10 Items or Less This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Ah, the register. The immaculate and ominous till. The sleek counter, and the ill-forgiving conveyor belt. The early morning smell of fresh fruit and vegetables. And the horrible feeling of just arriving to your part-time job at a grocery store.
I have not always hated humanity, and I certainly have not always despised grocery stores. However, things have changed. Oh, have they changed.
My first few days of being a cashier went about the same: glassy eyed and bushy tailed, beaming with pride and patience and politeness. Over time customers come and go, usually without complaint, but there are some who just can’t help but wake up on the wrong side of the bed every morning and make it their personal goal to ruin the lives of every person they cross.
And these people usually sniff out my line and come to harass me. Couldn’t find the bathroom within a minute? Complain to me! Someone give you a dirty look by the dairy? Tell me all about it! Think the floors are too sticky? Please, by all means, let me know! Feeling ignorant enough to comment on the “English” or “Spanish” option on the credit-card machine? Confide in me because I am just dying to hear! Don’t worry, for I actually never take your personal opinions on our cranberry salad to my manager like I promised I would. Sorry. Maybe you should have donated the measly one dollar to our juvenile diabetes charity.
Unless I fell asleep in 2011 and woke up in 3036, something has gone terribly awry, for some people have this strange idea in their head that I am a machine and have no feelings. When I hear comments like “Oh, don’t get on this line! This girl is so slow!” or “Can you hurry up? I’m in a rush,” I feel like reminding the customer that serfdom ended almost a hundred years ago; I do not get paid minimum wage to make sure that your food is all packed and ready to go in time for American Idol.
Being a cashier isn’t all bad, though. I enjoy some aspects of the job like honing my quick math skills, or learning the differences between various spices or lettuce. I suppose nothing in life is without its positives and negatives.
During my time as a cashier, I learned a few key things about life— Patronizing the rude is the greatest method of retaliation; I am an idiot and a failure for working at a grocery store (although I am only a high school student, some consider cashiering my career, go figure); and that I despise anyone who cannot operate a credit pin pad without assistance.
Be nice to the next cashier you deal with! We are actually decent people, deep down!





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

sardonicsunshine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm
this was hilarious and so true! a lot of my friends work in the local supermarket and they go through this... some criticism though? it comes off as a bit cynical... like when you talk about how youre really not interested in what the customers have to say... sometimes they just want to make conversation or are just commenting on something casually... i like the piece a lot, but by doing this you switch people who were originally agreeing with you to "on the fence" or maybe even the customer side lol
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback