I work in a retail setting for my summers, my winter breaks, and even spring breaks. Calling it retail makes it sound fancy like my coworkers and I walk around racks of clothes asking if customers are finding everything that they were looking for and we all have headsets to tell each other jokes when we’re not discussing sales that are driving us crazy. We are cashiers in a regional “hypermarket” where you can buy your clothes, TVs, and groceries all in one store. We’re the final barrier between customers and the door. Without going through us, you’re not going out. So, maybe take the time to make our lives a little easier so we can serve you better. Reciprocate.
If a cashier says hello, like any regular person, customers should really reply. We did not piss you off before we even started scanning your items. Take a second to escape from your day and just be kind. Seriously. Just say hello. And if your cashier says hello, it’d be really cool if you didn’t reply with “I have (insert name of item) under my cart.” That’s not a greeting, but kind of shitty. We can see it; carts aren’t solid boxes and we have eyeballs.
Throwing money on the register belt isn’t cool. Do you know how hard it is to get a flat coin off a conveyor belt with short fingernails? It makes cashiers feel like you give no damns because you just throw your folded, crumpled bills down and it’s just like, “Really?”
Read the sales tags. If a shirt rings up for $28, it’s rare that it’s actually on sale for $9.99. Or maybe your chips might have been next to a tag that said 2 for $5, but these chips aren’t on sale and I’m sorry. Cashiers don’t make the sales. If I were making the sales, do you really think that I would make a 16 ounce bag of chips $2.50? Them Cheetos be free.
Most stores have self-checkouts. They do not steal jobs from actual people. They are not scary and there’s nothing wrong with them; you just have to be open to learning how to use them. If a button pops up on your screen, don’t push it unless you actually know what it’s for. Do you have your own bags? Yes? Awesome. No? Then why the hell did you push it? Make sure all items are scanned and that they are put on the belt one at a time. Even if the unknown item was scanned, your light is still red and cashiers need to log in to the register.
And listen to your cashier. If the PIN pad says to swipe your card, your cashier says to swipe your card, and God himself says to swipe your card, don’t second guess your cashier and ask “Swipe? But I have a chip card.” Yes, there are still some stores in this country that do not use chip readers.
Cashiers do have stressful days. Be the customer that tries to make that day better.