Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hello?? 10 items or less....can you count?

Spending nine hours a day, 4-5 days a week as a grocery store cashier, I have found is a lesson in observing how people act in certain situations. If I was a psyche major, I would be in hog heaven.

I see the same people over, and over, and over again. To keep myself from going insane from the monotony of my job, I observe. Here are somethings I have deemed significant enough to put on my list of things that make me shake my head, or just roll my eyes.

  • There is a girl that comes in about two to three times a day, and every time she is wearing different clothes. Just thought is was odd.
  • Most people come in using their own bags (we are a very "green" city), when they forget them, they seem to feel the need to apologize to me for using a paper or plastic bag. Not sure why they think they need my forgiveness, but okay, I forgive you.
  • When I make a mistake when putting in a code for produce and the price is slightly cheaper than what it should be, and I can see the customer notices...99.9% of the time they never say a word. In fact, they usually find some reason to stop watching the screen that shows their purchases for just a brief moment, so they can act as if they never saw the discrepancy. But when I correct it, they notice right away and ask me about it.
  • College kids that get food stamps....that one was news to me. But they mostly use them to buy sushi from our deli and then eat Ramen for the second half of the month because sushi is not cheap. Brain food for our nation's poor college students I guess.
  • I have a habit of calling people "Babe", in a way that Flo from the old TV show Alice used to call people "Sugar". Not sure where it came from. But I've noticed that the guys relax more at the counter and smile more. The women just blink a few times. I won't start worrying about it, unless I start saying "Kiss my grits!".
  • Cashiers do not get paid enough, unless you are union. We are not. I know that everybody says that about their job, but seriously. In an eight hour day I lift bags of groceries that range from 20lbs to 45lbs (dog food). I do this approx. 100-150 times a day. Not to mention the cases of beer/soda, 20lb turkeys, 10lb hams, and giant bottles of detergent.
  • My arms and upper back muscles are getting very strong. I wish there was a way that I could utilize my butt and abdominal muscles more while lifting those heavy bags of groceries. I'm sure there is a way but I'm no expert that's for sure. The way I picture it seems rather awkward and odd. And I'm not sure if I am that bendy and flexible.
  • Oh here is a note to the people who say, "Just fill the bag up, no matter how heavy." You are not the only one who has to lift it, Buddy! Holy shit.
  • I think that many people who come through my line are on auto pilot just as much as I am sometimes. At my store you have to wait until the very end of the transaction (after I have hit subtotal) before you can slide your card in the credit/debit card machine. It says "Please wait" right on the screen. These people come to this store almost every day. They pay the same way. And every time they swipe before they should. Every time, I say "you gotta wait until the end." Every time they say, "Oh that's right. Well every store is different." Uh huh. I like it when they slide their card before I've even rung anything up! Just what do they think they are paying for? We call them "pre-swipers".
  • I have customers that will get in line and remember they forgot something, they run and get it. My boss will walk by and look at me inquisitively about why I'm just standing there doing nothing. I say "I got a runner". My boss nods and moves on. He knows what I mean.
  • I like my job. I like customer service. Making people smile, or hearing that one customer say that they always look for me and come to my line when they shop is a very good thing to hear. It makes up for the asshole that sneaks in every once in a while.
  • Be extra nice to your cashier the next time you go shopping. Their feet and back hurt. They could be just starting their day or on the last half hour of an eight hour shift. They've talked to 300 or more people that day, asking how everyone's day is going. Thank them before you leave. That would go a long way.
  • Bananas on the bottom of the bag sucks.

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