DJ (sohcahtoa_net) wrote in bad_service,

Am I a bad employee?

My girlfriend has been reading this community and customers_suck community for a long time. I just joined both of them today.

I'm a full-time attendant at the self-checkout registers at my store. Very often, I'll get customers that quite simply ignore the messages on the screen. For example, a customer will have a produce item, so they press the Produce button on the screen and begin to type in the PLU for it. However, they make a typo and press Cancel rather than Clear. This is understandable, as the Cancel button gets your attention more. But then the register gives the message (In both text and speech) "Please remove all objects or items from the scanner or wait for cashier assistance." Often, the customer will just stare at the message and ask me to clear it. The thing is, I CAN'T clear the message! Its not a matter of policy, its a matter of the software simply does not let me clear that message. The item MUST be taken off the scanner. So when the customer asks me to clear the message, I ask them, in a very polite tone, "What does the message say?" I'm not trying to accuse them of being stupid or anything, I'm just honestly trying to get them to read and obey the instructions of the machine.

Pretty much, that's my usual habit while working the self-checkout registers. If the machine is giving you an instruction and you're not following it, I'm not going to tell you what to do. I'm going to tell you to look at the machine and do what it's telling you to do. I try not to be rude about it, but in my opinion, the whole point of self-checkout is to not have to deal with a cashier. I understand there are many cases where cashier intervention is required, and I'll glady take care of those. But if all your problems with the machine are caused by you simply ignoring the instructions from the machine (Or sometimes, even from me), then I don't think you deserve my help. Yes, I understand that its my job to help you, but if you can't follow an instruction as simple as "Please place the item in the bag" then I don't think you have the mental capacity to go through the self-checkout.

Now, I want everyone to understand here that I don't look at everyone who has problems with self-checkout as an idiot that can't figure it out. The bagging area acts as a scale and weighs every item you scan. If the weight of the item doesn't match the weight the computer expects, it will tell you to wait for cashier assistance. This is common for items that have barcodes, but will often weigh differently. For example, a bag of ice, a large bag of pet food, or pre-weighed bags of produce items such as potatoes and onions. In cases like those, its not your fault and I clear the message. Also, some produce items are odd shaped and don't fit completely on the scanner, such as really long celery stalks. The scanner won't pick up the proper weight and so when you place it in the bag, it'll weigh just slightly more than what the scanner picked up. No problem...I clear that and you actually get a couple ounces of celery for free.

But when you start placing your bags into your shopping cart before you've paid despite the fact that I've told you three times that the bags MUST remain on the bagging area until you've paid, you've crossed the line of "not knowing how to use it" and entered the realm of "idiot that doesn't listen to instructions." I a bad employee?
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