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Chaos at the checkout counter
Posted Nov 16, 2007

Alexandra Lozano
Editorial Director

Well its time for the holidays again and you know what that means: long lines at the mall, holiday shopping and the search for that perfect gift.

Of course there’s always that one person who you don’t really like, but you have to be polite to and get them something anyways, even though they will probably toss your gift in the end.

And while I don’t have any tips on what you should buy him or her, I do have some tips on something I call a little “counter courtesy.”

1. Please don’t complain about the wait.
If you’re anyone with a TV, computer or newspaper, you should probably already know that next Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

So when you’re waiting in line with your five garbage bag sized buckets of clothes and gifts, please note that it takes a long time to scan everything.

I don’t want to hear that you’ve been waiting 45 minutes because it’s not like you’re buying just one item. It’s people like you that are holding up the line.

And please try to give me a little respect. The day has been long for me, too.

It wasn’t my idea to set my alarm at 3:30 a.m. and be at work by 4 a.m. so you can start your holiday shopping.

2. Please refrain from yelling.

I cannot stress this enough. Yelling at me won’t get you to the front of the line faster. And if you’re at the front of the line I promise you, the more you yell, the slower I’ll scan.

Then I’ll call security on you as well.

3. Make sure all of your items have a price tag.

It just makes sense. It’s annoying to you and it’s annoying to me to have to stop what I’m doing to run downstairs and find an item exactly like the one you brought me. Telling me what price it is, won’t help me either. This is just some common sense and common courtesy. How else am I supposed to scan your item if it doesn’t have a tag?

If it doesn’t have a price, I won’t be very nice.

4. Have your credit card ready.

Please don’t complain that you left your credit card at home and if I could look it up with your social security number. I can’t.

My register isn’t designed to do that, we have a credit department downstairs that can do that for you. So before you go off threatening me to call our complaint line or screaming that they do it at other major departments stores, remember who forgot their money. That’s right, you.

And first of all if you knew you were going to go shopping on Black Friday (which you already know if you are), please have all your money on hand and in your hand. I don’t want to wait another five minutes of my life as you struggle to write a check.

5. Lose the attitude.

I won’t dish it out unless you dish it first. That means don’t tap your fingers because I take too long to scan everything. Don’t try to haggle me down.

Don’t try and switch tags on me. I know what is and what isn’t on clearance. So, don’t be bringing me a pair of Levi’s with a clearance sticker for $4.97. I won’t buy it and neither will you.

And please be patient.

All of these tips will help you and me have a much smoother holiday shopping experience.

Alexandra Lozano, a senior journalism major, is editorial director of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at