Monday, April 30, 2012

Cashier in Training

I was in line at the cashier a while back. There was a young man that was clearly new at the job and looked terrified. Behind him was an older woman (compared to his young age) peering over his shoulder. There was another veteran cashier within 2 feet from him and the bagger who was a just bit older than he. Then, there was me and a line of people waiting. This was going to be a long uncomfortable shift for this young man. 

 I felt bad for him. I've been there before being new at a job and unsure of myself. So, while glancing at his supervisor looking over his shoulder,  I said, "Do you ever feel like someone is looking over your shoulder?" He smiled and said yes. The woman behind him smiled and laughed. 

The young man continued checking me out (I mean, checking out my groceries, not checking "me" out). He clearly didn't know what most of the produce was. He learned what the hairy green fruit was and the difference between a green pepper and a jalepeno pepper.  I continued to make light of the situation. I told him it was a good place to learn what all this stuff is. I also told him I'd be back to test him. His supervisor said I could tell him how to cook it, too. 

So we all chatted and made light of his uncomfortable situation. He was smiling by the time I left and was happy to let me relieve some of his discomfort. The customers behind me heard everything and they were smiling and appeared willing to play along. I was sure they would help him out too. I stepped onto the flip side to help him feel more comfortable and made it comfortable for the others around me to join us on the flip side as well. 

That young man was going to have a very uncomfortable day and I hope the five minutes I spent with him helped him to feel more confident as he was learning how to do his job. I had empathy and compassion for him. Share some empathy and compassion for someone today and/or help someone feel appreciated.

See you on the Flip Side!

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