The Cashier Commandments: Rules of Retail
1 . You are always wrong.
It doesn’t matter if you’re professing to a customer that the sky is blue, you will be wrong. Oh, you know for an absolute fact that the spray cheese is in aisle four? Well that customer glanced over the shelves and since they didn’t see it, it isn’t there. You have worked at the store for a year and the Oreo’s have always been in the same spot in aisle 8? Wrong, that customer was there 2 days ago and found them in an entirely different place, someone changed where everything is located. No matter what you say or do, you will be incorrect.
2. It’s your fault.
You work behind the register part-time for minimum wage. So naturally, all of the issues in the store are your fault. The fact that you’re out of the product someone wanted? Your fault. The store is understaffed and lines are long? Your fault. The bathroom is out of toilet paper? You guessed it, your fault again. A customer didn’t bring enough money to pay for their groceries? Well, you get the point.
3. You will gaze longingly at the clock at least once every 20 minutes.
Ever hear the saying “a watched pot never boils?” You will understand the true meaning of this working as a cashier. Constantly checking the time makes it crawl like the disgusting beetle you’ve been staring at during the short periods of not having customers. But you will not be able to avoid looking at it, you need it as much as that customer really needs you to understand that her daughter’s cat is sick and she needs to get to the vet, quickly please.
4. You must laugh at the same bad jokes several times per shift.
A customer hands you a $100 bill? You will laugh when they tell you they printed it this morning. An item doesn’t scan? That must mean it’s free, right?! You will realize that no one is original, and you will perfect the fake, strained cashier laugh.
5. You will lose faith in humanity nearly every shift.
People are rude, nasty, mean-spirited animals. Why would they act like that? Why would that person say that to you? Don’t they realize there’s a human being behind the counter?
6. And you will gain it back.
Once in a while, a customer always comes along to restore that faith. Someone tells you you’re doing a great job, or tells you not to worry about that rude customer in front of them. They’ll thank you at the end of the transaction. Every once in a while, someone even comes along and does something exceptional, like paying for the groceries of the customer behind them. They make you think that maybe i isn’t so bad after all.
7. In the end, it will be worth it.
Will it be rough? Yes. Will you hate it at times? Absolutely. But in reality, it could be worse. There are a lot of awful jobs out there, and in comparison retail isn’t really all that bad. You’ll meet some great people, believe it or not, along the way. And who doesn’t love all of the stories of awful customers that come with the job?
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