A Rant for Tomasina

Tomasina is a cashier at my local Wal-mart. She is polite, helpful and kind, so obviously she didn’t get the corporate memo on incompetence as a way to see how much shit people will deal with and still come back. Yesterday I went to Wal-mart and ended up in Tomasina’s line. I didn’t do it on purpose, but her line is always the one moving the fastest. I really don’t see how it is the postal employees who get the reputation for going crazy and shooting people because if I had to deal with what she deals with not only would I be angry and unhelpful; I would probably end up shooting someone.

It was almost time for her break, so she switched off her light. There was a group in front of me, then myself, and a lady behind me. Several minutes later a couple other groups came up and Tomasina politely told them she was closed and most of them went away. One lady just stayed there. Tomasina repeated herself, “Ma’am, I am sorry, but I am closed”. Still, one lady remained in line even though Tomasina light was off well before she approached the counter.

Then Tomasina became distracted by the group in front of me. They had no idea how much the stuff in their cart cost and needed a subtotal after every item scanned. Of course, they ended up putting back half the items in the cart, but Tomasina just smiled. When she looked up, she noticed the lady was still at the back of the line, so she said again” Ma’am, I am closed”. The lady looked around to her left and right, never thinking she was the problem. I looked at her and said, “She is speaking to you”! Still nothing… Then I said to Tomasina, “I know she heard you; she is just ignoring you”. She said,” I know, it happens everyday, then they get mad when we just walk away, but our manager says to just close up an walk away.”

Distraction again the group’s total came to $50.12 and they only had $50.00 on a MasterCard gift card. They were in a panic that the $.12 would overdraw their account. Never fear, Tomasina to the rescue. With that all settled, Tomasina turned to me and my purchases, once again she said to the lady, “Ma’am, I am closed”. Finally close enough, the lady proceeded to place her cart load on the conveyor belt. I was appalled. Tomasina wasn’t happy but she did nothing. I am telling you, this is about the time I would have picked up that post office issued gun and pointed it right at her and said, “What part of I’m closed don’t you understand, get your shit and get away from my register”. Not Tomasina, I didn’t stick around to see what she would do. She could have walked away, but I doubt it. I am sure she helped the lady anyway. I think that makes her a better person than me, than most of us actually because knowing Tomasina, she did it with a smile.

2 Responses to “A Rant for Tomasina”

  1. curious Says:

    I am actually touched by your concern for Tomasina. I once worked for Wal-Mart too (eight years). It was refreshing to hear your comments about Tomasina and know someone appreciates what a cashier has to go through.
    In the eight years I worked for Wal-Mart, It was rare when anyone said thanks and never did anyone write a letter to the store manager commenting on helpful thing I did for them.
    Maybe I just wasn’t that good, I don’t know. I do remember times when I delivered merchandise to people after I got off work. Several times I carried televisions into a customers home and helped them hook it up. Once I delivered an airconditioner and helped install it. That took a long time too. I helped one lady plant a tree that she got from the garden dept. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m gripping. I’m just making an observation and making a suggestion.
    Why don’t you write a letter to the store manager. The manager in the store where I worked would put those letters in the employee files and it did make a difference when evaluations came due.
    Ever since I left wal-mart, I have had a deeper appreciation for cashiers, stockmen, waitresses, etc. I now send lots of letters to managers and business owners. Hopefully it does make a difference. I have had waiters and waitresses send letters thanking me for the comments.
    Oh, when I write to a Wal-mart store commenting on the service, I also write to the home office in Bentonville too. They almost always reply. Once the Reginal manager called me at home.
    It’s is just a thought but Tosmasina sounds like a pretty great person. I’d write a letter if I were you.

  2. Mallshopper Says:

    Well, you have to understand that people who work for Wal-Mart are not exactly the smartest people in the world. I am constantly surprized at the number of people who are 40 to 60 years old making min wage punching some register or greeting people at the front door. Thank God for numb skulls like this Tomasina.