Customer Service

Working from home has many perks.  Being white also has many perks.  How about that intro?!

My wife and I have been juicing lately.  For those who don’t know this term, for us, it has nothing to do with Barry Bonds, Mark McQuire, Sammy Sosa, and perhaps ten billion other ballplayers using human growth hormones.  Rather than increasing our girth and head size, we are choosing a much healthier lifestyle.

Britt and I purchased the “Deluxe Hydrophonic Blowpunk Juicer” recognized by many as allowing mortality to “just be a thing of the past”.  (Silly Bible….what does it know?) Since we are finally happy with our lives, we thought living may be a better option than dying.  I know where she’s going, but I don’t want to know where I’m going.  Therefore, I spend early mornings prancing around grocery stores finding the freshest of fruits and vegetables.  When I use “grocery stores” as a plural, I mean that I choose to find the stores employing the friendliest of employees.  For me, a fresh smile and a laugh is sometimes better and worth more than fresh fruit.

As a morning person, I tend to be a bit more chippy than the average ho, or hobo.  I run into them constantly when arriving at establishments at six in the morning.  (That usually runs me an extra three or four dollars) And, I understand when a cashier is either beginning his or her shift or ending it.  I have developed an art form recognizing whether someone may be the “cashier nazi” (Seinfeld reference number ten thousand) or the “cashier prince or princess” (depending on the store’s location).

These are the facts. The lady working the cashier this morning was clearly black.  The man before me was clearly white.  He seemed to be a fine fellow save for the elongated details he was providing regarding his 401 K plan.  As clearly white as he was, she was clearly as bored, and I was clearly becoming a bit agitated.  Blueberries don’t last too long in this mild weather.  After two or three minutes, nicely, I recommended a great accountant and solid psychiatrist for this man who was driving the kind black woman and the ever so patient white man insane.  Finally, he exited Thriftway, and the cashier and I both breathed a sigh of relief.  She smiled and said, “I’m sorry for the wait”.  I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I’m on vacation”……which I always seem to be on.

She had every right to be surly with me, after dealing with this crackerjack for ten minutes.  Quite the contrary, she knew I was going to smile and get the hell out of there when the blueberries were good.  However, while she was ringing up my fruits and veggies, I did say, very delicately, “I hope you are off soon so you can enjoy this weather”.  Again, she smiled and said, “I just had four days off, fool! I’ve had plenty of sun”.  Recognizing her sense of humor, I replied, “yeah, I can see that you’ve gained some color”.  She slapped the table and laughed more than I’ve made anyone laugh in years, and said, “That’s a good one”.  Then she added, “The blueberries are on me”.  I declined her offer but said thanks.  I could still hear her laughing as I was exiting the store.  That was good service.

It’s tough being in a new area where you don’t have many friends.  The only people I really talk with, face to face, other than my wife, are cashiers.  This one made my day, and I hope I made her day a little brighter.

I think I have found a new friendly cashier.


16 thoughts on “Customer Service

  1. My favorite cashier is the individual I encountered in South Austin one evening. I was in a bit of a hurry and had to get a couple of essentials (milk, eggs, and beer) . As I approached the 20 items or less line, an idividual with their monthly shopping jammed into their cart cut me off to get in line. The cashier looked at the person’s cart and told them they had more than 20 items and needed to go to another line. While not as heartwarming as your story I still appreciated it. Great story Ben, always fun to read.

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