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42 Things Your Grocery Store Cashier Really Wants You To Know

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Grocery Store Cashier

Most people interact with a grocery store cashier at least a couple times a week. We hand them our credit cards and they see our most intimate purchases, but beyond a (hopefully) friendly greeting and quick “have a nice day,” those of us who have never worked as a cashier know very little about this back-breaking job. I sent out a bat signal email to all the current and former cashiers I know, asking them one question: what do you wish you could tell every customer who comes through your line? Here’s what they said…

On Customer Interactions:

1. “When I ask you ‘How is your day going?’ I actually do want to know. Anything to distract me from my killing feet is appreciated.”

2. “Don’t hang around and flirt with me while I’m working — I’m probably not interested and it makes me look like I’m socializing on the clock to my boss.”

3. “Please do not comment on my physical attributes, it’s annoying and frankly kind of creepy. I am not a display.”

4. “Stop telling me how much cheaper our competitor is. I already know. I probably shop there too.”

5. “Personal space: Know it. Love it. Use it.”

On Your Purchases:

6. “Cashiers are totally checking out your eating habits even though we pretend not to.”

7. “I can tell the difference between cilantro and parsley…can you?”

8. “Shit can get expensive real quick when you shop in bulk so pay attention! When you get to the register and decide you no longer want your $40 bag of pine nuts, we can’t put it back in the bin. There is so much food waste this way it makes me sick.”

9. “Don’t mix your produce in a combined bag and then complain that I didn’t notice the difference between your peaches and nectarines.”

10. “I spend most of the time in my little box which means I probably don’t know if we carry your favorite brand of gluten free kosher organic sesame seaweed crackers but if you chill out for two seconds I can call someone who works in that department to find out.”

11. “If you are buying beer for underage kids, it would be advisable to not have them waiting out front in their letterman jackets….or better yet, behind you in line with an unnecessary amount of red solo cups.”

12. “Buying condoms at 16 is not embarrassing. It’s better than buying diapers at 16!”

On Unloading Your Cart/Waiting In Line:

13. “I don’t care about your opinion on paper or plastic. Bring your own bag because they both suck.”

14. “Bag your raw meats. Blood and chicken goo when drizzled on a conveyer belt can make people sick.”

15. “When people put their basket on the belt and don’t empty it while waiting in line — we hate that!”

16. “If you’re buying 5 12-packs of Coke, I only need one to scan. I’d rather not move every single one across the scanner.”

17. “There is a proper way of bagging items and the cashier usually doesn’t need help from the customer.”

18. “Leave heavy things in the cart. We have scan guns that can reach.”

19. “When you’re waiting in line, be considerate of the people around you.”

20. “Don’t leave your cart at my check stand and leave. Walk it to the door with you.”

21. “We used to have a company sponsored contest to see who could scan items the fastest. So if you see a cashier with a longer line it may mean they are faster than most. People would choose my line no matter how long it was because they knew I would get them out as soon as possible.”

On Paying:

22. “When paying with cash, unfold and straighten your bills before HANDING them to us politely. When you leave a clumped mess of wadded up cash for us to grab and sort it makes us want to punch you in the face.”

23. “If you’re planning on paying with a check, please have it pre-filled out, grocery shopping is not the leisurely activity you think it is, most people want to get out of here as quick as humanly possible.”

24. “Don’t get pissed when I can’t break a hundred.”

25. “Coupons aren’t just for poor people and if you don’t use them, you’re paying more than you need to. Just make sure you cut them out before you get to my line.”

26. “Food stamps does not equate to ‘free money.’ Additionally, if you offer to buy the groceries of the person in front of you with your EBT card in exchange for cash, that is VERY illegal.”

27. “You really can get a discount on dented cans if you ask.”

28. “The grocery store is not a bank so no, I can’t give you 2 rolls of quarters so you can do your laundry.”

On Common Courtesies:

29. “If you decide you don’t want to purchase one or two of the items you picked up along you’re way through the store ALWAYS hand them to the cashier. We have no magic fairies who blissfully fly around returning the items you stuff into random shelves or abandon on the magazine racks at the checkout.”

30. “Please stop your children from poking holes into the packaged hamburger. It creates more work for everyone and it’s really kind of gross.”

31. “Dogs are filthy animals that roll in shit and lick their junk. If you’re not blind or an epileptic, please leave it at home.”

32. “Please don’t follow me to my new place of employment when I quit.”

33. “We are not childcare providers. Watch your own kids.”

34. “Urine and excrement belong in the toilet. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

Random Thoughts And Observations:

35. “I secretly enjoyed wearing a tie. And I took pride in being able to tie a better knot than most men.”

36. “*Me keying in the barcode on your canned peas after several failed attempts to read it over the scanner*
You: IT MUST BE FREE! HAR HAR HAR!
Me: I’ve never heard that one before!!!!”

37. “The self checkout is for your convenience. Therefore yelling “I hate these things!” while choosing to use them of your own free will just makes you sound like a moron.”

38. “Old people are really cheap and will complain if something was listed for 98 cents and they are charged 99 cents.”

39. “No one buys makeup at a grocery store, so when you need cover-up on the go, check the expiration date because it’s probably been there since the mid 1980′s.”

40. “This is a grocery store, not your bedroom. Leave the slippers and flannel pajama pants at home.”

41. “Just because I see you every day does not mean I am your friend or your therapist.”

42. “The greeting card aisle is reserved for me when Def Leppard comes on and I want to practice my breakdancing. Best stay clear.”

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