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Job Description of a Cashier

Updated on December 30, 2010
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“What’s it like being a cashier?” You may be wondering this as you browse the web for jobs. If you are young, you might be wondering if you can handle such a job and you might also be wondering if being a cashier is something you would want to do. You might be asking, “what might I like about it, what might I hate about it? What can I learn from it, will it be useful to me later in life?” As a former cashier of five years, I have all the experience necessary to answer these questions and more. Read on to find out what it’s like being a cashier.

What will I do as a cashier?

The number one responsibility of a cashier is handling transactions with customers. This will involve greeting the customer, calculating the total cost of a purchase (usually done via a register), making change and bagging the merchandise. A good cashier will accomplish all of this while making pleasant conversation with the customer and without making an error in the cash transaction. While all of this may sound daunting to a young person new on the job scene, I assure you these skills can be learned in a relatively short period of time.

Besides a cashier’s primary function of assisting customers with purchasing products, cashiers are also often required to assist in the cleaning and stocking procedures of their employer. A cashier might be asked to do things such as reshelf products, or clean the bathrooms. If the cashier is employed at a restaurant, he might be asked to prepare food; if at a gas station, she might be asked to give directions.

If you are a first time job seeker reading all of these tasks, you may sound a little bit terrified. You may have seen someone yell at a cashier. You may think “No way could I handle all that!”. But let me alleviate your fears. While being a cashier is not something that is easy, it is something that will teach you a lot of lessons and a lot of valuable skills. Skills that will come in handy as you progress through life.

In the next section I will show you the benefits of becoming a cashier which go far beyond money. If you are a former cashier writing your resume for a new job, reading the next section may help you present your experience in the best possible light.

What you will learn as a cashier

People Skills

As a Cashier, one of the first things you will learn is how to talk with people. When I began working as a cashier at the age of fifteen, I was very shy and timid. Through my experience as a cashier, I became someone who can hold a conversation with just about anybody. If you’re shy, don’t be afraid, you will soon learn not to fear talking with people, including that cute guy or girl you like at school!

Patience

In life there are many things we have to wait for: traffic to clear up, planes to take off, bathrooms to open up etc… As a cashier, there will likely be long stretches of time when you have absolutely nothing to do. Dealing with these periods and waiting for your shift to end you will help you to learn a bit of patience that may come in handy in the future.

How to handle rude people

Not only will you learn this form of patience, but you will also be presented with many opportunities to learn what I am going to call “people patience”. You have likely been involved in a situation that requires “people patience” before. Perhaps your friends or siblings have behaved unreasonably in the past, perhaps they become angry at you and said not so nice things. How did you react? Did you become angry yourself? While working as a cashier, you will be presented with ample practice in maintaining your cool. You are going to face customers who know they are right even though they are clearly in the wrong, you are going to meet people who treat you like a dog, people who yell at you and demean you and do all sorts of nasty, disrespectful things. The ability to respond in a kind way even though your emotions are raging is one that will serve you well throughout your life.

How to treat cashiers

Just as you will learn how to deal with people who are rude, you will also learn how you should treat a cashier, or a waiter, or any other person in a service position. Once you have learned how it feels to be a cashier, you will not be so likely to treat someone in a similar position in a cruel way. Rather, you will be much more inclined to show them kindness. This is a good thing which will improve the quality of your life and relationships.

How to handle pressure

Although the store will often be empty. It will many times be bustling with people who are all in a hurry to get on with their lives. As the line builds up and people start to look at you and sigh, you will discover what it feels like to be under pressure. The more you operate under pressure, the better you will become at handling it. Becoming a cashier will offer you plenty of chances to practice.

Conclusion

The position of cashier is one that I believe everyone should hold at some point in their lives. It will teach you valuable life lessons and earn you money. If you are a college or high school student looking for a job, consider becoming a cashier. While you won’t always like it, when it’s over, you will be glad you did it.

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    • Junegirl58 profile image

      Laur 

      5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Just saw your hub and had to say that I really enjoyed it. I have been a cashier for almost ten years now. The first four in grocery and now at a home improvement store. I couldn't have detailed cashiering any better than your hub. It does have its ups and downs, especially during the economy and trades slump, it wasn't fun. They cut hours, got slow, etc...

      The best part though, is when those regular customers keep coming back in and to my line as well. I am 55 and have the patience of those grumpy old customers, actually put a smile on their face sometimes.

      My metrics have always been up which means I must be doing something good!!

      Even though your other comments were over two years ago, I totally agree with them, depending on how mgmt treats their cashiers is a plus to having a great demeanor in this type of job. When a regular associate has to jump on a register, afterwards they will always comment how they can see what it takes to do what we do.

    • profile image

      Beth 

      6 years ago

      when you are in a store its nice if you take tie to treat the cashier with respect i have seen when you smile and say hi to the cashier instead of barking at thm like their dogs you get away better service just remimber treat your cashier the same way you want to be treaded

    • profile image

      ray 

      7 years ago

      I agree cashires are efficient

    • merobinson2 profile imageAUTHOR

      merobinson2 

      7 years ago

      Thank you all for your comments! Rieom, that is a good point. Some times it is hard for a cashier to come up with a smile. That's where the learning comes in. Being a cashier is surprisingly good for a person's personal growth.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      7 years ago

      I highly appreciate the cashier position in our company retails, they do a huge work politely.

      Actually, paying money is painful & it is a cashier's responsibilty to reduce or cancel this feelings if possible.

      Some cashiers change these feelings to be a pleasure for his customers because of their magnificent character.

      Thanks for every cashier who smile when he serves his customers, forgetting their personal dificulties.

      Thank you for the nice Hub.

      I voted (awesome).

    • profile image

      rieom 

      7 years ago

      I want a cashier who is personable yet efficient. I absolutely hate it when I get a grumpy person acting like they do not want to be there. Half of the job is using good people skills.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 

      7 years ago

      While I have never been a cashier, I agree with your conclusion that a cashier job will teach you valuable skills. The skills you learn are more valuable than for example placing products on shelves because that is a very limited job.

      I think many young people simply pick a job that earns some cash without considering the skills that they will learn. But the facts are that any job will give you experience in certain skills that you otherwise would not have learned.

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