Tag Archives: cashier

Paying it Forward

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After paying for my groceries today I was preparing to walk away and I see the cashier rolling her eyes and sucking her teeth as a young lady and young man, (who obviously didn’t have a lot of money) were putting up their groceries, I had a really strong feeling that I was suppose to stay close to these youngsters, well I stayed and watched as the cashier slammed through their things, the final total was $123.40.

The young girl looked nervous but scanned her food stamp card and again the cashier rolled her eyes and smirked when it came back that the balance was only $95.30 on their card and she took great pleasure in repeating this, so I stepped up and said,”First of all you need to lower your voice, and second I’m gonna help them out and don’t you roll your eyes at me I’m not a young girl,”
She didn’t say a word . I took out my coupons and stood there very slowly going through all 3 of my coupon carriers. After finding what I could for these young people I hand them to the cashier then gave her my E-card so they got double the coupons and it really seemed to piss the cashier off. The young lady and young man were so excited because they not only had enough but the $123.40 went down to $68.22. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had young people jumping on me so happy and excited.

After they packed up and we were walking away I looked at the cashier and said, “Why?” She looked like she was gonna cry but said nothing! People, what does it take to change the very essence of ignorance? Why is it easier for some to hate or belittle than to love and encourage? What did it cost me to help these young people? NOTHING but some coupons that I can just print up more.

Just Paying It Forward!!

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At the checkout


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August 29, 2013 · 11:02

Compassion is the Most Vital Tool of my Trade.

Cashiering in a supermarket may not seem like a very rewarding position to most. But to me it is. You see, I feel that my job consists of a lot more than ringing up orders, taking peoples money, and bagging their groceries. The most important part of my job is not the obvious. Rather it’s the manner in which I present myself to others that will determine whether my customers will leave the store feeling better or worse because of their brief encounter with me. For by doing my job well I know I have a chance to do Gods work too. Because of this, I try to make each of my customers feel special. While I’m serving them, they become the most important people in my life.

Recently, an elderly man came to my register. I sensed immediately, by the expression on his face, that he was lonely. I wanted to brighten his day. But, how? I wondered. He had failed to 

respond to my smile, nor had he replied to my genuine greeting of “How are you today?” As I began to ring his order, I spotted a box of birdseed.

“Oh, I see you have a pet bird too. Aren’t they fun?” I asked. Suddenly a warm smile appeared on his face. Then he began telling me all about his parakeet.

You know, that little fellow is real company to me since my wife, Mary, passed away six months ago.”

“It must be difficult to cope with the loss of a loved one,” I commented thoughtfully as I placed his bundles into his shopping cart. “It certainly is,” he sighed heavily. “We were married for fifty years, my Mary and me,” he added–his eyes twinkling brightly from his memory.”

“How wonderful. Please come back and visit with me soon. I really enjoyed talking with you today,” I told him as he started to leave.

“You bet,” he answered. I noticed that although the loneliness on his face was still there, it had diminished somewhat.

My heart felt light. For I realised that I had done something worthwhile today. I had taken a few minutes to care and listen to a fellow human being, succeeding in making at least a tiny difference in this one, precious life.

………Compassion is the most vital tool of my trade. There are many sad stories to be heard while ringing up grocery orders. Many times I find I’m called upon to help nurture the emotional state of a shopper–just as the food they’re buying will provide nourishment to their bodies. Hearing of death, terminal illness, fatal accidents, and broken homes are all part of my job. During such times I try my utmost to listen with my heart, not only my ears. Often a single word of understanding or a mere look of genuine concern is just the right dose of medicine to help heal a bruised heart. When I succeed in easing some of the pain of another human being, it is then that I realise just how important my job as a simple cashier is.

The title of that article is Compassion is the most vital tool of my trade.  Whatever we do and wherever we do it – can we say the same?


(Maxine F. Dennis, “Compassion is the Most Vital Tool of My Trade” in Of Human Hands: A Reader in Spirituality of Work ed. Gregory F. Augustine Pierce (Chicago: Augsburg and ACTA Publications, 1991, 49-51)


Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic