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Are Teen Cashiers Really As Bad As I Think They Are?
In my youth (teens to twenties) I worked in the retail world. That’s right, although my first job was that of a singing busboy, most of my jobs after the first were in retail. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read my blogs that I was a clothes retail kind of guy. Sure there was a stint as a gift wrapper and I did some time in a box office selling tickets but most of my retail days were spent in the “rag” business (for those of you not in the know, in the clothing side) of retail sales. So at the risk of sounding like an old man, as I maneuver life as a forty-something gay man I get increasingly pissed off at the bad guest service I seem to continually get from sales people. Perhaps my past experience has jaded me but are teen cashiers really as bad as I think they are? – Don’t Get Me Started!
I don’t lie when I say that I was very good at the whole retail thing. This should surprise no one who has ever been waited on or talked to a gay on the phone for service (not that kind of service, puhlease people), you can read that blog here - http://hubpages.com/hub/Need_Great_Guest_Service_Then_Get_A_Gay - you see, like it or not, we gays are just really good at some things. So good in fact that if you know what’s good for you, you’ll always look for the gay when you’re checking out at a store.
At some stores, it’s impossible to get to the gay unless you get the luck of the draw. Such was the case at a recent checkout at Best Buy. At Best Buy you stand in a line and just go to the next cashier available. I had two items so I figured it would be an easy checkout. Boy was I wrong. The slightly overweight and unkempt teenager in her wrinkled uniformed polo shirt barely acknowledged me as I put the items on the counter. She scanned the first item and spoke to the register, “It’s frozen.” I looked at her as she looked at the register and it barely registered in me that she might be talking to me. As I went through my wallet to get the cash to pay her I began doing what any gay does (given the opportunity) I started to make sure all my bills were facing in the same direction and that they went up in value from the singles to the hundred dollar bill in my wallet. After completing my task I looked up at her and she stared right through me and said, “It’s frozen.” So as she continued to stare I couldn’t help but ask, “What does that mean? Does it mean I need to go to another register or something?” In her now annoying voice she repeated herself, “It’s frozen. We have to wait.” And wait we did until the computer was no longer frozen and she took my cash to complete the sale. It was painful.
My mother had an experience recently that was similar. Much to my protest, she continues to frequent a local shop that makes cupcakes that are so far from extraordinary that I’m surprised Betty Crocker hasn’t sued the place for using her mix and frosting and then ripping off the general public to the tune of $3.75 per cupcake. At some point I guess my mother had signed up for an email list from this place and so she would often receive email blasts from them. Usually they included things like the owner having given birth to a new child or other intimate details that I have no idea why a business owner would send out unless they were trying to desperately get business through making everyone their “friend.” One of these emails contained an offer to come in for a free flavor of the month cupcake. And so my mother went into the shop to get her free cupcake. When my mother explained what she was there for, the teen at the counter stared at her as if she was speaking some foreign language. During the very one sided exchange apparently the owner came in with lots of boxes in her arms (no doubt Betty Crocker mix and cans of frosting). The teen made no attempt to assist the owner and as the owner swept by she heard my mother talking to the girl and the owner not stopping said, “Raspberry Red Velvet is the flavor of the month.” Using this as a “jumping off place” my mother again explained the situation to the teen, the email, the free cupcake, flavor of the month and when she was completely exhausted and had had quite enough, she told the teen to go ask the owner. The girl went into the backroom for what seemed like a second and came back with this to say, “She said no.” Had I been there I would have walked but my mother ended up buying a couple cupcakes and leaving unsatisfied by the service and the cupcakes.
With the current economy I can only hope that all jobs become a bit more competitive and so people like the two girls I described will lose their jobs to gayer or at the very least better salespeople who understand what guest service is all about. I loved working in the service industry. I loved helping people put clothes together to make an outfit and just generally talking to so many different people. Somewhere that’s all been lost and it leaves me feeling sad and very old all at the same time. Are teen cashiers really as bad as I think they are? – Don’t Get Me Started!
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An acquired taste, like Tab cola, Some Like It Scott is one gay man's experiences with love, life and things that make him crazy, all done to a musical theatre soundtrack.