How to Make a Customer Grumpy!

It felt like it happened 67 times this week!  In reality it was probably 5 – but it was enough to make me a little cranky and appreciate my credit card a lot more.  Warning:  rant coupled with sarcasm ahead.  Why, why, why do cashiers hand you your change with the coins on top of the bills and a gigantic receipt smothering it all??  Who taught them this cruel and unusual punishment and where can he be found?  For the purposes of this outburst, I’m mostly speaking to females who do not typically have a pants pocket readily available to shove handfuls of stuff.

The situation usually goes down like this:  The cashier pulls the change out of the drawer according to the monitor, ALWAYS careful to put the coins under the cash in hand due to the obvious ergonomic sensibility of it, of course.  Then she turns smiling to surrender it to you in a heap.  As you accept this wad of thoughtlessness, you usually have your wallet (complete with pockets barely the size of a dollar bill and a teeny tiny zipper for change) in one hand and are trying to collect the cash in the other – so you either accidentally drop the change all over the place or have to re-set down all of your personal items to separate the mess with both hands while both the cashier and the person waiting behind you impatiently stare at the predicament as if it’s your fault.

Are cashiers aliens from the planet Never Received Change in Cash Before?  By my calculations, anyone old enough to be a cashier has likely paid with cash and received change before – so why the sudden and inconsiderate memory lapse?  Is it a conspiracy to make me feel uncoordinated?  I have promoted myself to Miss Manners today, and would like to say for the record that the proper way to provide change in cash is to offer the coins first, the bills second (which makes mathematical sense when counting back change – but since no one knows how to do this properly anymore I’ll stick to ergonomics), and then a verbal request as to where the customer would like the receipt, “with you or in the bag?”

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, it’s time to highlight the fact that this isn’t just annoying – it’s not a good customer service practice.  When we talk about empathy, anticipating needs, and being considerate, this is a perfect example of why it is important to be mindful.  An otherwise great experience can become exasperating when it ends in frustration over something so simple.  Put yourself in the customer’s position and be thoughtful with how you interact.

Well, I feel better!  Hopefully you were at least entertained!  Does this make anyone else crazy?


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