Archived First Cashier Shift Was Today!

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Jul 2, 2014
Hi everyone! So I just started working at Spot last week. I've already done some training in HL and pFresh sales floor, and that was pretty good. Honestly, I'm not sure if my store is representative of all stores, that I'm just so happy to be working with people who can speak English (my last job of 3 years was insane- unprofessional and majority of employees were straight from over the border. Not that I'm racist, but struggling to even understand my was just a huge culture shock and I pretty much always felt left out), OR I'm just full of naive optimism in my infancy of working at Target, BUT, I really think I got a great team, everyone seems super friendly, pretty relaxed and understanding. I feel very welcomed and its a nice thing, especially when all other areas of my life are sortof not going as well, I feel great being in my work environment.

All this to say that today I started Cashier training for about four hours. My wonderful trainer (seriously, this lady was a doll) supervised me for the last 15 minutes or so while I would actually run up real customers. I was nervous, but overall kind of liked it. Just as my training shift was coming to an end, one of my TLs was asking if someone could cover a cashier shift for about 4 hours longer that evening and I pretty much welcomed the opportunity.

So then I was really doing it! At at evening too, and honestly, from 6pm to around 730 it was just getting crazy (I'm told my store is one of the busiest in the group, which is interesting since its not even a SuperTarget). Anyway, I enjoyed it for the most part. I have a few, well, questions/concerns though. Ultimately, I'm not sure how much I'll be scheduled for cashier anyway, because it seems like they're wanting me to do a lot of pFresh. But without further ado:

1) BAGS: My absolute biggest cause of grief with cashiering is honestly these stupid little plastic bags.It's the most inane, smallest thing, honestly, but I've had a lot of trouble with my bags tonight. They get all stuck together, namely- so several times, a couple bags would awkwardly be stuck to the bag I filled up. Or they don't seem to want to open up fast enough or what not. I don't know, but I was such a wreck with that one specific thing. A couple times, the dumb things would get all stuck and fall on the floor and it looked kinda bad. I apologized a few times for my apparent sloppiness, but guests were pretty nice except for this one lady who was like "Your area *is* pretty messy" in a totally serious way (you know how when you apologize for something relatively small, it's weird human kindness/politeness to sort of go 'oh, it's okay!' but this woman seemed kind of....critical. It was probably my one bad transaction, I'd say). Anyway, is there like a trick to the bags? Am I just going too fast? Honestly, I think that's my biggest problem- I try to be fast (and fun and friendly!) but sometimes I think I go too fast, but honestly, I worry any slower and I'll just annoy the guests more :/ The stupid timer thing on the register isn't really helping when it wants to give you a big fat Y or R.

I have to say I just LOVE when people bring their own bags though, or don't want anything bagged.

2) BAGing: Also related to bags is just bagging itself. As I'm already pretty sloppy/bad with these inane, clumpy, flimsy plastic monsters, I also constantly critique myself on how to bag- specifically, I never know how much is too much for a bag or vice versa, too little. It doesn't help one some guests insist on having tons of stuff in one bag and another well, I dont know, I just get the vibe they kind of are more particular and want their stuff all organized. I know the obvious stuff, like not putting chemicals with food and frozen stuff by itself but what about other things? Like dry food and non-chemical, non-food items? Or chemicals and clothing? I assume that's not "unsafe", but I kind of felt bad one time when I put bleach with these little kid socks- it just seemed tacky. Anyway, I guess I'd like some tips on exactly 1)how much to put in one bag and 2) what to put together

3) Other stuff didn't really seem as big of a deal. I did forget this a few times: are guests supposed to scan their redcard/coupon/cartwheel/discount AFTER I hit "TOTAL" or before?

4) I'm going to be honest and say I didn't really push RCs at all. I mentioned it, but honestly, I felt like so much was going on as it is, that I didn't know about trying to push that too. Although, and this just seems crazy, but one guy honest-to-god, was ready to sign up, not even prompted and I should have SHOULD have taken care of him, but I was sortof unsure what to do with the two guests behind him and didn't want to piss those guests off while he takes 5 minutes or so to set up a RC (long story, short, I sent him to GS desk. Oh well :/). Thankfully, my store doesn't seem as fanatical about RCs as some of the stores you guys are at and my trainer said it was okay, just to get the basics down first.

Well, overall, yeah I kind of didn't mind it at all! I like it, it's very fast, and it's very "in the moment" and I like talking to the guests...although I kindof didn't know what to say during a long transaction. Do I comment on their purchases or something?

Just a sidenote, my store is apparently one of the busiest in the group, which is weird because it's not even a SuperTarget. I mean, there was literally hardly any downtime at all from 6-8 and after that, it was still like, a few consecutive guests every few minutes so I don't know. Very fast. I think I want to slow it down a little, but I'm not sure, I don't want to make the guests impatient or something. Thanks yall.
May 29, 2012

Just a few tips for you...

Those bags are a serious pain, I know. What most people try to do is take the bag off of both handles at once, with one hand on one handle and another on the other handle. This is how you end up with a million extra bags. Slow down, take a deep breath. Use two hands on each side. Grab the bag with one hand, and with the other hand pull the other bag handles back towards the holder. Then while you are holding the one handle, hold the other handle as well (so the bag is basically closed like you are holding it while carrying it), and again use your other hand to hold back the other bags. Basically you don't want to try and pull off both handles at the same time.

Getting things in proper bags takes time. It always depends on what the guest buys and how to best group together the odd collection of stuff you have. And guest preferences will always trump any common sense.

Discounts get scanned before you hit total. The only thing that happens after you hit total is payments (including paying with a REDCard).

The first day or two my store will let the new people slide on asking for REDCards as they get comfortable with the register and everything that is going on. After that they are expected to quickly make themselves comfortable and start asking everyone. You don't need to be pushy, but you do need to ask. And in that case you were fine to send them to guest services, and I'm sure that TM was glad to get the boost to their conversion score. But I promise you it doesn't take more than a minute to apply (unless the guest is an idiot...which does happen) and we can help shuffle the people behind them to other lines as needed.
May 24, 2014
Retail Girl pretty much summed it up. The bags just suck, but they way she described is the easiest way to deal with them. What I also do when I have the extras that stick together is I hang them where the big bag rolls go. I open them and hook them on the side. That gives me an extra bag spot for small/light items too. What I personally try to do when I bag is this....
Clothes with clothes
Dry/shelf food
Cold with cold
Frozen with Frozen
Produce with produce
meat separate from anything
cleaning products/chemicals together
Anything else. I could be forgetting something since I'm only on cup of coffee #1 lol.
Sometimes when it's not much the guest will say just to put it all in one bag. I cringe if I have to put a package of raw chicken in with a box of cereal and at times I'll even ask if they want the meat separate. If they're buying a bunch of towels/linens/toys, I'll usually group them all up in a large bag. Oh and a huge pet peeve of the guests (usually) and myself. DONT just ball up clothing items and stuff them in bags. I've actually had guests come to me at guest service to complain about cashiers doing that. You don't have to go all out and fold things like they're on a shelf, just a quick fold. Sometimes I even lay the clothes out flat when I scan them until I have them all, then just fold the whole pile in half and place it in a bag.
As far as red cards go, while you're new they probably wont give you too much grief. BUT at my store at least, we have to ask "Every guest every time" And if there's an ETL lingering nearby, and they don't hear us give the whole speech we get pulled into the office. There should be a paper floating around someplace that has the "speech" you're supposed to more or less quote. And if you do have someone say yes, (and clear this with your GSTL first) Turn off your light while the guest is doing the app. Because it does tend to take a couple minutes.... or I've always had the idiots that RG mentioned lol. But at my store, the cashiers turn the light off when they're getting an app. If the GSTL happens to notice and comes over to see what's up, once the see it's a RC app, they usually smile, nod and walk away lol.
Anyway, good luck with new job and may MyTime be good to you.
May 29, 2012
Yep, we turn off the light as well. And I always walk by to see why a cashier has their light off, and when I see why, then I'm fine with it. Then I try to get the guest behind them into another lane if at all possible. When I cashier, naturally people will come ask me if they can come in the line while the light is off. I just tell them they are welcome to wait, but it could be a couple of minutes. Then I let them make the call.


Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Jun 10, 2011
Greetings and salutations.

Welcome to The Break Room.
Dec 3, 2013
We NEVER turn off our lights..that is pretty much a reaming out from stl.
As far as bags, I keep a wet paper towel on the side counter to wet my fingers.. The bags are impossible to open with dry fingers and I'm not going to lick my fingers as I have seem other cashiers do..
If I were training you, I would tell you were doing great by the way you have mentioned what you are doing. When someone first starts I would rather they were more accurate then speedy. Too speedy and you can either miss items or double scan.
As far as bagging, I agree with retailgirl and the others, keep like items together.
I also hate it when they want it all in one bag.. Ant bait with chicken.. That's just wrong. I don't even like mixing liquids with dry product. Sometimes I will put lotions, shampoos etc. in a small bag then put that bag into one with somewhat similar items that are dry.. You just have to think, if something spills or opens will it ruin the other product in the bag. You will get it in time, especially if you care.
With the amount to put in the bags, I use the left hand rule of thumb (if you can comfortably hold the bag in your left hand (or right if you are left handed) then it is ok for most people to carry. Sometimes if I am handing the bag to the person and the bag and it feels to heavy to me, I will say - is this to heavy? Do you want me to take something out? If the person is older and they don't seem like they can carry to much I will ask if they want the bags packed lightly..

Good luck and keep the upbeat attitude..people will try to take it away from you but always remember how welcomed you feel right now.


purveyor of things
Jun 10, 2011
Sounds like you're doing well for a beginner.

1. The bags are a colossal pain in the ass. The more you cashier, you'll figure out the bags. During downtime, pick up your loose bags and put them back on the racks if they're still usable. Once you get used to bagging items in the plastic bags, you may not like re-usable bags quite as much.
2. Use common sense when bagging items.
3. All items, coupons, discounts, Cartwheel before TOTAL, and gift cards and Red Card after TOTAL because they're forms of payment.
4. The important thing on your first day of cashing is getting the basics down. Some stores push Red Cards like you wouldn't believe, but you should ease into it.

As far as bags, I keep a wet paper towel on the side counter to wet my fingers.. The bags are impossible to open with dry fingers and I'm not going to lick my fingers as I have seem other cashiers do..

One cashier at my store uses SortKwik to moisten her fingertips. I don't think Target sells it, but most office supply stores should have it (or something similar).
Mar 19, 2014
OMG, Yessss to the SortKwik or Tacky Finger pink stuff! I love it! I refuse to lick my finger to try and get the bags apart! Our HRtm orders it through whatever the ordering process is called now....used to be TIPP.
The bags are a pain. Sometimes we get a really bad batch that make you wanna throw the whole stack across the store. Take your time. Pulling the bag off slowly will help you avoid having to try and get the remaining bags back on the arms that hold them. Go too fast and you're gonna be pulling multiple bags off at the same time.
I try and put food items together, cleaning items together, etc.... Most of these items are sealed really well under their caps so I don't worry too much about leakage. I try and bag stuff like how I would want my stuff bagged.
To pass the time I do try and engage the guests and kids in conversation like "Wow, that's a good deal!" "Oh, this is really cute!" "Oh, yeah, that's a great movie!" People like compliments and they like to hear positive things...I get bored so why not? lol
Jul 6, 2014
I also second the wet paper towel idea. My cashiers put it right on a used gift card that going be thrown away anyway. The new bags are horrible.
My biggest suggestion is to just have fun with it. I love interacting with the guests. My best cashiers are in the survey a weekly basis for their way they and greet interact the guests.


I am a Guest once again!
Jun 12, 2014
I think retailgirl and several others nailed everything so far. Here is my own ideas for you. This is what I always tell the people I train "unless the guest says different keep chemicals away from everything else, keep wet stuff away from clothing or dry stuff". If you have any questions try asking your fellow cashiers around you I am sure many of them are very knowledgeable. Good luck.
Jun 4, 2014
At our store we are allowed to have water/ice water in a plain clear disposable or reusable bottle, or in a clear Starbucks cup. I get a cup at the beginning of my week and re-use it for work for either 1 or 2 weeks. I fill it up with as much ice as possible and some water. As it sweats I can quickly and discreetly touch the outside of the cup to keep my hands wetted just enough so that I can keep the bags separating.

Jill of All Trades

hang on, I've got a blinker
Jul 12, 2014
I have a trick for the bags:

When you pull off a full bag, put your left hand down flat on top of the stack of bag handles and press down while you pull the bag forward with your right hand. Repeat on the other side. After you pull a bag off, "fluff out" the next bag so it's ready to fill.

For speed:

Try to do what you can before you start scanning or while the guest is paying. I'll take off hangers before I scan the first item. As I'm scanning I'll set aside very large items and bottles of wine so that I can bag them while the guest is paying.

Conversion (Red Cards:)

"Would you like to save 5% today?"
"What if it's not a credit card?" :-D


"Oh! You were selected for our guest survey! Just answer a few questions online and you'll be entered to win our monthly drawing for a $1500 gift card!"
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