I've now been working as a cashier for almost four months and I can honestly say that I love it. It's hands down the best job I've ever had which is saying quite a lot. I love my boss, my coworkers, and the work itself. The work is easy and has a nice rhythm to it. However, as with ever job I'm sure, there's always that one thing that I don't really care for: the customers. Sure, some customers are really nice people and always hold really great conversation with me, but nine times out of 10, customers are rude, angry, or just downright have a bad attitude about everything. Even though I haven't been a cashier for very long, I've dealt with quite a few awful customers.
What follows is a little list I compiled of some of the main things most customers do that drive me nuts. I hope that this helps at least one person feel more aware of how they treat not only cashiers, but all people working retail.
1. When I ask how you're doing, reciprocate.
No, I don't really care how you are, but I literally have to ask this as someone of the customer service team. That's my actual job title. My name tag even says "Customer Service Teammate." Regardless, it's just plain polite to ask people how they are. I know you don't care about how I'm doing either, but it literally makes me feel a little better when a customer says, "I'm good, you?" Something simple like that! I won't tell you my whole life story if you ask how I am, I'll say I'm good, thank you, and I'll shut up as I scan your stuff. It just helps my self esteem, really. I don't know.
2. Don't freak out when I ask for ID.
I don't know how it is anywhere else, but in New York, it is STATE LAW for me to ask for ID when you're buying alcohol and cigarettes. I could literally lose my job if I don't see your ID. If you're obviously older and you don't have it on you, that's cool. I just have to call my supervisor over so they can override it. Personally, I am a supervisor so I'm able to do that. But still! Don't freak out on me for obeying the law. I don't really want to be unemployed.
3. If you don't have your coupons, don't blame me.
I can't tell you how many people have yelled at me when they forget their coupons at home or in the car. We have flyers at every register that we can see the weekly sales. The flyers also have a few coupons in them. We, as cashiers, cannot take these coupons out or we'll get in trouble. There are flyers that customers can use near the entrance of the store so when you forget yours, keep your eyes open when you walk in the store. Don't scream at me for something I literally have no power over. Coupons really aren't that big of a deal.
4. It's not my fault the sales change every week.
As I said before, our sales change every week, starting Sunday mornings. It's not my fault that the store is big and it takes a while for people in a DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT to change all the signs on the items that are on sale. I have no control over the prices and when they change. And when they do change, you'd only get about a dollar off. Most of the time, you have to buy a certain number of a product to get the sale. It's kind of a rip off. So calm down, buy your stuff, and get over it. It's okay, you'll be okay.
5. If my light's on and the sign's up and I'm standing there waiting, yes, I am open.
There's really nothing else to say about this. I am open. I am always here. I basically sleep here. This is my home. Hey, MTV, welcome to my crib! (It's even more exasperating when I'm on self checkout and every single machine says LANE OPEN.)
6. Stop asking where things are and look at the signs.
Just like in every single grocery store ever, there are huge signs above every aisle saying exactly what is in that aisle. My store is, however, in a pretty poor part of the state so I know that some locals may not be able to read. In the summer, there's a plethora of tourists in town who look very well off and like they can read perfectly well. And still, they have no idea how to read the signs. Please... please... just look up.
7. If you don't know how to use self checkout or get angered by it, DON'T USE IT.
Please! Please go to another register! You will get angry and take it out on me and that, more than anything, makes me want to cry. Please, please just go elsewhere, especially if you have a huge cart full of groceries. PLEASE! The stress this alone causes me is incomparable.
8. My manager probably doesn't care why you're upset. Because you're upset over nothing.
If you get angry over something small and irrelevant and tell me to let my manager know they need to fix something, I will say yes, but I won't say a word because you're literally angry at your own mistake or something that neither I, nor my manager, has any control over. Just stop.
9. Do NOT leave your empty cart in the middle of a register, aisle, or anywhere that's not with the other carts.
There is one exit which is where all the other carts are. Please just take it with you and put it with the rest. Please... just... just do it.
10. Stop feeling like you're better than everyone. It's a grocery store, not your kingdom.
You and I, we're the same. We have a family, friends, a job, a life. I don't give a damn about your race, gender identity, sexuality, etc. I just care about whether or not you're nice to me. So just put your groceries on the belt, be nice to me, give me any coupons, don't get angry over things you can't control, pay for your stuff, go home, and enjoy the rest of your day. I want to go home as much as you do.
In conclusion, be kind to everyone, make people smile, use your manners, and, above all, love your cashier.