I Can Help the Next Person HereCommentary • workplace • Opinion • ISSUE 30•01 • Aug 7, 1996 By Sheila Zollner, Lead Cashier, Second Shift Sheila Zollner Lead Cashier, Second Shift There's no waiting at register three. Wheel your cart right over! I can help the next person. Any number of items! Can I help anyone over here? My checkout lane light is blinkingand that means there's no line. I'd be happy to help you! I'm waiting to serve you! That's my goalto make you, the customer happy. As you see, I'm smiling, ready to help. If you'd only glance over here I'd nod and wave you toward me. Can I help someone? Over here! No waiting! Please let me help you. What will I do if I can't? I can't read a magazine. I can't sit down. No stools are allowed behind the checkout counters. It's against store policy, because that might make it look like I'm not ready to help the next person. So please, bring your items to register three. Any number of items here. Your personal check is welcome here with Chexpress, but please, for amount of purchase only. Enjoy the convenience of the ATM station right at the register. I can help the next person at register three! Can I be of assistance, then? I can help the next person! I'll make sure to make you feel welcome at my register. It doesn't matter who you areyoung, old, black, white, coupon-clipper, crazy old drunk guy, 12-year-old punk trying to buy cigarettesI welcome you all to Sav-o-Mart. In the land of food value, there is no outcast. I'll say hello to you, possibly comment on the weather, and thank you, respectfully calling you ma'am or sir. If you pay with a check, I'll even use your first name when you leave. You can use my first name. I'm always wearing my name tag, because I forfeit a half hour's pay if I forget it for a shift. Maybe next time you come to the store you will come to register three again. We might develop a relationship where I will greet you and refer back to our conversation today: "How did that birthday party go?"; "Enjoying your vacation?"; "Did you decide to make the fruit salad?"; "Menthol 100s, right?" Embarrassing items in your cart? I'll handle your purchase with discretion. Prophylactics? Gold Bond medicated powder for dry, flaky skin? Adult disposable undergarments? People magazine? I've rung up them all a hundred times, and though for you the act of purchase was preceded by a lengthy period of courage-gathering in the parking lot, I won't even raise an eyebrow. Ma'am, register three is open! Don't even hesitate. I'm ready to help you. We've got it all! In fact, if you've noticed my apron as well as the multiple brightly colored signs about the store boasting "We've Got It All," you already know that's our newest slogan and personal pledge to the customer! I attended the mandatory employee meeting just this week, and I feel confident telling you that we do, indeed, have it all. I also feel ready to assist you in finding any portion of it all, which we've got, that you may need. I'm just waiting to help you. I'll be here again tomorrow from 2 to 10 p.m., ready to rush to your aid, smiling and chipper, for the duration of my eight- hour shift. But what I'd really like to do is help you right now.