bellefior (bellefior) wrote in bad_service,

Sorry, But I Am Not Psychic...

Friday afternoon, I went to the supermarket to pick up about a dozen items needed for a last minute recipe we decided to add in to our  Easter Dinner.  I get the items I need quickly and pick a line where there is one person in it and the bagger is done bagging a couple of items, so I figure this will be really quick.  Boy was I ever wrong.

The cashier isn't paying attention to me, but is busy chit-chatting with the guy who is leaving the line.  I'm busy putting all my stuff on the belt but overheard their entire conversation as I was emptying my basket.  By the time they were done, I  knew what both of them were having for Easter dinner (his mother was cooking lasagna), where she was going for her Easter Dinner, and the fact that he had dyed Easter Eggs the night before with his kids.  She starts scanning my items, still without saying a word or even paying attention to me, still talking to the guy, who finally leans over the counter, gives her a kiss, and wishes her a happy Easter.  As  my items are being scanned, another woman comes into the line, looks at the cashier, and says, what happened to my breadcrumbs?

Come to find out, that she had stepped out of the line, gone back to pick up one other item on the shelf, and by the time she had come back, the cashier was now scanning my stuff and had mixed up our orders.  There were no groceries on the belt when I got there, nor was there a stick dividing the orders on the line, absolutely nothing to indicate to me that there was someone in line in front of me or that the what the bagger was bagging when I got to the line belonged to anyone other than the guy who she was talking up a storm to.  I will say that after we figured out there was a problem I then noticed a half empty bottle of water (which belonged to the woman who came back into the line because she ultimately paid for it) near the credit card machine, but not something you would immediately notice and something you would have assumed someone had just left behind.  The cashier didn't say to me before she started scanning my stuff, hey someone stepped out of the line to get something, I have to wait for them to come back and then I will start scanning your order, to which I would have said, no problem, I can wait.  I also should add that I looked absolutely nothing like the woman whose order had been mixed up with mine, and she was also a lot older than me.  (And now that I think about you would think a cashier would maybe wonder why someone who went out of the line to get one item has suddenly come back with a dozen?)

Here is where the bad service starts.  Even though the cashier was the one who was not paying attention, she starts to act like its my fault that my items have been mixed up with the other woman's order, despite the fact that there were no items on the belt in front of me, no divider, and I had no humanly possible way of knowing that someone stepped out of the line to grab one more item.  Unfortunately, I'm not a mindreader. I had assumed that the guy who she was talking to (who it turns out was an off duty manager) was the customer before me and there was no one else in front of me, which I think most people would have assumed under the same circumstances.   She cops an attitude with me trying to make it seem like the mix-up is all my fault and letting me know it, until I finally open my mouth and say to her very politely and matter of factly, well, you know, I had no way of knowing that the gentleman that was in front of me that you were so busy chit-chatting to wasn't the last customer in front of me, and that someone else had stepped out of the line and you were waiting for them to come back. (I'm also debating with myself as to whether or not I want to ask for a manager because of the attitude she was giving me).  I  tell the other customer who had come back that her missing items were probably mixed in with my order.  Now even though I was very polite when I pointed all of this out to the cashier, it seemed just to piss her off even more that I pointed out it was her inattention that had caused the mixup.  She now she figures out she has to get a manager over to void everything, separate the orders, and ring them through again. 

Thank goodness that there was a manager in the front end, and that the person in front of me only had three items.  The cashier explains what happened, and also the fact that she had been talking to Joe Shmo, the off duty manager. The manager quickly voids everything, then the cashier scans the other customer's items, finishes with her and starts scanning my order.   You can still tell the cashier is supremely annoyed at me, and even though I say thank you to her as I pay and grab my bags, she doesn't say one single word to me at all.  (I think that may have been what irritated me most of all.  After everything that just happened fake a thank you if you have to.) 

As I was leaving the store, the manager comes over to me  and thanks me for being so patient.  I tell her no problem, but I also ask her
if she is a manager.  She confirms it, and then I tell her what happened.  I also told her that I wasn't upset about the mix-up in the orders, we all make mistakes, but what I didn't like was that the cashier gave me attitude and acted like it was my fault when she was the one who wasn't paying attention because she was too busy having a social hour in the line.  The manager said to me, "well, now that's a surprise" and said it in such a way that led me to believe this isn't the first time someone has had the issue with the cashier.  It was also clear that this was not a new cashier either.  She said to me that she would take her aside at the appropriate time and speak to her.

I was really on the fence about speaking to a manager, and felt a little badly about it (especially being that it was Good Friday), but had the cashier even made the slightest attempt to apologize for the mix-up (hey, I'm sorry, but I will make sure this is taken care of right away, sorry for the inconvenience, anything even remotely close to that) rather than trying to blame me for something I had no possible way of knowing without being a psychic, I probably would have let the whole thing slide. I'm curious to see what others would have done in this circumstance?
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