Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Am Not Socially Inclined; Not A Good Trait For A Cashier

   The job I have now - cashiering - that job is kind of an odd fit for me; it doesn't always make sense and certainly doesn't match my personality. I mean, I love the people I work with, and I work for a decent company, but I've mentioned before that scanning groceries is not the most intellectually stimulating job in the world: trained monkeys could do my job, but they would probably cost more in the long run, which is probably the main reason that no company hires them. That, and PETA would get all upset about the working conditions. Stand for 2 to 4 hours at a time, and you aren't allowed to sit and no water and no bathroom breaks? That shit's fine for people, but monkeys: they deserve better. That really is not the problem, or the point, however. I don't think that I am any more intelligent than the next person, I know how to hold pee in - especially since I'm not allowed to have a drink of water, and I'm not proud. Cashiering puts food on the table; that's good enough for me. What I meant when I say that I am not the best fit for being a cashier is that cashiering takes a lot of social skills, and I don't have an abundance of social skills. I am not a socially inclined person.
    Cashiers have to greet people all day long. All. Day. Long. And not saying hi, how are you? Well, that can get you called to the boss's office if the customer makes a big enough stink about it. We have to talk to people that we literally know nothing about, and making small talk all day to strangers - that's a skill, my friends. And we have to talk to all manner of people. Just today, I had to talk to a lady who was a complete spaz. She wanted someone to go ask her ride to wait for her, but a cashier can't just leave her checkstand. Walking away from the checkstand is not encouraged behavior in cashiers. So I had to call grocery to see if they would go talk to her ride. I paged grocery, and I mean, not even a second later she was saying, "Did you call them?" Yes, I called them. "But, I mean, did you call them or did you just page them?" I paged them, I have to wait for someone to answer. "But, did you actually talk to someone?" No, I am waiting for someone to answer. "Can they answer now? I mean, immediately?" Well, I sure to hell hope so - but wait - I have to tone that down, cashiers aren't supposed to say stuff like that. See? Social skills.
   And I lack social skills. I don't like talking to people. Someone says hi to me, and I am wondering what the hell this joker wants? Why are they talking to me? There is a father that I walk past while taking my daughter to the bus, and every morning he wants to talk to me. How am I? What are my plans today? It's a beautiful day, isn't it? What did I eat for breakfast? He's a nice man; very friendly. It's gotten so that I will circle around the complex, talking an extra five minutes just to walk home, so that I don't have to talk to him. Nice day? I hate sunshine. Breakfast? I don't eat breakfast; I just want to take an hour nap before I have to go to work. How am I? Effing pissed that I'm awake, that's how I am. No social skills. But I don't have to fake social skills in this situation; I can just skulk around the apartment complex like the introverted, antisocial hermit that I am. I can't skulk around the store like an introverted, antisocial hermit. I'm the 'face of the company'. I have to smile and talk and not be scary and shit.
   Gaming is another place where I don't have to be social. Games are getting social, true, and you can play them online and in packs and there are facebook games for your friends and all that good shit. Gaming used to be for nerds that lack all ability to function socially, but now, if you want to play a Facebook game, you have to have like 30 friends to get anywhere.
   Myself, I don't game socially. I stick to the old school, sit-in-the-dark-in-your-T-shirt-and-underwear-and-don't-talk-to-anyone-real games. Sure, some of those social games look pretty good, I love blowing up fake shit and fighting aliens and being a wizard and whatever, but I've just spent eight hours talking to random-ass strangers. By the time I am done with work, I don't even want to talk to my friends. I don't want to talk to people I know and like. I want to sit in my chair, stare at a screen, and growl. Can't do that and be socially acceptable, but I can choose to game offline, by myself, and then I don't have to be socially acceptable.
    I like people - well, I like some people. But liking people and socializing with them, that's two totally different things, folks. I'm not so good with the social stuff. And cashiers, they have to do the social stuff. A customer comes through my line, starts telling me their problems, and I have to pretend I care. Sometimes I do care (I promise), but most of time, I'm wondering, why they are telling me this shit? I don't want to hear about your skin rashes or sex life or creepy infestations. So yes, I am an odd fit for a person who's been a cashier all of her working life. I mean, obviously, I can fake my way through all the social stuff by now. I've been a hermit-y cashier for over a decade, so I've got the fake, smile-like-a-Prozac-addict part down. And don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that I have the job and that I work with people that I can actually get along with (and even like - that's amazing) but sometimes, fulfilling the social part of the job, that's effort. That's why I earn the money I get paid; because I'm actually being nice to all these people when I just want to tell (some of) them where they can shove it, but I keep that part of me LOCKED DOWN. That's how I earn my keep, by being nice, but being nicer to people would be easier if I were, well, nicer. Hence the odd fit, but hey, we do what we gotta do. Gotta pay those bills somehow. 

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