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"I Would Cringe Inside": Cashiers Are Sharing Purchases That They Judge People For Buying, And I Don't Know What To Think

"I'm sure most people buying them are just ignorant, but I'm still judging you."

From a customer's perspective, we often think the cashier who is ringing up our items at a store is secretly judging us based on our purchases. Well, based on a Reddit thread I came across where u/gracoal asked: "Cashiers of Reddit, what items make you silently judge the people who buy them?" — we finally have some answers that can put our worrying minds to rest.

cashier's hands typing on a screen

Here's what cashiers said:

A Target cashier

1. "This was about 10 years ago, but the only time I judged someone was also when I lost a little faith in humanity. A guy in his late 20s came through the line. The belt was filled with junk food: chips, chocolate, popcorn, and candy. The whole time I'm ringing him up, he's saying how glad he is to be out of the house, that the baby has the flu or something, and he's at his wit's end. Fair enough, I suppose. I get to the total, tell him, and wouldn't you know, he's short a few dollars. So what does he put back? The only non-junk food item: children's cold and flu medicine. I still judge that man, and I don't even remember his face."

2. "Not in itself, but I always side-eye parents who will buy my weight in booze and cigarettes, but then scream at their kid to put the bottle of juice back."


3. "The Ethos water at Starbucks. We literally give out free water, and it’s way better than the Ethos water, sir."

the exterior of a starbucks

4. "Not judged as much as hated — but when people bought dozens of those individually wrapped snack-sized cheese slices. At my store, we had to scan each one of them."


5. "This regular lady comes in multiple times a day and always gets a small bottle of alcohol (like Southern Comfort or Fireball), and she ALWAYS tells me, 'I’m marinating chicken, I don’t drink,' or other times she tells me, 'They are for my husband,' and then later in the day, she tells me, 'I’m so lonely without my husband.' I know she might be going through some stuff, but I always think to myself, “I honestly don’t care, lady, as long as you pay for it."

6. "I once had a guy in his 50s ask me if it was okay to buy his wife a box of hair dye for Mother's Day. I told him it probably wasn't a good idea, but he said 'Oh well' and bought it anyway. So, yeah, I judged him."


7. "Literally, the only thing that ever stood out to me was people late at night buying 6+ bottles of non-mint mouthwash. Absolutely, 100% of the time, they were drinking it."

mouth wash being poured into a mini cup

8. "When I was a cashier on the express lane, I would silently judge the people that told me to wait while scanning their items to 'grab a few more things.' A normal lane with a giant cart and only missing one thing is relatively okay, but the express lane? Judgment."


9. "Lottery tickets. I get that gambling addiction is a problem and why, but unlike drinking or other drugs, it seems like so little reward for so much investment. People pissing away in minutes what it would take me all week to earn, right in front of my eyes, not even waiting to leave the store to scratch off a whole stack. Again, it's not really judgment — I don't know these people or their lives — but it makes me feel upset."

a lottery ticket

10. "The pH-balanced bottled water. Not even the fact that it was single bottled water, but that these ones typically have super thick plastic and even massive caps to have a 'premium' feel, which makes me feel like the customer is a bit of a dipshit."


11. "Anything of a large amount. I once saw a person buy, like, 15 boxes of Redbull. The most concerning thing is that they looked like they were 12."

cases of red bull cans

12. "I worked as a cashier in high school and college. I only remember one combo that a customer brought through my register. It was a Friday afternoon, and an older gentleman brought up a large glass jug of red wine, the biggest tube of K-Y Jelly we carried, and two potatoes. I didn't say anything, but I thought to myself: 'This guy has plans for the weekend.'"


13. "Certain 'As Seen on TV' items. Most ASTV items are cheap, pieces of junk that don’t do as advertised."

14. "The only time I ever judged someone was when this woman and a kid came up to the register. The woman wanted four cartons of smokes, and when her little kid begged for a packet of strawberries, she was told no because they 'couldn't afford it.' This was back in the early 2010s so, cartons were around $80. So she spent $320 on cigarettes but didn't want to spend $3 on a measly pack of strawberries."


15. "Many years ago, I was a cashier at an evil giant retailer. It was mid-summer, and this lady only had four items: feminine deodorant spray, Summer's Eve douche, a can of bug spray, and a fly swatter. I couldn't help but wonder if there was a connection between all the items, but I was really hoping not."


16. "This is going back a while, but I used to cringe inside when people bought those handwash/body wash brands with all those little microplastic balls for exfoliating purposes. I'm so glad that fad died out."

monica from "friends" rolling her eyes

17. "I worked at a grocery store for a couple of years. An older man probably in his 60s came in; he was with a girl who was in her mid-20s and pregnant. I was ringing them up, and he goes, 'Hey babe, do you need some more cigarettes?' He bought her a pack as well as one for him. I usually don't judge people, but I judged them."


18. "I work at a pet store. I judge people that get a pet and then buy the cheapest and the most trashy food there is. A pet is a luxury and costs a lot of money; that's what these people don't consider beforehand. If you get yourself one, you have to take good care of them, and good food is a basic right."

A pet store aisle

19. "I used to work at a movie theater. We sold regular bottles of Dasani for $5, and people would actually buy them. I also judged people who brought their kids to Rated R movies. Bringing your toddlers who don’t understand is one thing, but it’s weird to bring your 7-year-old to Deadpool as if it’s a regular superhero movie."


20. "I work at McDonald's. I question people that order a coffee with 10 or more sugars. That just seems excessive."

a hot mcdonald's coffee being poured

21. "Flushable wipes. I'm sure most people buying them are just ignorant, and if they actually saw the fatbergs that end up in sewers and rivers, they might stop buying them. But I'm still judging you for not reading online before using them. A lot of them that claim to be flushable aren't actually flushable, and even the ones that officially claim it can still cause blockages."


22. "The double chocolate chip frappuccino for your 4-year-old at 8:32 a.m. You are giving your very small child a chocolate milkshake for breakfast, Karen. Just so you can trash your local Target and get 30 seconds of silence and then leave the cup laying down on a shelf, spilling chocolate milk onto a stack of bath towels."


23. "I used to work part-time at Lowe’s in college. I absolutely judged you by your design decisions. Anecdotally, middle-aged men usually picked the nicest, most agreeable designs. Old women usually picked the gaudiest looking anything."

the exterior of a lowe's store

24. "I always judged people who bought Chunky Bars — chocolate with peanuts and raisins. With all the other candy we sell, this is the one you want most?!"


Have you ever worked as a cashier and judged someone based on what they purchased? Share your story with me in the comments below!