How I know I’m a curmudgeon


You know how I know I’m getting old? And curmudgeony?

When I go through the cash at the grocery store or other retail establishment and get annoyed that my cashier and another are talking to each other as they ring up purchases. And no they aren’t talking about something actually relevant to the work they are performing. Say like what is the product code for spaghetti squash, or is there really a discount this week on Ritz Crackers.

Nope, they’re ringing customers through while discussing why so-and-so broke up with her boyfriend. Or who’s going to that house party. Or what time to hit that club tonight.

Seriously? This is your topic of conversation? This is customer service?

By the way, there is also no hello given or if there is, it’s mumbled and made with very little eye contact. But dear cashier person-who-doesn’t-realize-how-obnoxious-and-annoying-you-are, I know you can talk because I just heard you rather loudly discuss with your co-worker “the breakup”, “the party”, “the club”.


That’s how I know I’m old. Because if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t care. Right?

All of this reminds me of the movie Clerks and the line,  “Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you.”

There should be a sign at each checkout that gives customers the heads-up, “Just because we serve you doesn’t mean we’ll stop tittle-tattling about our lives.”

Okay that’s kind of lame but you get my point, right? (also isn’t tittle-tattle a great word?)

It’d be even better if those signs gave customers some kind of indication of what topics will be discussed at each cash. It’s “The Breakup of the Year” on cash 1 and 2. Oh and cash 3 and 4? They’re talking about “the totally awesome house-party where we’re going to get blotto”.

Yes, I think I’ve created something genius here.

This way we customers can decide in advance which conversation we want to be spectators to.

Of course I’ve never once said anything to the cashiers who do this. No one to blame but myself that I endure these conversations. I have been known to say hello repeatedly until I get a response from a cashier. That’s my passive aggressive yet still pointed way of indicating a lack of customer service on the cashier’s part. I’m soo cool, right?

Anyway, I think it’s crazy that I would even need to speak up. Yet I’ve experienced this enough times and in enough different retail establishments to truly wonder why customer service training doesn’t include a point about keeping non-work/social discussions to break time.

Just wondering.

Curmudgeony me.

2 Responses to “How I know I’m a curmudgeon”

  1. J K

    You could replace “old” or “curmudgeonly” with “mature” or “grown-up.”

  2. ingrid

    I agree! Use to be included in the training…I know because I trained many cashiers. But it comes down to who is managing and who cares. Pick the battle you want to fight. I also make a comment if I am ignored while the cashier is chatting away with a co-worker. It bothers me. They are the last person representing the store as you leave the establishment therefore, they should give you the best service possible.


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