Paper or Plastic?


Being a cashier is not a glorifying job. I wear a horribly bright orange smock with a name tag and my new life sound track is beep beep beep. It’s a pay check and at the end of a shift that’s all that really matters. It’s also, as I’m quickly finding out, a thankless job, and how I’m treated during a shift does matter. So for the people out there who have seemingly forgotten how to treat people with respect, I have selflessly prepared this guide to grocery shopping:

1. Hi, how are you?

I’m sorry if me exercising basic common courtesy is putting you out, but as I’m about to man handle your Sunday dinner, you may want to look up and acknowledge that a human being is ringing you through, not a heartless robot.

2. Would you like to donate?

This isn’t a personal interest of mine. This is a question that I, along with my coworkers, have been instructed and are getting paid to ask you. I don’t need an excuse as to why you don’t want to donate anything, and I certainly don’t want to hear you rant from your soap box about how times are tough for you and how dare we expect you to give away what little you have (your total btw is 300 dollars, enjoy your gourmet cheese). A simple yes or no will suffice.

3. You’re not helping

Sadly yes, I have been trained how to properly bag your groceries. While I appreciate your enthusiasm, throwing things willy nilly in the bag only makes my job and your life more difficult. Kindly lift your hand bag off my belt and let me do what I get paid minimum wage to do.

4 . Your kids aren’t helping either

No, it’s not cute when your kid tries to ring through the half gummed chocolate bar he’s been mangling while you shop. Nor is it so adorable when he raises and lowers my conveyor belt. I don’t want the sticky, warm collection of coins he has and I’ll bet my tiny paycheck that the person behind you isn’t enthralled by how well little Johnny can put your credit card in the machine. Control your kid. Do your job, so I can do mine.

4. Sorry, not sorry.

I can only help you, if you let me help you. So if you decide to complain to me that you couldn’t find something but refuse to let me have someone find it for you, save your breath and us both the trouble and don’t bother.

5. Thank you, have a good day!

Again, just practicing basic politeness here. Something that even my 2 year old nephew can manage. If you can’t muster up a thanks, I’ll be happy with a smile. Anything that lets me know that the last 5 minutes weren’t spent with a machine.


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