You are the only employee on duty & serving a long line of customers. Suddenly you hear the sound of breaking glass from the back aisle of the shop. How will you react to this situation?

My first idea was to just warn everyone of the danger and finish serving customers, and then once I have time to clean up the damage.

Any ideas?

  • 2
    ask your manager what you should do in such a circumstance. There should be clear guidelines given on whether you can abandon the till or not.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 14, 2020 at 1:03
  • 1
    What kind of store is this? This is important. Are there dangerous chemicals? Is there a window in the back? Did someone just fall down? Are there kids in the store? Is the store a potential target for shoplifters? Is this in the US? In the US, there is a liability issue. And the perfect answer for one type of store could prove to be the completely wrong one for a different type of store. Mar 14, 2020 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


So much of this is highly situational.

In a grocery store, it could be someone dropping a jar of pickles. Low priority and can be ignored for a while. In a rare book store, it could be the sound of someone breaking in to steal. The cops need to be called. In a quick serve restaurant, it could just be product slipping in the back. If it is Home Depot, the bottle could contain dangerous chemicals which require immediate clean up. This requires immediate action. If it is a pet store, there could be a massive leak in the aquariums which might flood the store. This requires calling the owner.

Some other things to consider:

  • Is it lunchtime with most of the employees on break? Is it near the end of the day?
  • Do the rules allow you to leave the till and leave the cash unattended?
  • Is there a manager you can call for advice?

  • Is this in the USA, where people could step on the glass and sue you?

  • Is there a window in the back aisle?

There should be clear guidelines from management on what you can do in such a situation.

Normally you do not abandon the till unless there is an emergency for obvious reasons.

Also normally you would have cameras and a screen so you could see what happened without leaving your post.

Also logically you should have either a colleague or the boss within easy reach who can help out when you take a break or go to the toilet. If you do, you contact them while you man the till.

So failing clear guidelines and/or cameras you should ask the boss what you should do if such a situation arises again.

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