Water Trickles Downward and My Gift with Children

Of course there will always be those gems that stand out. Today was a full day in every sense of the word, but the cashier position comes with several unsung perks and I will go over my dealings with two particular customers in this post. The next post will involve dealings with a particular supervisor and their mistake that lead to my calling the company hotline.

One of my earliest customers bought a ton of Vitamain water as there was a Buy One, Get One sale this week. This stands out because he was a bit of an control freak. I get so many of those that it’s necessary for me to understand what qualifies a control freak.

You get people in a hurry, naturally. They’re on their way to work, so they buy a few things like breakfast and lunch. Those are easy because the size of their order is reasonably proportionate to how quickly they expect the transaction to be over with. Usually, with these people, if something goes wrong with the register or some other delay, they’re understanding enough to let you fix the problem as they themselves have jobs and understand that these things happen. Then you also get the people who are on special snack and beverage runs for their offices, meetings, or parties and Generimart happens to have the best deals/sexiest cashiers. Again, they’re mostly not in a rush, especially if they’re getting large orders together. They’re getting the whole thing written off on their taxes, or they’re generally in a good mood because they’re celebrating the birth of their child, anniversary, wedding, or whatever and they’re usually very friendly.

The control freaks are the ones who have moderate to large orders and have to watch your every. Fucking. Move. And is if this is not enough, they must also dictate. Every. Fucking. Move. I don’t mean, they’re paranoid about mixing chemicals with food. I understand that if you get enough shitty cashiers you’re notably paranoid and I’ve worked with the shittiest customers in retail, so I can forgive anyone judging me with a really low bar due to past circumstances. This particular person, however, illustrates the kind of person I cannot forgive.

So the guy loads the conveyer belt with water. I should note at this time that he is wearing a pretty expensive watch and has some nice clothing and his body obviously looks like he works out. He could work in some kind of high pressure business environment but that’s neither here nor there. On the basis of the watch, his name is Tick, because he was ticking me off. I reached for a large bag.

Tick: Don’t use a big bag. That bag’s too big.

Me: Okay, no problem.

I started loading a bag. And of course he watched me like a hawk, as if I were going to start juggling with the bottles. When I loaded a bag sufficiently for him, he took at and I started loading another one. Then, for some reason, I got distracted and I still had one bottle in my hand, while I was ringing the others out with the other.

Tick: Put in the bag.

I hate it when people tell me to put things in the bag. It seems nit picky, but in my mind it’s like telling a Subway sandwich artists to put the salad on the bread. Where the fuck else are they going to put it? So, I screwed with him in the only way that I knew I could get away with.

I held on to that bottle and continued the filling the bags with the other bottles. On the third bag, he told me to put the one I had in my hand in the bag. Again. So I took three more bottles and held those on my arm and continued to load the bags with the remaining bottle. I only did this until he asked a third time, but even if he grew agitated, there was really nothing he could say that would get me into any sort of trouble.

This is one of the many perks of which I speak. Sometimes I can turn the other cheek. Sometimes I can turn your other cheek with my backhand. It’s all about the timing.

To end on a positive note, parents who come through my line are often surprised to find out that I don’t have children of my own, because I know so much about things like Thomas the Tank Engine, Ninja Turtles, etc. That’s easily explained by the fact that I am a functioning human being who is either aware of these franchises (IE Doc McStuffins) through my own personal experience, or the fact that I work in a store that sells popular merchandise.

But the time this usually comes up is when I’m able to talk a child into handing me the toy that she will not let go without any screaming or tears. This is from a combination of growing up with brothers and cousins, and later having a little sister, as well as nephews and nieces over the course of my adult life. I have experience working in daycares and with children ranging in age from one year old to sixteen.

This happened this morning, near my register.

Mom: Okay, we can’t buy the kitty, we need to put it away.

Two year-old: NO! *Starts getting agitated and crying as the mother struggles to pry it from her daughter.

Me: Ma’am, let me try it please, trust me.

The customer started loading her purchases on the belt and I began ringing her out.

Me: *To the little girl* Hey, that’s a really nice kitty. Can I see that.

She was a little agitated, but she wasn’t screaming. And when the mother pushed the cart closer to me, I kept talking softly to the little girl, using simple words.

Me: I promise it’s going to be right here when you come back, and you can play with it when you go shopping again.

In a manner of seconds, she gave me the kitty and I placed it on the counter in eye sight. Like a lot of parents, the mother was extremely impressed and I always practically beg the parents to just let me try getting the toy from the child first. This saves my ears and no doubt saves them a lot of crying and screaming on the way back home.


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