I actually used to work as a cashier and the following scenarios actually happened, along with many others. These two customers were so...eccentric that they're hard to forget. I remember working long hours and trying to not be rude to some people who acted in really bizarre ways. One lady asked if there was anyone in my life who loved me. The nerve...I know. I politely responded that there was. She donated to the charity we were fundraising for soon after.
Another customer told me that my chakras were super balanced and he was impressed. It was an alternative health food store, by the way. One man never wanted any of us to ring up items because he was, "afraid the energy would seep into the food." There was even one woman who told me that I should never get married because she hated her husband, and she hated all three of the men she had previously been married to. That was the first time her and I met, at the grocery store...Any way, at least all of these scenarios make for a good story. At least, I'd like to hope they do.
My name is Norma. I am a cashier. I work at a grocery store. I work with a retired musician who used to play the drums for Journey. He flirts with all of the women. Then there's the Native American lady who makes a bunch of jokes about all of us white people, but you can tell she feels a little bit better underneath it all. Who could blame her?
Sally hates everyone and everything about the place. No one particularly likes Sally either, but she's actually really good at her job. Just don't ask her to clean the bathrooms, because that means the boss hates her. The holidays are especially busy.
Kira is really nice. She's a tomboy who's raising a family with her boyfriend. She jokes with all of the men and is part of the boys club effortlessly. I'm a bit jealous.
Tom hates his wife. Everyone knows Tom hates his wife because that is all the man talks about.
At lunch, he says, "I hope she dies already so that I can travel again. She's sick."
Tom's wife needs to carry heavy things to get stronger. Tom's wife needs to stop sitting around so much. Tom's wife is extremely annoying and she's a burden. But, really, Tom's wife is sick, and he wishes she wasn't, because Tom loves her and resents fate.
I come to work every day and put on a uniform that diminishes every last bit of curves and sex appeal I have. I work the same shift every day, from nine to five.
Darlene, bless her heart, storms over with her cart filled with the brim. She has purchased incense and candles to calm her chakras, but she is is a fury.
Without even saying so much as hello, she shouts, "You don't carry A! European milk! Every other store carries A! European milk."
"I'm...sorry," I mutter.
She stares at me like she's about to commit murder.
"May I take your name and number? I could ask the manager about it if you'd like."
"No! I don't give out my information!" She says, looking at me like I am the devil himself.
I take as deep of a breathe as I can without her noticing, and ring her up her items attempting not to look at her, for fear that she is going to bite my head off.
"I'm never coming to this store again!" She shouts.
"I'm sorry to hear that," I mutter, thinking, Thank the lord...
Suddenly, she starts smiling. Her mood changes in a heartbeat. She has seen that I am young, and that I am not going to make a scene with her. She is going to use this as an excuse to educate me.
"Did you know that European cows have different hormones than American ones?"
I was trying hard not to roll my eyes at this point.
"No," I said in a voice that was a few pitches too high, "I had no idea. That's so interesting," I tried to believe myself, but couldn't wait for lunch. My stomach was growling and there was a line of ten people.
I didn't really believe this lady, but it seemed to me that she was trying to explain herself. She needed specific milk for a specific reason. She didn't cite studies. It honestly seemed to me like she was making all of this up, or had read it in some hokey magazine about "the energy of European cows."
"Have a good day," She stammered.
"You too," I replied, "Thank you."
The next customer was a fairly well-built Hispanic man. He held a yellow slip of paper in his hands as if it was The Bible. He arrived.
"Hello, how are you today, Sir?"
"I'm blessed. How are you?"
"I'm doing alright," I responded.
He frowned, probably thinking that I wasn't doing great because I hadn't attended church recently.
"Are you Christian?" He asked.
"I'm not sure," I replied hesitantly. I was considering my religious views at the time, stuck between Christianity from my upbringing and Buddhism from my actual point of view on life.
Worst answer ever, I thought to myself as the man responded, holding a golden cross pendant, "God loves you. God loves all of us. But you must serve His Holiness accordingly. He doesn't love sinners. He doesn't love people who don't go to church. This, what I have here," He points at the yellow slip," is a check from the Bank of God.
Please, someone help me. This man has literally made up a bank with no currency, and is giving out slips with no monetary value that he is calling checks.
I sighed, nodded, and politely said, "Thank you."
"You're welcome. God is great. I have been to Hell and back, you know?"
"Have you now?"
I tried very hard not to sound sarcastic and raise my eyebrows too high. I didn't want him to think he was crazy. I'm sure, at this point, everybody else did. There were twelve people in line, and the man wouldn't shut up about his divine calling.
I waited until they were out of eye-shot to heave an enormous sigh and roll my eyes. The first hour of my shift was over. Only seven more to go.