Monday, December 11, 2006

Pointless Grocery Clerk Comments

I love going to the grocery store. I probably go once every two to four days. Not only is it way more fun to choose your supper from the entire contents of a grocery store than the contents of a cupboard, but there are usually no other people in my kitchen for me to be amused by. A grocery store however, is full of potential entertainment. Other customer are sometimes fun, but the best is to talk with the cashiers.

I don't actually ever initiate conversation because I think they are encouraged as part of their job to come up with some friendly comments. I like that sort of personalized attention. In fact I often go to to Safeway because I have a club card there, and I like to hear them mispronounce my last name when the transaction is complete. "Here you are Mrs. Ma..que..azon", or "Do you need a hand out with that Mrs. Mathasaurus?"
They always refer to me as 'Mrs', and they always sort of mumble my last name, or somehow muffle their voice so all one can really tell is that it begins with M. Before they even see my name on the club card though, they usually greet you with a few comments. Most take the easy route and ask if I found everything OK. Others though try to improvise, and that is where the fun begins because there isn't much casual chit-chat a cashier can make that isn't completely pointless.

When you shop frequently you usually don't buy a lot at once. Usually it is just one or two items, and sometimes you end up with all the ingredients for a particular meal and nothing else. This is when some cashiers like to show how observant they are. For example, a couple months ago I had tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, ground beef, and lasagna noodles. The cashier said "Making lasagna eh?"
I smiled in confirmation. It was a nice personalization for her to figure out what I was making, but somehow it sounded like a pointless comment to me. I guess because there is not much else you'd be making when buying lasagna noodles but lasagna. Today it was the same situation but it amused me even more.

I had the following items on the conveyor belt: trail mix, peanut butter, coffee grounds, and a pre-packaged Caesar salad. The cashier said, "Having coffee and salad are we?"
As I said, I am all for the personalized comments, but this one was really pointless. After all, eventually I will eventually be having everything I buy - that is why I am buying them! Maybe she realized that and decided to turn it into a joke because then she added, "Not mixed together I hope!" She laughed outloud.
Just to play along I said "No, I mix the coffee with the peanut butter." She continued to scan my items but had a little frown on her face as if she thought I had said something really stupid.

Then she picked up the trail mix and said, "Oh this makes a really good snack!"
I nodded and wondered if I should tell her that trail mix doesn't actually make anything but a snack really, and then she said "... for when you are hiking."
I considered asking her if I should maybe go for that hike on some sort of 'trail' but just then she spoke. She had just scanned the very last item and then asked, "Is this everything?"
Well... there was nothing left on the conveyor so I said that it was. I handed her my debit card. She accepted it and said "Will this be on your debit card?"

After the transaction went through she handed me the receipt and said, "Have a nice day...", then she paused to cover her mouth with her hand, "Mrs. Mathmajor."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Waiting for the next adventure, Condi.