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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lola Just Doesn’t Get It

Mike Ruby
Mike Ruby
A Muscatine resident for over forty years, Mike Ruby had careers both as a teacher at Muscatine High school and as a writer for nonprofit companies. Now retired, Ruby continues to cultivate his love for writing by contributing monthly Ruby's Reflections to Discover Muscatine newspaper.

Muscatine Living

I’ve heard multiple stories recently how difficult it is for employers to find good help these days. After a recent experience, I believe it.

A few weeks ago, I stopped at a fast-food place in central Iowa. As I was at the counter placing my order, “Lola” must have been jiving to a tune, because she kept a steady beat with her head, lips, and hips while I told her what I wanted. That was the first red flag.

My bill was $7.07, and I handed her a $20 bill. Lola, still jiving to the music, entered the amount correctly and the register showed I was due $12.93. She grabbed the $12 of paper bills with no hesitation but had a heck of a time figuring out what coins made up the 93 cents. It took her more than 30 seconds to finally come up with 3 quarters, 1 dime, 1 nickel, and 3 pennies and when she did, she said, “here!” as she dumped the full amount in my hand with no mention of a thank you. I just stood there and said nothing.

When my order was ready, I asked for some hot sauce for the chili, and she gave me a whole handful of packets, 11 of them! I kept 2 and told her I didn’t need that many. Grabbing the remaining ones, she responded with a, “whatever.”

I took a nearby seat and within minutes, I overheard an older gentleman at Lola’s register exclaim:” $18.51? There must be some mistake. It can’t be that much.”

Lola’s response was, “well, that’s what it says!”

The man politely asked for a manager to settle the dispute. The correct amount was around $6, and the problem was “solved” with Lola telling the man, “sorry about that.”

It appears Lola was either poorly trained or simply untrainable. No doubt, many employers could write a book on their experiences of trying to hire good help. The good news is there are some very efficient and capable people working in entry level positions and they may be in line for a well-deserved promotion. I doubt if Lola will qualify.

What memorable experiences have you had with cashiers?

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