Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

One Of Five Random Thoughts

#1 Store Cashiers

I was in a store the other day. It seems like whenever I'm checking out, no matter who the salesperson may be, I always feel the need to entertain. Why do we feel the need to humor or entertain cashiers? As if we're shining some small bit of light on what we assume to be their horribly dark and pitiful lives.

We stand in line, swaying back and forth, shifting our weight from one leg to the other.* You inconspicuously listen in on the small talk of the guy checking out in front of you. He places his three very busy Hawaiian shirts on the conveyer belt, then flashes a smile at the 18 year old cashier. "Wife and I... takin' a trip to the Caribbean," he says. The cashier humors him with a brief smile. "I wasn't sure about these patterns, but I figure, heh... no one'll ever lose me, right?" The cashier swipes his credit card without pause. His receipt prints. His things are packed into bags and he's soon on his way. He'll go over the entire scenario again while walking to his car. "'No one will ever lose me'? Real smooth! Stupid ass! Should have gone with the weather material!"

Now it's your turn. And even though you saw him go down in flames, you think exactly as he did. "Okay, you're up," you say to yourself, cracking your knuckles and stretching your neck from side to side. "Time to turn on the funny. Let's show this cashier a good time."

And then, like the others before us, we fail.

She doesn't care about your copy of Family Guy on DVD, and why you think it's a hilarious show. She doesn't care why you're getting the boxer briefs instead of just boxers or just briefs. And, for the love of Lucifer, she doesn't care why you're going with the X-Box version and not the Playstation 2 version of the latest Grand Theft Auto.

Why do we do it?



* And still another if you have a third leg.

29 Comments:

At 2:38 AM, Blogger Flash said...

To make ourselves feel good about our ability to please people?

Probably because we're just big show offs.

 
At 2:59 AM, Blogger 52X Max said...

That's what I call "stand up" comedy.
ok, bad joke, but if the cashier is hot' I'd sure give it a try

 
At 7:28 AM, Blogger lucasjackson7 said...

Whenever I lose my change in the vending machine, I always bring it up with "The Snack Dude" as he's referred to on college campuses and inquire about the faulty reactions of his machines.

The response is never warm.

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger omar said...

It's way worse when buying something like a dirty magazine or something. You almost feel the need to explain your purchase in the context of some funny story. Or so I've heard.

From my observation, it seems related to people's obsession with filling silence. I say, embrace the silence.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger John said...

Yeah, i know what you mean. I was a grocery store cashier for 5 months a few years back and some of that conversation was just the worst, yet whenever I go through a till I feel the need to make at least one comment about something small.

FYI, you spelled "receipt" wrong.

-antonskey.com

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger S.Holster said...

self gratification, like piling up a load of feminine hygene products on the check out belt, followed directly by a wide variety of canned fish goods, just to see if the kid looks uncomfortable....

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger LoriLoo310 said...

From the cashier's point of view: Yeah, we don't care!

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger 52X Max said...

somehow your last post and that last commentby loo reminded me of "clerks", anyone seen it?

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Y work at a Baskin Robbins, and it's true. All that you have said is true. While I'm probably not as apathetic, because I actually have to be engaged, I can honestly say that I don't care why people order Mint Chocolate Chip. Wonderful point.

 
At 7:52 PM, Blogger Jae said...

because we feel sorry for those poor checkout chicks/dudes im a checkout chick and i hate my job people talk to me all the time and i just smile and nod every single time there is at least two (hundred) people commenting on the weather and a few less comenting on how boring shopping with their wives are and theres always the great topic of what their buying eg: chicken, Mr X says " chicken aye yeah im buying it for my wife she loves chicken me personally im more of a pork person myself what would you prefer?" Me:(smile and nod)

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger cac said...

Maybe people do it because they've been a cashier at one point in time and thats what people did to them and they think they have to return the favor. Or maybe its done to be nice..to bring some sunshine to a day..but thats pretty egotistical.

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger Storm said...

umm... yeah, I used to work at the customer service desk at a small department store, and if some guy explained to me why he was buying a certain type of underwear, I'd be a little creeped. Or if a woman told me, for that matter. The smile and nod would be forced and I would hope to never see them again.

Basically, the only time that I ever enjoyed talking to customers was if they were regulars or if they bitched about the rude customer in front of them. Other than that, a simple thank you and a smile goes a long way.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Gloria Glo said...

Interesting. I had never thought about it, but it's true. I just don't know why. I'm exceedingly hard to embarrass and sometimes funny, but mostly just arrogant and above it all - so why do I condescend to speak to the servants like that?

JK - I talk to everybody, so I do it because I wouldn't know how else to be.

BTW - you are still hilarious.

 
At 12:00 AM, Blogger Syar said...

Omar has a good point. I'm one of those people that talks just to fill the silence. But not to strangers. Cashiers here have faces that only a mother could love (I am SO mean..lol) and I feel a compulsive need to not be nice to them. I am shamed. *hangs head*

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger jazz said...

yeah, i'm not a talker. i mean, i AM a talker, but i'm not a talker to cashiers. but they always feel like they want to talk to me. it all goes back to that sign i swear that some people see on my forehead that says, "talk to me, i'm friendly!"

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Seventeen Syllables said...

Hmmm....I'm not a cashier-chatter. Probably because I procrastinate shopping until [typical scenario] there's no milk in the house and then have to go out at 7 am to get some so I can drink my coffee, and when I'm in a hurry I have NO time for human interaction, dammit! And I don't want to stand behind the nice person who does, either!

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger Sam said...

I was a cashier in a grocery store when I was 16 and I use to think it was hilarious when people would buy condoms...especially the guys I went to school with...they would blush sooo hard!
I'm curious about the other side of this issue...over-friendly cashiers who tell you their life story or sit there and have a personal conversation with a fellow cashier while you're waiting for them to finish up. What's your stand on that? :)

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I’ve got to go with Omar on this one… nobody likes the silence. It’s a fine line. Too much silence is just as creepy as too much talking. I’m usually pretty quite, but I draw a lot of comments from cashiers due to the Rams pin I wear every single day of my life. My favorite is, “So you a Raiders fan?” to which I reply, “Just Win Baby!” Then we high five each other and I try to steal all my groceries. I wouldn’t want to misrepresent Raider fans. “Yeah, that guy said he was a Raiders fan, but he didn’t even try to steal anything. Seems suspect to me. I don’t even think he was carrying a weapon of any sort. I kept my eye on him until his car left the parking lot, and he didn’t start a riot OR light anything on fire.”

I think I got a little carried away there…

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger D-Train said...

As a teenager, I happen to know several cashiers, and they claim that they actually enjoy the conversation; it relieves the monotony. But personally, I prefer shamelessly hitting on the young female chashiers that I don't know--it's a good chance to try out my new moves, and I'll probably never see her again, and if I do, it's time for one of the uncomfortable silences. Hooray.

 
At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

Yeah. I'm a loser. I don't fill out the forms for those "frequent shopper" cards they all have to scan so you get better deals on food, so I have to sweet talk the cashiers so they will pull there's out. It ultimately saves me time and makes them feel "special." Okay, so maybe not special...but wanted.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Cashiers, alas, almost all of us have been there. i enjoyed the conversation that customers brought with them just to see who was the most original entertainer. on the other hand, as a customer, i like silence: never get too friendly with a cashier until AFTER i've gotten the correct change!

GrrlScientist

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

NEVER make eye contact! That's my rule. I try to avoid speaking to people I don't know at all costs. One of those social phobias I have.
I'm suprised people do this. Never been a cashier myself, so I was unaware of this phenomenon.

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Sorry to post an off-topic comment, but you have been tagged with the infamous book meme.

GrrlScientist

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Yeah, but 8 out of 10 times, they actually laugh at what I've got to say.

With the constant promise of success looming over my head, I always brazenly venture into the land of the laughs. It's all good.

Hell, I fancy myself a bit of a humour writer. I'd better be able to make 'em laugh.

thelastditch.blogspot.com

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Sorry to post an off-topic comment, but you have been tagged with the infamous book meme.

GrrlScientist


Wow, thanks. Hmm, yeah, I've never done a meme before, but I'll do my best to complete it and pass it on.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAMILY GUY ROCKS.

yeah, i know, everybody knows that. but just stating the obvious.

we should start an elite family guy cult. PETE-ARDS UNITE!

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Devo said...

My vote's with megalithic ego. I know that's why I crack moronic jokes... But if experience is wisdom, I think they kinda like it when the customers make complete fools of themselves. I used to be on the other side of the transaction, and I loved it.

But nothing beat customers who stank of boozohol. I found that better than any witty banter they coulda thrown at me...

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Hulabelly said...

Barista says- I don't care.

i don't care why you are getting a hot drink when it's 93 degrees outside. I don't care to know your life history through tea and coffee.

What I do like is a surprise.not a stinky old man fart surprise, but just something unusual and witty. If you can't be that, then smile and and give me a big tip.

 
At 12:10 AM, Anonymous cheap generic viagra said...

Fantastic thoughts has been written and shared on your blog..you have great knowledge about the topic..Keep sharing such type of thoughts.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home