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RetailIamA Grocery store cashier and service clerk AMA!

Jan 7th 2017 by Scotb6 • 34 Questions • 2636 Points

Here's me in the Caesar Man suit!

Little Caesars was my first job, and I really enjoyed it for the most part. I've worked for corporate and for franchises, ask me anything that you may be curious about!

Q:

How often do people complain about using the chip in the debit/credit cards?

A:

Why did you leave?


Q:

Our chip reader doesn't work, so they still swipe it. But every so often someone will just move the little note over the chip reader saying it doesn't work to just shove their card in. I let them wait a minute and feel dumb before saying anything.

A:

I left when I stopped enjoying it there. I had another job that took up a majority of my time, so I was tired. By the time I actually turned my keys in and said "I'm out", I hadn't worked there in a solid two months because I asked my manager if she could take me off the schedule for a while. Coming in felt more and more like a chore and I worked kinda far from home. Wasn't worth it anymore and I wasn't happy. I left on a good note, though, and that job will always hold a super special place in my heart. I even have a pizza tattoo!


Q:

When guys try to buy condoms discretely by putting it in a cart with other stuff, what was the worst inadvertent combination you've seen?

A:

Please show the tattoo!


Q:

Toilet paper, laxatives, hot sauce.


Q:

What's the longest it's taken to check out a single person?

A:

Are there any other secret requests? Like getting it crazy crusted? Stuff that's fantastic and not listed?


Q:

Ready for this? Over two hours. Over the summer a family of like fifteen came to stay in town for about a month, and only wanted to make one shopping trip. They had like eight or nine buggies, the total was like $1,200.00, it was crazy.

A:

Sometimes we'd make stuffed crust pizza or pepperoni crazy bread or calzones... but I'd never make that for a customer unless I knew them or they were a coworker. Too much work and if word got out that we would do stuff like that, people would want it and eventually it might be made a menu item, blah blah blah... ya know? Specialty items are super annoying to make, and that's why I'm glad I worked on the bottom of the pizza chain totem and not at the top!


Q:

How many bags was that?

A:

Understandable. Pepperoni crazy bread sounds pretty epic though...


Q:

I have three racks of bags at my register at the start of my shift along with two boxes of extra bags, all together a fuck-load of bags. I was out after that and had to give them a few items without a bag. One lady took out their bacon in her purse.

A:

Most definitely! It's not nearly as time consuming as other things so maybe you could request that sometime at your local LC! No telling what they'll charge you, but it was damn good.


Q:

What's the strangest thing someone has ENTERED the store with? Like has anyone come in with a Parrot on their shoulder or something else that is just out of place?

A:

How much pizza did you guys usually throw out each night?


Q:

Ya know most people don't enter a grocery store with a basket of tomatoes, you usually leave with that, but this fucker....

A:

We tried to keep waste down as much as possible, but depending on if we met projection numbers and all that jazz, sometimes nothing and sometimes 20 things.


Q:

What's the most obscure thing you've seen being shoplifted?

A:

Could use the waste for those in need


Q:

You guys are obsessed with thievery. I didn't witness this myself, but a co worker told me about a guy who tried to steal a live lobster.

A:

That's been suggested before! I forget why we ended up not doing it, some corporate formality bullshit. But when I worked for a franchise (one of the worst things I've ever done in my life), one of the few good things they did was donate food or let us take it home (something that really benefitted a few of my coworkers with big families or single moms).


Q:

What's something that customer's can do to make your life a little easier that we wouldn't otherwise think about?

A:

Former employee at another LC franchise here. We donated ours to the food bank. Apparently only a couple franchises do.


Q:

Don't go to a manager unless 100% necessary, you may think it's an easy way to get the right answer quicker, but it ends up being seen by them as us not doing our jobs and we get chewed out.

A:

Currently looking at other AMAs thinking "no one will ever care about Little Caesars that much!"


Q:

What is the creepiest late night item combo purchase you've had to ring through?

A:

I care about Little Caesars that much. I actually craved it sometimes. That cheap pizza kept me fed through nursing school.


Q:

5 hour energy, box of condoms, bag of shredded cheese, duct tape.

A:

Aw! I'm glad!


Q:

I one rang up a lady who bought a very large cucumber, KY jelly, and a 40 of malt liquor. Nothing else. That lady gave no fucks, except the one she presumably gave herself that night.

A:

How many times would you encounter a rude customer?


Q:

Beautiful.

A:

Several times a day. I worked in some not-so-nice areas, so maybe more than other locations.


Q:

How can we make your life easier?

A:

What's your favorite thing to eat there?


Q:

Few ways:

  1. No just because it didn't scan it's not free, that isn't funny, stop saying it.

  2. Stop talking on the damn phone. That's rude.

  3. Even if you don't wanna chat, when I ask how you're doing, answer me.

  4. One buggy. You get one fucking buggy. If you need more come back. One.

  5. The manager is gonna tell you the same shit I did, don't make me call them just because you didn't like my answer, it's wasting your time, my time, their time, and everyone behind you's time.

A:

I loved the crazy bread. Sometimes I crave it! But the nearest LC to me is 15+ miles away and not really worth the drive.


Q:

What aisle is the peanut butter on?

A:

How are the prices kept that low?

Is the pizza actually good? I've never had it


Q:

18

A:

You wouldn't believe how cheap it is to actually make the stuff. I read somewhere that it's like a dollar something to put that pizza together. And then you sell it for five! Pretty decent profit, and then they bump up the price of other stuff like the breadsticks. It's crazy! And it can be good! It depends on who makes it, honestly. Some people don't care about their work, some people do.


Q:

Thank you, I'll just go ... wait a minute, this store only has 17 aisles!

A:

What is your current job?


Q:

That's actually something people say, we have twenty aisles, but 18-20 have much smaller signs than 1-17.

A:

I'm a paraprofessional at an elementary school!


Q:

Why do my eleven items go in fifteen bags? - joking.

But seriously - do you ever feel like you need to manufacture friendliness on rough days? How do you handle a customer whose jugular you want to go after with their rewards club card?

A:

So basically someone that pretends to know what they are doing or talking about.

Hey, I'm a paraprofessional too!


Q:

To actually answer the bag question, certain items just CANNOT go with other items, customer preference be damned.

To answer the real question, I'm very sarcastic and can hide my irritation well. I'll sit there and pick apart a customer to their face and they think I'm just trying to help. It's magical really.

A:

I work with special needs kids in a classroom.


Q:

Some items do go together, but for some reason it's blasphemy to fill bags more than two thirds full. I literally have to ask for the bags to be filled every single time.

A:

I never thought I wanted a pizza tattoo, but NOW... (that looks really neat, btw)


Q:

That's also to prevent bags from tearing. It's also cashier preference in some areas. I personally stuff a bag as best I can and if it seems a little heavier than it should be I double bag. I also try to keep as much of the breakable stuff (eggs, bread, chips) together in one or two bags if possible so you can stick that on top of your buggy and keep it safe.

A:

It's fun one! Definitely a conversation starter, and sometimes preferably hidden because people can be annoying about it.


Q:

Did you get robbed (or they wanted to) and how often does someone try?

A:

How do you make crazy bread?


Q:

Has anyone ever tried to rob me? Nope. Although when something is expensive I've been accused of robbery!

A:

It's literally just baked strips of dough, and when it comes out we put butter and parmesan on it. The butter parm crust? Yep, it's the same thing.


Q:

what about people stealing from the market in general? Since tourists wouldn't come back there anyway do they try a lot and is this a problem to be aware of?

A:

What would you do if someone came in and shouted 'Pep out!' over and over?


Q:

I honestly am not all that sure how much people try to steal from the store. Like I said, I daily encounter a kid trying to steal a candy bar, but that's about all I know of.

A:

Like, in my house right now? Probably go insane. While working there I had a lot of dreams like that... haha.


Q:

How do you feel about bagels?

A:

I have multiple questions!!!

  1. Does LC still do Please Please toys? I miss those from when I grew up. The toys always smelled like Crazy Bread.

  2. Speaking of Crazy Bread, what is on them? They are the most magical things to come out of a pizza place, so help me... Whenever I go to LC, I get an entire order just for myself; fuck the family, don't come between me and my Crazy Bread!

  3. What is the best "bang for your buck" at LC? I don't look at the menu very often to become acquainted with it, so I usually just roll in for a HNR pepperoni and c-bread combo.

  4. I only ever see ads for things like 5 buck mombo-combo and the deep deep dish pizzas anymore. What other items does LC have that the vast majority doesn't even know about?


Q:

Toasted, cream cheese.

A:

No toys where I was at! Crazy bread is just our dough with butter and parmesan on top. The best bang for your buck would be the items you mentioned... everything else is wayyyyy overpriced for how much it costs to actually make it. And I'm not sure what they have now, but when I left it seemed they would rotate specialty items between the ICB/DD box deal, the pretzel crust, and the stuffed crust deep dish. I know they've come out with a bunch of other crazy stuff, but I prefer to stick with the classics.


Q:

Ever had someone famous or infamous come through your line?

A:

Why don't you pay me enough?

Nah, actually pretty chill with my manager. Ignore me.


Q:

The governor of the state I live in.

A:

Didn't get paid enough either! Hence the "former" ;)


Q:

And were they decent or douchey?

A:

We used to dive into the dumpsters behind your restaurants and grab your delicious dumpster pizza. Approximately how long did it sit before you threw it out?


Q:

Decent, really quiet. Think he didn't wanna get much attention so I didn't say anything about it other than tell him it was cool to meet him.

A:

The rule is half an hour in the hot box. Trash doesn't generally get taken out til the next morning though.


Q:

Do you have dreams about produce codes? And what's the most obscure one you can remember?

A:

Where was the Lil Ceasers you worked at? (If you don't mind me asking)


Q:

I do not, but 3182 is fenel.

A:

All three locations that I worked at were in Michigan!


Q:

The look-up name for that in grocery stores I go to is anise. Figured that out after a couple of confusing moments at the check out.

A:

Thats whats up man.


Q:

Yeah, I found it there too. I just remember the code now though.

A:

Yup! Born, raised, still here!


Q:

Have you ever had a customer hit on you?

A:

How's the weather up there?


Q:

Several times. Occasionally it's a pretty girl and I flirt back, sometimes it's a middle aged woman with smokers breath and I have to try not to cry.

A:

Meh! Cold-ish. It was like 50 degrees over New Years, but two nights ago it snowed a bunch and it's been windy. I have time off from work though so I don't mind it too much since I don't have to leave the house.


Q:

I'm assuming you mean tears of joy

A:

By any chance was one of them the one in Detroit on Warren by I-75? I work by there, so that's the one I generally go to. Bulletproof glass wall, but great pepperoni cheese bread.


Q:

Sure we can go with that.

A:

Nope! I was at an inkster location!


Q:

Wearing "PINK" sweatpants and an openly visible shirt or sweatshirt to see her cleavage. Hair tied in a bun and extremely thin or extremely fat. One of the two. Always. Bonus points if her credit card declines and you have to put all her items back. Ps she had 40 items.

A:

Did you ever fuck up a rude customer's order on purpose?


Q:

Do you work at my store?

A:

Nah. I wanted them to get the hell out of my store.


Q:

Rouses is my favorite grocery. There are ton in my hometown. What is your favorite moment?

A:

What role did the local owners play? How long did it take you to feel like you'd become a good manager? I've been considering getting into a franchise and LC is often top ranked.


Q:

Favorite moment? Like favorite thing that's happened to me while I've worked there? That's a tough one, probably the time one of my co workers put 5 bucks of his own money in my drawer when I was short. I was still fairly new at the time and was freaking out because I thought I was gonna get fired, and he just quietly pulls it out of his wallet, slips it in with the other 5's, and pats me on the back. Any other job I'd worked before it was every man for himself, here we all kinda struggle through it together.

A:

I hated working for the franchise. They were not good people. Personally, it took me a long time to feel like I owned up to my title as an assistant. It was nothing special really, but I'm an insecure person and I wanted the crew to like me so I was more their friend than their on shift manager. When I stopped doing that shit, I was a damn good manager.


Q:

How closely do you pay attention to the vegetables when punching in the code? Like, if I buy Roma tomatoes will you just enter the code for regular tomatoes?

A:

The best LC I know is a franchise owned by an elderly couple. They are the sweetest people I know and all of their employees love them. They constantly show up during the busy times and closing hours to help out, and to make sure every customer is happy. The store and kitchen is immaculate and you can often knock on the door for free pizza after hours and you'll see the two of them on their hands and knees scrubbing the place down. The world needs more people like that.


Q:

I pay close attention, because they all cost different amounts and if something is a penny more than it should be people flip out. If you buy roma, I'll put in the code for roma.

A:

That's amazing! I wish the franchise I worked for did that.


Q:

If my items don't ring up they are free right?

A:

Any secret menu or secrets to free food?


Q:

On a cosmic scale, fuck people who make that joke.

A:

Want free food? Just complain.


Q:

Whats the weirdest conversation you've ever haf with a customer?

A:

I never been at Little Caesars, what am I missing?


Q:

That's a tough one, probably the lady who told me about the week she spent in Mexico. She told me she did a lot of cocaine and blew a bunch of dudes. I just asked why she wanted to buy ten jars of salsa. I thought she was having a party, I think the party was that week in Mexico.

A:

Not much. Cheap pizza.


Q:

Do you have any regulars? Please tell me a funny story about the weirdest one

A:

What was the weirdest thing that ever happened at your location?


Q:

I do! Plenty of regulars. As for the weirdest one? Well see below where I talk about the lady who told me she spent a week in Mexico doing cocaine and blowing dudes.

A:

A dude came in asking for money to catch a bus. I gave him five dollars and expected to never see the dude again. The next week, he came back and gave me my $5. We had to call the cops several times for people fighting in our lobby, and also on homeless people that would sit outside the store and harass customers.


Q:

What's your least favorite rude customer trope? Other than being straight up ignored when you greet them. For me personally it's when I have my hand extended for their change, and they toss it on the counter anyway.

Also, do you hate paper in plastic as much as I do?

A:

My dad once saw a Little Caesars employee pick their nose while working on a pizza. How would this be dealt with if it happened in front of you?


Q:

The one I hate the most is when a customer doesn't say hi and ask where a product is, just shout the name of it at you. "Peanut butter?!" like calm down asshole. Paper in plastic? Not sure I know what ya mean.

A:

"Dude, seriously? Go wash your damn hands. And use a tissue next time." But that's just how the stores I worked at were. We were very up front with each other. Then again, our personal hygiene was a lot better than the overall cleanliness of the stores, so that's one good thing I can say about the places I've worked.


Q:

You ever recommend something to a customer and they actually are looking for it?

A:

How much money did you make as a Little Caesars manager?


Q:

Couple of times. Typically someone who hasn't been in the store before and doesn't really even know where to look.

A:

When I left I was making 9.50


Q:

Should I quit my job and become a cashier? I'm an operations manager for a company that barely pays me 10 dollars an hour and sometimes I just want to bag groceries for a living.

A:

1-How would you describe the cleanliness of LC kitchen or other fast food chains? Do you feel comfortable eating in them?

2-Are the ingredients real or is it just all chemically manufactured "stuff"?

3-Is it true you have to make the pizza dough 1 daily earlier and have to keep it in the fridge? What happens if you run out of dough?


Q:

If you're a manager and making what I make scanning shit and smiling, yeah. But I won't lie it's a boring and tedious job, if you're looking for part time work go for it, if you want full time find something else.

A:

It honestly depends on the store. I've been in immaculately kept stores, but never worked in one. It's not hard to keep up with a clean store, but it's hard to make a dirty store into a clean one. I eat fast food because it's convenient. I don't wanna know how clean the place is if it's any place like I've worked, honestly. I guess the ingredients are fine! All of the olives and jalapeños and such come from cans or jars. The meat all comes in plastic bags so ¯_(ツ)_/¯ who knows. My one tip is to never get onions or green peppers... nasty. And yes! Our dough was all made and had to proof for at least 12 hours in the walk in before use. If you run out of dough, you either close or you make more and have shitty pizzas for the rest of the day.


Q:

Do you ever feel like you 'bring your work home'?

A:

What makes the LC green peppers and onions nasty?


Q:

I still live with my parents, every day when I get home...

Mom: Is anything good on sale?

A:

They expire quickly but tend to still be used until they're gone. You wouldn't like how they look and smell when they're first put on the pizza.


Q:

How much money does the store makes a day?

A:

Thanks for replying... how many doughs you do on average each day?


Q:

I don't know exact numbers, I can tell you I personally deal with upwards of five thousand dollars a day on average in cash. So I imagine each cashier handles the same numbers, and this doesn't include cards or checks. I'm sure it's a big number.

A:

Depends on the store! I worked at slower location so 6-8 batches of rounds, 1-2 batches of bread, and 1-2 deep dish


Q:

Do you notice the people that come to the store more often? What was your favorite interaction with a costumer?

A:

I do, you start to remember people who come in very frequently. The local high school football coach is a frequent customer of mine. As far as favorite interaction? Well there was an older guy who had a Vietnam Veteran hat on, it was Veteran's Day so I commented on it, thanked him for serving etc etc, we were kinda slow at the time, so he hung around a few minutes and told me some stories about his time in Vietnam. It was really cool!


Q:

Do you look for, and subsequently keep, old coins containing silver?

A:

I haven't been looking, and the management is VERY particular about money, if my drawer is off by a penny I could get in trouble. I have however in the past risked a long lecture to keep a Canadian nickle that someone gave me once.


Q:

Do you pay attention or even care what people buy or is everything just swipe... beep...swipe...beep?

A:

It varies from time to time. If we're really busy or I'm just in a meh mood it's swipe beep swipe, but sometimes I do pay attention especially if stuff starts getting weird. I had a lady the other day buy like twelve bottles of white wine and several massive boxes of tampons. I assume she owns a sorority house.


Q:

Actually tampons make great wine stoppers.

A:

That's...interesting.