DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work in customer service, and I would like to remind people that, no matter what’s going on in the world, cashiers are people too. We did not make the rules, but could face consequences if customers refuse to follow them.
In the past few days, as regulations change in my corner of the world, tempers are growing shorter, and I find myself and my co-workers to be a sort of lightning rod for customers’ frustrations. We are cussed out, insulted, spit on and threatened over things like no longer carrying items that were discontinued several years ago, or for gentle reminders about the new regulations. Our store could be shut down -- or fined thousands of dollars, which inevitably comes out of employee paychecks one way or another -- for failing to uphold these rules.
I promise, when a cashier politely asks a customer to follow the rules, or double-checks that an order is correct before charging the customer’s card, it is done from a place of compassion.
Being kind to others is not a political stance. And spitting on a waitress, hostess, cashier or service worker is not going to change anything except your ability to return to the establishment in the future.
GENTLE READER: Even casual rudeness to service people during normal times is despicable. What you describe is horrifying evidence that there are people among us who are outside of the realm of civilization.