This is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s the playful kid in me.
Today’s good deed: STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH THE PERSON WORKING THE CASH REGISTER
It seems to me that grocery store clerks have an oddly lonely job. They wait on people all day but hardly anybody talks to them. People say, “Hello” and, “I have a coupon for that Cool Whip,” but that’s about it. So I like to entertain them.
I read the Fashion Police “jokes” in the back of the Us Weekly while I’m waiting in line. They’re not particularly funny, but occasionally there’s something I can talk to the cashier about. I’ll show them a picture and say, “Is it just me or is Christina Ricci’s head too big for her body?” It breaks the ice nicely.
I’ve talked to many a cashier at Ralph’s (which by the way is an ironic name for a store that wants you to eat their groceries). But they’re not the only ones I talk to. I talk to the cashiers at TJ Maxx, the 99¢ Only Store, Target … I talk to the Bloomingdale cashiers twice: once when I buy stuff and again when I take it back because it’s waaay overpriced.
One cashier at a Joanne Fabrics I had to talk to. She was working a register all by her herself with at a line stretching from here to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She called for help numerous times to no avail. So what did she do? She opened up two registers at the same time! Once I reached her I told her how much I appreciated her hard work and that she handled herself well, especially given the circumstances. She said, “Thank you! I needed that!”
A little pressure released while we talked. She began to breath again.
I talked to a cashier at Target with spiky platinum sea-salt and pepper hair. I told her it was super cool and the conversation took off from there. We talked about her hair, my hair, and then moved on to men’s grooming habits. They don’t dye their grays or wear make up, “… or shave their legs,” she said. “And some of them barely wash!”
I’ve talked to cashiers about stationary stores, TV shows, gotten gardening advise … It’s amazing how quickly I can find a common interest with a cashier. They’re my people—the human race.
I hate talking to automated messages on the phone, and I sure don’t like automated check-outs at the grocery store. I like talking with real people whenever I can. Making an actual connection is a bonus. The cashiers usually welcome the interaction and it, I think, helps create more of a community feeling.
So I’m off to the Ralph’s. I only have two things on my shopping list, but I’m sure I’ll walk out with seven. And I’m sure there will be a friendly cashier I can talk to about it.
Photo (Flickr CC) by mendhak