Pet Peeves

On Behalf of Shoppers Everywhere

A few days ago, I wrote an entry called “On Behalf of Cashiers Everywhere.” Now, for my next number, I’d like to write one for the folks on the other side of the counter.

I was in a grocery store the other day, and noticed that I had too many items to use the “U-Scan” self-checkout lines.

Luck was with me, because a few aisles down, a cashier stood with no one in her line. I went to her line and began unloading my cart. I heard her say something, and glanced up to see the back of the cashier’s young head. She had turned to the grocery bagger who stood at the end of the counter, scooping up my groceries into environmentally-unfriendly bags.

I went on with my unloading, and after putting the last item on the conveyor belt, I moved up to the stand designed for check writers so that I could get a good look at the cash register’s readout.

Since the cashier never bothered to ask, I handed her my Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card and watched the total drop by about $20 dollars (because I bought LOTS of sale items) then swiped my credit card through the reader. The cashier handed me the slip to sign, the whole time never taking the slightest pause in her conversation with the bagger. The topic of the conversation was how many hours each was working that week, and why she wanted to trade a workday with someone to go on a date.

There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, that any responsible store manager might have monitored his employees for treating a customer as though he was an inconvenience. Apparently, those days are long gone. But being the stubborn type, I’ll happily suggest the following anyway: Cashiers, please put yourself in the place of your customers. How would you like to be ignored? How would you like to have to listen to someone else’s work schedule? How would you feel about the prospect of sitting through whining about missing a prior engagement because you had to scan groceries all evening?

I’m not asking any cashier to ask me for my life story. They’re no more interested in mine than I am in theirs. But a bit of courtesy is not, I think, too much to expect.

You never know, after all, when a customer might just get frustrated enough to call up a manager and complain…which might result in you having more free time than you expected.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.