”
Don’t ask them to break the law
“In New York, it used to be illegal to buy alcohol before noon on Sunday,” recalls Sarah Shaw, who worked at a grocery store during high school. “Since our registers were digital, and had built-in clocks, it wouldn’t let me ring it up. People would get really mad over that one, especially if it was close to noon.”
Treat cashiers the way you want to be treated
Just because they are in a customer service role doesn’t mean that the customer can insult or yell at a cashier (or anyone for that matter). “People would make demeaning comments about my intelligence like I was stupid because I was working a register,” says Shaw.
Smaller bills are appreciated
“I was a cashier at a pizza place in high school,” says Megan Molloy. “Every so often a customer would try to pay for their $12 pizza with a $50 or $100 bill. Since it was a small pizza place, we often wouldn’t have enough small bills to give them and still have enough change for the rest of the night.” Grocery store employees don’t love these bad customer habits.
Coins can create chaos
Several of the cashiers we spoke with expressed frustration with customers paying entirely in coins. Coins are indeed currency, but maybe count them out before it’s your turn to pay—and leave your penny collection at home.
Get real about returns
If you think you’re pulling one over on a cashier trying to return well-worn socks, clothes and other items, think again. “Sometimes store policy requires us to accept returns that are obviously used,” says Winter. “It’s really bad form to return something that you’ve already gotten plenty of use from.” If you’re ever worried about returning an item, you should take advantage of Costco’s incredible return policy.