Over the past two years, I have been working as a cashier to make a little extra money while attending school. Working in retail is all about customer service which is a unique experience, to say the least. Throughout the past two years, I have encountered many different types of people, as all cashiers do, who keep the job interesting on the daily. While most customers are generally pleasant there are some that make you think they were put on this earth solely to spread eternal misery. For whatever reason this type of customer chooses to be consistently rude to cashiers no matter the circumstances. They just do not seem to grasp the fact that they are acting completely unreasonable to a stranger who is just trying to do their job. Over the past two years, I have watched my co-workers experience the unsuspecting wrath of customers and have also have experienced it myself. Of course, we just have to keep smiling out of the fear of losing our job but before you start screaming about a four cent difference here are three reasons you should try to be a bit nicer to your cashier next time you are in the checkout line.1. Cashiers are nice to you
Does anyone remember that little golden rule taught in elementary school that goes "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" Well believe it or not that rule still applies in adulthood! Now I know this is a two-way street and there are cashiers out there who do not have the best attitudes, but the majority are good people who are there specifically to help you out. I always greet my customers considering and we have to spend the next five minutes or so interacting with each other and it is the polite thing to do. During one of my shifts I kept count of how many times I was ignored after greeting a customer and the number came to 20 times in just four short hours. Seriously you can't spare the three seconds it takes to answer "Hi, how are you today?" and acknowledge my existence? We really don't ask for much. Just a simple smile or nod to signal that we have not unknowingly gained the power of invisibility since checking out the previous customer
2. Cashiers make minimum wage
This is not a plea to make $15 because, yes, the work we do is relatively simple but it is much more enjoyable when dealing with pleasant customers. I personally work as a cashier to afford my college textbooks. Some people do it as a second job, a post-retirement job, or just as a plain old job. That part does not really matter but what does matter is we make very little even after working close to forty hours a week. We applied for this job well aware of the salary and we choose to be there despite it. It is difficult to find a job in today's world and we are lucky to have the opportunity to work so please appreciate what we do just as you would want to be appreciated at your job.
3. Cashiers do not make up the prices
I left this as the last point because I honestly find it the hardest for customers to understand. If something rings up as a certain price and you believe to be a lower price trust me when I say cashiers do not control the price of items. Really not a single one. Every week the computer is updated with the prices, sales, discounts, etc. and even that is done by the managers. If you believe the price is wrong we will gladly check and change it but it is not necessary to cause a commotion because truthfully it looks bad on everyone involved. We do not order stock and if something you wanted runs out that you wanted there is nothing we can do but offer it at a later time. If you do not like how the store is being run your best shot is to take it up with the managers or corporate, not your cashier who will listen to your complaint but most likely can do nothing about it.
Customer service is definitely the most important part of retail but it also important that customers treat those providing the customer service with respect. Cashiers are people just like you. So are waiters, hostesses, tech support and everyone else who works in customer service. We try our best to provide you with the best experience possible and when something goes wrong we are generally sorry. It is disheartening and embarrassing to be yelled at in front of our co-workers and other customers especially when we have no control over the situation. It is true that a bit of kindness goes a long way and your cashier will really appreciate it.