Somebody was in a bad mood!

View from my morning walk before sunrise.

“Don’t you use dividers anymore?” the cashier said to me with a grunt while I was waiting to check out at our local big brand grocery store.

The woman in front of me had just pointed out two items rung up on her tab that were not hers. My Tater Tots and loaf of bread.

The cashier looked agitated as she had to remove my two items off the other woman’s bill.

“You’re the one who removed the divider,” the woman in front of me told the cashier as she plunked her credit card on the reader.

Now it was my turn to check out.

The cashier, who I usually chat with and has only been pleasant, starting throwing my items into plastic bags. It was sloppy and filled with anger. The metal rack that held up her plastic bags fell down to the floor.

Angrily she slammed the bag holder repeatedly into the rack to hook it into place. She muttered to the employee who was helping her bag, “Take this or I’m going to throw it!”

The woman calmly replaced the bag holder and returned to placing my grocery bags into my cart.

“Can you believe this?” an elderly woman behind me said with her eyes.

When my groceries were rung up and I was paying, the cashier took the plastic divider and threw it down the conveyer belt where it slammed into two other dividers.

“Just because you’re in a bad mood doesn’t mean you have to take it out on us!” the woman behind me said.

“I didn’t say nothing to you!”

I pushed my cart away and the older woman who was behind said “Wait. I’m reporting this to the manager, please come with me.” We were out of hearing distance of our disgruntled cashier.

I hesitated because I knew the cashier’s attitude and actions were unacceptable, but for the past two years, she had been professional and friendly. I didn’t want to get her in trouble.

Another employee mopping the floor overheard the word complaint and said loudly with fear, “Complaint?”

The employee who was bagging in our lane ran over and said, “I’m the manager and I witnessed what happened to both of you. I have no idea what is going on, but I’ll pull her aside and talk to her.”

If you were in my shoes would you complain to the manager? What would it take for you to complain if you were at a restaurant or store?

P.S. I’ve changed my blogging schedule to Monday, Wednesday and Friday as of this week.

61 thoughts on “Somebody was in a bad mood!

  1. If it is a one off I might ignore the incident. But if it happens again I’d report it. Employees or any one else in public service should not behave rudely.

  2. I’d just walk on out the door, head held high, and let it go. Not happy that it happened, but taking it in stride, so to speak. In the overall scheme of life it’s one tiny incident.

  3. Well certainly something was up and very out of character with that person! While I might be irritated to be in the midst of all of it I hope I would follow Ally’s idea and just walk away, assuming it wasn’t going to become a trend. I would also hope that the cashier gets life settled before her next shift because that was extreme!

  4. I love the way you write this with such compassion and perspective, Elizabeth. I can only hope the manager was able to react with the same and give the woman a break that she clearly needed.

  5. Oh golly. Whatever was going on with the cashier had nothing to do with tater tots, bread and the silly plastic divider. I love your observational skills, Elizabeth. I agree — the fact that the manager was right there — bagging to stay close – tells me the behavior concerns were on her radar. I know this might sound silly, but when I encounter someone like that, I usually invoke a silent prayer…reminding myself they’re frying bigger fish of some sort and I wish him/her well. Sometimes I grumble to myself while I do that…cause I’m no saint…but you get the idea! 🤣😘🤣

  6. I think it’s good you were a regular customer and knew this persons usual demeanor. Too often, I think I encounter someone on a bad day and, not knowing better, I assume they are just like that. I am working on turning that around and trying to assume nasty people I meet are acting out of character, and to treat them as such. It is very different to deal with a nice person on the worst day of their lives than to deal with someone who is always snappy. One I would go out of my way to encourage and love on, the other I’d pray for from as far away as possible.

    • You said this so well. I don’t think the older woman had the prior experience with the checker that I did. I didn’t like her including me with her complaint to the manager. But I think the manager was empathetic to the checker. So true, it’s very different to deal with a nice person on their worst day versus a nasty person.

  7. Yikes! Since she is usually always friendly I might have said something to her like, “I’m sorry you’re having a bad day” or “Hope your day gets better” I don’t know if I’d complain to a manager after just one incident.

    • I know. The manager came up to the older woman and me as the woman was telling me she was going to complain. I wish I had moved faster and got out of there because I didn’t want the checker to get in trouble. But the manager seemed more concerned with her employee than intent on punishment.

    • I would have if it was my first experience with her. She definitely was having issues that day. I’m curious what happened to her, but haven’t been back to the store.

  8. I would probably move forward and not say anything as I knew her as being fair to me from before. Yesterday at the hairdresser, I left because the new hairdresser was rude to me and I was spending a good deal of monies on my hair. The manager called me up and asked me if I wanted to have an appointment later that day with him. I said, “No, I was just annoyed that she made something I don’t do often and which should be nice for me awkward.” I had also travelled at least 45 minutes to go there. I ended up getting a wonderful haircut nearby our home at Fantastic Sam. The hairdresser was one for 30 plus years and I have my new hairdresser 15 min. from the house. Will I leave a bad review on Yelp? No, the young hairdresser was rude and having a rough day but since I was the only one in there I imagined she is not having a good day. The older hairdresser was excellent and her manner put me at ease.

    • I also drove 45 minutes to get my hair done! I finally found someone in Arizona that I like. I can’t believe a hairdresser would be rude. They need to be pleasant to keep their clientele!

      • I was pleased that I walked away and equally happy with finding the one in my area. It was ridiculous what she wanted for balayage (partial) and cut. I just walked away but it was not so easy to find another hairdresser the same day. It is the hairdresser and not the place which makes the difference but yes, she was in her early 30’s. I was really happy with the experienced hairdresser at Fantastic Sam’s. I was just so tired and decided not to cause a fuzz but leave quietly.

      • Sometimes you just get lucky in a strange way I discovered a good hairdresser but I had my day cut out for me as I stopped by 2 other places to b e told come back this afternoon. Now, I have someone I like and nearby.

      • That’s great! A friend recommended my new hair dresser to me. The only issue is the distance. I tried local people and hated my hair.

  9. I’m so sorry you had to experience that, it sort of sours the day, and you’re left feeling bad for the cashier and frustrated with her at the same time. I always try humor, when it works it’s gold, when it doesn’t it’s a disaster. I think I reserve the right to complain if it was a consistent problem. It appears she’s have a frustrating day and maybe needs a break. Hugs, C

    • She didn’t look good at all. I wish I knew what was going on in her life. I like your use of humor to diffuse a bad situation. You’re correct, I drove home feeling like the event soured my day.

      • The first hairdresser looked like life was kicking her around, and she told me that “I will get through” at the beginning, so I let it go. I imagine the manager brought her up to speed. The area I travelled to is very upscale with high expectations.

  10. I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. This comment section has a lot of compassion (for the most part). I hope her day improved, and I hope you were able to avoid letting it ruin yours. 😘

    • It did distress me for a bit. Especially because she was one of the few checkers I enjoyed talking with. After moving from Palm Springs after 30 years, I missed the daily interactions with people I was familiar with in the post office, stores, etc. The comments do seem compassionate.

  11. I usually get to know the cashiers and chat with them. If one my regulars acted like that I would probably ask them if they were okay . But I tend to think I’m everyone’s mother, so….

  12. It sounds like she was having a very bad day. I wouldn’t complain about a one-off like that. I would like to think that I would just smile and tell her that I hope her day improves… but I’d probably just want to get out of there. I hope she was able to take a break and calm down in a back room.

  13. Well, this was an unsettling situation. Something was obviously going on with her, the sad thing is, what if she was planning to hurt someone… WHO KNOWS! These situations are so tricky, but for sure, she needed to be pulled aside and talked to.

  14. I never thought about her hurting someone. Wow. That puts more into the equation. She was very angry. She also looked off. Something obviously happened to her that day in her private life or at work.

  15. I would not file a complaint. We all have bad days. Not that her behavior was acceptable, but if it wasn’t a trend, no reason to not just move on with my day.

  16. If you have seen the person many times before and they were not rude, I would let it go. People can have a bad day. I think these days people are quick to make a much bigger deal of things than they are. You are not walking in her shoes. You don’t know what she is dealing with.

    • I totally agree with you. I think the older woman behind me didn’t have prior experience with the checker and know how nice and friendly she usually was.

      • This is why I don’t like people videoing everything. I actually saw a video posted online with a young woman in an airport acting in a way that was annoying to the one filming. It was obvious the person had an issue, like they were on the spectrum or something else. The person had to highlight their annoyance with the behaviour and post it. People see one event or have one interaction with a person then judge them on that.

  17. You’ve received lots of advice, but I’d just say I would have tried to talk to the cashier. I would have acknowledged it by saying something like, “I’ve been coming here a long time and this isn’t like you. Are you okay?” My bet is that would have snapped her out of it. She may not have realized what was happening. Perhaps a family member was dying in the hospital and the last three customers were rude and she was at a breaking point. I wouldn’t complain, I always lead with empathy and kindness.

    • I’ve thought about what I should have done. Since that one off time and two weeks missing in action, she is back at work and very personable. I’m so glad she wasn’t fired.

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