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Jessica bloodyheartless wrote in customers_suck
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Customer Suck of the Day
I'll be the first to admit I'm extremely terrible at math. I can't do percents, and I can't make change quickly -- or at all when you're rushing me. (Absolutely unbelievable, right?)  It just..doesn't compute inside my brain.That being said, you can probably guess that this fact wouldn't make me a great candidate for cashier. My bosses...don't think this way. I've complained to them again and again that they didn't hire me to be cashier, and they know I suck at math so why keep sticking me on register...but that's another community/story. This story starts with me going on my seventh hour on register.

Some of our produce is on sale for 20% off, which I was aware of, but the 20% off signs pertain to certain produce. Apparently, it wasn't ringing up. I had a male customer who was pleasant enough. He even made small talk while I was ringing up his items. As soon as we get to his onions, he looks at the price they ring up at and calls my attention. By this time a line has formed, as they tend to do, all of a sudden. "There's a sign that says all produce is 20% off." So to confirm I call my boss. I can't just assume he's telling the truth/right and do a price change. (Not to mention I don't have any idea wtf 20% off the price of his onions was.) Bossman confirms his story, and leaves me hanging. I say "So....what would 20% off that price be?" Boss calls out a price, I adjust it, and all's good. Or so I assume. The man just kind of...ignores me after that. Doesn't respond to my "Sorry about that, sir. Have a nice day!" and just grabs his things and quickly leaves without looking at me. I'm left thinking wtf because he was perfectly fine before that. Has my lack of math knowledge killed his soul? Well, whatever. 

I start to ring up the next lady that was in line behind the man and all goes normally. We get to the end of her sale and she asks me about her potatoes. "Does it take the twenty percent off automatically?" I groan internally because, really? Two issues with produce in a row, and bossman only left half a second ago. "I'm not sure, ma'am, let me check." So I check the price and no, they're regularly $2.00. I tell her this and she goes from 0 to 10 on the pissed scale in half a second. "The sign is RIGHT THERE, and TWENTY PERCENT is FIFTY CENTS off, since you need me to do THAT for you, too!" .....I just...wha? What the hell did I do that garnered this much anger from you and complete shunning from the man before you? The fact that I suck at math is a real issue with me because I have desperately tried to learn, it just doesn't click, and it's made worse by the fact that it's continuously shoved in my face at work because my bosses insist on putting me on register. I realize for a lot of people it's really simple to do those simple equations, but for me, it really isn't. I had no idea this was a crime. I had to call the boss up to fix this one, too, because her potatoes were the first things I rang up. She was normal after her initial outburst. I just..don't get it. I am such a terrible person?

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2012-12-10 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)

I came here to say that even if you ARE good at math, it's still hard to calculate things in your head when a customer is making you uncomfortable.


2012-12-10 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm sorry that you had such rude customers. You'd think that they'd realize that not everyone can do math in their head, especially under pressure. I'm pretty decent at math, but put pressure on me or start handing me change after I've already cashed you out, my brain freezes.

As for the lady who had to be so rude, she was wrong. 20% of $2 is not 50 cents. It's 40 cents. A good rule of thumb, if you're gonna be rude about something, at least be right.


2012-12-10 06:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Yup, came here to mention that.

(no subject) - johnswife2007, 2012-12-10 11:43 am (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - crumplelush, 2012-12-10 01:40 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - ravenofdreams, 2012-12-10 06:10 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - somniumdraconae, 2012-12-11 01:44 am (UTC)(Expand)


2012-12-10 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Not only was she a bitch, that lady was wrong, too. 50 cents is 25% of $2, not 20%.

I hope your boss finally moves you off the register. You sound really miserable and that's sad.


2012-12-11 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)



2012-12-10 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Must have just been a produce day

A trick for percentages or at least small ones, if something is say 3.50, 10% would be .35 cents because you jsut essentially drop the 0 off the end. so 20% would be twice that, so just add up your two 10%
The logistics may be wrong but if you have a trick to help them screw how it works if it works =^_^=


2012-12-10 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

This!! This has helped me so much!!

(no subject) - pyraterose, 2012-12-10 02:34 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - yazz_flute, 2012-12-10 10:56 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - robertr4836, 2012-12-10 03:28 pm (UTC)(Expand)
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(no subject) - bugeyedmonster, 2012-12-11 11:07 pm (UTC)(Expand)


2012-12-10 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)

I think it's a shame that you're being placed in an uncomfortable position at work. Stress doesn't help anyone's math skills :S

Don't be so hard on yourself, everyone has their weaknesses, I think this one is just extra painful because you're exposed constantly by being put on till. Anyone would have the same problem if they were placed out of their comfort zone continuously.



2012-12-10 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Anyone would have the same problem if they were placed out of their comfort zone continuously.

Well said.

(no subject) - ancara_iiii, 2012-12-11 06:42 am (UTC)(Expand)


2012-12-10 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm not familiar with how employement law works in your country, but there is a recognised disorder called dyscalculia (, which is essentially the maths version of dyslexia.

I'm not saying this is what you have, but it might be worth seeing if your GP can test you, as a confirmed diagnosis may allow you to force your boss to keep you off the cash registers.


2012-12-10 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)

I was just about to suggest this. All through school I thought I was dumb because I couldn't do even simple math in my head and it seemed so easy for everyone else. I learned was dyscalculia was as an adult and suddenly so much of my life made sense.

(no subject) - fallconsmate, 2012-12-10 08:43 am (UTC)(Expand)
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2012-12-10 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)

I feel you; I'm terrible at math too. Is it an option to keep a small calculator with you at the register to do these things next time?


2012-12-10 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I was going to suggest this... but not the cheapest calculator, invest in one that has a percentage button for failproof percentage calculations.

I could never work the register, or only veeeery slowly. :-x

(no subject) - l_o_lostshadows, 2012-12-10 07:30 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - hungry_worm, 2012-12-10 10:52 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - yasonablack, 2012-12-10 01:43 pm (UTC)(Expand)


2012-12-10 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)

I completely understand where you're coming from with the math thing. I know I'm an intelligent person, but anything with numbers has always been a mystery to me. Ask me to calculate anything and it's like my brain hits a brick wall. I completely freeze up. It's extremely frustrating when people treat you like an idiot for something you genuinely can't help.

I hope you get moved off register soon. Dealing with math problems and bitchy customers is very upsetting :(


2012-12-10 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

I can deal with "being treated like an idiot". What I don't like is the automatic assumption that, because I present myself well, if I can't do simple math I'm either "stubborn" (I don't want to help the customer) or "lazy" (I have better things to do than help the customer). Very frustrating!


2012-12-10 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)

As many have already said; you're not the only person who wouldn't be able to do those calculations in their head. In fact I wouldn't trust myself to do them without either a calculator; or a piece of paper and pen. So really don't beat yourself up over it.


2012-12-10 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm the same with maths too. I suck at it! I got an F in maths in my GCSE's. As far as I know, I'm the only person I know that got such a dismal grade in it. I'm sure there were people who did worse, but out of all my friends and aquantancies, I got the lowest one (everyone else got C's and D's).

I've been a cashier for 7 years. My maths has improved a bit now, but I suck at percentages. I can't do times tables easily when it goes above multiples of 6, and don't get me started on division lol.

No customer has ever ridiculed me because of this, and I am eternally grateful. Usually it runs smoothly and the till sorts it out for us. It's more trickier at the charity shop, but I've still not had any customer have a go at me. I stammer though and a few lovely customers have ridiculed me for that, so I do understand what you're going through.

I just can't believe that woman was wrong. LOL.


2012-12-10 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

I've never really been good with math in my head, but I may have a helpful guideline for estimating percents. It's easy to do ten percent -- just move the decimal point one place to the left. If I need thirty percent, I just add that number three times.

30% of $15.00? 1.50 + 1.50 + 1.50 = 4.50


2012-12-10 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's my trick too. So I can calculate percentages that end in 0 or 5 (15%, 20%, etc), but it doesn't work for odd percentages like 12%, 18%, etc.

(no subject) - brigittefires, 2012-12-15 01:58 am (UTC)(Expand)


2012-12-10 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

If your boss is going to make you use a cash register that doesn't automatically adjust prices he should provide all his cashiers with a calculator. No excuse for your customers being rude but as a customer, I do expect cashiers to be able to do arithmetic (boss suck though, not yours).


2012-12-10 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're not a terrible person. I'm trained as a cashier and I SUCK at math. I don't understand why people give me extra change or how the hell a nickel is going to help "even" out their change. But the register does everything for me, the only problem is if mix up the numbers and then I have to wait for a manager to come help me correct it because I can't do it without the machine, heck I can't even do it with a calculator.

And then people like the assholes you got, give me a hard time about not being able to do math in my head and make it even harder to give them the correct price/change.


2012-12-11 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)

^ the nickel thing!!!!

I always used to freeze like a deer in headlights when I would be handing back change and someone would all of a sudden toss me an extra nickel, etc. to 'even' it up.

Whenever it happens to me now I have to mentally recite "Okay, they gave me 'x' more money so in turn I also have to give them 'x' more."

ie. total is $5.60, they pay with a $10, change on till says $4.40
They toss me an extra dime so I have to add an extra dime to their change to give back.

At least, that's how I think of it. :)

(no subject) - yasonablack, 2012-12-11 05:41 pm (UTC)(Expand)
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2012-12-10 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

A lot of phones can download a good calculator app or may have one.If a customer complains when you use it,just smile sweetly and say you want to be sure you are giving them enough off.


2012-12-10 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

What really gets me is that lady who told you what 20% was not only wrong is that she might have taken advantage of you and LIED. I never take a customers word when they tell me the price. Especially on change.

I hope your managers move you off. And maybe keep a calculator handy?

Both suspect customers


2012-12-10 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have a suspicion that perhaps your boss told you how much to take off, and you rang that up as the whole price instead. I think the first bloke noticed and the reason he kept quiet was because he didn't want anything to draw your attention to it as it might have done if you'd been chatting. he kept quiet and snuck off with cheaper produce.

As to the second lady, talk about Epic fail DEMANDING your cashiers be honest and trying to be dishonest herself. In your position I would have a calculator beside me even if it's a cheap pocket calculator you have to buy yourself. Divide the entire amoutn by 100, then multiply by however much percent off the price the discouont is. Then when you get that, just take that away from the total.

I hate customers like that and I don't even work in the industry. They think they're all that because you're a menial shop worker. My dad got that atitude too when he was a road sweeper. What people fail to realise is without people like you, they wouldn't be GETTING their groceries.

Re: Both suspect customers


2012-12-10 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

An easier way is to subtract the percentage off from 100, put a decimal point in front of that number, and multiply the original price by that deicmal. To get the sale price of something that's 20 percent off you multiply it by .8. If it's 25 percent you multiply it by .75. It's only one step if you can do the subtraction from 100 in your head and two steps if you can't.

The price of the potatoes would be 2.00 x .8 = 1.60.


2012-12-10 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Your cash registers don't have line reduction functions that take percentages off?


2012-12-10 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

I've worked at places where normal cashiers didn't have access to that function, and a manager had to come and type in their password to do it. If most discounts don't ring up automatically, though, that's a terrible system. (I do now work in the one and only place where I've ever been able to do price overrides without manager ok, which was very helpful on Black Friday when our doorbuster kids' graphic tees were ringing up at 60% off instead of $5 each. The only problem is that there is no way to apply the price override to multiple items at once, so every person who came up with five shirts meant I had to hit three buttons and type in 5.00 for each of the five shirts. And the shirts were all the same style - the *only* difference in the SKUs was the color and size codes at the end.)


2012-12-10 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

First, she's wrong. 20% off of $2.00 is 40 cents, not 50 cents. I don't know if she was just trying to scam or if *she* truly can't do math.

Second, doesn't the register just have a button where you can deduct percentages? That seems odd that you would have to calculate the sale price yourself and ring in the sale price....


2012-12-10 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

It wouldn't help with the jerk customers, but...why can't you use a calculator?


2012-12-10 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

hmm, didn't think about her accidentally charging the customer what the manager said the discount was.

I thought the guy was lying about the produce being 20% off and getting out of dodge before he was called on it.

dearest customers: you will catch *way* more flies with honey than vinegar or remember the Golden Rule and treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.


2012-12-10 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm terrible at math too, and even though I've explained to my managers that putting me on register would be terrible because I'd have anxiety attacks all the time, I still have to do a lot of math where I am in the store. People will bring up something that's 30% off, measures two yards and 21 inches, and want to know what the price of it will be. So I'd have to do 2 x the price at 30% off then .583 x the price at 30% off with an additional 50% off, and they either get mad when I don't tell them the EXACT price or scoff when I grab a calculator.

I also can't count large amounts easily, so whenever people interrupt me counting, I always have to start all over again. Then I get the rare few that will just stand there and say random numbers so they can try to throw me off.

But I have to say the people that are insistent and wrong at the same time make it worth it. I had one guy come back not 30 seconds after I helped him and his wife, said "So I'm really good at math" and proceeded to tell me how the price I gave him was supposed to be $12 instead of $17, because he did 2/3rds plus something times nine and got 12, when it was really .945 x 17.99. But, you know, he's really good at math.


2012-12-10 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

I don't know why they scoff at you grabbing a calculator, unless they want their answer in fractions. 2x * .70 is easy enough, but (x *0.7 * 21/36)/2 is easier if you have a calculator to turn that 21/36 into .5833.

(no subject) - vaxtorino, 2012-12-11 05:57 pm (UTC)(Expand)
(no subject) - rainbowxgeek, 2012-12-10 11:22 pm (UTC)(Expand)
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(no subject) - vaxtorino, 2012-12-11 05:59 pm (UTC)(Expand)


2012-12-10 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I'm glad the one time I worked a register we had very set prices, so I only had to type them in and get a total. Pretty sure we had a calculator though to tell people the total price beforehand? Can't remember. Or else I just memorized what 12.95 x 2 + such and such an other price was.

But I feel your pain. Pretty sure I have dyscalculia too, but still people, even (or especially?) in my family, look at me strangely when I can't do figures in my head. I remember crying in 4th grade when I couldn't understand long division, though when a classmate very patiently and kindly showed me how (in a more abstract way) it was much easier.

Shouldn't be a source of shame, though people far too often think it's some kind of black mark on your personality. You are not a terrible person. xx


2012-12-10 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hell no, you're not terrible. But your customers are!
Even if you're good at math, it's easy to become flustered and forget things when you have jerks yelling at you.


2012-12-11 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)

while i don't believe that i have dyscalculia, i am pretty bad at percents and mental math, i usually need a calculator or if it's something simple (addition, multiplication, etc) i'll need to do it the long way on paper (like, "ok carry the four...") so i sort of understand :/ first guy's story is mega weird. wtf? second lady would have gotten me so angry. i would probably just tell her "just making sure you get your full savings :D" or something like that XP


2012-12-11 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)

For percents I just usually cry. No, kidding. I will write it out by hand. I'm fairly okay with stuff until the customer starts yelling at me, then my mind goes blank and Im lucky to know my name. So, you aren't alone =D

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