Everyone has witnessed the pissed off customer, the one who swears and yells at the young girl behind the counter because she rang up his milk twice by accident or the woman who becomes infuriated because she can’t use a coupon that expired in ’96. I have witnessed this first hand during my 3 years as a cashier
My worst experience was at Island Hardware and Rental one early Saturday morning. It was a really nice summer day and I was the only cashier on duty. A short stocky man came up to me with 12 packages of light bulbs. I rang up his things, handed him his instant rebates, and sent him on his way. Two seconds after I handed him his receipt he swung his head around and started yelling that I had rang up his light bulbs the wrong way and now he refused to pay the difference. I didn’t know what to do; a long line was building up behind him. I was panicking because I’ve never been embarrassed like this before in front of so many people. Screaming at the top of his lungs he called me every name in the book telling me how incompetent I was, that I couldn’t even do simple tasks right. His face turned bright red, the veins in his neck and forehead started to bulge out, and it looked like he was going to die right in front of me. Inside my head I was definitely flipping him off, but on the outside I was giving him the retail smile. Hearing this clamor my manager came to my rescue and took the guy to the side. After about 20 minutes of them politely discussing things, he was nice to her but he had to scream at me; she finally gave up and did it his way. The worst part of this whole experience was that I got screamed at, sworn at, and embarrassed for only a thirty-five cent difference. Thirty-five freaking cents!
At the beginning of my experience with this guy I was ready to take off 10% just so he would be happy with his purchase, and a little bit of it was so he would just leave, but at the end I wanted to take his 35 cents and shove it where the sun don’t shine. My philosophy is if you’re going to be rude, I’ll be rude. If you’re going to be difficult, I’ll be difficult. I can either take 10% off for your troubles, or tell you there isn’t anything I can do for you, when we both know there is. The moral of this whole story is that being a cashier I have learned that help comes to those who deserve it. In life running around yelling and stomping your feet doesn’t get you anywhere. The way to get the most out of life is to be kind to everyone. I believe kindness is the key to success in life.
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