You’d have to live under a rock that’s inside a cave that’s on the peak of the world’s most remote mountain to avoid dealing with a retail worker. Once you deal with a retail worker you might want to live under a rock in a cave on a remote mountain. Now don’t get me wrong, not all retail folk are bad and I certainly couldn’t do it. If I had to be friendly to the world at large I’d get all Dexter and start Saran wrapping nasty customers to a table. Even still, is it too much to ask for some basic niceties when I’m getting my toilet paper rung up? I think not.
So I’ve compiled a list of some common sense acts of kindness I wish every retail employee would master. My list is only applicable in situations where the customer is nice. I don’t really care what how the rude ones are treated. In fact, throwing them out of the store wouldn’t bother me a bit. If I’m good to you, though, do me solid and be nice back. I’m not asking for much, just the basics. I’ve even pulled out the bullet points. So, please, retail workers, I beg of you………..
- Would you mind looking at me? I notice you have the thousand yard stare. I get it. Your job is kind of monotonous, but do you think you could glance my way? Not the whole time, mind you, maybe just once or twice. That way I know you know I exist. I might even shoot a friendly smile in your direction. Which brings me to….
- Do you think you could smile? Not a megawatt stunner, but at least slightly upturn the corners of your mouth. I might reciprocate, you never know. I’m sure the jackhole in front of me that let her children push all the buttons on the credit card machine while singing the Barney theme song at 140 decibels took some of the wind out of your sails. You might want to take note that I’m not her and, hey, a grin in my direction might brighten both our moods.
- Would it be too much to ask you to not chew your bubble gum in my face like that? Maybe you could keep the popping and smacking to a dull roar? I appreciate your willingness to keep halitosis at bay, but I don’t really enjoy watching you chew cud while you scan my merchandise.
- Might I be so bold as to suggest you not speak Creole or Spanish, or any other foreign language you may be fluent in, to the cashier next to you and laugh heartily while you ignore me? I suspect you’re talking smack about me and if I had paid better attention in high school I would be able to prove it.
- I know you have to do it per your employer’s request, but I just want you to know I don’t want to give you my phone number, my zip code, or my email address. I don’t have a super saver card, nor do I want one, and I don’t want a magazine subscription. Yes, I know it’s free. I heard you the first time.
- The bread goes on the top, and not the top of the ice cream. Warn me where the eggs are so I don’t pile the heavier bags on top and get home to find every last one smashed and useless. Help a mother out!
- Can you save the heavy sighs and eye rolls for another time? I’ve already been through that with my teenager and once was more than enough, thank you. What’s the next thing you’re going to do, tell me I ruined your life because I bought the wrong shampoo?
See, that wasn’t painful, was it? In return I, the customer, promise you a few things. I’ll do my best to have a shred of empathy that ringing up half-price bedding might not be your dream job. If the customer before me in line is a jerk I’ll try and crack a joke about it to break up the gray in your day. My cellphone won’t make an appearance during our transaction. I’m fairly certain you don’t want to hear me talk about my pap smear results with my best friend anyway. If you ask me how I am, I will ask the same of you. I pledge to thank you for your services and wish you a good morning, afternoon, or evening. It’s possible that I’m being a little idealistic, but maybe this way we can make the whole shopping process pleasant for both of us. Heck, it couldn’t hurt to try, could it?