Mr Awe wrote:
I wasn't shocked. As I stated, I was surprised because I usually agree with Pingfah. I still think he's an intelligent poster and I enjoy his posts. I just disagree with him on this issue.
My view is that politeness should be a two-way street. It doesn't matter that the cashier is paid to be there. They're still people on an equal level with the costumer.
You're the one supplying the hyperbole.
I'm amused/amazed at the idea that the customer and cashier have some kind of mutual responsibility to be polite to each other.
Customer service is the JOB of the cashier! It's a big chunk of what they're paid for. Running a cash register is pretty basic, so the customer service aspect of the job is what often distinguishes a good cashier from a bad one.
The customer, on the other hand, is NOT getting paid to be polite to the cashier, and they are supporting the cashier's employment by SHOPPING at the business where the cashier works.
If a customer wants to talk on a cell phone and completely ignore a cashier, that's fine, because the customer's whole reason for being there is to buy a product, NOT to engage in chit-chat with the cashier. Customer-employee is NOT a two-way street, nor is it an equal relationship.
I have had cashier jobs and customer service positions, and I would never have considered that a customer had an "equal" responsibility to be polite to me. It's my JOB to be polite to them, no matter how they treat me, but the reverse is not true.
I certainly agree that cashiers should be treated with respect, but I don't even think that talking on a cell phone while at a check-out line is disrespect. It's not like the customer's purpose in being there is to talk to the cashier, and they're under no obligation to do so.
The majority of comments thus far not just on here but on other sites seem to support the cashier that the customer was being rude by talking on her phone.
And whilst it is true that a cashier should be polite to a customers, if the customer was being rude in another manner than say by being on the phone by verbaling abusing the cashier most of us would say the cashier would be fully in their right to refuse them service.
In this case as has been mentioned several times, the problem was the cashier refused them service.
So would it not be fair to say both the cashier and the customer where at fault in different ways?
There is a follow up article to it
To be clear, I'm not defending being rude to a cashier. I'm simply arguing that a cashier and a customer are NOT in equivalent positions. The cashier, as I wrote, is there to serve the customer. The opposite however, is not true. The customer is there to buy a product or service. That's why many customers use self-checkout. To be sure, a lot of folks like talking to cashiers, and prefer an actual cashier to a self-checkout line.
However, it is up to the customer. They are under no obligation to chat with the cashier, and unless they were intefering or delaying other customers, I think that refusing service to a customer because they were on a phone is absurd. If you're enforcing politeness with rigid rules, then it's no longer really politeness.