The Clerk That Kind of Hates You


I was at the self-check register at the grocery store when something went wrong and the screen told me to ask for assistance.

I looked over at the clerk whose sole job it is to stand there and help people.  She was about ten feet away from me so I just looked at her — trying to catch her eye.   But she wouldn’t look at me.

So I said, “Excuse me can you help me?”  But instead of responding, she picked up the phone and busied herself looking busy. (I swear she was pretending to talk!)

Excuse me? Can I get some help over here?

No response.

Excuse me?

I’ll be there in a minute!

OK.   So she leaves me standing there within an inch of my patience and finally when she can’t think of any other way she can stall, she saunters over.

What’s the problem?

The scanner doesn’t recognize these bananas.  What am I doing wrong here?

(I sincerely want to know the answer to this question because I don’t ever want to do it again so I won’t have to stand there trying to get her attention and looking and feeling like a jack ass.)

“Well, there are several things you’re doing wrong, that depends.” She says this implying with her tone that it’s WAY too complicated for my little pea brain to comprehend, and she doesn’t have time to give me the complicated particulars which I probably wouldn’t understand  anyway — so she takes out here special key and fixes it and walks away.

And there you have it.  I’ve just been flamed by The Clerk Who Kind of Hates You.

Oh they make me so mad! Yet I have never developed a strategy for how to deal with them.  I’ll leave the store fuming and saying to myself I’ll never shop there again but, in the end, I don’t want to drive miles out of my way so, of course, I keep coming back.

On the plus side, I have developed a good comeback for the administrative type of The Clerk Who Kind of Hates You.

The ones who usually sit behind a window of some kind.  You know the type of clerk I mean, the one who when asked a question has this curt, pat answer:

“Well it’s all in the instructions online.   Didn’t you read the instructions online?”

To which I proudly respond:

Yes I read them but I didn’t memorize them! 

Isn’t that the greatest comeback ever, Dear Reader?   I just love it and actually get to use it a couple of times a year.  And I have never, ever had a clerk one-up me on it.

Sometimes the littlest things bring the biggest rewards!

Until next time  . . . I love you

7 thoughts on “The Clerk That Kind of Hates You

  1. It can’t be easy to wake up knowing your life purpose is to stand at that spot only waiting (possibly) for the rare chance (if ever) to discover the ‘cure’ for the bad banana scan!
    I’m sure they are not waking up saying, “OH JOY! I can’t wait to get to my little corner of the world.”
    Try sending them some love like this, ” OMG, those bananas were just about to be the death of me until you came along with that key of yours. Phew! You made my day.
    They really need it!

  2. Mom, I understand your annoyance!

    I always wish I had a pat response for people with bad attitudes too. I mean, it’s not like the clerks don’t have a CHOICE to have a good attitude or even to change jobs is they hate it so much.

    It certainty isn’t our job to suck up to people like that by trying to “smooth over” the situation and give them compliments (especially since those niceties never feel genuine when someone is being rude). I used to try to be nice or joke with people who act like a-holes but I’ve wised up. Now I just totally ignore them or think of a pat response to say (usually after the fact) and write a review on yelp. Ha!

  3. I think you should look them right in the eye and boldy say, “You make baby Jesus cry.” JK But I bet they wouldn’t know how to respond to that…. 😀

  4. I love it! You hit the nail on the head…feeling like a jackass trying to get their attention. I happen to be lucky because the store I shop the clerks at the self check out are very helpful. That maybe partly because they see me a lot but I do always try to have a nice greeting and if the are having a bad day, I find a little self depreciation (which translate to appreciation for their help) smooths it all over. If I go and the clerk is unfamiliar to me, and acts like their little hooha thingy isn’t beeping and telling them I need assistance, I pretty much make it so they can not get me out of there fast enough. Works like a charm. I wish I had read this before I went to the store today. Lol. Great!

    • Ok. got it. First I’ll try some self-deprecation and then if that doesn’t work I’ll try Nailing Jello on a Tree’s suggestion “You make baby Jesus cry” and if that doesn’t work, I’ll just quit buying bananas altogether 🙂

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