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How to be a great, happy, cheerful cashier.

Updated on November 12, 2015

After many years as a cashier these are some of my tips of how to stay sane while working retail.

1. Don't let it bother you when you can't please everyone. Everyone likes things done differently. Most people think their way is THE right way. I have been told that I use too many bags, that I fill bags too full, there is no need to double bag, that I should double bag, that everything can go in one bag, that canned dog food never goes in with people food. I have had customers rebag everything. I have had a customer return things that got dish soap on them after she took the dish soap out of the separate bag I had placed it in, and put it in a bag with boxed food. I asked a customer if she wanted a bag for the one, small item she was buying. As she walked away I heard her say, "The hippee didn't even want to give me a bag." I had a man tell me I used too many bags and he threw his bag of lettuce, hot chicken and dyer sheets all in the same bag. I try to do what makes the majority of people happy (most customers don't like wilted lettuce that tastes like dryer sheets). If they ask for something different I cheerfully do it. If they get mad I usually just laugh inside because I find it funny that anyone would through a fit over how their groceries were bagged. I have seen cashiers cry because of the many other things customers get mad about. Recently the kind, grandmother cashier next to me, cried when the supervisor came and told her that someone had called and complained about her. Apparently the cashier had asked to many questions like, "How are you? Did you find everything ok? How do you like this cold weather?" The customer didn't like being grilled like that. When I began as a cashier I would have cried too. Now I would laugh and say," Are you serious? Someone would call and complain about that?" I just don't take things customers say personal any more. If I know I am doing my best I don't care if they like me or not.

2. Don't judge and don't complain. When you have unpleasant thoughts about customers or coworkers who seem to be mean, or crazy, or lazy, or terrible parents, or to be taking advantage of government benefits, or whatever... It only makes you have negative feelings. You have no idea if something terrible is going on in their life, if they have some kind of disability, or if they are shopping for someone else. Don't complain about customers, coworkers or supervisors. The more you complain the more you think about the bad parts of your job and if you are complaining your coworkers are more likely to start complaining. They may even point out things you had not thought to hate. Find something else to talk about other than what you hate about your job.

3. Be friendly and polite even if they aren't. Smile and greet everyone. If you are having a bad day don't think about it. If customers are unhappy, fix it if you can, apologize if it is your fault, call a supervisor if you need to. If nothing is going to make them happy just let it go. (Sometimes, I try to be extra nice to grumpy people because it annoys them. Haha I know this probably goes against my own advise.)

4. Be confident. If you are confident when dealing with customers they are less likely to question you or argue with you about store policies. Learn as much as much about store policies and products so you can be confident when giving customers information.

5. Entertain yourself. This one may not be for everyone, but sometimes I find being a cashier boring, boring, boring. I like to challenge coworkers to use a random word (like pocket protector or armadillo or whatever else pops into my head) in the next conversation they have with customer. I also like to think about things like what a customers response might be if I started eating their grapes or ripped off a piece of their French bread and started eating it. I only think about this, I don't actually do it. I like to talk to kids because they will tell you crazy stuff about their parent that is standing next to them. I am sure some of my coworkers think I am crazy but really I do have a better day when I joke with customers, think about crazy stuff and challenge my coworkers to join me.


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