Along with other jobs, Anna has worked as a cashier several times, and this is her firsthand experience of working retail.
I Am a Former Cashier
I have worked as a retail cashier a couple of times in my life. I did enjoy it...well, for the most part, anyway. The truth of the matter is, it's pretty much a thankless job, and it can be incredibly repetitive and sometimes very boring. I have worked for a "big box" store and a department store. Both offered different experiences, but it pretty much boils down to the same thing:
POS, or point of sale (aka cashier) jobs, are not for everyone. Like every job, there are benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, the benefits of working retail are often far outweighed by the drawbacks, but in today's economy, a job is a job is a job!
The Benefits of Working Retail
Ok, as I said, there are not a lot of benefits to working retail. But, there are a few!
The biggest, and by far, the best benefit to working as a cashier, or any retail job, for that matter, is the employee discount! This is an added plus if you happen to like shopping at the store that you work for! Take an electronics store, for example.
Electronics stores mark up their prices on smaller items a lot more than they do for the larger ticket items. So, cables, batteries, etc. for all those electronic devices are marked up a lot more than the televisions and computers. This is a great savings when you have to purchase cables, or various other smaller items, that you need to run your bigger ticket items, like your televisions or computers.
Employees of retail stores also have a heads up on what is being marked down, when it's being marked down, and how good of a deal it really is. This is helpful if you are on a budget! You know when to buy things, what is really a good deal, and what only looks like a good deal.
I remember working at a department store, and they advertised a big sale on one particular clothing item. Truth was, this clothing item was always on sale, and always at that same price. So, it wasn't really that great of a deal. If something is always on sale, at the same price, is it really on sale? I am not going to point fingers, because I am sure a lot of stores do the same thing.
Another benefit of working retail is the clearance items. You know where to find them, you know when they are marked down further, and you know the lowest price that the item is going to be marked down to.
Some stores mark their clearance items down to a certain point, and then mark it down further later on, in order to get it moving out of the store as fast as possible. That way, they have room for new merchandise. It is very helpful to know when this happens, how often it happens, and when is the best time to buy these clearance items.
Interaction With Customers
I know a lot of people claim to be a "people person", but far fewer really are. If you ARE a people person, then a job as a cashier is a great fit for you! You are always around other people, whether it be co-workers or customers, and you are constantly interacting with other people.
This can be a great part-time job for a parent who is usually stuck at home. It gives them the opportunity to get out and interact with other adults. Even if it's just a few hours a week, just to get out of the house and have something to do can be a wonderful thing.
The biggest long-term benefit to working a retail job is the experience. I know...working retail doesn't sound like a great job experience, but it can be if you sell it right. Almost every job you work in, requires some amount of interaction with customers or clients.
Customer service experience is valuable! Think about it for a second . . . even doctors and nurses deal with customers (the patients). Learning how to deal with people, how to talk to people and how to treat people with respect is a valuable skill that will carry you far in any career, and in your everyday life.
Read More From Toughnickel
The Downsides of Being a Cashier
There is always a downside, right? There are, of course, a few disadvantages to working as a cashier, no matter how great the job is and no matter how wonderful the company is to work for.
First of all, you are on your feet for many hours at a time. You stand in one place for hours. I did work as a cashier for a total of about two years. Once, I did it while I was pregnant. Trust me, standing on your feet for hours at a time while carrying around thirty to forty extra pounds is not as much fun as it sounds. I know, it doesn't sound like any fun at all.
Some stores allow you to wear sneakers or tennis shoes. But, a lot of them, mostly higher-end, or boutique shops, require you to dress nicer, and thus wear nicer shoes. These shoes are usually harder on your feet than a decent pair of sneakers, but they are required.
Where I worked, I was required to wear black dress shoes, but since I was pregnant, I was allowed to wear my sneakers. Why the requirement for nice shoes? No one sees your feet behind a counter, right? This is true, and I never understood it, either. Don't ask me to explain something that obviously makes no sense.
The pay isn't great. As a cashier, you are lucky to make a little bit above minimum wage. So, unless you are desperate for any job that actually pays you money, you just need a little extra income every month, or you don't really need the money, a job as a cashier may not be right for you. It's hard to make ends meet when you make minimum wage. But, then again, sometimes, it's that little bit of extra money that is just what you need.
On top of that, cashier jobs, and any other retail jobs, are not recession-proof. Retail stores across the country are downsizing, closing down stores, or going out of business altogether.
Drive down the street, and you will see what I mean. Businesses around me are closing or laying off employees. Several stores have gone out of business since I first wrote this article. Job security is not very high in the retail environment. On the other hand, turn overrate in the retail environment is often rather high, so the need for cashiers is usually pretty steady.
Interactions With Customers
Lastly, people can be MEAN!!! No matter what, you will take the blame for everything from an unhappy customer. You will have to listen and often be berated for some policy or problem that is not your fault. I have dealt with numerous customers who were unhappy for one reason or another that had nothing to do with me, yet I had to hear about it, and somehow, in their minds, it was all my fault.
Cashier: "I am sorry, you cannot use this coupon along with this discount. You have to choose one or the other."
Unhappy customer: "What??!! How is that fair? I qualify for this discount, and I have this coupon! Why can't I use them both?? This is crap!"
Cashier: "I am sorry. It is store policy. You cannot use two different percent off discounts together. It says it right there on your coupon. Percent off discount cannot be used with another discount."
Unhappy customer: "I have never heard of such a thing. This is ridiculous! I am never shopping here again. I thought I would be getting a good deal, and all I have gotten is lied to. I want to speak to your manager."
Cashier: "I can get my manager for you, if you would like. Give me a moment."
Unhappy customer: "Ugh! I don't have time for this!"
I can't tell you the number of times I have had to go through something almost exactly like that. If you don't give a customer everything they want, even if it's against policy and would mean you might get into serious trouble or even lose your job, they can get very nasty! Being insulted by an angry customer is never fun, and it isn't for the overly sensitive. I was almost brought to tears once by an irate customer. Who yells at a pregnant woman, anyway?
People try all kinds of ways to cheat stores out of money. From trying to combine discounts that they can't, to trying to pass off coupons from an entirely different store chain, to attempting to return items purchased at another store chain, to all manners of deceitful practices. Being able to sniff out these tricks, and resolving them without potentially insulting a customer, who may have just made an innocent mistake, is difficult.
Decide for Yourself
I hear countless stories of great things, and equally awful things, that have happened during a person's time working retail. I have heard amusing stories and horrifying ones, as well. If you know someone who works or has worked, retail, ask them if they have any interesting tales to tell. I am sure they have at least one.
Whether you choose to work retail yourself is entirely up to you. It can be a lot of fun, and I have met a lot of great people doing it. For now, though, I think I will stay where I am at, right in front of this computer, fingers happily typing away on the keys, in the quiet of my own living room. To each his own, I guess.
I Am Once Again a Retail Cashier
Since writing this, I have once again ventured into a job as a cashier. Reading through what I have written, you would think that I hated working retail. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just wanted to portray an accurate idea of what it really is like to work as a retail cashier. It isn't easy, and it isn't for everyone.
I found myself in a position where I needed to supplement my income and venture out of the house a few hours a week. Being a stay-at-home mom is wonderful, but sometimes you need some adult interaction.
I am loving my current job at a large retail chain, and even though it is only seasonal, I hope they decide to keep me on long-term. I love where I work and love what I do. I know that may seem strange to some people, especially after reading this, but it's true. I guess I am a people person, after all.
So, You Want to Work Retail?
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2009 Anna Marie Bowman
Kevin on February 14, 2019:
Working retail is a trap, you will be stuck at entry level jobs for the rest of your life with no hopes of ever moving up. There are no valuable skills learned in the job and future employers will only look down on you for your so called "experience"
Emma on May 10, 2018:
I am only fifteen, but because my family owns a local business i am able to have a job at the convenience store. I've only been there for a short time but I really enjoy it. I have had one very rude costumer who started banging on windows to get the attention of my manager who was outside on the phone arranging plans for her nephews funeral. But i have a few favorite customers and they make my day. There is one guy who we call "Trouble". And another guy who comes in to buy cigarettes. Our conversation typically goes like this
Me: "Would you like your cigarettes in a bag"
Him: "Now why are you calling me an old bag?"
It makes me laugh every time and I always ask if he wants a bag even though I know he wont want one.
It definitely isn't always fun, and my hips are hurting from standing so long with no breaks, and the pay sucks. But I love my job.
I've also known the people that I work with since I was a baby. I love them all.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on December 26, 2016:
I guess it all depends on where you work, and the attitude you bring to it. I know the grocery store I go to, the cashiers are always super nice, and super helpful. I have never once seen one in a bad mood.
Anonymous on November 05, 2016:
I am a cashier and I have been for a few months now and I have to say it does get easier. I am doing this job to get through college but I am really happy I have been able to get such great coworkers. Sometimes there are terrible customers but honestly you just have to 9smile and get them through your line. I am an introvert but I am also very smiley and I don't let people get to me. One guy recently asked me how much of my attitude and smile was put on and how much was in earnest. I found it strange he felt the need to ask but I told him I've always just been a happy and smiley person so I wouldn't say any of it is "put on". Mainly though, a normal day as a cashier is that you get to your register, ring people up throughout the day, have y9ur breaks depending on how long your shift is, chat with your coworkers when it is slow, and then you clock out. That is basically my normal shift. I just want to say one more thing now. I have seen people say you should know discounts and specials and deals and all that good stuff so you don't have to pester your manager about it every time. But honestly, a lot of times at a grocery store, you are learning from experience. They throw you in there and expect you to ask questions and don't tell you almost any details about specials or discounts until it comes up and yo9u don't know what to do. But yeah.... That's basically a grocery store checker's job haha.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 28, 2016:
I completely agree that a retail type job is one that everyone should have, at least once in their lives. I learned a lot.
Mayara Sousa from Brasil on November 13, 2015:
I've worked in retail and for me it's one of those jobs that everybody should have at least once in their lives, you know? You learn a lot about customer service, but even more about how to deal with people overall. I don't regret it at all, it's not a job I'd like to have till the day I die, but definitely would consider it again given I'm only 21.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on December 27, 2013:
moonlake--I am surprised she got away with it at all. They usually have cameras, as well as the managers floating around keeping an eye on things. But, I know things like that do happen, and it seems quite often, that the stories come out of Wal-Mart. I have heard of situations where the cashier will hit the $40 button instead of the $20 button when a customer selects $20 cash back. The customers rarely notice. I do feel that most cashiers are honest, though.
moonlake from America on December 24, 2013:
I was in Walmart I think it was last year. I noticed the cashier took money out of the register when she opened it and put money in her pocket. I was sure she had but because I was worried about being wrong I didn't say anything to anyone.
A few weeks later we were in the store and happen to get in her line. I told my husband to write his check over for $20.00 and see if she gives him the $20.00. I was sure she wouldn't. She didn't he had to ask her for it. I figured that was how she was getting her money, many people write over on their checks and don't pay attention they didn't get their money so she just pockets the money and her register comes out ok at the end of the day. That was the only way I figured she could come out ok on her register.
I sure didn't know what to do. She always wore a smock like top with pockets. I don't think she works there now.
Your hub was very interesting. Enjoyed it and voted up.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on December 24, 2013:
Desiree-- If you don't have pennies, it is impossible to give the correct change. If you work at a store where there is a manager who can get you change, make sure to do that before you run out. It's easy to see what you have when you open the register. You can tell if you are running low on singles (which happens to me a lot), or pennies, nickels, etc. If you are only under or over by a small amount (a few dollars here and there), it generally isn't a big deal. No one is perfect. My best advice is to just slow down a bit, and make sure you are giving the correct change. I count it out in my head twice, once when I am pulling the change out of the drawer, and once right before I hand it back to the customer. Of course, after years of working retail, it takes me just a few seconds.
Desiree on December 23, 2013:
I'm a cashier and I've been having trouble balancing my register. One day I went under and the past few days I've been going over. I don't know why. I always try to count the exact change. It's hard when you don't have pennies cause then I don't know what change to give the customer. I'm just really bad at math. This is my first job and I don't want to lose it. Can you give me any tips on how not to go over my balance?
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 04, 2013:
annonymous-- That is a lot for a 17 year old to deal with, I would have taken a break as well. A good manager would have recognized the stress of the situation, and given you a short break to calm down and recover from what happened.
annonymous on August 15, 2013:
When I was 17 I was once slapped by a customer because I noticed she had an item in her hand bag that was identical to a product that was sold exclusively in our shop and asked 'excuse me madam could i ask if that item is from our store or have you brought it from one of our other branches' to which she replied 'are you saying I'm a thief' followed by a slap. My manager saw and asked what the problem was, I then explained the situation and my manager requested to see the item involved which still had security tags on... Needless to say the police were called and my company prosecuted, turns out she had been stealing from shops within the local area for a few months.
It gets worse... I asked my manager could i take 10 minutes to compose myself, her reply was 'I don't think so you've only been here for an hour, your break isn't scheduled for another 3 hours'
....I quit 2 weeks later
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on July 28, 2013:
Don--I can't count the number of times something like that has happened to me! Sometimes I would just want to scream at them, "Maybe you need to go back to kindergarden and re-learn how to read then, because that isn't what it says!" Of course, I would never actually do that, but sometimes the thought did cross my mind.
Don on July 28, 2013:
OMG. I work at Target, and cashiering is by far the most boring of all. Some lady said "Oh if I buy this 8 dollar razor, I get a 5 dollar gift card." (She bought 2), then shes like "You got my 2 gift cards right", and I was all, "No, you need to buy the razor w/ the cartridges in order to get the 5 dollar gift card. Why would we give you 2 VENUS razors for 6 bucks, and you walk away with 10 dollars?" And she wanted to rip my head off "I read the sign, I know what it says!". I wanted to just wanted to punch her in the face.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on July 08, 2013:
survivalkitideas-- I liked working retail, for the most part. There was a lot of bad, though, and I agree, the pay is terrible.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on July 08, 2013:
Poshgbytori-- Your store sounds like a great place to work!! I wish more places were like yours!!!
John Patterson from Santa Rosa on June 20, 2013:
As a former cashier I would say that there are more bad things than good. Dealing with the general public is hard work. Retail is the most under paid job, but it is a great pathway to a better position within the company. If you are looking into a cashier job you should check out http://www.cashierjobdescriptions.com for more indepth info.
POSH by tori boutique from 1545 Union Lake Road, Commerce, MI, 48382 on May 29, 2013:
Not all retail jobs are bad! At my store, my employees are welcome to dress how they please (within reason; no pajamas, obviously). We have continual competitions for $100 gift cards to the store and each employee has a cool "secondary task" like Instagram, Facebbok or designing store displays. We have a comfy, cute, pink barstool style seat - but I am not the typical employer. I guess that is why my employees stay with me! - poshbytori.com
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on April 17, 2012:
Granny Smith-- I wouldn't worry too much. A lot of older women are entering the workforce, either to supplement income or to keep themselves occupied. I know of a few, and they enjoy their job, and if you are just working for something to do, it makes the job a little easier to deal with, because you know you can walk away if you want to.
Granny Smith on April 13, 2012:
I'm a grandma thinking of getting my first retail job for something to do! Should I be worried?!
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on February 28, 2012:
ArtPerson-- It's just terrible that someone could make someone they don't even know cry and not even care.
ArtPerson on February 27, 2012:
It would be nice if everyone could understand how it feels like to be a cashier, or work with the public at all in a fast pace place of work. I just don't understand how being rude to a complete stranger could make anyone feel better. Or even when someone you don't know runs into you while you're out and they don't even say sorry D: it just makes me feel like no one cares about common courtesy anymore. But with every mean or rude person comes a very nice one that is fun to talk with and is humble. The day that that woman made me cry at work she left without another word, an older woman saw me crying came up to me and asked me if I was alright and ok. It was enough to make me smile and say, "I just had a really bad customer, but I'm ok thank you." Those are the customers that make the job worth while I think :)
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on February 27, 2012:
ArtPerson-- I can't believe the way people treat other people some times. It is deplorable. As a cashier, you don't have control over the computer system, the weather, or corporate policy, but they seem to think you do, or that you will just make an exception this once, just for them. They don't seem to understand that you could lose your job if you did, or that there are certain ways things work, and certain ways they don't. I really think that everyone should work in retail, just to see what it is really like.
ArtPerson on February 27, 2012:
Good god there is so much truth to this!!! I read through the whole thing just nodding as I went along and I even caught myself saying, "I know that feeling!" as well. I've been at my current job for about eight months as a cashier. Not the first job I've had being one, but the people here (compared to the last place I was a cashier)range from super sugar sweet to the most awful people you could ever meet. I know that's true for many stores, but just two weeks ago I had a customer call me a 'b**ch' because I tried to explain to her that her order could be put together even if she had two payment methods. I was belittled so badly, and I knew if I said something I'd lose my job. I'm happy a higher up was near by as I got them to come over to take over since I was really ready to lose it, but then the woman got in my face and said I was 'talking behind her back' and I was nothing more then a b**ch. I cried in front of everyone, but the thing is........I'm actually pretty happy it happened. Don't get me wrong it was awful when it happened ha ha. But it was either cry or lose my job for really going off and screaming at someone that was way out of line. Though after I was done with my shift that day and got home to think about what happened, I let the anger pass and thought of it in the way, "Wow.........that was the worst customer I've ever had." I laughed it off, and now when I have a rude customer I smile at them, and just keep on smiling. When they are done with their rant, I just shrug. If they can't show you respect when you show it to them and are doing your job right, don't waste the energy on being angry over them.
Just today a woman got angry with me because the computer system froze, totally the cashiers fault for the system going funky ha ha, but anywho I finally got what she wanted off her order taken off and she glared at me and said, "About time!" before mumbling something under her breath and I said a bit loudly, "Oh I'm sorry Ma'ma, the system froze up and that is why it took so long." She looked back at me and said, "Yeah, OK sure." Some people, you just have to laugh. Which I did.........seriously if you are in a bad mood don't take it out on the cashier, it's just plan rude D: and it doesn't make matters any better. I hate when a customer is rude to me, because after I smile and greet them and they still shoot me a glare, I clam up and don't say a word. It just makes everything really awkward and tense. Like if you ask them one question as in if they want plastic or paper, they'll come over and crack your neck or blow up at you ha ha.
But again this was a great thing to read :). There will always be those 'awful' people out there that make your shift crappy because they feel like taking out their 'bad day' on a helpless worker. But in the end what does that really say about them? :D
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 11, 2012:
Anonymous-- I hate when cashiers are rude, or act like I'm not there. I have a habit of shopping at stores where the cashiers are polite. I have a few stores that I love to shop at for the sole reason of the attitude of their employees.
MIA-- I am fairly shy as well. Working as a cashier really did help me come out of my shell a bit. It does wonders when you know you have to talk to people.
CZCZCZ-- I am glad that she enjoyed it. You are both welcome, and thank you both for reading!!
CZCZCZ from Oregon on January 07, 2012:
My wife really enjoyed reading this hub as she is going to be a cashier for the first time. She came her through google and I noticed she was reading a hub as an active Humber I just wanted to share and thanks for the great article.
Anonymous on December 12, 2011:
Hi, I work as a cashier-I don't consider it my career, just a job working through college.
I am more of an introvert and can be very sensitive, so it is a difficult job for me. Some days people can be nice and some days people can be very ugly.
I think it is a job that requires patience and you must be very keen on how to avoid conflict and resolve conflict. You also have to be wise. Otherwise, you may crack and get in trouble.
To Christoph Reilly-I certainly can understand how you feel-I have come across cashiers who don't look at me or say anything even though I look at them and say hi or be friendly. I also come across cashiers who are friendly and helpful . The difference? The company. Some stores that I think have a reputation tend to have unhappy cashiers who seem stressed and unhappy and treat the customers like an annoyance. Part of it is probably because their general clientele (at these stores) tends to be more nasty than others.
For the most part, when I go to certain stores that I think have a better reputation and nicer clientele, the cashiers seem happier and respond to my attempt to be pleasant.
In my own case, I try to be nice and always greet everyone and be considerate. However there have been times when I've been less friendly and in some cases a little rude and later I feel bad about it, but the reason I was at the time was usually because I had just had a string of rude customers--customers on their phones, change throwers, yellers, whatever. Or because I've dealt with people all day, and at the end of the 8 hour day, I'm not feeling too good.
However when I go to a store sometimes it disppoints me that cashiers are unfriendly, but i try to be understanding just as i have to be with customers when i am a cashier.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on August 29, 2010:
Susie-- I am sure you have seen it all. I can only imagine.
SUSIE DUZY from Delray Beach, Florida on August 29, 2010:
Having not only worked in retail doing everything from stocking shelves to being a manager, as well as owning my own business, I have seen and heard it all. Although it is a physically and mentally taxing way to earn a living, it can also be rewarding. Good hub.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on February 08, 2010:
festersporling1-- I wish I could work for myself!!! I think I would still dislike my boss, though...LOL! Working retail does give you an opportunity to meet a lot of people.
Daniel Christian from Los Angeles, CA on January 04, 2010:
Interesting. I have always kind of worked for myself, but took on a job as a manager at a friend's retail store for a few months and actually had a really good time. Met lots of people, made new friends and generally was pretty extroverted. So, I love working from home writing and building websites, but I also thoroughly enjoyed my stint in retail. nice hub. :)
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 02, 2010:
PB_Smith-- Thank you for the great insights!!!
PB_Smith from Southern California on January 02, 2010:
As someone who has worked as a retail manager for close to 20 years, I can agree with all that you have said. One thing that needs to be understood by the customers and cashiers is the hard cold fact that in any business payroll is the largest controllable expense. All the retail chains, mostly drug stores, I have worked for have to figure payroll based on a budget of hours, not dollars. That may not seem like a big difference, but when you consider many stores are union and you have employees that are guaranteed full time hours based on the union contract, it starts to play a very big part in the overall functioning and mood of a store. Many times I have had to give hours to an incompetent employee because they have full-time status and cut hours for a more competent part-time employee.
So the next time you run into a surly cashier keep in mind they may have just gone from working 35 hours a week to working 18 hours due to payroll cuts. I always cut them some slack and have sympathy. I have been in situations where the store had to run with just a three member management team and 4 hourly employees. You try to schedule for decent coverage from 7 AM-midnight for a week with that many people. Nerves are bound to be on edge.
I would always also jump behind a register to let my cashiers get out on the sales floor for an hour or two whenever I could. I have spent 8 hours behind a register and know full well what it's like.
Employee discounts can be awesome like you said. When I worked for Sav-On drugs many moons ago the discount was cost plus 10%. That meant buying the store brands would buy amazing savings. I remember buying Ibuprofen that retailed for $2.99 for like $.69.
Any way, next time you encounter a surly cashier or store employee, keep in mind that they may have good reason to be in an off mood and give them a little sympathy.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on November 21, 2009:
ahmadraza212-- Thank you so much!!!! Glad you liked it!
ahmadraza212 from Pakistan on October 24, 2009:
hi dear very nice article about cashier job i really like it
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on May 01, 2009:
G|M-- It sounds like you have a fun job!! I kind of miss working retail, but I love my current job! I work with some great people, don't get to wear what I want, but I get to meet a lot of people, and the work is rewarding. I know what you mean about being on your feet, though!! I was on my feet constantly when I worked retail, and in my current job, I am on my feet even more, but at least I am constantly moving.
GeneriqueMedia from Earth on May 01, 2009:
I remember when I first started working @ Circuit City in '03...I couldn't believe how many hours I was on my feet! But after several years in retail, it's nothing to me now.
I love discounts, but I don't get any at my current mom and pop liquore store job. However, I get to wear whatever I want (for the most part), listen to my own selection of music, and joke around with customers and coworkers alike.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on April 23, 2009:
I thought about it. I make more money at my job right now, than I did working retail. If I didn't need the money as bad, maybe.
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on April 23, 2009:
Are you going to try and apply at the new stores opening? Since you have experience being a cashier at least that will give you a leg up.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on April 23, 2009:
SweetiePie-- It really does. I have heard some awful things said to me, and to other cashiers. I can understand people's frustrations, but very rarely is it the fault of the cashier.
As far as retail being a shaky profession, don't I know it!! Before I got the job I have now, I applied for every job I could, a lot of them retail, and no one was hiring. Some stores are still doing well, though. Wal-mart seems to be flourishing in these bad economic times, and I know Kohl's has to be doing fairly well, because they just opened a store near me.
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on April 22, 2009:
I think being a cashier means you have to put up with peoples' good and ugly attitudes. I have heard people say some really appauling things to cashiers, and most of the time it was just because they were mad. In this economy retail is a very shaky profession, especially since so many stores are going out of business.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on April 02, 2009:
ontheway on April 02, 2009:
Cashier Jobs The Truth About Working Retail
well written, I come on , welcome to my hub
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 23, 2009:
BardScribe-- Your comment reminds me of something a friend of mine would always say..."Shopping would be so much more fun without all the other people here." LOL! We need customers, just like us writers need readers, and just like I need patients at the hospital, otherwise, I would have no job! LOL!
newsworthy-- Thank you!! Yeah, being pregnant and working as a cashier was tiring!!!
newsworthy on March 23, 2009:
Worthy report of cashiering here. You were strong to stand up and cashier while pregnant.
I recently conversed with a pregnant cashier who commented how bad her back hurt. Cashiers deserve the utmost respect in my opinion.
Im a whimp when it comes to standing on conrete for hours. Will some find me a chair, please?
Retail stores pump up my adrenalin! lol
BardScribe from Iowa on March 23, 2009:
Yes, if it weren't for the public there would be no libraries, or places to shop because the customers are our bread and butter. Hey, I'm a writer, and if people didn't love to read at all, what would be the point of doing what I love? However, being a writer, despite the challenges of working to get a novel or whatever published, affords me some personal control over what I write...so having that sort of emotional and mental choice and autonomy is precisely what I need...what we ALL need, no matter what profession we're in.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 23, 2009:
Mrs Hozey-- I do too!! In my current job, I am completely alone most of the time. I end up talking to myself, or playing music to keep myself company.
linjingjing-- Thank you
linjingjing on March 23, 2009:
Cashier Jobs The Truth About Working Retail
Writing a very interesting
Mrs Hozey on March 23, 2009:
I remember similar arguments when I worked at the library. Argh. But I kind of miss working around people. Thanks for the great hub full of all the good kinds of information for that particular career field.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 23, 2009:
TM-- True. I have had to deal with very rude customers, and the example I gave is rather tame. I have been yelled at, cursed at, and all other sorts of horrible treatment.
Chris-- Yes, some cashiers are rather rude, as well. I always tried to be nice and cheerful, but at times, it was rather difficult.
BradScribe-- I understand completely. For some reason, some customers just expected you to work miracles, or break the rules. They wanted what they wanted, and it didn't matter that reality wouldn't allow it.
Elena-- I did enjoy working as a cashier, it just had a lot of downsides that made the job a little more stressful.
Elena. from Madrid on March 22, 2009:
Hello Anna -- I think you captured both the upside and the downside pretty well. My partner had a store and the stories she could tell about ...errrr... general crazyness from customers is just unbelievable. I think many people have the notion that being in front of the public is nothing and may even be fun... they'd be well served reading your downsides :-)
BardScribe from Iowa on March 22, 2009:
I can definitely attest to the rude customer issue. Even when I wasn't on register, but in a pizza kitchen at a convenience store, customers would order pizza, I would tell them it would be twenty or thirty minutes, and they'd show up five minutes after they called, expecting their pizza.
Who did they think I was? Jesus? :-P
Christoph--Cashiers may be surly and cross these days, and you may think that young people today think they are owed an easy living, but think of how many rude, spoiled-rotten customers cross these cashiers' paths. Rude customers are nothing but whiny two-year-olds banging on their high chair for more whatever-it-is-they-want, and when they're not given everything they want, they cry and howl like banshees, throwing all kinds of conniptions.
Cashiers are therefore surly and cross because they're tired of that kind of childish BS.
I'm just tellin' it to you straight from someone who is also tired of childish BS.
But I thank you for making the attempt to be nice and courteous. As a former cashier, that knowledge makes me feel better.
Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on March 21, 2009:
Though I have worked my share of jobs that were not "happy" jobs, I have never worked as a cashier. It seems to me, that these days the cashiers, clerks, etc., are all rather surley and rude. I understand that they have to deal with rude customers, but they have a chip on their shoulder, in spite of the fact that I am always courteous. Most young people today think the world owes them an easy, good living. It's just another way the times are changing for the worse.
Interesting and thoughtful article!
Triplet Mom from West Coast on March 21, 2009:
Anna Marie - Great hub! Having worked in retail myself I understand the pros and cons well. Some of the customers are much more rude than the one in your hub they can get down right ugly. It also sucks if your coworkers are evil that makes the job that much worse. I was lucky when I worked in retail, I worked in a book store in Santa Barbara, California and my benefit was meeting many famous people and that my co-workers were very cool.