I was working for a summer at a Wal-Mart as a cashier. No one told me that this is the weirdest position to have. You are the one who interacts with the customers the most, and as a result you get to hear the weirdest sh**. One day, I was working a regular, boring morning shift, and a man comes through my till with a bag of parrot food. I said good morning, and he grunts in the usual way a customer does if they don’t particularly want to talk to me. So I just scan the parrot food, and it comes in (for a four pound bag) to be about thirteen dollars. He looks very shocked, and I’m expecting him to say something like “it said on the sign it was only…” but instead he just smiles at me (in a very creepy way) and this is how the following conversation went:
Man: Do you have a senior citizen discount…?
Me: Sorry, sir, we don’t.
Man: YOU DIDN’T LET ME FINISH! Do you have a senior citizen discount for parrots? I have a very old parrot.
Me: (stifling laughter) No, sir, I’m sorry. That’ll be thirteen dollars.
(Then man then proceeds to reach into his pocket and throw down a bunch of change and dollar bills. I stand there for a moment, and then he glares at me, expecting me to fish through all the money myself. I do so, wanting him out of the store sooner rather than later. He then stares at the remaining change on the conveyor belt.)
Me: Here’s your receipt, sir.
(The man, ignoring me, starts to collect the change on the conveyor belt.)
Man: I can’t believe you made me dump my pockets on here.
(I wasn’t sure what to say or do, so I just offered him his receipt again.)
Man: (picking up the bag, and smiling) Thank you. My life partner and I thank you.
(I’m pretty sure by life partner he meant his parrot, because as he said this, he pointed at the parrot on the bag. I never had another customer that scared me that much.)
My brother had a lot of great stories he would share with us about some of the stuff he would witness at Walmart while working there as a teen. One of these stories involved three elderly people who would regularly sit at the bench in front of the cash registers and make fun of customers who were checking out. My brother said that it was quite embarrasing because they were not discreet about it at all (I guess they had hearing difficulty). For instance, one time he was checking out a rather large customer and her rather large young son when one of them yells out to the other “Look at that fat kid and his fat mother.” My brother said they went on and on about how fat they were, and how much junk food they must eat, even going as far as to scrutinize all of their purchases. The lady just kept getting redder and redder. My brother couldn’t look her in the eye during the whole purchase. A few weeks after that incident my brother realized that his three regular “critiques” weren’t around anymore. He later found out that same day by his manager that they had been sneaking out of the local nursing home home each morning and hanging out at Walmart until finally one of their caretakers found out.
Let’s start by saying I loathe Wal-Mart. It takes an act of congress to get me near one…..or an act of my girlfriend. Anyhoo…..there are times that fate brings me our local store. Franticaly looking for a last minute gift late one evening, I find myself in a traffic jam in the store parking lot. Assuming someone had broke down in the middle of the lane, myself, as others started to drive around the obstacle that lay ahead. As I neared, slowly, the scenario started to attack my synapses.
There, in the middle of the lane, was a man passing out fried chicken to his extremley large family. They were all gathered around the shopping cart like flies to…..well, you know. They were having a friggin’ picnic in the parking lot at Wal-Mart…..at night.
Had this behavior been displayed in the parking lot of our local Target or Kohls, I would have been surprised. But sadly, I was not surprised to see it at our local Wal-Mart. These folks paid no more mind to the traffic avoiding them then they did to sound judgment. I must admit, instead of being angry and cussing the family as most did while driving by them, I found a great amount of jest in the situation.
I was a CSM in a brand new store that was pretty understaffed. Most of my lunches had to be covered by my support manager, or any assistant manager who was feeling nice.
One day when I came back, my support manager shoved the palm pilot and the schedule board into my hands and semi-yelled as she practically ran off, “I’M NEVER GOING TO COVER FOR YOU AGAIN!” … The lines weren’t long, customers seemed generally happy, all the breaks and meals were taken care of before I left… I didn’t know what her deal was until a service desk associate told me to go look at the lady standing at the service desk…
I stood there for a minute, signing slips and pretending to be there for a reason. I finally realized what she was talking about and almost tripped over myself while doing so — this lady had baby opossums in her hair!! LIVE baby opossums! The cashier finished the transaction and the other customers, who had been standing as far away as possible, came to the front, all astonished at the opossum lady…
Later I talked my APC (asset protection coordinator) to show me and the other CSM who came in a few hours later into showing us the tape. We watched as customers realized and backed off, covering their mouths while pointing at her hair.. But the real gem was our support manager, who was leaning towards her most of the time, not realizing the movement in her hair until she looked up about halfway through the transaction. She backed away suddenly – far enough to hit the back desk – and screamed not once, not twice, but three times all the while clutching at her heart. The lady wasn’t so amused…
Ah, man… One good thing that Walmart has done for me — I have some pretty dumbfounding stories now!!!