Grock grock grock

Somebody was complaining on Nextdoor Neighbor earlier this week that My Fave Grock store had stopped stationing folks out front to sanitize carts. I had noticed this when picking up curbside but figgered it was because “we” — via science — have pretty much figgered out that COVID is not readily spread by touching things. Not that it’s bad to keep things clean in general, but this cart sanitizing stuff at the store entrance is theatre. Apparently changes were also made inside but I haven’t been inside a grockery store since early March 2020 so we won’t go there. But some of it was about the cashiers and I do have opinions there.

The problem is that the conversation QUICKLY devolved into discussions about what grocery workers are paid/should be paid and then it went further down the rabbit hole surrounding why people are working these “low-level” jobs and shouldn’t education be more affordable and blah-de-blah-de-blah, well, there was TOOOOOO MUCH and I had to quit reading it. Don’t these Nextdoor neighbor people have JOBS? Sigh, I know not everyone posting to Nextdoor neighbor is employed.

*I* have experience running a cash register. It wasn’t a grocery store, it was Tempo, a now defunct discount store similar to KMart. I worked there summers and xmas vacays during college as a “checkout girl”. Yes, we were mostly female.

I *loved* that job. This was back in the day when a cashier used a mechanical musheen with rows and rows of keys to press. Not only did we have to press buttons for an item’s price, EVERY item also had a “department number” and certain items also had a “tag number”. We had to calculate the sales tax by adding up numbers (in our heads) on a set of little tabs that sprung up when we hit “total” and the final price showed up in the display. And we had to “count back” change when people paid cash (which they MOSTLY did in those days). There were quite a few checks (which were a pain) and a few credit cards (which were a MAJOR pain in those days). Complete flip from nowadays when we swipe or tap or whatever aka buy online🐽🐽🐽

I was GOOD at that stuff. I had a lot of the stuff in the store memorized, at least the department number and price, tags were more related to what we called “soft lines”, which is mostly clothing and changed all the time. Because I didn’t have to touch each item in order to swipe it over a scanner, I could often get a customer’s purchases “rung up” almost before they had them on the conveyor belt. (Wait! Did we even have a conveyor belt? Not sure.)

Cashiers deserve MUCH MORE than the minimum wage they are typically paid. Today’s equipment is space age compared to my old mechanical cash register. I’m sure it calculates the sales tax and the change for those few customers who pay cash. Still I’m sure there is a lot of stuff for those folks to learn to do. Plus they are responsible for MONEY and for CUSTOMER SERVICE. And CUSTOMER SERVICE is one of the worst parts of the job but we’ll go there some other day. I was good at it but there were always THOSE customers.

I’ll quit for now but I am ALWAYS polite to cashiers everywhere. They are under-appreciated and underpaid. As a customer who was once a cashier, I can almost always tell when a cashier is dealing with a difficult situation or customer and I always try to be patient, not to mention offer a few words of support when it gets to be my turn if it seems appropriate to do so.

My parents took so many crappy pics of their trips to Europe but there isn’t ONE of MEEEEEE running my cash register at Tempo 😥. Then again, I probably wouldda shooed them outta the store if they had tried that🤣

One Response to “Grock grock grock”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I have never worked at that kind of job and it would have totally stressed me out. It sounds very complicated and challenging to me, especially dealing with nasty customers. I think there are EVEN more of them these days.