A First Job Lesson

June 20, 2011
There’s nothing better than knowing you have to go to work another day at A&P. Not only do you have to work four long hours, but you have to put up with the crankiest people. Who knew dealing with people who you’re not only bagging for and simultaneously scanning ALL their groceries could be so nasty? It’s not our fault! Being a cashier consists of putting on a fake smile everyday and greeting customers like we are happy to be serving them…It’s our job to be fake, nice and act like we care. Although, very few people are nice, we cashiers only remember the impolite ones.

There are two types of lanes, the ‘bag-yourself-lane’ or the make the cashier bag all your groceries because you’re too lazy lane. One day I was feeling very generous on the ‘bag-yourself-lane’ and decided to help people with their bombarding groceries on the conveyor belt. One lady, I swear, she could have been on the Housewives of Orange County reality TV show. She was overly obnoxious with her unattractive beach-blonde hair, juicy-couture green, towel-textured sweat suit, way too much Barbie-pink lipstick, leather-skinned face because she obviously tans more than five times a day; along with the iPhone in one hand and her millions of credit cards in the other. She spent over 800 dollars. Not only that, but as I looked over at the computer screen which has the total amount of items scanned, it read…TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE items! I was astounded that I had even bagged that many items, let alone scanned them. It was utterly breath-taking. Although, I had offered to bag some of her groceries, I NEVER meant all! All she kept saying was, “I would totally help you and all, but I like totally just got my nails done and O-M-G, I don’t even know what I would do if I messed one up…ugh I can’t even imagine it!” That’s when I started to get angry; the hag had no intention of helping me whatsoever. Finally, about 45 minutes had passed and I’m…still…bagging her groceries while she stands and watches me like I’m her little servant, even after I had politely asked her to help me. As time passes, she gets bored and starts making a few phone calls: one to her lawyer about how she’d currently spent $800 on groceries, $4 grand on clothes alone in that one day and she can’t pay him/her because she doesn’t have enough money!?! Then, she calls her husband, supposedly yelling at his secretary because the lady had to make an appointment with her own husband. While this occurs, I finally finish bagging HER groceries (and might I add) on the ‘bag-yourself-lane’. She leaves with not a thank you or anything nice to say at all.

Being a cashier definitely means being fake and nice even when you don’t want to be because it’s crucial. If we were allowed to say what we want to customers: no one would have a job + no one would shop at the A&P= no money. It’s a simple equation we all abide by. If I had been able to say what I choose to that particular lady, I would not only give her a piece of my mind, but tell her that life is NOT served on a silver platter. Other than that incident, there have been many others where either I completely avoid confrontation or call a manager to give them a taste of their own medicine, that way I don’t have to.

Although this experience was completely dreadful, I learned very much. In life, there will always be obstacles that I must overcome. No matter the situation, there is always a solution. I may have a roommate in college, an employee or even a teacher that I may not get along with nicely. But, this truly makes me believe I can do absolutely anything.

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