Tag Archives: grocery store cashier

Tales of a grocery store clerk

“Do you need any bags?” “Do you have an Air Miles card?” “Will that be debit, credit or cash today?” “Thanks for coming in and have a great day!”

I swear I am saying these in my sleep these days. Today was by far the busiest day yet at the store! I am completely wiped out – which I can’t really understand. I stand in one place for 5 or 6 hours, I don’t really move except for packing bags and sometimes helping the old people by putting stuff back into their carts. How can a job where you just stand there and talk to people be so exhausting? I really don’t the answer to that but it is very true!! Today’s shift was over 6 hours and I don’t want to get off my couch now to do anything!

I enjoy talking to most people, but why are there always some who have to ruin it for the majority of people? Today there was a lady who told me that it didn’t matter what I was “supposed to” – her words – “rules were made to be broken and especially during Covid we shouldn’t have to worry about rules”. Umm…. what???? I was so dumbfounded by her attitude and tone with me, that I just finished up without talking to her again, despite her trying to engage me in a conversation lol. Yeah I was being salty and I don’t care. It’s a tiring job trying to be nice to everyone, especially those who have really weird attitudes about things.

Anyway – just a couple of more weeks of holiday madness – cannot wait for the season to be done and over with!!! I’m already tired of being nice (hahaha). Till next week – be kind to everyone!

Being appreciated makes for a better work environment

Holy crap what a day!!! So busy!!! And I know the next two weeks are going to be busier and busier. My shifts are going fast BUT I have a few tips for any of you out there who are venturing out to a grocery store.

First, If the cashier is cleaning the belt, please wait until she/he tells you it’s okay to put your stuff on it. It seriously only takes us a few seconds to clean the belt. If you are in such a hurry that you cannot wait a few seconds, maybe get someone else to do your shopping for you!

Second, if the cashier asks that you stand back because someone is still cashing out, please just do it. Don’t crowd that person while they are paying. And this is not just for Covid times – it’s rude to get into someone else’s space no matter where you are. Step back and be polite about it.

Last, we are all stressed. We are all doing the best we can during these times. We can tell if you’re smiling behind your masks, and a polite word to us is always appreciated. Don’t be rude, or snap at us – we are simply doing our job to make sure everyone is fed. And for all of those people out there who come in and thank us for being there and working to make sure they can get food, THANK YOU! I love when I hear the customers say thank you for being there – I feel so much better and more appreciated for that.

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 7

Christmas shopping has begun! People are lining up again here in Ontario to get their shopping done. And we cashiers are working as quickly as we possibly can, so please be patient!

At the store I work at, we have a donation bin, as well as donation bags pre-made that you can purchase and add to the bin. People have been so incredibly generous so far this year and it makes my heart warm knowing that there are going to be people getting donations for Christmas.

But then, there are those who just cannot see the good in anything. I had a customer who complained quite loudly to me that this year is not the year to be asking for donations. Too much has happened with Covid-19 that we should be thinking of ourselves rather than others. I politely kept my mouth shut, all the while thinking that no this is the EXACT time to be thinking of others who are less fortunate than we are. I have never had to use a food bank or get donations even when I was a struggling single mother of teenagers but I always knew they were out there if I needed them. I think the true spirit of Christmas is giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. I am pretty sure that’s what Christmas is all about.

I also had an incident with a customer who angrily tossed a box back at me (it was empty and did not hit me) but she was annoyed that it took me so long to get an answer on the price. Sorry, but again, I do my best to go as quickly as possible without messing up! Some people….

Anyway – I hope you are all well and enjoying the decorations going up around the world. We may be going through the holidays during a pandemic but that doesn’t mean we can’t still feel the joy of the season.

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 6

Christmas season is upon us, and the store is getting decorated and ornaments are being sold. Garland, small Christmas trees- the works!

Our store is not the biggest grocery store but I am amazed every day at the selection of items we have to purchase. We are also in a somewhat “boujie” area of the city so we have some items that cater to that lifestyle. I can honestly say I never realized how many people eat brussels sprouts! Maybe that’s not a boujie item but to me it is bewildering. Not a fan of them personally but hey whatever floats your boat!

Not only are we getting busy for Christmas, but also for the potential complete lockdown of Ontario which may be in our very near future, so people are stockpiling. This past week didn’t see any unusual behaviour for customers. We were mostly talking about the continuing election situation in the States, and the pandemic. People seem to be more and more nervous about both. Which is understandable – no one wants to go back to a complete lockdown but perhaps that is the only way to bring the numbers down.

One thing our store is doing is allowing customers to add a donation to our local Food Bank to their bill. I am so happy to see how many people are willing to do that! It warms my heart that there are still generous people in the world who are thinking of others, especially this time of year.

I anticipate that customers will be getting more stressed as we approach Christmas, and I just hope I can put a smile on their face and bring them a bit of joy when they come through my till. It’s the least I can do!

Have a great week everyone and remember to smile behind those masks – your eyes will show us that you are !

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 5

For some reason, unbeknownst to all of us clerks at the store, this week has been insanely busy!! My shifts are flying by, which is always a good thing, and the sales just keep ringing up!

I partly believe that people are stockpiling again in anticipation of further lockdown procedures and winter coming. I have, despite the rules against this, been helping the older people with bagging their groceries when they bring in their own bags, and also putting the bags in their carts. They always look so happy and appreciative when I do these things. Again, I would hope people out there who maybe see my mom struggling some days would do the same for her. And it makes me feel good inside to help and make their life just a wee bit easier.

But with the sweetness of the old people comes the people who I swear talk quietly just to hear me yell at them and then get annoyed that I am yelling! I know the masks are a struggle for some people, but it’s not because of the masks that I cannot always hear what they are saying. Its the plexiglass screen separating us and keeping us safe. And I also know that DEBIT and CREDIT, when said quietly, sound the same and so please don’t get upset with me when I have to press the other button because I heard incorrectly. Seriously it only takes another few seconds to do that. Chill out people.

In Canada, this is the time of year where we get our anticipated MILK calendar for the next year. Our’s are being given out at the store, and I love it! I excitedly am giving one to everybody and telling them all about the great recipes in the calendar. ~~ Side note for those who know about my addiction to notebooks – I have a similar addiction with calendars – I presently have at least 4 2021 calendars laying around here ~~. In any event, I love seeing the people’s faces look so happy that I am giving them something free and they all go away in a good mood, even if they have spent a whole lot of money on groceries! It’s the little things.

So there we are – another week done. Keep smiling and be kind to all of your front line workers -even us grocery store clerks. It only takes a second to smile !

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 4

This past week, I have been noticing more and more of what people are buying and looking at the unique things people buy – our store carries an amazing array of items and I really need to take the time to wander through and check some of them out!

But one disturbing thing I have been noticing is the heavy use of plastic people use! There are a good majority who will put all their vegetables in two bags – which makes it difficult sometimes to find the codes to punch in. They also package their food in plastic bags and then will come to the check out and ask for the reusable bags because they are trying to help save the environment. Really? Perhaps use less plastic on boxes of things you are buying then? It’s baffling that so many plastic bags are used by people who actually tell me that they are working hard to save the environment. Incredible!

I have also learned that people really don’t listen. At all. We have very strict instructions at the store, and there are multiple signs around to explain them, about waiting at the checkout. Stand behind the line. Wait for the cashier to call you forward. Be sure she/he is cleaning the belt before placing your items on the belt. Pretty simple right? Apparently not, as there are many people who march right up and start putting their groceries on the belt, while I am still trying to check out the person in front of them. I ask them politely to remove the items so that I can clean the belt first, and the attitudes I sometimes get! You would think I had asked them for money or something! Sometimes they will go to another check out only to be told the same thing. Umm yeah – it’s not like I singled you out in particular to tell you that.

Most people are great, albeit the use of plastic, and I really enjoy my time there getting to know the customers.

Hope you all have a pleasant week!

Tales of a grocery store clerk – Part 3

So unlike last week’s tales, this week has shown me how sweet and kind the people are that come in to the store.

Late last week, this lovely older lady came to my till and had her own bags. In theory, we are not supposed to help people bag their own groceries – and this is strictly because of Covid. She was clearly struggling to put her groceries on the belt, so I thought that I would help her, despite the rules. Well she was the sweetest old lady and she looked teary-eyed when I told her I would help her put her groceries in the bag. Once I got everything in her bags and let her know the cost, she started telling me how sweet I was, that I reminded her of her daughter, and called me dear about 100 times. She made my day that’s for sure.

One thing about the Covid crisis is that people are getting very creative, and the beauty is coming out in everyone’s masks!!! There are so many women who have matching masks to their outfits, little girls who match, little boys who have become superheroes, men with masks on that have a beard, mustache and lips. The creativity is endless! I love seeing all the different masks.

So, while I may get annoyed by people who call my darling, I am so grateful to work at a place where I get thanked EVERY SINGLE DAY by numerous customers for being there for them, working through the pandemic and coming in every day, putting our lives at risk so that they can feed their families.

Yes, I really do love my job!

Tales of a grocery store clerk – Part 2

So this past week saw us not as busy, at least right after the Canadian Thanksgiving last Monday. It was quiet-ish for Tuesday and Wednesday, and then BAM, on Friday, Sunday and today – it was quite busy! We have some good sales on at the store and I know a lot of people were taking advantage of them. This is where the part 2 begins…

With sales come big orders. I easily had 10 orders in the past few days of over $300 each. To me, a single woman living by herself, that is a LOT of food. There was this one guy who came up to my till with a grocery cart that was literally over-flowing – he was grabbing things as they were about to fall off of the cart and trying to keep it all together. So I finally said, okay you can start unpacking, he did something that irritates me to no end! He started piling stuff up on top of each other! Okay I get that he wanted to get it all on the belt, but do not put vegetables on the belt, and then put meat on top of them – and then tell me to be sure I put a plastic bag on the meat (that has probably already contaminated the vegetables) because it was packaged properly. Oh to keep my mouth shut – it is a terrible burden sometimes haha.

A helpful hint to all of you who do pile the stuff up on top of each other – at least pile things that go together. Like maybe cans. Or boxes of crackers or cereal. That is okay to pile up. Don’t put bread on the bottom and then put stuff on top and blame ME for squishing your bread. Because yeah this guy did that too. I was biting my tongue the entire order.

So on to the next challenge – the challenge to not sneeze or cough especially when someone comes up to you at the till who has clearly BATHED in her perfume. Seriously, if you need to wear that much perfume, take a shower. It will make you smell way better and then there’s no need to try to kill everyone around you with the overwhelming stench of your disgustingly strong perfume. Yes – I have allergies, and YES I sneezed more than once. And she gave me a look after sneezing. All I could say was I had allergies. What I wanted to say – well I won’t repeat it here because there’d me a lot of swearing and perhaps I’d be censored! Restrain on dousing your body with perfume or cologne – there are a lot of people who have allergies and it is very hard for us not to sneeze or cough!

But the biggest challenge happened today. And I almost lost my shit. I was not pleasant with this customer and I’d be surprised if she didn’t complain about me. Cell phones. Or perhaps better- conversations on cell phones when you are in line at a grocery store. This woman was so engrossed in her conversation she didn’t hear me say twice, very loudly, that she could start loading her groceries on the belt. The man behind her had to go up to her close and say she’s calling you up and pointed at me, at which time I waved at her. The eyes rolled at me (ask my children – this is probably the worst thing anyone could do to me – I despise that as much as I despise lying!), and she continued on with her conversation while throwing her groceries on the belt. I started to ring them through and asked her if she needed any bags, again twice, and she finally lets out this giant sigh and says to the person hold on – and looks at me and condescendingly says I am on the phone and yes I want bags! and went back to her phone call.

Needless to say, first eye rolling then yelling at me, I was not going to be pleasant. So I rang her through as quickly as I could. When I was finished, I looked at her (who was still talking) and said as loudly as I possibly could without screaming – do you have air miles? She jumped (which made me laugh behind my mask… they are good for some things!) and pulled out her card and looked away while I scanned it. Then again, as loudly as I could, I said debit credit or cash? To which she responded, you do not have to yell at me. I said, oh so sweetly, well I wasn’t sure how to get your attention away from your phone! Once again the eyes rolled, she paid and then she had to say good bye to load her groceries in her cart (Thankfully that is NOT a job we have to do!). She looked at me and said you are kind of rude. I just looked back and then turned away.

Hard to believe but after she left, my shift supervisor came up to me and congratulated me for keeping my cool! I’m glad she saw what had taken place. Made my day better and then I came home to my delicious homemade soup!

All in all, I had a good day, despite cell phone lady. Please please please – make your calls before or after you are rung through at a grocery store. We do our best to serve everyone politely but if your phone call is that important, finish it before you come shopping.

Stay tuned for next week’s tales!!!

Tales of a grocery store cashier

It has been one month since I started working at a local grocery store as a cashier and there are some interesting aspects of this job! I am1. sure because of the pandemic it is making it extra interesting, but these are my first 5 takeaways of the job.

  1. Sanitize sanitize sanitize! My hands are raw from all the sanitizer. We have to clean the belt after each customer with sanitizer, as well as sanitize our hands after each customer as well. I should not get a cold or any kind of sickness with all this sanitizer in me!! On the plus side – the grocery belts have never been so shiny and clean!!
  2. Learning the codes. So many codes!! Produce that is foreign to me, trying to figure out what the picture of it is on the system, and having customers look at me cluelessly when I ask them what it is – standard answer “aren’t you supposed to know?” Umm no not when you’re buying some new produce that I have never seen or heard of! Why can’t they just tell me?
  3. The mask situation. I have heard some of the other cashiers asking customers to pull the mask up over their nose but I just don’t want the backlash that some of them get. We have a screen protecting us, and while I know that’s not the best, I also have a mask on that I wear properly! These are adults – do they not realize that they need to cover the nose too?? Oh the pandemic times we are in.
  4. The elderly customers. We have sweet elderly people come in and want us to pack their groceries for them in their reusable bags. We are technically not supposed to but we all do. How can you say no I can’t do that an elderly person who is clearly not able to do that? Of course I’m going to help! And if I could go home with them and unpack for them, I would! I only wish that everyone would be patient behind them. Most customers are, but there are also the ones who are waiting and breathing heavy in frustration waiting. Go to self check-out if you have a problem!!
  5. My fellow cashiers. They are all awesome and very helpful!! I have a positive attitude no matter where I work and once again have found a job that I really enjoy going to every day. I am fortunate that I have been so lucky with the jobs I have obtained in my life. Most have been great and this one is no exception!

Stay tuned for more tales from a grocery store cashier!