i have fond memories of being a cashier. Odd, maybe? It wasn't so bad. I'm patient and not easily rattled by customers (not that there weren't any who tested my patience!). All in all, I'm thankful I got out of retail when I did, I'll tell you that.
Sometimes I wonder what the kookiest customers who came through my line are doing now. At one point I worked at a supermarket and I had a regular who never seemed to buy anything but steak and toilet bowl cleaner. Something tells me either their cooking (or their digestive system) wasn't exactly the best...
After Redditor the5thbeagle asked the online community, "Cashiers of Reddit, do you judge us on the things we buy? What are some of the weirdest combinations you've seen on the conveyor?" people weighed in.
Circa 1992, I had an approx 50 y/o lady come into the Kroger where I worked in Georgia and buy condoms, tampons, a Cosmopolitan, beer, kitty litter, and those birthday cake candles that don't blow out when you blow on them. I joked, "Big night, huh?" She responded, (and people didn't really drop the f-bomb in suburban Atlanta back then), "You have no f*cking idea, honey."
"I love my job."
I had an obviously high as a kite gentleman who came through my line once. Came heel-toeing it into my lane, trying very hard to appear sober.
He was terribly fascinated by the various flavors of chapstick we had and he was having the worst case of indecision. He would pick one up, stare at it for a couple minutes, shake his head, then grab another and go, "Whoah, pumpkin pie!" then stare at that one.
Then he'd turn and say, "Hey boss, how're you doin' man?"
I'd reply that I was fine, and he'd go back to being fascinated over something else in the lane. Then a couple moments later he asked me the same question.
I got done ringing up his items (fortunately no alcohol or I would have had to deny its sale). He had 26 individual bags of Cheetos (he cleaned out the supply on several lanes), a whole apple pie, a whole cherry pie, our largest tub of macaroni salad (with a plastic fork from the deli sitting on top of it), a tube of toothpaste, and ten 5 hour energy shots. Lord I hoped he wasn't going to take them all at once.
He eventually decided against the chapstick and was lost in thought for another long moment, staring intently at the candy. All of a sudden he grabbed a Whatchamacallit, giggled, and set it gingerly on the belt like it was an egg.
I rang it up, gave him the grand total, and he said, "Perfect! Yes!" then practically danced over to pay and then grab his bags. As he left he turned and said over his shoulder, "You're awesome, bro!" and heel-toed it out of the store.
I love my job.
"The only time..."
The only time I've wondered about people is when their total comes to $6.66 so they go grab something else. (Worked at a gas station.)
"The one that comes to mind..."
I'm not a cashier anymore, but when I was there were some interesting interactions. The one that comes to mind is a guy came in drunk and tried to buy a single carrot. He must've gotten hungry while waiting in line because he took a massive bite out of it. Then he didn't understand that we sold them by weight and we were trying to figure out how to charge him for it when half of it was in his stomach.
"Her face would always flush..."
I worked as a cashier at a restaurant and we had a regular. We called her sour cream lady because everytime she came in she would order 11 sides of sour cream with her food.
Her face would always flush but no matter what she always got her 11 sides of sour cream. I totally judged.
"The items on the belt..."
This was a while ago (which will become obvious shortly) but when I was a young checker at a grocery store a dude comes through my line at around 5:30 PM on a Friday night. He's wearing a cheap three piece suit and I get the vibe that he's going on a date night with...someone.
The items on the belt- 4 bottles of red wine, box of Trojans, bottle of KY jelly and a blank VHS tape.
I mean, maybe the blank VHS tape had absolutely nothing to do with the other items. But also maybe a sex tape.
"I used to be..."
I used to be one of those guys terrified to buy condoms. Like the cashier was going to say something or somehow judge me. Eventually I realized most people are just trying to get through a day and don't give a damn. And that I shouldn't be ashamed or afraid for having protected sex. That being said, I still avoid any elderly looking female cashiers when buying sex related stuff.
"Yes, every week."
Not a combination, but a regular at my store comes in every week to buy half a dozen gallon jars of mayo.
Yes, they make gallon jars of mayo. Yes, six of them. Yes, every week. No, I don't know why.
Condoms and Yoo-hoos.
Nothing like sipping Yoo-hoo after some woo-hoo, I guess.
"I die a little inside..."
Was a cashier for three years.
I dont give a s*** what you buy. Just please don't say the "It must be free, then!" Joke. I die a little every time I hear that.
I'm not going to judge you on your items. I'll judge you if you're being a d*ck during the transaction.
"She was so embarrassed..."
I worked in a bookstore before there was an internet...so many questions about what people were buying and why. Imagine your search history being put on a conveyer belt, if you will....
The one I remember most was this very nice woman buying a stack of books on how to manage genital herpes. She was so embarrassed, I felt really bad for her.
"I wasn't into that..."
I have been a cashier.
And let me tell you we are so soulcrushed that we don't care. We see hundreds of articles going past the counter, tbh i just wanted to get rid of my costumers as fast as possible.
We do play little games to not succumb to the crushing abyss of retail.
One of them IS making up stories for products people buy.
I wasn't into that, instead I was racing to break my speed record.
"This was way before..."
Used to have a lady routinely come in like once a week and buy out all of the toilet paper. Like 20 packs of 24 rolls. This was way before pandemic crazies.
I used to work at a Barnes and Noble when Fifty Shades of Grey was huge. I can definitely say I judged a lot of people purchasing that book.
Nowadays I work at a retail place and most items they buy are really too random to care.
"I only ever judged..."
I only ever judged the shoplifters back when I was a cashier (we werent allowed to confront them per corporate policy), but the weirdest thing I ever saw was a nun buying two carts worth of bananas (easily 60-70 pounds) and two 2 pound bags of walnuts.
I just told her to enjoy the banana bread, she laughed and said it was for the homeless, and went about her day like it was normal to buy out an entire stores supply of bananas.
"When I was running register..."
When I was running register I was mostly thinking "I can't wait to get out of this hell hole." I honestly couldn't have cared less what people bought.
"I worked at Tesco..."
I worked at Tesco for a short time last year, and one thing that stuck out was if someone bought a specific combination of items (including scissors, nail paint among others) I should deny purchase because they can be used to construct a makeshift bomb.
That made me think "Oh, that's why unassuming product has an age restriction."
"I once worked..."
I once worked at a pet store. A haggard cat lady would come into the store once a month, gingerly select one flavor of cat food at a time, and then place them all in random order on the conveyor.
The problem was they were all random flavors, and the flavors had different bar codes. So I could either gather all the same colored flavors, scan one and put the quantity in, or individually scan each can.
Both situations were stupid time consuming.
I judged her hard.
"With that said..."
As someone who used to work register a bit at Wal-Mart. I hated it, and the only thing I judged was how long someone took to pay and leave.
With that said, some customers would purposely scout for products/toys with damaged boxes/packaging and try to get a discount on it.
Yes the product inside was fine but because the package was less than perfect they thought it to be a good idea to bring it to the register and ask for money off.
This is one of our biggest fears come to life! We've always worried what cashiers were thinking when we're getting an odd mix of things. But hey, at least they didn't say anything out loud. But this may cause us to wake up at 3 AM and think about it.