Uncharacteristically Defending Kids At Lowe’s

It’s a sad day when I, of all people, have to defend children at Lowe’s, from one of their own cashiers no less. Let’s set the scene: a sleepy weeknight at Lowe’s Albany-Northway, Store #1973, about 7 pm. I needed one thing: a paintbrush. A single paintbrush. Finding it within a couple of minutes, I hurried to the register area, where a guy with a bunch of shelves and brackets on a cart was just checking out. I moved over to the self-checkout area because the woman was having trouble getting the brackets to scan. Reclaiming my time…

Usually, I don’t do the self-checkout. Having worked in retail for a number of years, I have the scanning bug out of my system, and I’ll happily wait a few minutes so as not to deal with all the glitches that invariably accompany my luck with self-checkout. For a single paintbrush with an easy-to-locate bar code, however, I tried to make an exception. I passed another Lowe’s worker and when none of the scanners seemed to be working I asked if she could help. 

“Those aren’t on,” she said dismissively.

“Oh, could you check me out then?”

“There’s a line already open,” she said, then went back to doing nothing. 

I got back in the line and there was still an issue with the scanning. Andrea the cashier was trying to scan and check the customers out, but it wasn’t happening. Minutes ticked by. People joined the only line in the store. Now, I have to give credit to Lowe’s because up until this night they were usually great about making sure that there aren’t lines or long waits (with the very annoying exception of the garden center in spring). On this night, however, they suspended that service for some reason. The line grew to nine people (of which three children were a part). 

Finally, I said something, “Can you call someone else over – you’ve got nine people in this line.”

Andrea gave me a smug smile before saying, “There’s not nine people in line.”

I looked behind me, including at the kids. Andrea looked too. “The kids don’t count,” she said, almost under her breath.

For the most part, when someone says ‘kids don’t count’ I’m all on board with that. Normally I would be 100% behind the sentiment. I mean, sign me up for the kid-bashing ball. But not this night, not when I’m waiting in a line and explaining to the lady at the register that there’s nine people in the line and she says there’s not. At that point we have a problem.

“Umm, kids do count,” I said, somewhat taken aback at the words that were coming out of my mouth. 

She then went further, with a little condescending smile: “They only count if they pay.”

Nope. Sorry, Andrea. They’re in line standing there, they count. She proceeds to give me the snottiest look ever, and I know snotty looks. I’ve been giving snotty looks for years. I know them well. That’s cool though – if I can give them I can take them. I can also call Andrea out on this blog. She is an awful employee, and not such a great person based on how she acted. 

Finally, someone else came over to open another register. (The line really was ridiculous.) I checked out, thankfully not having to deal with Andrea (who still seemed unable to finish up with those original customers) and left with a single paintbrush.

It better be one damn good paintbrush.


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