Okay, I've already mentioned my little conversation with the gentleman who thought he really needed the game Gears of War. Well, as the holiday season approaches, the feeding frenzy is gearing up and life at the cash register is getting just a little weird. Unique perspective, that of standing behind a cash register.
Last week, a frazzled mom and her two teenage kids came through my line. Looked like it had been a long day for mom. You know, that gray, bleary-eyed, dazed look. This wasn't a Christmas shopping trip - just routine grocery shopping. As I scanned groceries, Son plopped an item on the end of the belt.
"You're not getting that!" Mom protested.
"But Mom, I really need this..." The wheedling began.
"I'm not paying for it." Mom was holding her ground. "If you want it that bad, you can bring your own money next time we come and buy it for yourself."
"I want it now," Son protested. "I'll pay you back when we get home."
So went the check-out game. Son had Mom in a corner - she was exhausted, frazzled, too tired to carry on a prolonged argument. Surrounded by strangers, you could tell she really didn't want to make a big fuss and cause a scene, either. It's tough to hold your ground when everyone around just wants you to hurry up and pay for your groceries so you can get out of their way!
Mom's shoulders drooped a tad further. All the groceries had been scanned and totaled. All that remained was the offending item - and the nagging teenage son. I stood there waiting, really wishing I could give the boy a piece of my mind, tell him to be more respectful of his mother, to stop whining like a baby. Mom let out a long sigh...she was buckling.
"So," I piped in. I grabbed the item and held it up. "That'll be a 'No'?" I quickly set the item aside, beneath my register. Mom blinked and straightened, like she'd been pulled suddenly out of a dream. "Your total is $153.67." I turned to the son. "I'm sure we'll still have these in stock next week. Don't forget to bring your money!" Mom's weak smile looked like a big Thank You to me.
Maybe I'm not really the best person to have working in retail. Then again, if you're a tired mom and could use some back-up, feel free to come through my line any time.
4 weeks ago