Maybe I was Wooshed...

… but I really don’t think so.

I just went to the grocery store tonight. This is my regular store that I’ve been going to for 15 years. I filled my card and found a short line. It was a cashier I’ve never seen before. The next aisle over is one of my favorite cashiers, Diane (yes, I go there often enough I know many by name). She even turned to me and said “what, not my line?” I told her this one was shorter and had to throw in “she must be quicker than you.”

I got to the new cashier and quipped “wow… awfully busy for a Wednesday night.” Without cracking a smile she responded “it’s the day before Thanksgiving.” As she scanned my stuffing, potatoes, rolls, etc. I responded “really… I didn’t realize that.” Surely that would wake her up, but no she responded “it is always busy the night before.” I looked over and Diane was laughing. I couldn’t help but respond with “I never thought about that… I wonder why?” As she scanned my 700th item she coldly responded “well most people cook a big dinner for Thanksgiving.” By this point Diane was litterally LOLing (I can’t believe I just typed that). I thanked her for the tip and pushed my overflowing cart to my car.

I can’t help but think she couldn’t have been that clueless or humor impared, but maybe… Otherwise she has a great routine to guarantee she sends people home with a great story for their spouses (and message board friends).

She’s new. It’s almost Thanksgiving. It’s busy. She wants you to let her get the job done. She doesn’t know if you’re funny or stupid, and she doesn’t want to find out today, so she’s trying not to open the conversation box. Try her on Friday, and she may warm up.

Oh, I’m stupid… there’s no question about that.

I’m just surprised that someone doesn’t respond to or enjoy a little humor. When I worked retail during the holidays I loved the customers who didn’t take everything so seriously. It helped bring me back to reality.

Tonight when the cashier asked how I was doing, I responded ‘‘probably better than you.’’

He laughed.

She was probably just in ‘‘zombie mode.’’

Eh, retail is soul-sucking and boring and some of us are anti-social. I probably wouldn’t have felt much like engaging with you in witty banter either if I were her. Kind of amazing you have gotten this far through life having only met cheerful cashiers who want to have intellectually stimulating conversations with you.

The thing is, your joke wasn’t funny. Dianne was laughing because you persisted with it. Think of a bad stand up comic that tells a joke that bombs. The comic keeps trying to make the joke work, but it won’t. It eventually gets funny because he’s trying way to hard. You tried a very weak joke three times. Three times! I’m surprised you didn’t pull a microphone out, tap it, and say “is this thing on?”

I’m sorry, but I suspect you’re not as funny as you think you are.

Hey, Bud Abbott made a million bucks acting like that.

Having worked in retail, the most irritating thing were all the “jokes” customers would come up with that they thought were original but that we had heard a zillion times already. I worked behind a counter that had barstool height chairs on the customer side for them to sit down so they could discuss their project while I had to stand. Old farts would come in and thought it was funny to “order a drink”.

The cashier in your line was trying to be polite to you but it was wearing thin already… her job basically sucks. She’s on her feet for hours at a time doing a repetitive task, has to ask for permission to go to the bathroom, and doesn’t make a heck of a lot of money to boot. You get no response to your clever quip? Take the hint. Just let people do their jobs and move on.

I put a computer in a store that had been using an old cash register for who knows how long, and sure enough, not 10 minutes after it was installed a guy came in and said “New system eh?” The girl at the counter responded politely.

I told her that every single regular, give or take, would make some sort of casual comment and think they were being original, it’s just how things work. This will persist until they have all seen the new computer, such is life.

Good thing I gave 'em a few comeback ideas though, to break up the monotony.

No, we just repainted the old one.

Yep, new system, can I have your social?

This has been here for months, are you feeling ok?

Yeah, now we can play Solitaire when we’re bored.

I told them to only use the blank stare if they absolutely have to, it’s the cruelest, and makes every single would be jokester embarrassed.

Yup. Dianne was laughing because she didn’t have to put up with your “jokes” this time around - someone else did. She wasn’t laughing with you.

Well it appears I owe the world an appology. I though it was civil and nice to engage in casual conversation. I promise to start scowling and move along like the unhappy little droid we all should be. Thank you all for pointing out what an Asshat I am (I assume it is ok with the Mods to insult myself in this forum)

By the way, if she would have just smiled it would have been finished. Now that I know Diane was laughing at me I now have a burning hate for her since I now know she is baiting me since she usually starts the (what I thought was) friendly banter. I will do all I can to make her already miserable job even more uncomfortable… I see lots of calls to the manager in her future.

Seriously guys… do you really live in a world where you would prefer everyone just grunt and move on? I worked retail for a long time and I liked people who were friendly. I don’t get mad when someone at my current work in passing says something like “Keeping out of trouble?” no matter how unoriginal it is… I’ll even respond in the equally original “that wouldn’t be any fun.” Yes, scanning groceries is a boring job, but it doesn’t require a great deal of concentration… most of the people working there can manage a little small talk while doing so (and like I said, if she would have smiled and acknowledged me she could have shut up until the exciting “Paper or Plastic” moment).

Anyway, since this is Thanksgiving I’ll finish by saying that I’m thankful that most of the people I encounter don’t share your feelings. I’m a friendly guy and most of the retail clerks I meet are just fine with my misguided humor. I’d really hate living in a world where I felt I couldn’t be nice at the risk of offending someone who was bored with their job.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with chatting with the cashier as long as one isn’t interfering with her work. When I cashier, I am sociable & use small talk to make the job go faster. Now, I have three guesses about the cashier in the OP. One is that she was indeed in “zombie mode”. The other is that someone told her not to joke & banter with customers as people can take things the wrong way, just to respond in a straightforward way. (I doubt that but I’ve seen a few customers where that would be good advice.)

But my third guess-

She got home & said “Honey, maybe I was whooshed…”


You know what… that is the one I like to believe, so I’ll do so and go back to my happy version of reality.

I know I was. I didn’t really see the joke. I thought the funny part was that she was that she responded at all, like it was actual conversation fodder rather than idle pleasantries.

It was like you were having an true intellectual discussion with her.

Well, they kind of have to be, don’t they? Same with waitresses, counter attendants, flight attendants, nurses, receptionists…

I don’t think anyone here is saying don’t be polite and friendly; just be aware that service people are a captive audience, and their jobs may depend on being polite to every knob who makes the same lame “jokes”. Some cashiers might welcome the interaction (Diane may be one of them); this one obviously did not.

Don’t worry, Spud. I think your attitude is great. Back in the day, I had a ton of crappy customer service jobs and people like you made it more bearable.

Thank you Olives

I was just getting ready to post a “what the F… I tried to post something I found funny to MPSIMS” post. I worked retail for many years and I loved the customers who wanted to recognize that I was actually there rather than just moving past like I was some automated teller or something. I guess the real lesson learned is that I should have waited in the longer line for Diane and I would have left with a smile on my face and not have had a story where I was told I was a “knob” for trying to be friendly.

I just realized that based on the advise most people have given I should report the post that called me a knob because we aren’t allowed to have any humor or kind hearted jabs in this world :wink: Like I said, I’ll just go back to my version of reality and believe people are decent for the most part.

I’m in construction (tile) and most of the time I am really focused on what I’m doing, so I discourage conversation by giving monosyllabic replies. If she is new it might be that her mind is elsewhere and not really listening to you.

While I have a sense of humor, I am socially impaired. I have a car that is REALLY blue. The other day a woman remarked “What, they ran out of BLUE paint?” I just went “Uh”. It was funny, but it takes way too long for it to register with me and by then the moment is past. My brain doesn’t seem to process language very well. I’ve always envied those who are quick witted.

One of the things I have learned here is that there is a (small, I hope) subset of people who really don’t like social interaction. I still remember reading that one redhead here hates it when somone compliments her on her pretty hair. Really? She is tired of it, apparently. Geez, compliment me on anything. I promise I won’t tire of it. Anyway, don’t let it get you down, Spuds. I, like you, like small social interactions and believe most people do. I think this place tends to pull for the anti-social sometimes.

I’ll vote “zombie mode”.

A classmate of mine in college had a job as a teller in a major department store. We were pretty good friends at the time and hung out a bit outside of class too. I had to buy new undies and socks, and she happened to be the cashier. I was expecting her to make a wise-crack about the boxer briefs I was buying or something, but she looked right at me and said “Will that be cash or on your FancyStore card today?” I answered “Visa.” She rang through my purchase and, as she was trained to do, read my last name off my credit card so that she could more personably say: “Thank you for shopping at FancyStore, Mr. Cellphone.”

At no time did she appear to recognize me, and when I mentioned it the following week before class, she was amazed because she was on auto-pilot and didn’t remember me at all.