Rantings of a Cashier

By: Ashley
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, MB

People seem to be rude by nature. I know this because I've worked at a grocery store (which shall remain nameless) for about eight months. In the past eight months, I have had some very interesting experiences. Though I really enjoy my job, it has taught me some things about human nature.


I have met them all--from the rudest, most inconsiderate people in the world to the incredibly stubborn and the most annoying. Perhaps not all people fall into these categories but these are the ones who stick in my mind the most. OK, maybe I'm being a bit cynical and, if you don't work with the public, you might not think this article is very funny. I don't intend to insult anyone, but for those of you who do work in stores or restaurants, I think you'll agree with my rant.

On Children:
No, I don't think your child is cute while he's running around the store, screaming at the top of his lungs and taking stuff off the shelves. And no, it isn't endearing when he "accidentally" knocks over a display that just took me an hour to set up. If you can't control your kids, put them on a leash or leave them at home!

On Making Change:
I really don't mind taking your spare change off your hands. In fact, it's not a problem; my till usually needs change. But please, please, don't dump out your entire coin purse on my counter, ask me to count it for you, and then insist that I take the smallest change while 20 people are waiting behind you and the phone is ringing.

On Body...Um...Noises/Habits:
Do not come up to my till and fart, burp, or pick your nose. These things are not as funny as they were in grade school. Please don't drill your nose for "gold" while I'm serving you. I really don't relish the thought of putting change into your hands after watching you excavate your nostrils.

On Closing Time:
At five minutes before closing, please don't ask me what time we close, and then go throughout the store filling up your cart. Don't come to pay for your groceries at 15 minutes past closing and expect me to be very happy. And please don't pretend that you didn't know what time we closed. I know you can read the signs and that you aren't deaf to my voice.

On Languages:
I respect the fact that you speak a different language than me. But we are in Canada, and the official languages are English and French. So don't lecture me on the fact that I should learn your language. You should learn English or French, or else deal with the fact that I'm not multi-lingual.

On Prices:
Let it be said here: I DO NOT CONTROL THE PRICES OF STOCK OR THE TAXES ON THEM! I am but a lowly cashier. I am paid to take your money, give you change, and bag your groceries. I do not control at what price an item will be sold or what items will be on sale. And I most certainly don't have any control over what the government does with taxes. So, don't yell at me over the price of items. I can't do anything about it.

On Sales:
Every store has sales. Keep in mind, though, before you buy an item and expect to get a sale price, you must have the right item. More importantly, be sure that you're at the right store. I do admit that it is kind of funny when a people come to me and start arguing over a product, only to find out that they are at the wrong store. People are known to turn a nice, scarlet, shade of red when that happens!

On Smokes:
If you’re under age, don't even bother to try to buy cigarettes. ESPECIALLY if you have been in my class since kindergarten and are the same age as me. We both know you're not 18, so don't try to pretend that you "forgot" your ID in your car!

For you adult smokers, don't assume that you're my favorite customer by asking for "the regular." I don't have any idea what you want. Also, don't come up to me, grunt something unintelligible and expect me to know what kind of smokes you want! There are a million different brands, and I'm not a mind reader.

On Moods:
We all have bad moods at times. When you have a bad mood, please bear in mind that I didn't do anything to you. Don't snap at me for no reason. All you succeed in doing is to put me in a bad mood...Thanks a lot.

I suppose that, in the end, it doesn't matter what I think. You know that I have to smile and bear it for the sake of my job. "The Customer's Always Right"… isn't that how the old saying goes? But remember, although the customer's always right, it's nice to get the "right" customer, a customer who always comes with a smile on his face and has something funny to say. I appreciate customers who realize that I, too, am human, and will occasionally make mistakes. It's you who make our job worth doing, and often you can change my "rant" to a "rave." Thanks to each of you who remembers to be the right customer and make the work of a cashier fun.