Cashiers Should Be Nice To Kids: or momma bear will blog about it

by Lucky Red Hen on April 8, 2011

After much online research, my 11yo settled on buying the Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 (they used to be called “Nerf guns” back in the day) at Target today.

We had several errands to run, so I suggested he put his quarter-filled film canisters in his camera case and wear it around his neck so it wouldn’t get misplaced.

After 10 minutes of trying on jeans at Value Village (these kids go through pants so fast), we were ready to go and that’s when he realized his jacket and money were GONE O_O

My heart sunk as I recalled the time I was a girl shopping with my mother and set down my purse. It felt like it had only been a second that I turned around but I’m sure it was longer. Time estimation does not seem possible when you’re a kid. Either something takes FOREVER or it happened in a SECOND. The purse turned up at customer service later, without my coveted wallet (white and tan leather with a horseshoe on the front) and 24 hard-earned dollars. I think I was more devastated about the wallet being gone than the money.

After asking a couple store clerks, we found out one of them saw them slung over a rack and put them in the Lost & Found. All was recovered, phew!

Even with extensive editing, this post is getting longer and longer… do you want to hear about my good deed? It’ll make up for the story coming at the end. A little yin for my yang ;)

Good deed: While waiting FORever (time estimation for me might be skewed too) for a VV cashier to count out a customers 40 paperback Star Trek books, having to start over a couple times and they weren’t all the same price, other cashier’s opened up and offered to ring up the next person. I wasn’t in a hurry and had already been waiting so long that I decided to stay put and wait my turn. Buuut, when the cashier finished ringing them up and waiting for the lady to write her check, THAT’S when she decided to tell me, “I’m sorry, I’m closed after this customer so you’ll have to go to another check stand.”


No. There wasn’t a sign or light indicating that her lane is closing/closed. Ugh. All that time being patient for nothing. When I turned to leave, my eyes met some puppy dog eyes (not really a dog and her eyes weren’t really doing the puppy dog look, but she did look a little nervous).

Long story short… this gal had $70 of dishes to return (the set was missing all the bowls) but VV doesn’t give refunds, only exchanges, and wondered if she could buy my stuff with her return credit and I’ll give her the cash (I NEVER have cash, especially that much, but this time I did and it was just enough.) I only had $10 worth of stuff to buy with cash, the rest was supposed to come out of our checking account (we’re on a stiff budget). I said, “I could use some good karma, so I’ll do it!” She couldn’t stop thanking me… profusely.

The second cashier rang me up but then realized she couldn’t do a return/exchange transaction so we had to reverse the transaction and go to a third cashier to actually get the job done. He was FANTASTIC, had a GREAT ATTITUDE, and bent over backwards (figuratively) to make us happy. Dangit why didn’t I get his name? Guh.


THEN we drove 25 minutes to Target for the Nerf gun Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 and some perusing. After all the perusing, we just had the gun to buy and approached the next-to-be-served checkout lane. The cashier was finishing up the previous customer with a pleasant attitude. She rang up the gun and gave the total due. My sweet, well-behaved, 11yo then handed her the first bundle of quarters (he had about $19 in quarters then some dimes, nickels and a few pennies for the rest… but MOSTLY ALL quarters.)

Claudia: (looking at her handful of quarters then back at 11yo and in a snarky tone) We don’t take over $5 in coins.

11yo: (blink.blink)

Me: What do you MEAN you don’t take over $5 in coins? Since when?

Claudia: My supervisor won’t let me take over $5 in coins.

Me: Then let’s get the supervisor. (who happens to be just several feet away)

Claudia (to the supe): They want to pay with over $5 in coins.

Supe: Then take it. (turning away with a slight quizzical look)

Claudia: But I’m not supposed to. Two people have told me that.

Supe: I’ve never heard that. Take the money.

Me (directed to the supe): Coins ARE money, aren’t they?

Supe (to me then to Claudia): Yes they are. Take the money.

She starts counting out the quarters. At one point she tries to back peddle saying that she, too, pays her daughter for chores in coins. But then she says…

Claudia: Well, I’d normally take the coins but there’s a backup. (motioning to the nice mom behind us)

It was 2:30pm on a Wednesday, nowhere near a holiday, with at least four other cashiers on duty with only ONE customer each… there was NO backup. And it isn’t hard to count quarters… four equal a dollar.

Me: Wait a minute. You said before that you aren’t allowed, but now you’re saying you would if there wasn’t a backup?!?

Claudia: Yes, that’s right.


I’ve been talking to my kidlets lately about how we say things. Say the word “sorry” in a sarcastic whine with your squinted eyes and sneer -or- in a humbled voice with upturned eyebrows and down turned lips; same word, different meanings.

Like in Three Men and a Baby when Tom Selleck reads to the baby from Sports Illustrated. It’s his tone of voice that soothes the baby, not the explanation of how the basketball star completed his layup and scored his umpteenth basket.

We had several cashiers that day: one at Les Schwab (I returned our chains; the clerk was slammed with incoming calls, an impatient older customer waiting after me, and she maintained her pleasant disposition the entire time, as did I), three at the first Value Village, one crummy one at Target, and one at the other Value Village (we were searching for a small lamp for the hall bathroom).

I KNOW how to behave with cashiers, I HAVE BEEN a cashier, I have a couple of Employee of the Month awards from past employment in customer service, so I am pretty sure I have a good idea of how customer service works.

“Yes, we have no bananas!”

There is no excuse for a cashier to treat someone unkind, ESPECIALLY a KID. And obviously by my momma bear rant, MY kid. If she was having a bad day (which I don’t think she was), she didn’t need to take it out on the customer, my son.

Lesson Learned: don’t punch rude people in the neck. Blog about it instead.

P.S. Told the cashier at the other Target today about the incident and she was appalled. She said that she’s been paid in pennies before, that it doesn’t happen very often, and that their store has nicer employees than the other one ;)


Jessica Hanaumi April 8, 2011 at 4:23 am

You are a GREAT mama bear! Way to handle it!

Queen Scarlett April 8, 2011 at 4:27 am

That cashier rhymes w/witch.

Paula Thomas April 8, 2011 at 4:34 am

Wow glad to finally hear the “punch her in the neck” story. You have to wonder about some people…

Deanna Stearns April 8, 2011 at 4:35 am

Some people’s children… Sorry your son had to bear the brunt of that cashier’s power trip (pun not intended). That’s when I usually explain to my kids how I would be disappointed if they ever treated someone that way. Good on you for remaining calm…& then blogging about it. :)

Tiffany April 8, 2011 at 4:36 am

So did she even take the money at all? Did you know that it is against federal law for a store to refuse coinage? It is legal tender, valid anywhere. I’m telling you, you really should link this up to Target’s FB page. I bet they’d respond.

Emma April 8, 2011 at 4:42 am

You were a lot nicer then I would have been. When my kids are involved I seem to lose all sense of calm… ( when its a negative situation)… so kudos

Sarah L. April 8, 2011 at 4:44 am

I’m thinking of all sorts of fun ways to mess with her. Love the Three Men and a Baby reference. That part cracked me up.

James Henson J J April 8, 2011 at 5:17 am


Lisa Hodson April 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Ew, that made me angry. I’m gonna go to Target with all my pennies and plop myself in Claudia’s line.

Sharon Pugmire Breshears April 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

You can bring your kids and coins to my lane anytime! I love it when I get to help kids count their baggies of coins. Mostly because the kids are so proud of their bag full if fortune! Adorable!

luckyzmom April 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Perhaps it was at the end of her shift and she had taken a lot of crap from people all day long and my precious grandson was the straw. Or maybe her supervisor had been mean to her before waiting on my precious grandson. Or maybe she was wearing new shoes and had painful blisters on her feet. Or maybe she was still upset over the argument she had with her husband the night before. Or maybe my adorable grandson reminded her of someone from her past that she didn’t like. Or maybe she had a stick up her…. sorry. There just was no excuse for that and you know how I probably would have reactedO-O

Mrs Organic April 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Way to resolve it. I’ve cashiered too, and counting kids’ money was no problem – I just felt bad when they were short a bit.

Elena April 9, 2011 at 12:45 am

I agree–off with her head! :)

I had a bad experience at Wal-Mart [surprise!] a few months back. Assistant store manager was rude to me without any reason. I went all the way to their regional manager, because I used to work in retail and know what good customer service is. The funniest part… the manager called me to apologize and said he would send a gift card. It has been about 3 months now, and I don’t hold my breath in hopes of receiving it.

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