A Cashier’s Worst Nightmare

awkward checkout

What do you say in these situations?

Years ago, when I did run a cash register, I tried for the “stare off into the middle distance” and not say anything.

I remember once when I was working at that grocery store a girl that had lived in the neighborhood but been home-schooled, a total outcast sort of kid.  I noticed that she had often came to the grocery store with her mother.  That’s not really a big deal, I still often go to the grocery store with my mother.

However, this particular trip with her mom stands out in my mind, 15 years later.  They got in my lane and I start scanning as soon as they start unloading the full basket. Halfway into this, her mother starts shifting shit around and looking through the groceries still in the basket. Without even trying to pretend she was going to be discreet for my benefit, she looks right at the girl and is like “Did you remember your enema?  You better go grab one. We can’t have you *straining* for hours.”

I remember I wanted to fucking die laughing.  I remember being mortified for her. I remember being embarrassed to have been forced into such an intimate moment.  Like…an ear rape.

In the end, her stupid fucking mother seemed oblivious to her major faux pas and just kept puttering around with the groceries.  I rolled with empathy for that poor dumb girl who looked like she wanted to die.  I kept my eyes on the scanner as I checked the groceries, avoided eye contact with both of them, and puttered with anything I could find so the girl would not see me looking at her with anything like pity.

I can’t imagine a more awkward situation in life.




~ by Layla on July 1, 2009.

7 Responses to “A Cashier’s Worst Nightmare”

  1. Hi Layla, I was cruising around wordpress and came across your blog which brings back memories of my days working in a drug store. One day I was back in pharmacy down low behind the counter opening boxes when I heard a voice ask Mrs. Robinson, the pharmcist, about enemas. I knew the voice. It was my friend Leslie’s mother. The counter was high and I knew if I stayed low she’d not see me. Mrs. Robinson asked Leslie’s mom if it was for herself or? Leslie’s mom said she usually used suppositories for herself and the family but she was thinking enemas might be better. She went on to say her eldest, which would have been Jane, two years older than Leslie, was in need of something that day, so she was buying a jar of suppositores, but wondered if she should give her an enema instead.

    Mrs. Robinson, who was always very forthright and open, said she kept glycerine suppositories as the first line of defense at her house and if those didn’t produce results the next step was either a Fleet, or a warm water enema. Mrs. Robinson went out from behind the counter and the two of them stood in front of the counter talking. When Leslie’s mom left she had an enema bag, a twin pack of Fleets and a jar of adult suppositories.

    I stayed down behind the counter. Mrs. Robinson came back and asked if I knew that customer. I said I did. It was my friend Leslie’s mother. She said she thought that was why I’d kept down, and I’d done the right thing. She said customers can be embarrassed talking about suppositories and enemas and things like that and it was our job as professionals to help them and to not embarrass them more than necessary. One way of doing that, she said, was by not being embarrassed ourselves. She said if I felt comfortable talking about anything with a customer, then that was fine, go ahead and help them. If I thought I’d be embarrassed the customer would know it and I should call on the pharmacist.

  2. Hi Amber.

    Yes. I agree completely.

    At a grocery store cashier, I was completely unprepared for anything to do with enemas. I like to think I have a great deal more poise than I did at 19, but I still don’t think I would have enough to deal gracefully with that particular situation. 🙂

  3. I had several enema and suppository encounters while working at the drug store and I got used to it. I wasn’t any stranger to either of them myself as mom was a great believer in regularity and frankly I didn’t mind them too much, I always felt better afterwards and I suspect they helped keep my skin in far better shape than many of my friends. Dealing with it with customers wasn’t such a big deal. It would be different working in a grocery store though. I’ve bought Fleets in a grocery store and thought nothing of it but I can understand the cashier might find it uncomfortable. The cashiers have not looked uncomfortable though and one cashier, when she picked up the twin pack I was buying said they were on sale, just as if I was buying bananas.

    I guess what makes people uncomfortable about enemas and suppositories is that we don’t acknowledge everyone, or most everyone, uses them sometimes. If we did it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal. We don’t get all bent out of shape leaving our tooth brush out, or buying tooth paste.

    Talk again, Amber

  4. Tila Tequila, never known for her shyness or sobriety or an excess of clothing, had a naked, ranting meltdown Wednesday night on her UStream channel, and today the video has been taken down. And Tila’s lawyer told TMZ.com today that he’s trying to get help for the star of MTV’s “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila.”

    Hey there everyone aparently the star Tila Tequila went crazy after her boyfriend who is aparently a football star assulted her and yelled at her for being bisexual. She then got naked and went on her UStream and chatted for a few hours about how he was a drug addict and beat her. You can download the whole session with chat included right here http://NO YOU CAN’T/yzjyx5x

    Layla’s responce to this clownacy: i am not sure why i’m leaving this comment and not deleting it as spam. Perhaps it’s just cuz i’m so fucking drunk, that tonight it’s amusing me. I don’t care about Tila Tequila and I honestly can’t believe that anyone does. She makes Paris Hilton appear to have talent and something to offer the world.

  5. Do you have a twitter account so I can follow your tweets?

  6. Personally, I think what makes one embarrassed about enemas or suppositories is that they go in one’s ass. Call me crazy, but I do not stick my toothbrush up my ass, but if I did? Or used my toothpaste as some sort of anal cream? I’d be embarrassed to talk about my toothbrush and toothpaste also.

    No, Layla, I don’t wanna talk about my toothbrush….especially the electric one.

  7. I like this Blog. 🙂

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