I’ve written before about awkward conversations I’ve been forced into at my local grocery store. It seems one cashier is more socially inept than the next. There’s the one who tries to be helpful, I guess, by unintelligibly YELLING at you that you don’t need to take your diet Coke off the bottom of your cart. The one who makes random comments that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever thought about. Or the one who asks you a thousand questions about your shopping experience. Or the one who won’t make eye contact. Interestingly enough, the one who may or may not be a satan worshipper is the most pleasant and engaging of anyone there.
Today was someone I hadn’t met before. It went a little something like this.
Cashier: “Did you have a good time today?”
Cashier: “In the store. Did you have a good time?”
Me: “Uh. I guess.”
Cashier: “It’s okay if you didn’t. I just like to ask.”
I laughed awkwardly, not sure what to make of this conversation. Meanwhile the transaction has stalled because the scale wasn’t working to weigh my single white onion. And the cashier was making even more bizarre comments about how things like this always happened at the most inopportune time. And I continued to smile sheepishly, praying that the thing would work so we could move this along, ready to tell him to either forget the onion, I don’t need it, or to just charge me whatever he wants for it. Just please make this stop.
Finally the woman cashier from the neighboring aisle came over and did something to fix it.
Cashier: “That’s exactly what I was doing. I guess sometimes it just takes a woman’s touch.”
Me: (More nervous laughter because I don’t know how to respond to that.)
Cashier: “I hope you enjoy that onion. Because, you know, it took a lot to get it through.”
Me: “Yeah, I will. I guess.”
Cashier: “You’ll need to slide your card through again. Everything wants to be touched a certain way today.”
Me: “Ok.” (Please stop talking about touching.)
After what seemed like an eternity, I moved quickly to start bagging my groceries, happy to have a task that will keep me from being subjected to further chit-chat. Behind me was YELLING cashier, in civilian clothes, bagging his personal purchases, talking to a woman near him.
Woman: “What’s a chimichanga?”
Yelling Cashier: “THEY’RE LIKE BURRITOS ONLY THEY TASTE GOOD. THEY’RE A MAIN STAPLE OF MY DIET, WHICH IS VERY UNHEALTHY. CHIMICHANGAS AND POWERADE AND BRISK TEA.”
Get me out of here!
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2014