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Is it just me . . . ?

I go into a local fast/casual burger place today. They have two registers with signs over them that say "Order Here," but there isn't an employee at either register. I go to the register closest to me, and wait. Someone finally notices me, greets me, and, as I start to place my order, says, "I'll take you order at this other register, sir."

"Why can't we use this register?" I ask.

"This is my register, sir. I have to use this one."

"That might be your register, but I'm here," sez I. And the blank stare ensues.

And, if you mention it to a manager, they completely miss the point of customer service, and prattle on about logging in, and register accounting, and passwords, etc.

Is it just me?

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  1. I don't find that weird at all, and I agree that employees use specific registers for specific reasons.
    It's a fast food burger joint. You are standing there. Take two steps.
    If you don't like the "prattle" go somewhere else.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      I agree w/ wyogal. It's not a hassle. Happens often up here when cash drawers aren't counted yet, or not even in, certain registers...or when a register's malfunctioning. No big.

    2. <And the blank stare ensues.>

      That is funny.

      <Is it just me?>

      I say it is just you.

      The point is that I agree with the cashier. He/she is assigned to use a specific one, and is not allowed to randomly use one. In the bigger picture, it takes significantly less effort for you to go to another register, than for him/her to switch. He/she may not have the key for the other registers. He/she may have all his past transition recorded there. Tons of tons of reasons.

      Maybe we should do a poll and see how many people agree with you vs how many agree with the cashier.

      I voted for the cashier.

      1. Yes it's just you. Having worked in a grocery store where we were indeed "assigned" cash registers, I know that the guy was not full of shit. They assign them because at the end of the day, the drawers are counted and if the money doesn't match up to sales, they know who is responsible.

        So, my vote is for the cashier. You're sounding very entitled.

        5 Replies
        1. re: juliejulez

          Ditto. Once upon a time as a cashier in college, I remember well having to count out my drawer when I punched in, and count it again when I punched out. Had someone else used my register when I was signed on to it, I would have been blamed had it been off at the end of the day. If I went on break, my register was locked until I could sign back onto it.

          What I WISH places like this would do, is put up a "This register closed" or "Next register please" sign so that customers don't stand there waiting for service in the wrong place. It's a minor inconvenience, but it does make the customer feel a bit awkward, and it could easily be remedied with minimal effort by putting out a sign by the unavailable register. Grocery stores do this, but I hate standing around wondering where I'm supposed to be during the slack times at my Rite-Aid, when the one cashier on duty is stocking/straightening shelves until you're ready to check out.

          1. re: juliejulez

            Feeling very old. Growing up my father owned a chain of clothing stores. When they switched (1962) from a cashier's office with pneumatic tubes carrying sales slips and money to and from the wrap desks to cash registers on the sales floor, they installed large National Cash Register brand machines that had 8 cash drawers. Each employee working in a department on a particular shift rang up sales but could only open their own drawer and were responsible for it.

            So a customer could pay any employee in a particular department at the wrap desk.

            Later on (1970s) we got Sweda cash registers that had only one drawer, but keys for each employee to ring their own sales. The store absorbed minor losses during a shift. It was much cheaper than the cost of keeping $100 tied up in each of 8 cash drawers in 10-20 departments in 15 stores.

            1. re: juliejulez

              I wouldn't say southocean is entitled, but perhaps unaware of what can happen. I once worked in a high-paced bar, some stations were slammed and the new guy's rail was slow, and w/o warning or permission he'd jump in to "help" us out with the cash while we were mixing. within a week he was fired as ALL the tills weren't counting out right after every shift he was on from day one, so sorry yes, if I ever do work a register again, I want others to keep their mitts off it. (he was also AWOL from the Navy so we got to see the MP's cart him off in the middle of a Friday night service!)

              1. re: hill food

                I said entitled because even though the cashier told him that he had to use the register he was at, southocean still thought the cashier should have moved... instead of taking 2 steps over himself.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  don't get me wrong, I'd have stepped over as well. nothing worth getting into a (fill-in-the-blank) over.

                  but what IS fun (like this morning stopping for a coke) 2 clerks, no waiting and feeling like the subject of a bidding war (small-town life)!

            2. Yup. I've run a register before and to take over one in use would involve cashing the drawer out. Heck of a lot easier for you to move a couple steps than wait 10 minutes for that to happen.

              1. I'm going to go with "it's you".
                You could have walked yourself over to the other register in a fraction of the time it took you to rant about this online.

                Like the cashier needs 'tude whist making minimum wage.

                1 Reply
                1. re: monavano

                  I'm going to go with "it's you".
                  You could have walked yourself over to the other register in a fraction of the time it took you to rant about this online.

                  or pose the retort......"That might be your register, but I'm here," sez I. And the blank stare ensues

                2. Thus far the poll is:

                  wyogal: Employee
                  Pinehurst: Employee
                  Chemicalkinetics: Employee
                  juliejulez: Employee
                  Hobbert: Employee

                  We will continue to monitor the poll. :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Love that you showed up with a poll. Now if paulj can show up with some well-documented research, we'll be set. Count me for employee. Trying to belittle a worker most likely making minimum wage isn't cool. I say that with respect to the OP, but if you can't feel empathy for the guy, search for some sympathy.

                    1. That's the way it is at our local Panera. Each worker is stationed at a specific register. They have to sign in and out on that register. I don't find your encounter unusual. I do admit that fast food places sometimes don't do a good job indicating which registers are open--I'm lookin' at you Panera! But usually you can figure it out. It doesn't sound like the employee was rude to you. The "prattle" in this case is your explanation.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sueatmo

                        I can't fathom escalating this non infraction to a manager.
                        I'd be standing there with a blank stare too, thinking "what an a$shat".

                        1. re: monavano

                          +1 (just for using the term as$hat....lol)

                      2. Yes, it is just you.
                        Some businesses have a separate cash drawer that slips into the register for each employee, so balancing the drawer is more accurate. If that's where his cash drawer is, that's where he must ring you up.
                        Even if they use a communal cash drawer, he's probably logged in electronically to the one register for all his transactions.
                        I've worked in retail, and worked as a bank teller handling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash. I would absolutely not want another employee messing about in my register, or under my log in.
                        Customer service doesn't mean changing your accounting practices so a customer doesn't have to walk four feet..

                        1. Yup, it's just you! It's a fast/casual burger place. Lots of hard rules for the inexperienced help they hire.
                          It's obvious as to the reason for assigned registers. I can explain if need be.

                          1. Is it a hardship to take two steps sideways?

                            1. Yes, it's just you. If you don't mind my asking, what was the point of addressing it with the manager? It seems like the employee was polite, and simply following the rules. It also seems like the manager tried to explain why so I don't understand the problem.

                              1. I think they just need to make it more clear what registers are open and that the right person is standing behind it.

                                1. They are most likely 'logged' into a specific register.

                                  1. Sorry to say it's you. In my younger days, I was that cashier. Your bad attitude is not useful and in the time it took to complain, you could have moved over and taken care of business. Not cool to blame the min wage employee for company policy. Not to mention that the entitled behavior puts a damper on everyone's day.

                                    1. It has been eons since I worked at a cash register, long before the days of passwords and logging in, but still, at any chain or relatively high volume shop, an employee will be assigned to a specific register. When you begin your shift, you start with a certain amount of cash, which you count, and the register records your sales for the day. At the end of your shift you have to count out the remaining cash, and it all has to add up: your starting cash, ending cash, cash sales, checks, credit sales. By assigning one employee to one register, the business is able to hold that employee accountable for those transactions, and for making sure that the cash in the register at the end of the shift is what it is supposed to be. If you watch the employees in your grocery store, you might notice that when one takes over for another at a certain register, they bring in a new till. This is why.

                                      16 Replies
                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        Yes, it's been decades but when I worked at McD's, I would have been fired if my register was under or over $1 more than once.

                                        Adding to which, customers used to get irate over policies like that, or price. Hey, I was making minimum wage and wearing polyester, I obviously was not the decision maker!

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          < I would have been fired if my register was under or over $1 more than once. >

                                          Dumb but honest question. Would you really get fired if you are OVER $1?

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            I can jump in here from my experience; yes, at the retail place I worked, they made no distinction if you were over or under. Mistakes were mistakes. And they definitely did not want us screwing the customers.

                                            1. re: Cachetes

                                              That is true. I was thinking just that after I posted. In one case, they worry that you lose the company money. In the other case, they worry that you mess up the customers. Still, maybe it is just me. $1 seem very little. Thanks.

                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              Keep in mind this was in the 70's so $1 was a lot more back then but yes, they would. If you can't make change when the machine tells you how much to give, you're not a great worker. They don't want a profit at the expense of screwing over the customer.

                                              1. re: chowser

                                                I can see that you will get yelled at, but do you really get fired. The reason I asked is that I know people who messed up the registering and get yelled at by their bosses. Pretty bad yelling, but they were not fired.

                                                Is McDonald that hardcore?

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  Not yelled at. That would never happen, at least where I worked. It was objective. McD's was VERY hardcore when I worked there, at least that franchise. We had six steps of selling and if we left one out when managers were watching, we'd be talked to about it. No one yelled, no one was condescending but we were told we forgot to xxxx. We had to take tests on each station (I still remember that sundaes get 4 oz of ice cream, 1 ox of nuts) before we could work them. And, they were pretty detailed where you have to study to learn it, eg. temp fries are cooked at, when to shake them, how long they take. And, there were surprise visits. Once I gave a family too many napkins, turned out to be a surprise visit (I was trying to be helpful through drive thru and noticed a family so I gave them a couple of extra napkins. The rule is one napkin per sandwich. The manager pulled me aside, told me all the things I did right and then mentioned the napkin. I'm thinking the owners were anal retentive but they had a well run store. I was paid well, as minimum wage-type jobs go, for it, made extra for passing more exams, doing well at surprise tests, etc. I haven't been to a McD's in a decade but I'm guessing it's not the same as it was back then.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    <Not yelled at. That would never happen, at least where I worked.>

                                                    Isn't that worse? They just fired you. I don't know. I would rather get yelled at than to lose my job.

                                                    < I haven't been to a McD's in a decade>

                                                    Someone need to go and get Fish McBites. :)

                                                    P.S.: When I said that I know people who get yelled at, I don't mean McDonald. It was some mom and pop store.

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                      No. I would leave a job if I were yelled at. I don't buy into the Gordon Ramsey Hell's Kitchen model. If I'm told I'm off by a certain amount for a certain number of times and am warned each time, when it happens, I'd expect it. An employee who is that off on details (keep in mind that $1 in the 70's was quite a lot of money to be off) often is probably not that detailed in other matters. It was never unexpected and you were told if your register was off. If you can't handle change, then you need another job. But, just because you're bad at addition doesn't mean you should be yelled at.

                                                      Fish McBites? Sometimes I feel so out of the mainstream, like when I noticed Oreos come in more than just regular and double stuff.

                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                        Sorry folks but we removed a sub-thread on graduate school. Please remember to keep the focus on the chow, thanks.

                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                CK - oh yes, my exp. wasn't McD's and we wouldn't have been fired, but we would have been docked serious pay if off by pennies + or -.

                                                1. re: hill food

                                                  <but we would have been docked serious pay if off by pennies + or -.>

                                                  That's more like what I heard.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    Being fired for over/short drawers is not at all uncommon. One place I worked at( in the last ten years) policy was you were fired if the drawer was over/short three times in a quarter - even if it was just a penny each time. This was a rather large chain.

                                                    It boggles my mind at the attitude some cashiers have when I nicely try to give them back the the change they mistakenly gave me. They seem insulted. I'd be appreciative as hell that someone helped me keep my till accurate in the same circumstance.

                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                      Interesting. Thank you and chowser's informative answers.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        In my observations the lower the wage the more draconian the policies.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          I have to add, too, that it was one factor to being fired but not a draconian measure. A good worker who was off was probably given more leeway than one who goofed off all the time, chronically late, etc, though I have no proof. I thought I was pretty accurate but was surprised once to notice the register totals once and I was off by more than I would have thought (can't remember the details anymore) but no one ever mentioned it. I was probably their hardest working employee.

                                            3. It happens at department stores, chain stores, etc. You come up to some part of the counter, and there is a register, but no one is there.

                                              An employee finally comes up to help you, and they say 'I will help you over here' - and YOU have to move to where they are. So wierd.

                                              I don't get why they don't just WALK over to where you are, pick up your stuff (or take your order), and then WALK back to ring it up where they need to - why do you have to move?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                Well, since they need to have your items at their register to ring them up, and they need to have your credit card swiped at that register, or your cash received there... I think they assume (rather reasonably, imho) that you would prefer to stay with your items and your card or cash, as opposed to having them take everything and then come back with your change.

                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                  I suppose if one wanted to be obstinate one could just stand there and conduct one's business from the other side of the counter. But what for.

                                                  1. Yep, it's you, sorry. I was a cashier at one point, and they counted out my drawer every evening. There was a strict limit by far how I could deviate from the correct amount (either for or against the customer - they didn't want mistakes in either direction) before I got reprimanded.

                                                    1. Oh. My. God. They want you to take a couple steps. This is the downfall of customer services as we know it!

                                                      Yes, it really is just you. At least, I hope that's the case.

                                                      1. One more vote for 'It's just you'.

                                                          1. ..............and the verdict is??????????

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. Sometimes when on CH I see posts about all kinds of crazy things that are obvious cultural differences between US Americans and Australians. I see long ensuing (passionate!) discussions over things that no-one would bat an eyelid at over here. I've often felt puzzled, but have come to understand that it is a cultural difference and the way of life in the US is very different to that in Australia.

                                                              But seriously, this time I am baffled. I really have no idea how being politely asked to move to a register that can only be a few paces away be labelled as missing the point of customer service. There are many times I accept that standards of service are very, very different in the US (indeed, I remember being overwhelmed by crazy servers in the US when I was young LOL), but this just seems over the top.

                                                              I'm voting in favour of the employee.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                This is not a cultural difference. This is not about Americans. This is about a particular individual that was "inconvenienced" by having to move to another register. As you can tell, there really is no debate thus far; if you would notice, there are not Americans lining up to defend this particular individual's behavior.

                                                                1. re: wyogal

                                                                  Definitely agree. This is not an Aussie/U.S. thing. I actually thought it was some sort of ironic joke posting.

                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                    Sorry, I wasn't meaning to make it about Americans as such, more that sometimes I am interested in the cultural differences that I see between us - particularly when eating out I see big differences in standards and expectations. I don't often speak up in such threads because it becomes evident to me that there are factors at play I just don't understand. My intention was to make it more about my misunderstanding, not a potshot at perceived differences or similarities. I'm sorry if it was perceived as such.

                                                                    1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                      This is not about cultural differences. I'll bet there are rude people in Australia, too.

                                                                2. Sorry, but just you. Chances are if there are three registers and only one cashier, there's only one register with money in it. The others may be empty, not online, etc. Sure the cashier should pay attention to their register, but they may not be able to take an order at another one.

                                                                  One evening at a grocery store, there was only one register open. It was unusually busy for that late and the line was six deep. The cashier was working his tail off - fast as he could. After a few minutes an unpleasant older gentleman went over to another register and just stood there. Eventually people lined up behind him. When an employee happened by, he shouted, "Can we get some service here?" They hopped to, but the register was empty. They had to call a manager, who had to open the safe, etc. etc. Meanwhile the open line continued to steadily move and we got out of there before he did.

                                                                  1. Wow. I think that this may be a first on Chowhoud. We have a thread whose theme is "Is it only me who..." and the answer is a universal "Yes, it is only you and other equally oblivious people who feel this way."

                                                                    1. No, no, no it's not you at all...............(psyche!!!)

                                                                      I just wanted you to feel like you had a supporter, but I'm sorry, I do agree with the crowd, yes it is just you.

                                                                      1. I'm going to give a little benefit of the doubt to southocean and I don't want to pile on. Southie has clearly never worked in a retail setting for minimum wage like many others have. I recall a summer job when I had to tie out my til to the sold merchandise to the penny. Any difference had to be written up. Every day that tied out completely was a small victory. Thank goodness I don't have to do that anymore. Southie just didn't know what the reasons are that tie an individual to a particular register. He thought the store employees were being unreasonable and based on his knowledge, they were. But now he has been enlightened and knows better and won't make the same mistake again. We all have our mistaken assumptions that only get corrected through learning more. Happens to me all the time.


                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                          <I'm going to give a little benefit of the doubt to southocean>

                                                                          I also gave him the benefit of the doubt too. In fact, I think most responsers did.

                                                                          <Southie just didn't know what the reasons are that tie an individual to a particular register. >

                                                                          I think that is the key. I don't think southocean would blame the cashier had he knew that an individual is tied to a particular register in a very deep way. It is much more than the cashier walking from one register to another.

                                                                          Still at the end of the day the question remains: "Is it just me (or the cashier?)" Which demand was tougher to satisfy? Was it easier for southocean to walk over to a new register or was it easier for the cashier to open a new register?

                                                                          Again, I never thought southocean was intentionally being difficult toward the cashier, but I do think his demand was (un-intentionally) difficult.

                                                                            1. re: Bkeats

                                                                              <<And, if you mention it to a manager, they completely miss the point of customer service, and prattle on about logging in, and register accounting, and passwords, etc.>>

                                                                              Register accounting? Sounds as if he understood on some level. ~ Also sounds like this was not his first rodeo.

                                                                            2. I hope you are being comically ironic and not just trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. If we were to film this and I'm the director I have you stay at your register and the employee stay at his and he takes your order. I'd have you make eye contact with an imaginary employee at your register. Hopefully the real employee is far enough from you that you both have to yell to complete the order. Perhaps this could be done with a hidden camera and we cold put it on youtube. I applaud your moxie and hope you stayed with your register.

                                                                              If you are actually annoyed it may just be you, and while I wouldn't be bothered by this situation, customer service in general has been going down for years.


                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                That's awesome. I could see Larry David playing the customer. Not sure anyone else could pull that off.

                                                                                1. re: donovt

                                                                                  Absolutely Larry David. With him it could be turned into an entire 30 min episode. Arguing with the manager, almost getting into fisticuffs with another patron, it's the principle of the matter, a cop gets involved and of course a call from his mother while he's getting handcuffed.

                                                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                    JB - who was in line first and for which cashier?

                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                      the customer for the extant-cashier or the meta-cashier?

                                                                                  2. re: donovt

                                                                                    Zach Galifinakis (or however you spell it)

                                                                                    1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                      Yes! He would be another good choice. I'm sure there are others. We must have a casting call. I think I still have Jim Carey's number.

                                                                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                        No, I don't think Jim Carey can do it.... He is way too "in your face"

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          It would be a very different film with Jim. Just imagine him saying, "This is MY REGISTER!" Long slow head turn to employee. "And. I'm. Not. Movin...Got it?"

                                                                                          We ahve to be open to all casting options.

                                                                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                            <"This is MY REGISTER!" Long slow head turn to employee. "And. I'm. Not. Movin...Got it?">

                                                                                            Ha ha ha. That is very funny. Now, I can kind of see how it may work. It would be a very different film as you have accurately pointed out.

                                                                                2. It's you. If you want better service, go to a better place and pay more.

                                                                                  1. It is just you.
                                                                                    I've worked in both retail and food service for years. Basically, that employee needs to stay on their dedicated register for accounting purposes described upthread. I've worked at a retail outlet with a policy that if the cash in register is off by more than four dollars, it puts you at risk for termination. So please don't think that employee was messing with you, they're just trying to do their job.

                                                                                      1. Hey southie, don't let the responses get you down. Chalk it up to one of those pesky learning experiences. Just keep on posting and asking your questions. Just helps make your hide thicker.

                                                                                        1. I get it, Southocean. You'd like the employees of a business in which you are actively seeking to spend money to at least pretend that they value you as a customer and want to make your experience there as easy and pleasant as possible. You do not want them to act like you are a burden or a nuisance, or like your desire to get a burger quickly from a fast-food burger joint is a logistical problem you need to sort out together.

                                                                                          I don't blame the cashier for your frustration, and totally understand the many reasons why he had to request that you change queues. But, on the whole, the economics of the fast/casual/cheap corporate restaurant don't allow for the staff to get the training, encouragement, compensation, responsibility, or potential for advancement that would lead to really great customer service, and that sucks for the staff and the customer. So, in that sense, it's not just you...Sounds like it was a pretty lousy day for Mr. Hello-My-Name-Is-Blank-Stare, too.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ninrn

                                                                                            < But, on the whole, the economics of the fast/casual/cheap corporate restaurant don't allow for the staff to get the training, encouragement, compensation, responsibility, or potential for advancement that would lead to really great customer service,>

                                                                                            Your general comment is not incorrect. It is correct in general. However, for this specific case though, the cashier won't able to move to a new cash register with or without training or encouragement. To be honest though, it is exactly because he has training that he knew that he could not move to another cash register. He could be the nicest cashier and he still would have trouble to move. I don't believe this has to do with fast foods. I had been to a few high end stores, and I had been told "Mister. I can help you over here (e.g. please move to this cash register here)."

                                                                                            1. re: ninrn

                                                                                              Ow, I worked fast food and worked hard because it was my job. It's kind of a slap in the face of fast food workers to think they're all just sucky employees.

                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                Chowser -- I've had tons of jobs like that, too, and I'm not in any way saying everybody (or anybody) in fast food is a sucky employee. I'm saying things are set up so you can't give people the kind of service and attention they might have gotten in a mom and pop spot fifty years ago. There just isn't the time or the freedom in those settings to do things the old-fashioned way. Staff doesn't get trained as well as they would have once, and a lot of places sort of beat down their employees to the point where they really just want to crank out the food and get the hell out. People are mean to you from all directions, and the customers starts to feel like the enemy sometimes. The whole thing does not make for an ideal dining experience, so you can see why someone might ask 'whatever happened to customer service?'.

                                                                                                ChemicalKinetics -- Maybe my last comment doesn't quite apply to the cash register situation, but it didn't seem to me that Southocean's post was just prompted by a disinclination to move over five feet and use another register. It seemed to have more to do with the whole customer-staff dynamic of the place. And maybe this particular situation is not about training or encouragement, but maybe it's a little bit about the trust/responsibility employees are accorded? At a popular locally-owned diner here, all the staff can use all the registers. They're extremely busy -- busier than the McDonald's up the road --, but they don't have the same level of staff turnover and they know they can trust all the staff members to use any of the eight registers. Everybody who works there gets health benefits after a year and can opt into a profit-sharing plan after being there two years. Not realistic for a mega-corporation cranking out ultra-cheap non-food, or for a national department store, but that kind of workplace culture and employee investment makes for more relaxed and better customer service.

                                                                                                1. re: ninrn

                                                                                                  <the objections roll in...>

                                                                                                  Yep, the objections did roll in, but they are not personal. Just trying to say that the reason that the cashier cannot move is because he has his own cash register. I am not sure if that is equivalent to "bad customer service"

                                                                                                  <At a locally-owned diner I used to live near, all the staff could use all the registers. They're extremely busy -- busier than the McDonald's up the road>

                                                                                                  Yes, I have seen that, but that is more of a locally owned thing. I have definitely seen mom and pop stores where the cashiers can open up more than one register. So I don't doubt what you said.

                                                                                                  <Not realistic for a mega-corporation cranking out ultra-cheap non-food, but that kind of workplace culture makes for great customer service.>

                                                                                                  I don't think it is because of ultra cheap non-food...etc. It really comes down to if the company assigns the cashiers to their specific/dedicated cash registers, and I have seen this in ultra expensive places too.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    Woops, you responded as I was still editing. I took that out because it sounded too bitter and dopey. Thanks for clarifying, though. Clearly I am not up to date on all the limitations of the modern cash register.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        At last, a suitable profile picture for my Chowhound account !!!!

                                                                                                      2. re: ninrn

                                                                                                        <Clearly I am not up to date on all the limitations of the modern cash register.>

                                                                                                        Neither am I, but I have definitely seen people struggle with the modern ones. In my local Chinatown, the cashiers manually add everything, like +$3.99, +2.99..etc. If they ring up the wrong item, they just subtract the amount out, like -$2.99. In my local supermarket, they scan everything in. If they double scan or scanned the wrong item, then it can take them a few moments to delete and alter. I am sure you have experienced these.

                                                                                                        So does it mean my local Chinatown has better customer service than my local supermarket because the Chinatown people use the non-automated non-scanning system?

                                                                                              2. I'm curious. When you go to a supermarket do you go to the checkout where someone is behind the register.....or do you go to the empty line with the numbered light turned off and expect someone to open the line for you?

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                    I think I have only gone to the checkout where someone is behind the register.

                                                                                                    And in the rare cases that someone was kind enough to open a new line (register) for me, I have always been grateful for the new checkout opportunity (Yes, deep down, I pumped my fist into the air and scream out "YES!!!!!"), and more than happy to walk to the new line.

                                                                                                  2. Well, crap, southocean, I'll come to your defense. Stand where ever you want. (Don't be too bothered if another customer steps up to the register that is being staffed before you can place your order, however.)

                                                                                                    1. This topic is fun! Beyond the simple response that being asked, nicely, to move over a few feet is certainly NOT a major customer service fault................. this seems to show a lack of understanding (or desire to understand) how these businesses function.

                                                                                                      I'm sure there's a way for each employee to be able to use all the 'registers', but the merchant then gives up the ability to trace errors to specific smaller groups of employees. In a world of inexperienced employees it's pretty important for the business owner to have that control. Making a decision to give that up, so that southocean doesn't have to move a few feet, is a no-brainer for the owner.

                                                                                                      Sorry southocean. I get the question, but find your position to be really very self-focused and obsessive. I truly hope this was just something that struck you as 'off', and not something that has really caused you grief.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                        ". . . self-focused and obsessive."
                                                                                                        Oh is that not the direction our culture is heading?
                                                                                                        Twitter, Facebook anyone?

                                                                                                        1. re: globocity

                                                                                                          I prefer to self-refer as 'narcissist oblivious' thx.

                                                                                                          1. re: globocity

                                                                                                            <Oh is that not the direction our culture is heading?
                                                                                                            Twitter, Facebook anyone?>

                                                                                                            Some may consider these tools for "sharing" and "learning" which would be the opposite of "self focused and obsessive" :)

                                                                                                            Seriously, I do understand why people say what said about Twitter and Facebook, but for some reasons people don't say (nearly as much) about youtube.

                                                                                                            1. re: globocity

                                                                                                              Huh? What does that have to do with the subject of this topic? Do people post on Facebook and Twitter and complain because they have to move their cursor to 'comment', or are limited to 140 characters?

                                                                                                          2. Yup, it's just you. And that really is a first, everybody agrees!!!!!

                                                                                                            1. Yes, it may just be the OP.

                                                                                                              It is completely usual for staff to only use one register. It is because they are usually responsible for the cash accounting on "their" service.

                                                                                                              1. And I'm late to this, but another vote for "it's just you." There are COUNTLESS situations like this in retail and restaurant dealings between the customer and the employee where the customer gets pissed off because they think the employee is being obstinate or dumb, when in fact they are following the rules. And so is the department manager. And the store manager. And so on and so on.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                  I think we'd be hard pressed to find anyone who's worked with the public who hasn't experienced a customer who is irate over something the employee has no control over or has no idea how tough the "simple" request is.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                      It is part of life. Some customers are a pleasure to work with. Others are tough. My understanding is that bartenders can sometime can a lot of crap from customers. Some people just start to act like jerks after getting a few drinks.

                                                                                                                  1. Folks. I came to this topic late too, and have had some fun with it. But I just did a page search and noticed that the OP has never responded to any of the replies...... not once that I could see.

                                                                                                                    That's either someone who feels like they've been outnumbered and has no stomach to refute any of this..........................OR this was all a set-up from the beginning.

                                                                                                                    If we had a functional poll ability here I'd love to see what the consensus is on THAT.

                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                      I was thinking about doing a poll, but I didn't know it would be so one-sided. If I do a poll now (which I totally can and have), then it could be to much a "kick in the ground" for the original poster.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                        My thought on a poll was to see who thinks this topic was a set-up, not about whether or not the OP should have moved to the other register. Than one seems obvious................ no?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                          Oh I see. I do not think this is a setup. I vote:

                                                                                                                          "feels like they've been outnumbered and has no stomach to refute any of this"

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                            Or, how many CH's does it take to screw in the same lightbulb moment? apparently, that would be: 100 yes comments (give or take) and a few dozen Recommend clicks (and counting) does the trick.

                                                                                                                            you all give as good as you get, right?

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              You sayin' you're behind this Hill J?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                No Midlife, I'm saying I can read and count as well as the next CH. What could possibly be "behind" a simple question like this? Wonder if southocean will ever ask another. What are you sayin?

                                                                                                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                <how many CH's does it take to screw in the same lightbulb moment?>

                                                                                                                                It depends. If we are talking about fact finding, then all we need is one accurate answer. For example, the Earth revolves around the sun, and the sun does not revolves around the Earth. This is a fact. One good answer is all is needed. On the other hand, if it is about opinion finding, then it does matter the numbers of answers -- even if they are the same answers. Surely, you understanding the difference here.

                                                                                                                                In this case, the original poster seek the opinions of the readers.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                  When southocean returns to the thread perhaps they can answer that question for you.

                                                                                                                                  In the meantime, I made a comment regarding the need to count and tally. Did southocean ask for a poll? I hope southocean found the question worth asking.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                    <they can answer that question for you.>

                                                                                                                                    It isn't about who can answer for me. It is the difference between a fact finding thread vs an opinion thread finding thread. In a fact finding question, the 100th person probably adds nothing new, but not so for an opinion seeking question. It is up to other posters to decide when to respond. If the 100th poster wants to express his opinion, then it is his choice to express his opinion.

                                                                                                                                    <Did southocean ask for a poll? >

                                                                                                                                    No he did not, but in reality he also did not ask 99% people to strongly disagree with him. He was most likely asking for people to support his view, which he did not get.

                                                                                                                                    < I hope southocean found the question worth asking.>

                                                                                                                                    I wonder if the cashier found southocean's comment worthwhile either. The whole "That might be your register, but I'm here" comment.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                    Hey........... all I'm 'opining' is that the original post was just enough into the 'other zone' that I though there was a good chance it wasn't serious. I do know people who are so wound up that I'm pretty sure hings like that drive them totally nuts. Thankfully they don't usually share.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                      <If you can wait for southocean to answer that would be helpful to the thread.>

                                                                                                                                      Why would he be asking about that? It is about each individual decision to participate. Like I said, if the 100th person want to share his opinion, then it is up to that person.

                                                                                                                                      Why did you respond? Because you want to respond.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                        No, Chem, I was referring to the OP responding to the comments shared within the thread at the point which Midlife said:

                                                                                                                                        Folks. I came to this topic late too, and have had some fun with it. But I just did a page search and noticed that the OP has never responded to any of the replies...... not once that I could see.

                                                                                                                                        That's either someone who feels like they've been outnumbered and has no stomach to refute any of this..........................OR this was all a set-up from the beginning.

                                                                                                                                        If we had a functional poll ability here I'd love to see what the consensus is on THAT.

                                                                                                                                        isn't that about the same time you offered to generate a poll?

                                                                                                                                        I'm hoping the OP returns.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                          I don't think I ever said the OP shouldn't have posted and I DID give my reasons as to why the post might have been made. If someone wants top stand on a corner in Times Square and yell obscenities at the traffic lights, that's up to them. Them....... and maybe the NYPD as well. Anyone observing is entitled to offer an opinion as to why what they're seeing is happening. Me?....... I'm not interested in trying to defend every overly OCD, tightly wound person out there.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                            <I don't think I ever said the OP shouldn't have posted>

                                                                                                                                            No, you did not. I did not mean to imply you did -- if I have.

                                                                                                                                            <Anyone observing is entitled to offer an opinion as to why what they're seeing is happening.>

                                                                                                                                            I agree.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                          I will assume that he/she was serious about the question. I have seen people like this in real life, so I am not too surprise.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                            And with all the consensus offered here wouldn't it be interesting to learn what if anything the OP got out of all this useful responding? I would like to know.