Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Kind of Question is That?

     If you haven't read my post of last week in which I posed some "annoying" questions then you might want to check that out.  It's the one about Dominos and Dole.  Anyhow, in that post I hoped to find some answers to these questions.  Alas I am left wondering about Joe Torre, Hawaiian pizza and women's shoe sizes.  However, an anonymous cashier was kind enough to satisfy my curiousity in regards to what cashiers think when they see what people are buying.  My thanks to the cashier who shall remain anonymous.  And to truly thank this cashier as well as assist any other grocery cashiers who are perusing my blog, I offer the following kindly suggestion:
     Don't ask the customer what they have planned for the weekend.  

     Where does this idea come from?  There are a few cashiers at my local store who will chuck this question at me.  I mean, I'm a 45 year old gentleman and I'm pretty sure these pre-thirty gals aren't really interested in what I've got planned for the weekend.  Not to mention the fact that most weekends if I were to tell them the truth it would be embarrassing for me and either pathetically amusing to them or, if they are indeed sincere in their curiousity, it would be incredibly disappointing.  

     "Oh, I'm going to take these here groceries home and put them in the cupboards before I vacuum the house and clean the toilets.  Then I'm going to watch some golf, make some dinner and if I don't fall asleep early I'll watch a video with the missus."

     And if I do have some great plans for the weekend, I'm no plandropper so I'd undersell them anyway.  I plead with the cashiers of the nation to leave this question out of their witty repartee.  Oh yeah, and don't squeeze the cheese buns.


  1. Yup, and don't comment on what I am buying please!

  2. I agree that the question is annoying. Why would someone ask such a question? Either the cashier is overly nosey, or more likely, he/she is simply making conversation (inane as it is) to avoid a few minutes of potentially awkward silence, much as "how are you?" is oft-uttered by strangers or near-strangers who don't give a hoot how you are, because it's only meant to be a conversation opener.

    Either way, a solution might be to buy a selection of items that, though they may be banal in and of themselves (this is a grocery store, after all), within the context of their selection, they paint a weekend picture so vivid and provocative that cashiers will think twice about idle queries. Frankly, they don't want to know.

  3. Cashiers talk to you because they are told too, and also because it is a boring job. I've never thought about what they are thinkin' as I'm pretty sure they aren't thinking about me! It is one of the banalities of life! It is, however, way better than having to actually go out and kill, or grow your own food! Cheers, xelA.

  4. I like it when they talk to me. But only if they're cute females. All the others can go straight to hell! Cheers, yuG.

  5. Why thank you for the kind comment. :) I shall remain the anonymous cashier.

    As for all you other commenters. What is wrong with someone asking how you are? Maybe you're a repeat customer and we see you a few times a week or so, we do have a memory as to who comes through our tills you know. And what about all the little old ladies that come to the grocery store every day, and it is one of the few moments of human contact they will have.. Is it wrong to be polite and ask them how they are? I once asked a lady how she was and she refused to answer because it is too automatic.. (rather harshly I might add)

    For all you guys, what would be an appropriate question to ask someone coming through your till?

  6. When I worked at Safeway the employee manual said the only safe topic was the weather. I think that's a bit extreme, but it might be true.

    I knew a guy once who always opened conversations with strangers with the line, "What do you think of the price of eggs?". He was a truck driver and every time he made a delivery that is what he'd say.

    Basically I think you need a topic that isn't too personal. What I'm doing on my weekend is about me. Ask me about something that's about the world. Like the weather or the price of eggs or the Canucks or why some people only talk to cute females.

  7. Hey, anonymous cashier, absolutely nothing is wrong with asking me how I am (if you're a cute female). Otherwise shut up!

    All seriousness aside, I don't mind. But in all my years, I've never really come up with a decent answer except, "Good, thanks. You?" That's not conversation. You don't want to hear if I have a groin injury or am feeling run down.

    In a related note, once I got on the bus and the driver told me to smile. That I don't like. I was thinking about the person who got on the bus who just lost their job or a family member or had other weighty subject on their mind. It's presumptuous of the driver to think we all should be happy. Especially since we're riding the freaking bus!

  8. To the cashier who shall remain anonymous: thank you for performing a community service by cheering up the little old ladies.

    Also, just for the record, I've also been known to cook, clean, do laundry, garden, and change beds too.
    (the missus)

  9. I'm too lazy to hunt back and find the post about stupid sign-age in our world, plus I don't think anyone else would read this if I posted it there, and but so hey, check this out:

  10. Excellent comments from the "anonymous cashier". I didn't mean to sound rude, I just don't really give a shit about the whole issue? The truth be told, it is nice when someone chats with you.As our "Blogmiester" knows I've never avoided a conversation! Cheers, xelA.

  11. Love your site. If you want to know a little more about what cashiers think, check out my blog: