What I’m really thinking
I make no judgments about your shopping: your eight cans of lager a day, your chocolate habit, your inability to resist doughnuts, your reliance on sliced white and spread. I scarcely register the contents of your trolley as I focus on the beeping, the speed and accuracy demanded of me, the struggle to give change when you find a few odd pennies you want to get rid of after I’ve rung up your payment.
I greet everyone with a smile, not because my employer says I must, but because I see real people across the till belt. I tease, joke and share my mistakes in the hope that you will feel a little bit happier when you leave than you did coming in. I try gently to defuse the arguments about packing strategies, the “Who put this in?” debates and the end-oftether-with-the-children moments.
We are not here because we are limited by intelligence or ambition, but because this job is available and convenient. We come from many backgrounds, with our own lives, just as diverse as those of our customers.
We feel aggrieved when you bring us empty banana skins and empty drinks bottles and tell us you or your children were hungry on the way round – how do I weigh your bananas when they have been eaten? We long for a volume control to turn down the noisiest kids. Sometimes, some of you don’t see us, and after 10 hours of scanning and beeping, your refusal to acknowledge me is upsetting. Carry on your phone conversation, nurture your bad mood, be irritated by not finding what you wanted, , and I will carry y on smiling. But deny my existence existe as a person and you will wreck
my d day.
Tell us u what you’re you’r really thinking think at mind@the mind guardian.com guar