Sunday, April 7, 2013

Conversations With Customers

  We get all types working in customer service, and when you work in a grocery environment, that is no joke or exaggeration. Everybody needs to eat, and at some point or another, everybody comes shopping for food. This means that we cashiers/checkers get into some of the most crazy, zany conversations. I know that I have, and there are certainly some that have stuck in my mind. As I like to share, I am going to record some of them in this blog post. If you are cashier/checker you'll have some of your own, but these are some of the memorable ones that I have had.

Conversation 1: Not Human
   This one was a double act. I had two separate customers talking to each other at first.
   "Everything is going up. I guess that's how it is," she said, "Nothing's free."
   "Oh, I don't know about that," the man behind her chimed in, "A man bought me a free tank of gas once because he had just won the lottery. I was at the gas station and he just offered."
   "Things like that really show you that some people are just still human and not, well, whatever they are." the woman exclaims. 
   The man gets all sly-faced and looks at me and says,"Maybe this nice lady will show us that she's really human and give us our groceries free."
   "That'd be great!" the woman exclaims.
   "Nope," I say. "I'm not human; I'm whatever they are."
  You should have seen the looks that I got. Well, whatever, I thought I was funny.  

Conversation 2: Grandpa-faced
   For some reason, when I first started working at the place that I work now, I got a lot of people who thought that I was Russian. We have a high Russian customer base, and I do have a lot of Russian coworkers, but I am not Russian. Since I was a military brat, I started out my life being raised all over the place, but when my dad retired, we permanently moved to Mississippi. I was nine at the time, and Mississippi is the place that I identify as my childhood home. But I had a lot of customers who would come up to me and just start speaking Russian at me. This was the case with two young woman, probably early 20's. They came up and just started talking away to me in their language. I looked at them, baffled, and told them that I did not speak any Russian.
   "You don't speak Russian? You aren't from Russia?" one of the girls asked.
   "That's so strange," she replied."You have the face of our grandfathers."
   Well, I have a sense of humor, so I about died laughing at that one. Good to know that I'm grandpa-faced. I'm sure this was an example of a misunderstanding due to language barriers, but it was pretty funny and never let it be said that I can't laugh at myself. 

Conversation 3: The Sheep Spy
   I have this man come through my line on a fairly regular basis and though  I can't be sure, I am pretty certain that he is homeless. He is also crazy, but when he is in a good mood, he can be a pretty fun guy. The first conversation that I had with him cemented the image of the nice guy in my mind. He was carrying the huge backpack that he always have, and he looked pretty gruff and wasn't clean, so I do admit that he did make me nervous. Especially when he leaned over my counter, with a dead-serious expression.
   "Can I tell you a secret?" he asked.  
   Being the verbal genius that I am, I responded with "Uhhhhhhhh......"
   Despite my lack of enthusiasm, he gleefully responded, "I'm a sheep spy!"
   "A what?" I asked, befuddled.
   "I'm a sheep shy. Because I'm not a vegetarian!"
   "Okay," I laughed, "Me too." 
   I finished ringing him up and he paid with coins and crumpled dollars and then he exclaimed "Hey, watch this!" And he began to juggle the oranges that he had just bought. 
    He does come in really grumpy and mean, but I try to remember that he can be really fun too. It can't be a sheep-spying, orange juggling day everyday. 

    There you go: a small but colorful peek into the working life of the cashier. 

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