Monday, December 14, 2009

Thoughts on Culture and Checkout Etiquette

Today, Addison and I went shopping at the Big Blue Store. You know which one I mean. What a mixed bag of feelings I get when I enter it's automatic doors! Toilet paper for less is always nice, but it's immensity and the ramifications of a disappearing culture that the big box store has on small local businesses is always sad to me when I think of the cute little grocers and markets I frequented in New York.

But I digress.....

I had just spent an hour dodging carts and harried shoppers on missions of feeding their families and finding just the right something to stuff under the tree when I entered the shortest line at checkout I could find. The cashier was a young man from Africa that I see frequently. He is always so nice and friendly. He calls Addison "Dude", which I think is cute. So does Addison. He actually gives this young man one of his rare smiles (rare because most strangers elicit the back of his head while his face is buried in my arm or leg).

The customer in front of me had just a few items. And he was on his cell phone. Talking loudly on his cell phone. This social faux pas is one that I just don't understand. How is it that it has become acceptable to totally ignore the person who is serving you by ringing up your stuff? The young man doing the ringing up....oh, I felt so sorry for him. He was trying to be so polite and not interrupt the man on the phone. Not interrupt him to tell him how much he owes for his stuff! He was trying to use hand motions to sort of show the guy, Hey! You owe this much, man! The cellphone guy finally realized he was actually in a store, at the checkout and he paid what he owed.

Please be kind to the people who work in this stores. It's not their dream job. It's probably not even where they want to be in one year, much less five, but it's a job, maybe even a good job. As a former cashier myself, I can personally say, it's a much harder job then you could possibly think!

Jumping down from my not-so-often-used-soapbox now.

Happy Holidays.

1 comment:

dianne - bunny trails said...

I'm always amazed by the rudeness of people. I think they just get so caught up in their own lives that they don't consider anyone else at all. Of course, part of living in civilization is that you DO consider others. If I'm on the phone and need to check out at a store, I either step aside somewhere to finish the conversation, or I ask if I can call back. It would have to be an emergency situation for me to be on the phone in a checkout.

Thanks for posting this timely reminder.