Cashiers: would it kill you to be friendly to a customer?

Yes not the worst thing in the world but a day to day annoyance that kind of gets to me. Obviously there are a number of cashiers that are very friendly and this rant doesn’t apply to them.

If you’re working at the counter at a pharmacy, fast food restaurant or whatever, do you have to act like it kills you to do your job? Yes the bare minimum of your duties is merely ringing up whatever I’m buying or take the order and I know you’re so above this but so many of the times I’m friendlier than you as a customer. Why do you feel compelled to stare off into the distance and sigh while I’m making an order? Yes we all have bad days, but that doesn’t mean you should be rude and dismissive towards customers. I’ve worked behind the counter too and I know it can suck but that shouldn’t affect how to treat customers.

I’ve noticed certain demographics are more prone to be less friendly, which may have to do with my demographic as well, but it’s anecdotal at best so I don’t want to expand lest this turns into a shitfest.

This is DC btw, and I remember someone saying on the boards about how it’s blessed with “northern hospitality and southern efficiency,” which sounds about right.

Sometimes people have bad days. Sometimes the person before you was an ass-raving jackass and you catch some of the fallout.

And sometimes they’re just soul-less zombies, dead to the world. Their hopes and dreams ground to dust by reality.

Gee, maybe they’d be a little smilier if they were paid a living wage!

Pay minimum wage, get minimum effort.

I suspect folks working these shit for pay jobs just feel like they’re being cheated every minute they’re working, so there’s no point in doing a little extra.

If you want someone to act like your friend, because its their job, cough up for a fancy hooker, or a therapist. It is not the cashier’s job.

It wouldn’t kill them to say “hi” or “thank you”. I’d almost rather be told to fuck off than completely ignored while I’m giving your company my money. Say* something*.

I’ve noticed that places that treat theirs workers like people get workers that aren’t miserable.

I don’t want the cashier to be my friend. I want him/her to behave in a friendly way so I like shopping there and will want to go back. I don’t want the cashier to drink my beer and watch my TV like my friends do, it’s not his/her job to feed my cat when I’m on vacation. It’s the cashier’s job to greet me, sell me stuff in a timely fashion, give me my change or receipt with a farewell. A cheery smile or eye contact is a bonus.

I always want to say: Hey, (asshole) cashier, I’ve had “shit jobs”, and they became less shitty when I actually related to the customers.
(Hmmm, maybe it’s an existentialist thing, where if you believe life is crappy, then since we’re all suffering together we can get through it if we treat each other like non-crap.)

Or we just develop a way to automate the task and put them out of a job. Then they’ll have plenty of reason to smile!

If automating the task is cheaper, the company would do it even if the worker was shitting rainbows. Or do you think they’d pay extra for staff because they’re just so nice?

That’s true. The business case would turn on whether a human touch (with a pleasant attitude) is doing enough to encourage excess repeat business over a bare-bones automated system (witness those annoying Discover Card ads about how when you call, you will get a live person; obviously there is a market for people who went to chit-chat will call center personnel).

So, yeah, their days probably are numbered to begin with. They should avoid doing anything to hasten their obsolescence.

i thought the mentality in America is to tip people for service, especially if they’re working minimum wage? if you want the cashier to be nice, pay for it.

It only works this way for a few professions, like restaurant servers. If your job title is “cashier” (or whatever euphemism is en vogue for that these days) and you’re working for a big chain, there’s probably a corporate policy preventing you from accepting tips.

This is a good answer.

No, please, DO go on.

IOW: Shitfest! Shitfest! Shitfest!

Eh, I sorta liked the brusqueness of Russian clerks. Give me honest apathy over false bonhomie any day.

Gee, do you think that this could be a cause and effect sort of thing? Because I’ve noticed this too.

If you treat people like cogs in a machine, then most people seem to react by acting like cogs in a machine. Any attempt at having a personality seems to be frowned upon in those places.

No, cashiers don’t get tipped. Tipping is expected only in specific circumstances.

Waiters/waitresses (at fancy restaurants, the maitre d’hotel or captain)
Taxi drivers and the person who hails you a taxi at the entrance of a hotel/train station/restaurant
Bartenders and Baristas (although I’ve never tipped at Starbucks)
Coat check attendant
Hotel maids and bellhops who have carried your bags
Valet parking attendant
Curbside luggage skycap at the airport (does this even exist any more?) And anyone who ever carries your luggage for you
Golf caddy and certain other personal services
Newspaper deliverer
Anyone who delivers things from point to point like pizza deliverers, bicycle couriers (but not parcel delivery drivers)
Masseurs/masseuses
Sex workers (strippers, callgirls)
Barbers, hair stylists, beauticians, etc.
Shoe shine guy

Some professions get annual Christmas tips: postal carriers (optional and often not cash), in-home maids and childcare people, gardeners, chauffeurs, doormen (basically anyone who works in your actual residence or provides personal service on a daily basis), the staff at a private social club. (Many of these only apply to rich people)

Ordinary retail staff people, cashiers, fast-food workers, don’t get tipped.

Anyway, I’m guessing the sighing cashier was a teenager.

I don’t want to them to act like a friend or give me a handjob or whatever. Hell I don’t even need them to smile. Just maybe a “hello” or “thank you” or some acknowledge beyond some mumbling question that is absolutely necessary to complete the transaction. This is courtesy a decent person extends to virtually anyone (unless there’s valid reason for animosity) leaving the cashier-customer dynamic aside.
I don’t expect buying soda from Walgreens to be highlight of my day but generally my interaction with some of these clerks are not merely not pleasant but unpleasant as their rudeness borders on disrespectful.