Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dear Cashier-

Dear Derby (KS) Dillon’s Cashier-

First of all, I’ll start out by saying that I hope that your night got better after I left.  I know that me having a cart full of groceries and you being the only cashier in the front lane when I pulled up must’ve looked impossible that you would ever get through it.  But you did!  And today is a new day!!

You see, I knew that when I went shopping at 9:00 last night that the store would be slow and that I’d (for once) have plenty of time to think about everything I was going to get and that I could take my sweet time and enjoy it alone. And boy did I.

If you don’t have children, some day, when you do, you will realize that going grocery shopping – sans your brood – will be comparable to a luxury vacation!

I will also tell you that, even if you have the most well behaved children, sometimes … you just need some time alone.  Trust me, I would know!  I have GREAT kiddos.  They don’t ask for anything and if they do, they don’t cry when I say no.  They don’t touch everything in sight and they’re not loud or over-talkative.  They put their tiny little hands on the sides of the cart and they help me when I need it.  I’ve received compliments on how good my children are.  They rock the supermarket!

So why would I not take them with me and go during the day when there are more cashiers?

Well, we went to a movie earlier that afternoon and pigged out a little too much.  The oldest was not feeling well and the youngest had diarrhea. And because my husband was on-call for work until 9pm, I had to stay home and take care of them in case he was called in.

So why wouldn’t I wait until Sunday when again, there are more cashiers?

We do church Sunday morning.  Sunday’s are our family days since we can guarantee that dad won’t be on-call. The last thing we want to do are chores.  And anymore, grocery shopping is a chore.  It takes time away from our family time and that’s frustrating.  But I will say this, Dillon’s always seems to make that chore a little less painful.

Unlike Wal-Mart, I’ve always found the Dillon’s employees to be kind and helpful.  My husband and I were just talking about this a couple days ago.  We live in Rose Hill so we have the choice to either go to the Dillon’s in Andover or the Dillon’s in Derby.  And regardless of which one I choose to go to that day, the staff is always polite and obliging.  But at the Wal-Mart supercenters {primarily the Derby Wal-Mart}, I feel as if I’m a nuisance.  The store is dirty and the shelves are never stocked.
So when I say that going grocery shopping at Dillon’s – sans my brood – is like a luxurious vacation, it truly is.

Until last night.

Last night, when I started unloading my groceries on the belt, you had another Dillon’s employee checking out.  She was buying a pie and it wasn’t ringing up right.  Which is to be expected on specialty sale items.  I get it.  I worked retail for five years as my first job.

I also get that when you see somebody pull up in your lane with a LOADED cart and you’re the only cashier, it can seem overwhelming.  But as you found out, you have some very helpful coworkers – and customers.

Once you were able to get the price adjusted on the pie and that associate finished with, it came time for me – that annoying customer who just made you work for your paycheck.

I’m sorry if that sounded brash.  But that’s exactly how you made it seem.  You never once said hello to me.  It wasn’t until you were nearly finished ringing through my items that I started to realize that maybe YOU were the one that needed the hello first.  So I said it.  I mean, after all, I was the one doing chores as I stated above.

The more you stood quiet and the more I realized that you were making it known that you were annoyed with my abundance of groceries – because of the way you were throwing them to the end of your counter towards the bags – the more I realized that maybe YOU needed me to ask you how your night was.  So I did.  In which you merely turned your head towards another associate to tell them to “cancel” something.  Maybe it was to bag my groceries, because you realized that I wasn’t just somebody that was going to stand there and stare as the line grew when I am fully capable of bagging my own groceries to help speed up the process. Again, it's the whole "chore" thing that I have my mind set on.

Anyway, I never did find out how your night was.  But by the way it looked, it was not going well.  You were young, cute and it was 10:12 on a Saturday night.  Remember, I was young and in retail once too. And also cute.  But that’s beside the point.

But those five years in retail taught me more life experience than any of my other careers combined!

I learned that, regardless of how crappy my day had been, there would always be someone who is having it worse than me.
And maybe that person will be one of my customers.  Early on in retail, I learned that my smiling face and friendly hello may be the ONLY smiling face and friendly hello that my customers receive that day.

I think about my friend, Amber when I say this.  She has four young girls at home.  Her brother lives in Colorado and her husband is an accountant.  She is a stay-at-home mom and lots of times, the first adult interaction of the day may be the cashier at the register when she goes to the store.

Amber’s mom is extremely ill.  She is in critical care in the hospital and is not doing well at all.
During the day, Amber stays at home with her girls, which helps keep her mind off of things.  When her husband gets home, she goes to the hospital to see her mom, optimistic that things will turn around, but still no answers as to when.
Afterwards, she may stop by the grocery store and stock up because this may be the only night she has to go.  Again, her family size is six.  So while I was refilling for two weeks, only half of a week’s worth of groceries would fill her cart.

So I thought about my friend last night after leaving your store.  If it were she instead of me last night, Amber had one last chance before going to bed to have somebody smile and say hello to her and you would’ve blown that for her.  And she's the last person that would have deserved that sort of treatment.  She would’ve been made to feel like SHE was the nuisance instead of me.  And that bothers me so much because Amber would do anything for anyone at any moment.  So in a way, I’m so glad it was me that annoyed you and not her. All I did that day was wipe hiney's and rub upset tummy's.  Pish posh.

I apologize if your night was actually going just fine and maybe I’m just blowing this all out of proportion.  But do you honestly think that I’d take the time away from my family to write a 1,300-word blog post for nothing?

I’m writing this in hopes that maybe I can help open your eyes.  Maybe you’re new and haven’t had the experience long enough to realize that sure, there are some customers who can be real assholes or some that just don’t feel like talking.  But there are also those customers out there that really need to see your beautiful smile or hear your friendly hello.  You can usually tell who is who --- if you would just take one second to look up, smile and say hi.  I promise, I would have been that customer to smile and say hello back.  Because I need it just as much as you do.

PS – I would’ve much rather have been told to 'have a good night', than how many fuel points I have.  But maybe that would’ve taken up too much of your time?  Regardless, I hope that your night got better after I left.

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