"I can help the next person in line...."

So I splurge and buy “the works” wash for my car at the gas pump. Naturally, the receipt doesn’t print out at the pump so I don’t get my car wash code. :mad:

I schlep into the convenience store to request said receipt from the cashier, and while I’m in there I decide I need a coffee. I get my coffee, pick up a snack, and walk over to the cashier station at the front of the store to pay for my items and get my gas receipt.

There’s about five people ahead of me in the line and only one cashier. I wait patiently as the line inches forward and people complete their transactions. Yeah, I’m tight on time - we all are. But the people in front of me were quicker and got there before I did - c’est la vie.

Just as the person right in front of me is beginning their transaction with the cashier, another cashier appears and calls out, “I can help the next person in line.”

Which is me, right? I’m the next in line. Had she not appeared, the cashier who was already there would have handled my transaction next and not that of the asshat behind me.

I move out of the line and start walking over to that cashier’s station only to find that the guy behind me practically left his shoes behind in his haste to beat me there.

“Excuse me,” I called politely to him. “I’m next in line.” I arrived at the counter and put my purchases down for the cashier.

You’d think I told him his mother was a crack whore. He got a very constipated expression and said, “Look, I’m in a real hurry-”

“So am I,” I replied politely. “I was the next person in line.” I turned around to prepare to pay for my stuff and get my receipt. But that’s not enough for him. “I only have one thing-”

The cashier settled it. She was nice but pretty firm with him. “I’m sorry hon, but she was next in line. We’ll be done quick and then we can get you on your way.”

Kudos to my assertive cashier who made clear she wasn’t going to take any crap. :smiley:

Good to hear that the cashier let that fellow know what was up. Too many times the mad dash for the newly opened cash register leaves the next person in line no closer to paying and leaving than they were before.

Too, I would guess that silver1, like most people, would have let Mr. I’m-in-a-hurry ahead of her, if he had politely asked.

When I had to be a cashier back in high school, I would make eye contact with the next person in the other line and say “I can help you over here”. Usually setlles any disputes. Not all cashiers think of that.

When I used to do deli work (and mind you, we were too ritzy to have a “numbered tab” machine), and we were bored, we’d call out, “OK, who’s next?” just to watch the fur fly.

My usual response here is, “Oh, I didn’t realize. I’m not in enough of a hurry to be a dick about it, so you just go on ahead.”

Thanks for this thread, because I had a related rant but didn’t want to start a new thread for it. (Courtesy of Home Depot, about half an hour ago.)

There’s a bank of 4 self checkouts, arranged in two rows of two on either side of a wide aisle. You see a line of about 8 people next to them, with the front of the line in roughly the middle of the aisle. Which of the following things would a normal person conclude:

A) That line is for all four checkout spots, and I should go to the back of it and wait my turn; or,
B) All eight of those people are waiting for the two checkouts on the left (or the right, if I’m coming from the other direction) and there’s nobody in line for the other two, so if I stand right to the left (or right) of the line I can start a new line.

Did you pick A? Good. For those of you who picked B, which is the proper procedure when someone tells you that the situation is, in fact, choice A?

C) Apologize and go to the back of the line; or,
D) Pretend not to hear him, and stand there until someone says the same thing, a second time, in an angry voice.

I’ll let you figure out the answer to that one yourselves.

If he hadn’t been such a donkey’s dork about it, I’m sure I probably would have. :slight_smile:

I thought this was going to be a rant about “I can help who’s next,” which I hear all the time…and used to say, when I was in a hurry. :wink:

Kudos indeed to your cashier. Good customer service, there.

Hate when they do that and just call out… “I can help the next person.” Especially at a supermarker because if you are next in line you are inbetween the candy and magazine racks and there are people behind you so it’s not at all easy to manuever out and to the next lane… and usually some ahole has already gotten there and the clerk is too sheepish or apathetic to care about saying “Please wait for this person who was next”

I like when they approach you and say “I can help you on lane x”.

One time at Target the cashier called me over but hadn’t finished setting up her register yet… the three people that were behind me originally had finished by the time I got out of there. The cashier apologized and I could only shrug.

Why can’t the rest of the world be Dopers? Why? :confused:

Two stories come to mind

  1. My wife and I are at the supermarket with a cart LOAD of food. There is only one register open, and no one in front of us. We start to unload, and up walks a lady with two items, I send her in front of us, so she does not have to wait. A couple walks up with 3 items, I send them up to follow the first lady. A third person walks up with just one item I send them ahead. I continue to unload stuff onto the belt. About the time my stuff finally gets down the belt to the cashier, a fourth person walks up and complains that I should let them go first. :smack: Sorry but no, 3 is my limit.

  2. LAX late one evening, my luggage did not make it home on my plane. I am waiting in line for the one baggage services person. Two ladies behind me are worried that they will miss their flight connection to New Zeland. I send them in front of me, since I only have to drive home at this point. A lady gets in line behind me and waits for a few minutes. Her husband then joins her, and asks why I didn’t offer to let her go in front of me? Pardon me, but WTF? I asked if they were trying to catch a connecting flight? No, they were arriving home just like me. So I asked when it because custom that a couple gets to cut to the front of the line, based only on the fact that the wife is good looking? :wally

Because this has always been one of my pet peeves, when I had the opportunity to manage a couple dozen cashiers at a large retailer I explicitly instructed them to find the next person in line and walk them to your register before turning on your light and having a free for all.
You would have thought I told them that one of their new duties was to clean toilets and ashtrays. They all rolled their eyes and grumbled and balked.
(Too bad I made them all do it anyway)

Same thing happened to me today at CVS. There were people waiting patiently in line and when a cashier opened up, they’d head over. Several people walked up, looked at us, and then stood in line behind the single person at the leftmost cashier. Um, it’s barely conceivable that they could have believed that the three or four people already waiting really wanted to be in the longest line behind the 90 year old woman who was very slowly being walked through the transaction by her (probably) daughter and a very patient cashier. However, when the call for more cashiers went out and the new cashier yelled “next person in line”, the older woman behind me in line pounced like a cat and sprinted to the front, deliberately cutting me off. It was all I could do to keep from saying “I understand, dear. I may be not be as young as I used to be, but if I were as old as you, I’d be worried about every second too.” Which was the second thing that came into my head, the first being a pithy phrase more usually reserved for people who cut you off in traffic.