Sunday, April 28, 2013

Politics and Religion, And Why Your Cashier Doesn't Want To Hear About It

   Anytime you have more than one person in the room, and the conversation turns to either politics or religion, or if you are insanely unlucky, both, there is going to be a difference of opinion. I have never come across two people that hold the same view for every aspect of political or religious debates. Not gonna happen. And since most people get all fired up and butt hurt when other people don't agree with them about every little detail, there is almost always an argument. Not saying that all of these arguments end badly, because some people do know how to be mature, sane adults, but nevertheless, arguments ensue, with good and bad endings.
  Now when you aren't at the workplace, it's okay if the person you are arguing with thinks you are the devil because you don't agree with them about foodstamps or abortion or gay marriage or public schooling or whatever the issue of the day is. But when you are at work, this is a whole different issue. Now this may surprise some of you, but between coworkers, we are not supposed to talk about about these controversial topics while on the clock. We sometimes do, but we aren't supposed to, because we aren't supposed to breed hostility in the workplace. And people get pretty fricking angry about others not agreeing with their religious and political views. And since I don't ever agree with anyone, I tend to keep my mouth shut. All I need is for some coworker to Code Red me -- a bad bad bad thing that you can get fired for -- because I vented some of my views and got pissy with someone because they got pissy with me. Plus, I do believe in respecting other's views and beliefs, and it isn't very respectful of me to be cramming what I believe down someone else's throat in a work environment. Not really fair.
   But there isn't a lot that us cashiers can do when customers come at us with political and religious views and aggressively try to force us to agree. And I could fake agreeing, but I don't really like to do that, so what I tend to do is get quiet and just look at you. Maybe you'll get a vague 'uh-huh' out of me, and many just take this as a form of agreement, but this is my way of saying 'you are batshit crazy but I can't come out and say it because I am on the clock.' That's what uh-huh means when you come through my line talking about Obama is a Muslim terrorist or that Romney wants to take away all women's rights or that I need to come to whatever your church is in order to be divinely saved because all other churches are false churches, blah-blah-blah-blah. I don't agree with any of that bullshit, and you don't want to hear my views, because in the past election, I didn't vote for either of those dudes; they were both bad choices, as far as I am concerned.  This most recent election, I wrote in my best friend's name in that place marked Other_____________. And while I believe in God, I don't really care for organized religion because every time I go listen to a mass or sermon, or whatever you want to call it, I hear a lot of hate-mongering. None of you wants to hear that shit from me though, and I oblige you by not flapping my jaw.
   Also, a cashier can't really debate with you, because if you get mad enough and go complain to the manager, which quite a few people would totally do, we can get fired over that. We aren't supposed to talk about these things on the clock, and we are not supposed to argue with customers. So any agreement you get is often coerced. Which means that really, we don't agree at all; we just want to keep on paying our bills. So in the spirit of fairness, pick a different topic to chat up your cashier with. The weather, a new recipe, your vacation plan, your kids, your college classwork, or talk about nothing at all if you'd rather. But please! Not politics and religion! I'm glad that you are into politics and religion, but if you really want to debate with me, don't do it when I am in the position where I can't debate without risking my job. 

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