Slow Cashier at National Bookstore

I decided to go shopping while waiting for my husband, who had an appointment with his doctor. I figured, what the heck, i have to go buy gifts anyway so might as well do it now rather than procrastinate.

I am a highly efficient person. I go from left to right, top to bottom or vice versa but never in circles because i value my time. I quickly looked at the wish lists of my colleagues and thought that I can get everything from 1 place … National Bookstore. What luck!

I got everything I needed in under 30 minutes, i guess. (I lingered on the ribbons section cause i couldn’t decide on what color to buy. And yes, such was my confusion, i ended up with the reliable black and white polka dot and striped ones in the end).

National Bookstore has cashiers all over the stores. But i chose to go to the ones near the mall’s major entrance. I estimate that there are about 5 to 7 cashiers there. But, as always, these cashier stations are rarely manned in full. Often, there would just be about 2 or 3. Probably on a blue moon, 4 or 5 would be open but never all of them. I’ve been wondering about why for the longest time.

The number of open cashiers wasn’t important today because there were few customers paying for their items…at least when i arrived in the area. Instinctively, I queued on the shortest line … there were actually 2 people ahead of me who had just a few items to pay for.

BUT…here comes the BUT…the cashier is just a trainee of sorts. The usual transaction that an ordinary cashier would have processed in less than a minute took 5 minutes…and mind you…the customer had to correct the cashier about her entries. I’ve got no idea how it happened but there was some kind of double entry or overpricing or plain incorrect encoding. The queue behind me had grown to 6 or 7. Oh oh.

When i got my turn…the cashier..under the tutelage of a much experienced cashier… was so slow and kinda dumb (sorry for the word, I cant find anything more appropriate). She inserted my loyalty card all wrong, she pressed the wrong buttons, she was like a robot who waited for orders/commands from the master cashier. Press f4, space bar. Enter. blah. blah. Dammit. It was a good thing i was paying in cash. Using a credit card might have given her a nosebleed and would have taken i dunno how long.

What is my point? I am considerate of newbies. I had been one too once. But to whom it may concern, please train newbies on non-peak hours. Moreso, train them at some backroom first before putting them on the spot. It would also be helpful if the master cashier intervenes when the queue starts to resemble a conga line. As a preventive measure, why not hire those who have the aptitude for cashiering cause seriously the particular cashier looked really lost.

It is extremely frustrating to watch a trainee read, check, reread, recheck and slowly and achingly search for which buttons to push.

And to top it all, it is a waste of the CUSTOMERS time.

We haven’t got all day.

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