Six ways to efficiently piss off the person behind the register
1. Sexism: Who has declared in the laws of the universe, that if the cashier does not have a Y chromosome then she cannot help someone bring a bag of feed to their car or be knowledgeable in lawn mower parts? Hearing, “Where is your manager? May I speak to him?” is a good way to earn a sarcastic comment such as “Yes, his name is Susan and she’ll be happy to help you.” It is unfair to assume she does not know something. Instead of asking if there is a guy around to help, it is possible to see if she can help first.
2. Clichés: When cashiers hear a cliché it makes their ears want to shrivel up like a worm over concrete on a summer day because it is the same tiring phrases over and over. “Working hard or hardly working?” Hardly working, because they are too sick of the lack of art in conversation to focus on their job. Saying, “the money is fake/ I just printed it/ don’t let the ink run off,” has been done so many times. It would be appreciated if more people were considerate of the poor cashier who hears the same line every single day at work, over and over again, to the point where it is all a blur.
3. Being overly flirtatious: This one is so irksome an entire article could be solely dedicated to this topic. Look at her eyes- the ones on her face. She can tell if you are not really looking at her nametag. Being a cashier is not exactly the career of choice, but most cashiers still want to at least be somewhat professional. Refrain from cutesy comments when they have to ask for a phone number. No, she will not call you. Yes, she is aware that your wife would not like that. Check out this classic, pained and plastic cashier-smile!
4.Pushing opinions: Opinions are beautiful, especially when people have differentiating ideas, but who can intellectually discuss these ideas with one another? Retail is a special kind of world when it comes to opinions. To paraphrase most companies’ policies when it comes to their employees’ opinions about controversial topics; never disagree with what the customer is saying, you only know the company’s values and you do not have a mind of your own while on the clock. A lot of people who walk in spouting out political or religious views or deep philosophical theories on morality may not realize it is like backing someone into a corner and muting them as they are forced to hear a stranger’s rants. We do not have the freedom to give our side or say we do not want to talk about these issues while we are working. We have to stand there and take it, and no, we are not paid nearly enough to do so.
5. Pulling money away: This is worse than just getting hit on. It is like a show of dominance and control over the cashier who has to try to chase the twenty dancing around the table. She or he must, because it is the job, so some take advantage of that to have fun without much fear of repercussion. Corporate believes cashiers should play along, so play they probably will, and feeling demeaned is definite.
6. Treating people like a machine: Some stores such as Walmart even post signs forbidding it. It is the dreaded talking on the phone while you are checking out. It is rude to pay absolutely no attention to the person you are supposedly interacting with. It can hold up the line and frustrate not only the employees trying to do their job, but the customers who just want to pay for their Purina dog food and impulse-buy Hershey’s chocolate bars and leave. Plain and simple solution to this is to hang up or put the person on hold. It is understandable if it is an important call that rang during the process, but if the cashier has to listen to someone talk about their cat to their BFF, they should be allowed to take it away like in high school. Even if the customer is not on the phone, many times they will ignore the cashier anyway. It is unfathomable being in a situation with someone and completely ignoring his or her existence. Oh, and handing them money expecting them to cater to you. These people are not self-checkout robots. They are living, breathing human beings with personalities that deserve respect. If they say thank you, say it back. If they wish you a happy day, wish them one back.
Comment below if you have had your own troublesome cashier-customer interaction.