The Cashier | Nikolay Arabadzhiyski
It’s not a coffee shop, but it smells like coffee. He’s not a barista, but he makes over 50 coffees during his shifts. He is not a stand-up comedian, but he breaks the ice with his jokes and brings warm smiles to the costumers’ faces. Nikolay Arabadzhiyski is more than just a cashier at the Tobacco shop he is working at.
Nikolay didn’t start working because he needed money. “I felt guilty for wasting my time, doing the same pointless things every day just to kill time,” he says.
In rush hour time flies fast and at night when there aren’t many customers he is studying for exams and working on his assignments. “I wouldn’t be as productive and responsible with my studying if I wasn’t working here,” he says.
The best part about his job is the communication with the people, Nikolay explained. “Some people come in just to talk to me. You can notice who wants to buy something and who needs company.” He doesn’t mind listening and engaging in small talks, he says that it’s part of the job.
He sees one of his regular customers coming in and already knows his order. He turns on the coffee machine, takes a pack of cigarettes and waits for the usual line, with which that person greets him. “Every time he comes he asks me if I’m his friend. And every time I response ‘I hope so’” he says.
He earns tips but he doesn’t take them. “In my job at the USA we were using our tips for change, I decided to do that here but a bit differently,” Nikolay says. He uses his tips when customers don’t have enough money to pay. “I don’t need that money. Seeing somebody smile is worth more.”
He doesn’t describe his job as boring. Often, there are drunk men making scenes and a mess, which he has to clean up. “There’s a guy that carries a gun, which he sometimes forgets in the shop. It’s always fun to see people running away when they witness my boss coming out with the gun in search of its owner.”