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Night Elf

Three observations while working retail

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As a cashier, I run across these two things frequently.

1. Some people have way too many credit cards. It takes them a while to decide which one to use and sometimes it's declined and they have to give me another one. I mean, how many credit cards do you need? I'm talking about seeing like a dozen or more in people's wallets or with a rubber band wrapped around them.

2. People pay me with a credit card. They hand me the card and put their wallet back in their purse and put the purse back on their arm. Then I finish with the card and hand it back to them and they have to get their wallet out of their purse again to put the card back where it belongs. I'm afraid they'll stick it somewhere they aren't used to putting it and can't find it the next time they need to use it.

3. Some people just want to pay pennies for items. They act surprised when something is more than $1 and try to haggle me down in price. I'm often told we're a thrift store operating on donations so we should charge less for items that weren't ours to begin with and were just given to us. They don't understand that we have overhead in addition to the support we give to our No-kill shelter. We have a large sign on the front of our store that even says our store supports our shelter. We're called the Humane Society Thrift Store. If we charged $1 for everything, we wouldn't make any money and our doors would close. I'm talking about people who don't want to pay $3 for a pair of jeans. I sold a wool coat yesterday for $6. Our prices are lower than the other thrift stores in our area including Good Will. The new manager wants to raise our prices but I expect the public will raise the roof. I'm not looking forward to the first of the year.

I just find these things interesting. 

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I worked at a department store for a short period in high school and it was VERY eye opening. I think everyone should have the experience at some point because the perspective from the other side of the counter is quite different. 

On a similar yet different note I had someone try to haggle with me about onesies at our garage sale. They were four for $1, stain free, and a name brand. 

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My mother does #2, but does stick it back in random places, then panics and searches through her entire purse trying to find it, worrying that she left it at the store.  I keep telling her to just stick it back where it belongs and she claims she usually does, but I've seen this exact scenario way too often to believe that.

I only have a few cards.  1 credit card, 3 debit cards (personal, business, 4-H), Target card.  I don't put my wallet away until I'm done and stick them back in their slots.  Or if I don't want to carry everything, I have a little silicone pocket on the back of my phone to stick a card or cash in.

I worked retail for many many many years.  You've only seen a small sample of the bizarre you will get to enjoy.

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yes to #1.  I worked in a higher end bedding store . . . if you need to use two cards to pay for your item becasue you keep so close to your credit limit you can't put all your purchase on one card,  you have too many cards and spend too much money.

and #2 . . . I frequently stick my costco card in a pocket . . . . bad, bad.  drawback of them wanting to see the card when you walk in the door.

Edited by gardenmom5
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My mom does number 2 on your list all of the time.  I don’t.  

I have a lot of cards in my wallet but 3 of them are my bosses.  One business, one person and one back up for emergencies. Sometimes I have to think a minute before I pull out th right one.  I have a great fear of accidentally using one of his for my personal purchases.  

On a side note I am so proud of you for having this job.  It has really seeemd to be a positive change for you.  

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9 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 

On a side note I am so proud of you for having this job.  It has really seeemd to be a positive change for you.  

Oh thank you Scarlett. It sure has made an impact in my life. My manager is going to the Board meeting tomorrow and one of the things she's going to ask is if I can go full time. Whew! I feel good that I'm such a help to them that they have so much faith in me.

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10 hours ago, snickerplum said:

I worked at a department store for a short period in high school and it was VERY eye opening. I think everyone should have the experience at some point because the perspective from the other side of the counter is quite different. 

On a similar yet different note I had someone try to haggle with me about onesies at our garage sale. They were four for $1, stain free, and a name brand. 

That was probably my mom. 

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I just changed wallets and I keep doing the crazy #2 thing.  I don't mean to but I pull out the card, zip the wallet, put it back in my purse, and then I have to find the wallet, unzip, and put the card back.  I've started talking out loud to myself - keep the wallet open...

 

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I'm sure I do #2. I don't like to stand there with my wallet open in my hand when I may also be thinking about sliding my card, entering a PIN, signing the card reader, or answering all the questions that cashiers seem to ask. I'd rather put it into my purse because I'm likely to get distracted and leave it on the counter or something.

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11 hours ago, Night Elf said:

As a cashier, I run across these two things frequently.

1. Some people have way too many credit cards. It takes them a while to decide which one to use and sometimes it's declined and they have to give me another one. I mean, how many credit cards do you need? I'm talking about seeing like a dozen or more in people's wallets or with a rubber band wrapped around them.

2. People pay me with a credit card. They hand me the card and put their wallet back in their purse and put the purse back on their arm. Then I finish with the card and hand it back to them and they have to get their wallet out of their purse again to put the card back where it belongs. I'm afraid they'll stick it somewhere they aren't used to putting it and can't find it the next time they need to use it.

3. Some people just want to pay pennies for items. They act surprised when something is more than $1 and try to haggle me down in price. I'm often told we're a thrift store operating on donations so we should charge less for items that weren't ours to begin with and were just given to us. They don't understand that we have overhead in addition to the support we give to our No-kill shelter. We have a large sign on the front of our store that even says our store supports our shelter. We're called the Humane Society Thrift Store. If we charged $1 for everything, we wouldn't make any money and our doors would close. I'm talking about people who don't want to pay $3 for a pair of jeans. I sold a wool coat yesterday for $6. Our prices are lower than the other thrift stores in our area including Good Will. The new manager wants to raise our prices but I expect the public will raise the roof. I'm not looking forward to the first of the year.

I just find these things interesting. 

I do #2, only so that my purse and wallet are not lying wide open to potential thieves. o_0 However, my wallet is placed such that I can get it out easily and put my credit card *right back where it belongs* before I walk away. 🙂

I could add #4: People who stand and watch the whole check-out process and don't even touch their wallets until the cashier has completed doing everything and then act all shocked and surprised that they have to pay...by opening their purses...digging through the purses...finding the wallet...oh, wait, wrong wallet...oh, here's the right wallet...yeah. These people make me crazy. When I come up the cash register, my credit card (or cash) is in my hot little hand, ready to go. 

 

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I do #2 and this is why.  I am afraid to put down my wallet anywhere other than its permanent spot in my pocket.  I am afraid I will absent-mindedly walk off without it.  So if I need my hands free for any reason (and I often do), I put the wallet in my pocket even though I know I need to pull it back out in half a minute to put he card in.

As for # of credit cards, it probably looks like I have a bunch, but actually I only have 2 personal cards (a Discover and a Visa).  I got the Discover because (a) it was the only one Sam's Club took at the time and (b) it had the best deal on points; I got the Visa because some places don't take Discover.  I also have 2 business visas for 2 different businesses for which I am authorized to purchase stuff.  And an ATM card.  And a couple gift cards.  Also a variety of insurance and discount cards.  And a photo ID for each of my kids.

I haven't had my cards rejected in the USA, but sometimes they got so old that the machines couldn't always read the magnetic strips.

Edited by SKL

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1 hour ago, Ellie said:

I do #2, only so that my purse and wallet are not lying wide open to potential thieves. o_0 However, my wallet is placed such that I can get it out easily and put my credit card *right back where it belongs* before I walk away. 🙂

I could add #4: People who stand and watch the whole check-out process and don't even touch their wallets until the cashier has completed doing everything and then act all shocked and surprised that they have to pay...by opening their purses...digging through the purses...finding the wallet...oh, wait, wrong wallet...oh, here's the right wallet...yeah. These people make me crazy. When I come up the cash register, my credit card (or cash) is in my hot little hand, ready to go. 

 

Yes! Or the little old ladies who still write checks who don't find their checkbook until the cashier is done ringing everything up, then has to (slowly!) write out the check, and is then confused when the cashier hands the check back to her, necessitating an explanation about why the check is being returned to her.

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I look like #1. I keep all of my cards in one clip, since my current purse is too small for my wallet. But I only have three credit cards total (Visa, Discover, and Macys). The rest of the cards are store discount cards (Petsmart, Kroger, etc), license, library card, health insurance card and more.

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25 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

Yes! Or the little old ladies who still write checks who don't find their checkbook until the cashier is done ringing everything up, then has to (slowly!) write out the check, and is then confused when the cashier hands the check back to her, necessitating an explanation about why the check is being returned to her.

Yes! I was behind a couple at the grocery store the other day..  she didn’t look much older than me....maybe. 60....but she was writing a check!  I was thinking who still does that!

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The ladies writing checks, augh! After they slooooowly write the check they also slooooowly record it in the ledger and balance their check book. 

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OP, welcome to to the world of working retail.  I have plenty of stories to share lol.

 

In terms of #1...I have like eleventy billion pieces of plastic....but not a single one of them are credit cards.  I haven't had a credit card in decades.  I have a total of 3 debit cards...one for HSA, one for primary checking account, and one for our gifts and celebrations account (because so many gifts are ordered online.)  Of course, 99% of what I buy in a store is paid for in cash.  All those cards.............they are store cards and library cards.  My kids and I have cards at 2 different library systems.....that's 8 cards just for the library lol.  And since I want my kids to experience using their own library cards, no, we aren't going to the keychain thing.

#2...when I used my card more, yeah, that's how I lost most of the cards.  In a store or at a gas station....I lost more than one card in NC on work trips *sigh*  

On #3....people who try to negotiate in stores drive me nuts.  I am a huge negotiator at yard sales.  But in a store....seriously?  I don't understand why so many people think that low level non commissioned store employees have the authority to negotiate any of that.  Salesmen that are on commisson, most have that sort of authoity...but thrift store, pharmacy, big box home improvement, walmart type employees....they can't negotiate a dang thing.  

49 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Yes! I was behind a couple at the grocery store the other day..  she didn’t look much older than me....maybe. 60....but she was writing a check!  I was thinking who still does that!

LOL....my 64yr old mom.  

My mom's most common place of employment has been a bank.  She worked in a bank 40 yrs ago, she worked in a bank like 5 to 10 yrs ago.  She prefers checks.  Now......she gets it all ready ahead of time and only fills in the amount at the last minute.  She refuses to let the store print them.  And, even if she isn't writing a check, she still totally records and does the math in her checkbook right at the register before she does anything else.  It's sometimes funny and sometimes annoying but....her checking account is a clean as a fully bleached floor.  

 

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2 hours ago, wilrunner said:

Yes! Or the little old ladies who still write checks who don't find their checkbook until the cashier is done ringing everything up, then has to (slowly!) write out the check, and is then confused when the cashier hands the check back to her, necessitating an explanation about why the check is being returned to her.

I saw one of those a few days ago. It was so strange watching her, even though I'm old enough to remember doing the same thing because swiping credit/debit cards hadn't been invented yet. 😮

Here's something else: People who bag their own groceries instead of inserting/swiping their cards. The cashier totals their purchases and *then* they open their purses and look for their wallets and so on. Most grocery stores where I live allow you to swipe/insert your card as soon as the first item is scanned; those people could at least do that before bagging their groceries. It is not that I am in a hurry; it is that I didn't come to the grocery store to socialize. Once I'm in line, I just want to get in and get out. I want efficiency! LOL

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I have a debit card and a credit card but tons of cards in my wallet — Kohl’s rewards, insurance card, Sam’s Club membership card, B&N educator card, etc. 

I take my wallet out and stand there holding it til I’m ready to put it back. Sometimes I will step away from the line while holding it and arrange my stuff a couple feet away before I leave the store. 

 

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I work at a major department store in merchandising, receiving, or fulfillment (online orders), depending on the day. My observations:

  • Some people throw clothes they don't want on the floor of the changing room even if there is an empty rack right outside. 
  • If people knock off clothing or something on shelves, some people will leave it.
  • In the shoe department, even if the shoes are stacked right in front of them, some will try them on and leave both shoes out of the box on the floor.
  • Some people want the store to have every size and every color of every item at all times.

 

At times I spend my entire shift picking up.

My kids tease me that I get home and have zero interest in folding clothes or picking up unless it's my day off. Wonder why.

Edited by G5052
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8 hours ago, Ellie said:

I saw one of those a few days ago. It was so strange watching her, even though I'm old enough to remember doing the same thing because swiping credit/debit cards hadn't been invented yet. 😮

Here's something else: People who bag their own groceries instead of inserting/swiping their cards. The cashier totals their purchases and *then* they open their purses and look for their wallets and so on. Most grocery stores where I live allow you to swipe/insert your card as soon as the first item is scanned; those people could at least do that before bagging their groceries. It is not that I am in a hurry; it is that I didn't come to the grocery store to socialize. Once I'm in line, I just want to get in and get out. I want efficiency! LOL

I don’t bag mine but I also don’t use the swipe early option. Things get rung up incorrectly often enough I want a second to refute it lol. Like either the price is wrong or they scan too many of the same item. I can barely keep up because the store often has lag, no visible sceen for me or other things are going on and I can’t keep my eyes on it. At Dollar General when I enter my phone number for digital coupons I can scroll through the items if I want. I can also see if my coupons were accepted. I don’t spend forever doing this and try to move along if others are waiting but I do prefer to catch s mistake before it happens rather than get back in line for a refund or walk away with money lost. 

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17 minutes ago, G5052 said:

I work at a major department store in merchandising, receiving, or fulfillment (online orders), depending on the day. My observations:

  • Some people throw clothes they don't want on the floor of the changing room even if there is an empty rack right outside. 
  • If people knock off clothing or something on shelves, some people will leave it.
  • In the shoe department, even if the shoes are stacked right in front of them, some will try them on and leave both shoes out of the box on the floor.
  • Some people want the store to have every size and every color of every item at all times.
  •  

At times I spend my entire shift picking up.

My kids tease me that I get home and have zero interest in folding clothes or picking up unless it's my day off. Wonder why.

Yes! Some of those things happen in my thrift store. When I am not on the register, I'm taking clothes off the pricing rack and hanging them in the sections where they belong. Most of the time I find clothing thrown over the top of the rack, still on the hanger! They can't even be bothered to hang it back on the rack! I don't police our fitting rooms but I know they get in a mess. We have a rack outside of them but it's not always used. The lady who works in clothing gets a community service worker to go pick it all up and bring it to the back to rehang and then put back on the sales floor.

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Oh, another fun thing that happens is people who come into the store and ask me 'do you remember that [insert item name] that I saw last week? I can't find it. Do you know where it is? 

First of all, I'm not familiar with every item in the store. Second, someone probably purchased it. I try to be as polite as possible but sometimes I get annoyed looks.

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42 minutes ago, Night Elf said:

Oh, another fun thing that happens is people who come into the store and ask me 'do you remember that [insert item name] that I saw last week? I can't find it. Do you know where it is? 

 

Standard in my world. I'll be picking internet orders in housewares, and they want a particular sweater on the other side of the store. They don't remember the brand or exactly what it looked like, but they really liked it. They expect that I will know exactly what they are talking about among a dozen or more brands and thousands and thousands of sweaters in the store. I usually send them to a cash register in the middle of ladies' ready-to-wear, hoping that one of them just might remember. Often they don't though.

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49 minutes ago, Night Elf said:

Yes! Some of those things happen in my thrift store. When I am not on the register, I'm taking clothes off the pricing rack and hanging them in the sections where they belong. Most of the time I find clothing thrown over the top of the rack, still on the hanger! They can't even be bothered to hang it back on the rack! I don't police our fitting rooms but I know they get in a mess. We have a rack outside of them but it's not always used. The lady who works in clothing gets a community service worker to go pick it all up and bring it to the back to rehang and then put back on the sales floor.

 

My store was open on Thanksgiving and of course Black Friday. On both days when we cleaned out the dressing rooms, it was literally a stack of clothes above our knees. Three of us tackled it and got it all put away.

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2 hours ago, G5052 said:
  • Some people want the store to have every size and every color of every item at all times.

I don't find that a crazy expectation. It is really frustrating if an item is only available in XS or plus sizes in decent colors (and all the regular sizes are out or hideous colors) . If they want people to shop in the store and not online, they need to make sure sizes/colors are stocked. Otherwise they are wasting my time.

Edited by regentrude
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4 hours ago, G5052 said:

I work at a major department store in merchandising, receiving, or fulfillment (online orders), depending on the day. My observations:

  • Some people throw clothes they don't want on the floor of the changing room even if there is an empty rack right outside. 
  • If people knock off clothing or something on shelves, some people will leave it.
  • In the shoe department, even if the shoes are stacked right in front of them, some will try them on and leave both shoes out of the box on the floor.
  • Some people want the store to have every size and every color of every item at all times.

 

At times I spend my entire shift picking up.

My kids tease me that I get home and have zero interest in folding clothes or picking up unless it's my day off. Wonder why.

One nice thing about having worked retail, I make sure I put things back. I even pick stuff up off the floor as I'm passing by if it's been knocked off the shelf. (Retail worker habits can be hard to break.)

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When I hit the checkout I'm the "ready to go" type. (Phone is cued up for Target Cartwheel and Red Card is right on top.)

However,  the habits of customers in front of me don't bother me.  At all.  I truly believe that choosing to be patient and avoiding even an inward eyeroll is good for the world.

No one really knows what is going on for a stranger.  What they've gone through, whether they're distracted, have something going on that makes it hard to have all the steps for paying thought out.

If I'm in a hurry that's on me, not the person in front of me.  

My dear late sister (the one who died this spring) was *super* friendly and had reason to use only cash or checks.  Based on comments here I know some of y'all would've lost it being behind her in line.  When temped to be impatient I hope you'll consider that person to be someone's loved one and choose good vibes over bad.

*steps off soap box*

 

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16 minutes ago, Valley Girl said:

One nice thing about having worked retail, I make sure I put things back. I even pick stuff up off the floor as I'm passing by if it's been knocked off the shelf. (Retail worker habits can be hard to break.)

I agree about habits.  I usually "face" the shelf when I shop especially if it's late in the day and looks faced already.  I also pick things up and put things in the right place if need be.

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20 minutes ago, happi duck said:

When I hit the checkout I'm the "ready to go" type. (Phone is cued up for Target Cartwheel and Red Card is right on top.)

However,  the habits of customers in front of me don't bother me.  At all.  I truly believe that choosing to be patient and avoiding even an inward eyeroll is good for the world.

No one really knows what is going on for a stranger.  What they've gone through, whether they're distracted, have something going on that makes it hard to have all the steps for paying thought out.

If I'm in a hurry that's on me, not the person in front of me.  

My dear late sister (the one who died this spring) was *super* friendly and had reason to use only cash or checks.  Based on comments here I know some of y'all would've lost it being behind her in line.  When temped to be impatient I hope you'll consider that person to be someone's loved one and choose good vibes over bad.

*steps off soap box*

 

Just to be clear, I don’t lose it. I was just astounded that anyone still writes checks.  I imagine they have their reasons.... I am just curious what the reasons are. 

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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Just to be clear, I don’t lose it. I was just astounded that anyone still writes checks.  I imagine they have their reasons.... I am just curious what the reasons are. 

My mom's reason is how unsecure cards are.  They get hacked all the time.  But checks?  It basically doesn't happen with checks.  I mean, she knows that it *could* but it just doesn't really.  Probably because hacking cards is SO easy, why bother trying to steal someone's checking account number from their checks.  Plus, she says that having the check book out already ensures that she writes the transaction in the register.  When she just uses the card, taking out the register and writing it all down is a totally separate step that it's easy to skip and forget about.

 

My mom is the person who, for years, was writing checks and mailing them for ebay purchases.  She doesn't buy much on ebay anymore and most online sites won't allow someone to mail a check for a purchase lol.  So she uses a debit card online and has occasionally used it for purchases in store.  She just prefers a check to a card.  

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16 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Yes! I was behind a couple at the grocery store the other day..  she didn’t look much older than me....maybe. 60....but she was writing a check!  I was thinking who still does that!

I mostly write checks for in person purchases that I don't have the cash for. Why not?

It comes out of my account right away, making it easy to keep track of how much I have in my account. (I do not balance it at the checkout, but I can tell at a glance what is in there. I balance it every month/checking it with my statement. )

I have a clear record of the transaction  (cancelled check plus my notation in my register).

I don't have or want a debit card. A credit card is my last resort in person. I dislike using it, especially as the number gets stolen about once a year.

My checks are cute. 🙂

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5 hours ago, G5052 said:

 

Standard in my world. I'll be picking internet orders in housewares, and they want a particular sweater on the other side of the store. They don't remember the brand or exactly what it looked like, but they really liked it. They expect that I will know exactly what they are talking about among a dozen or more brands and thousands and thousands of sweaters in the store. I usually send them to a cash register in the middle of ladies' ready-to-wear, hoping that one of them just might remember. Often they don't though.

I used to get similar working at a library......”I’m looking for a book, I don’t know the title or author, but it has a blue cover.”😳

I’ve worked with the public for many years and in several different settings.....people are crazy and never cease to amaze me with their antics.....

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6 hours ago, Valley Girl said:

One nice thing about having worked retail, I make sure I put things back. I even pick stuff up off the floor as I'm passing by if it's been knocked off the shelf. (Retail worker habits can be hard to break.)

I do this too, even after only a brief stint in retail over 20 years ago in college. Folding those shirts over and over and over! It wasn't the worst job I ever had but it was close. (I'm a whiz at folding laundry though, lol!)

I learned the other day that my 64yo mom no longer gets checks from her bank at all. I ordered a gift for her to give dd for Christmas, and she said she needed to go to the bank to get the money to pay me back. When I suggested she just write me a check, since I'd need to deposit the cash at the bank anyway, she looked at me funny and said, "We don't get checks anymore!" I felt like a dinosaur! 😳 We don't write many checks, but we do keep a few on hand for things like when we signed ds up for baseball. Maybe the school would have taken PayPal or something? I didn't even think to ask. I never use them in a store, though.

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22 hours ago, wilrunner said:

Yes! Or the little old ladies who still write checks who don't find their checkbook until the cashier is done ringing everything up, then has to (slowly!) write out the check, and is then confused when the cashier hands the check back to her, necessitating an explanation about why the check is being returned to her.

Awwww.....my ninety year old. MIL is so very slow. She does absolutely everything slow from walking to getting out her wallet, to writing slowly.

Going grocery shopping is one of her few exercises and outings.

I tell her all the time, "It's okay, people don't mind waiting when they are behind someone who is ninety. " She knows she is show and sometimes gets upset about it.

Honestly, she is going as fast as she can, and I really appreciate those that are patient with us. She's just very slow.

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On 12/5/2018 at 7:45 AM, Where's Toto? said:

My mother does #2, but does stick it back in random places, then panics and searches through her entire purse trying to find it, worrying that she left it at the store.  I keep telling her to just stick it back where it belongs and she claims she usually does, but I've seen this exact scenario way too often to believe that.

 

Not picking on you, Toto, but I started giggling through this thread because of all the "#2" comments. Potty humor is not usually my thing, but the phrasing caught me off guard tonight (plus, I may be very tired and slap happy).

 

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3 hours ago, Okra said:

Awwww.....my ninety year old. MIL is so very slow. She does absolutely everything slow from walking to getting out her wallet, to writing slowly.

Going grocery shopping is one of her few exercises and outings.

I tell her all the time, "It's okay, people don't mind waiting when they are behind someone who is ninety. " She knows she is show and sometimes gets upset about it.

Honestly, she is going as fast as she can, and I really appreciate those that are patient with us. She's just very slow.

I don't mind slowing down for folks and I don't generally show my impatience. My mil was the same way. It's when they watch and wait until everything is scanned before starting to get the checkbook out that I don't like, not that they move slower than everyone else. I'm sorry I gave the impression that I have no patience for those who are slower; I'm glad you said something. I'm happy to see older people when they're out and about. 

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16 hours ago, RootAnn said:

I mostly write checks for in person purchases that I don't have the cash for. Why not?

It comes out of my account right away, making it easy to keep track of how much I have in my account. (I do not balance it at the checkout, but I can tell at a glance what is in there. I balance it every month/checking it with my statement. )

I have a clear record of the transaction  (cancelled check plus my notation in my register).

I don't have or want a debit card. A credit card is my last resort in person. I dislike using it, especially as the number gets stolen about once a year.

My checks are cute. 🙂

Yep. I write checks at Costco, because they changed which credit cards they accept a few years ago and I didn’t bother to adapt. Also, this time of year, I drasticly reduce how much I use a credit card (and dont use debit AT ALL) because I have been hacked before Christmas three years in a row. Now - I will say i get a check completely ready and then they print it; I doubt this takes more than ten seconds of additional time. 

I’m well aware that checks are trending out - my young adults don’t even have them - but I still do, so I plan to use them until stores no longer accept them at all. 

I do also agree with @happi duck, though, that it’s better to be patient with whomever heads you in line. You never know what someone’s story is. 

I remember one time I was behind a silver-haired lady at Walmart who was trying to use a bunch of coupons. I think she had some dementia and it pained me greatly to see the clerk explain to her why coupon after coupon was invalid. It was sad. I kept wondering if she had an adult child somewhere who does not know Mom is struggling like this. 

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9 hours ago, wilrunner said:

I don't mind slowing down for folks and I don't generally show my impatience. My mil was the same way. It's when they watch and wait until everything is scanned before starting to get the checkbook out that I don't like, not that they move slower than everyone else. I'm sorry I gave the impression that I have no patience for those who are slower; I'm glad you said something. I'm happy to see older people when they're out and about. 

 

I'm in the watch-and-wait crowd. That's because I'm watching the cashier to make sure nothing is accidently run twice or missed. I'm also watching the screen to make sure the correct items/prices pop up. I hate getting out of the line and then finding there's an error on the receipt--because that means waiting in the customer service line to get it corrected. So there are valid reasons why people are taking their time getting out their form of payment. Of course, they could just be daydreaming, too.

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Man, the things I saw in my years as a bank teller.....  Here are just a few nuggets:

~ huge wallets stuffed with credit cards, obviously old receipts, and held shut with a giant rubber band (this was quite common with both women AND men!)

~ many people getting cash advances on a national credit card, then handing me the cash to pay the minimum on our "bank-branded" credit card. (this was also quite common)

~ those trying to get cash advances often had to try several cards to find one with enough available credit to be approved for said cash advance

~ credit cards and cash just tossed willy-nilly into huge shoulder bags that were overflowing with papers and miscellaneous purse things that weren't securely closed (just left gaping open)

~ one guy used 13 credit cards, maxing out each with a cash advance, to buy a corvette.

**NOTE ---- this was way back in the day where there was no such thing as credit card rewards (plus, cash advances don't count towards rewards, anyway) and no such thing as store loyalty cards. Yes, I saw several people with upwards of 20 credit cards. Actual, real credit cards.

I have many more stories of my own and many from a family member who worked retail for years and years. It really is an intimate look at how some people manage some things. I tried not to judge the financial part since I didn't know anyone's situations, but the messy wallets and purses made my brain cramp just thinking about trying to find something in those.

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3 hours ago, Quill said:

Yep. I write checks at Costco, because they changed which credit cards they accept a few years ago and I didn’t bother to adapt. Also, this time of year, I drasticly reduce how much I use a credit card (and dont use debit AT ALL) because I have been hacked before Christmas three years in a row. Now - I will say i get a check completely ready and then they print it; I doubt this takes more than ten seconds of additional time. 

I’m well aware that checks are trending out - my young adults don’t even have them - but I still do, so I plan to use them until stores no longer accept them at all. 

I do also agree with @happi duck, though, that it’s better to be patient with whomever heads you in line. You never know what someone’s story is. 

I remember one time I was behind a silver-haired lady at Walmart who was trying to use a bunch of coupons. I think she had some dementia and it pained me greatly to see the clerk explain to her why coupon after coupon was invalid. It was sad. I kept wondering if she had an adult child somewhere who does not know Mom is struggling like this. 

I still use checks on occasion, too. I prefer to use my cc over checks, though, because if hacked, I just close the account and the bank issues a new card. If a check is copied, an ACH can be done to drain the account and it takes ages to get your money back. I use my cc everywhere I can.

Also, in defense of still writing checks, there are people/places that don't accept cash and who charge for online payment, so checks it is! (piano teacher, property taxes, car tags, HOA fees, apartment rent, etc). I only allow utilities access to my checking account.  #CheckWriterForLife   (even if I only write about one check a month, if even that)

Last week at Costco, the lady in front of me wrote a check. Painfully slowly. She was only about 60, didn't seem to have any fine motor issues, and was chatting away in line to her dh (so, seemingly completely 'normal'). She filled it out wrong and had to dig out her wallet and start all over again. Sigh.

 

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I do the second one when I request cash back. I put my wallet away then remember I need to put the cash in it. In my defense, I rarely get cash back so it's habit for me to just put everything away once I finish paying. 

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4 hours ago, Quill said:

 

I’m well aware that checks are trending out - my young adults don’t even have them - but I still do, so I plan to use them until stores no longer accept them at all. 

 

Ds 21 doesn't have checks. He does know how to write one if he ever needs to but even if he needed to he wouldn't have any to write. 🙂

I have several doctors who no longer accept checks as payment. I sometimes wonder how they handle elderly patients who might still want to pay by check. I've never been to a store that doesn't take checks but I imagine that's coming in the not too distant future.

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I still use checks. I use them because I am tired of my credit card number being stolen. I don't use debit cards because my sister had her entire bank account cleaned out by a person who either knew or guessed her code. I guess, to me, the aggravation of having to write a check is much less than the hassle of cancelling stolen cards, dealing with the fraud department, and waiting and changing all automatic accounts to the new credit card.

Aggravating the people behind me is just an added plus.😁

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It is interesting how many people have had their debit/Visa card hacked.  I never have.  I have one from a credit union and one from a national chain bank....

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16 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

It is interesting how many people have had their debit/Visa card hacked.  I never have.  I have one from a credit union and one from a national chain bank....

Neither have I. I've always had mine from a credit union. I also shop online quite often. 

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

It is interesting how many people have had their debit/Visa card hacked.  I never have.  I have one from a credit union and one from a national chain bank....

It hapened to me each year at this time for three years. Now - I will say, my company (Bank of America) has been outstanding at immediately flagging suspicious activity - so outstanding that they have screwed ME up when I tried to make an unusual purchase - but, even with outstanding fraud resolution, having to close and re-issue is a HUGE PITA. The last fraud was the most pernicious and there were multiple things *subscribed to* by the fraud perpetrator, and removing them was much more difficult than the usual reversals. There were Facebook charges, which I never make, there were subscriptions to Hulu and mutiple Playstation purchases worth hundreds of dollars. My card was unusable for a few months and it took three months to get all the subscription things reversed. And then I have to change my card info with auto-charge things. 

 

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How do you not EVER use checks? I mean, like property taxes for instance? There's a hefty credit card fee processing fee attached so we ALWAYS write a check for that. Otherwise you're paying a few hundred dollars extra for nothing. Also yard crews, housekeepers, things like that- not everyone has Square or something- so I'm just wondering how it's possible to never, ever use a check? I still probably write 5 or so a month, and December is a lot worse with taxes to the various taxing agents. 

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