creepy encounters with cashiers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by sonak, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm all for general politeness, and I would certainly never be rude to somebody, I just don't like it when I am expected to act a certain way just so somebody doesn't take offense at me, which is how I see this issue.

    As a matter of practicality, I wouldn't take a phone call at a checkout, but if somebody can do it without causing a delay, they can go right ahead as far as I am concerned. And yes I have worked as a cashier, although not when mobile phones were ubiquitous, granted.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed on all counts.
     
  3. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, Pingfah, I'm truly surprised by this. Certainly we're all people who are equally worthy of respect and attention in such a transaction? Usually you've got a good take on things IMO, but not this time.

    A cashier is not just a computer there to serve your superiorness. :rolleyes:

    Mr Awe
     
  4. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's unfair, i'm not trying to put anybody down or advocating treating anyone unpleasantly, i'm just pointing out that a cashier is actually paid to pay attention to the customer. If they ignore you, to the detriment of the transaction, that's a deriliction of their professional duty to you, it's not at all the same as the customer not paying attention to them. It was him drawing a direct equivalency I was complaining at.

    Certainly I advocate treating everybody with respect, my point here is that nobody has provided a reason why it is bad manners to be on the phone while being served, as long as your actions are not slowing the process down. "It's common courtesy" and "I was raised to be polite" are not convincing arguments, they are just appeals to tradition.

    The customer has eyes as well as ears, they can see if the cashier requires their attention, if they ignored the cashier when they needed their input that would be rude. But I don't see who or what is served by the customer standing there paying attention to them scanning shopping, if they have something better to be doing.

    Is it also discourteous to talk to the person standing next to you? Or is it only when your conversational partner is disembodied that it's rude not to be paying full attention to the cashier?
     
  5. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    Putting aside the fact that Pingfah is clearly a monster who does not value those beneath him, I'd say the phonecall scenario is slightly rude. It depends on a lot of things, like if you are buying three items at a grocery store, or if you are placing some complicated order or at a doctor's office or something. The more routine the transaction, the more understandable it is.

    People just need to be understanding in both sides of it. If you're a cashier, don't assume that the phonecall is something unimportant. Maybe I've just had a call returned that I've been waiting on for a week. If you're the customer, don't multitask people when you don't have to.

    If I have a call I can't put down and have some routine transaction going on, I'll move the phone for a second and apologize to the cashier, and make sure I'm paying attention to the transaction. It's not ideal, but it's not unforgivable either.
     
  6. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored BRexiting the Briefing Room Moderator

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    Christ, you'd think he shot your dog or something. Get a little perspective here.
     
  7. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^huh? By pointing out that politeness should be shown both ways?!
     
  8. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored BRexiting the Briefing Room Moderator

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    No, by acting all shocked like he said something horrifying, and making hyperbolic assumptions that he thinks he's superior to cashiers or considers them automatons. Plus, using the roll-eyes emoticon. That's like the DefCon One of emoticon escalation.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Emoticon Escalation." I believe that's the new album from Kraftwerk?
     
  10. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    Mr Awe
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with your last paragraph, sometimes all it takes is simply saying to the cashier "I'm sorry but I really need to take this call". It shows you have acknowledged them.


    I've worked behind the tills/been in queues where the customer who is on the phone is totally oblivious to the fact that their items have been processed through the till and sometimes even bagged and have been asked to make payment several times.
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It's especially vexing when you're in line behind the idiot on the phone.
     
  14. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Oh I know, fortunantly if I've only got a few items I head straight to the self-scan checkouts (if the store has them). But then you have the people who can't seem to grasp the concpet that when it says "15 items or less" or "about 15 items or less". It doesn't mean 25+ items.

    But I digress.
     
  15. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored BRexiting the Briefing Room Moderator

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    No, YOU are!

    [​IMG]

    ;)
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just because the customer is the one shopping, and the cashier is the one with the job, doesn't give the customer carte blanche to act like a jackass. Somebody jabbering away on a cellphone in the middle of a transaction can be disruptive, not only to the cashier, but to other customers. It can make it difficult to serve them if they can't talk back to the employees. And it holds up the line as well. Why should those running the store have to allow that?

    In the end, while it may be technically allowable to have the customer yakking away, it doesn't make it right. All parties have certain responsibilities to each other. Job or no job.
     
  17. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    not everyone who talks on their cell phone in public is that stereotypical person who's yelling loudly and disrupting those around them. If the customer is talking in a relatively low voice, then being on their phone is no different than if they were having a conversation with a friend who was next to them.

    And yeah, if there's an issue during the transaction where there needs to be a question asked, that's one thing. But if it's a routine cash purchase for a few items that requires nothing more than handing over a twenty dollar bill, there's no real need to get off the phone. Again, the customer is not there to be friendly to the cashier.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The customer is there to make a purchase. Talking on a cellphone during that purchase and/or being rude to the cashier can make it more difficult to complete it. Therefore, it stands to reason that the talking should be kept to a minimum.
     
  19. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    He's not being paid to watch some idiot talk on their phone.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I know cellphone jamming devices are illegal, but damn, it's fun to think about. :sigh: :D