Since college I have embarked on the illustrious career of …
A bit embarrassing, I admit. But it helps to remind myself that I am not my job.
Other things that help are swiftly judging and constructing stories about the lives of each customer that sidles down my lane.
Here are the five most common animals seen in my daily habitat.
1. The Meticulous Payment Giver
Cashiers are commonly graded on their speed. However, this lovely visitor will spend EONS in the skewed timeline of a cashier, attempting to make the most exact, elaborate or painful monetary transaction possible. For example: check writers. YES. PEOPLE STILL WRITE CHECKS. And in doing so, they will ask me 1) for a pen, 2) what the total is 3) what the date is 4) what the total is 5) WHERE THEY ARE 6) what the total is. These archaic humans gleefully waste my time and faith in humanity–all in convenient paper rectangle form.
Now, when these people are not using fossilized methods of payment, they are spelunking to the bottom of their purses/pockets/discarded envelopes/endless containers to find the most asinine forms of currency imaginable.
“May I pay for this gum and dining room set in rolls of quarters?”
“I am prepared to give you a $50, two tens, seventeen nickels, wampum and my daughter here … is that ok?”
2. The Cry for Help
This one goes out to you, guy who buys Southern Comfort at 10 a.m. Or you, teenage girl who strolls by with a stack of workout clothes, fitness magazines and a huge bottle of laxatives. Good luck.
3. The Nervous Gigglers
If you happen to be a pint-sized Asian couple who are buying several boxes of condoms, I WILL NOTICE IF YOU ACT NERVOUS. Just be calm … and don’t run out of the store too fast.
4. Sally Over-Share
In the course of my day, I will listen to stories of beloved grandchildren, budgetary concerns, surgery, Elvis obsessions, to-do lists, cats, horrible/beautiful weather, full diapers being smashed on my previously sanitized counter, vacations, the Packers, how much they love INSERT PRODUCT, and boob size.
I want to scream … but I smile. Perhaps I am the only one they have as a sounding board, paid to stand there and absorb their blabberings … fine. It can be arduous and soul-numbing, but it’s nothing compared to …
5. REALLY ANGRY PEOPLE.
I did not know how upset people can get by such things as:
B. gift receipts
C. rain checks
D. gift cards
They can get REALLY ANGRY.
I actually had a woman who accused me of lying about the availability of Fairy Barbie and her accompanying DVD … a subject I could not have been privy to, as I am chained to my tiny station. As this is apparently a hot item, it was not in stock after nine hours of its release. However, this did not stop this astounding harpy from positioning her doe-eyed toddler at my feet, pointing to me and saying: “Her! She did this to you!”
Or the woman who literally requested a divine intervention instead of walking twenty yards behind her to make a return. Instead she uttered, “Dear God, don’t make me,” and staggered for the exit.
To be fair, you cannot really blame your cashier for judging you. We are required to take stock of what you buy, in order to put it in the appropriate bag. Because heaven knows if the Lysol is next to the SEALED AND BOXED CHEERIOS the world will end. So if you wander up to a lane, arms full of pregnancy tests and travel-sized accouterments, I will assume you are planning a trans-continental getaway if that damn test proves positive.
It just keeps us sane.