Prince Charming, Lord Of Nosy Questions, Ruler Of Oversanitized Belts

, , , , , , , , | Working | July 13, 2020

I am a regular at our local grocery store and have gotten to know the employees. Most are fine, and then there’s [Cashier]. I will wait an extra half-hour to check out rather than use the register he is manning. Here are a few reasons for that.

I put a bag of three tomatoes on the belt. [Cashier] squeezes each tomato as he rotates it in the bag to find the item number, even though I’ve already weighed and tagged the tomatoes.

Cashier: “You know, these are really ripe!”

Me: *Internally* “No kidding, I intend to use them in my cooking tonight.”

I get home to discover the skin of all three torn with finger-shaped bruises all over.

During the health crisis, when the store mandates you cannot put your groceries on the belt until the cashier cleans the belt, and customers are assigned to a line by a store employee, this happens.

Cashier: “I’ll let you know when the belt is clean; don’t unload your cart yet.”

Me: “You cleaned the belt before the customer ahead of me, who bought only a newspaper, which he didn’t even set on the belt since it was all wet.”

Cashier: “Nope, rules are rules.”

He uses a spray bottle until the surface of the belt is absolutely soaked, wipes it down with one sheet of paper towel, advances the belt, and repeats the process until he has a belt that is wet and shiny all around. It’s at least a ten-minute process.

After I’ve carefully stacked the groceries to keep boxes and paper items off the still wet belt, the cashier says this:

Cashier: “You can’t put items on top of each other; everything has to make contact with the sanitizer.”

He sets each item on the belt before scanning it.

Me: “Exactly what benefit is setting the bottom of a box of cereal on the belt gaining me when you are touching everything on the top and sides, as will I when I use it? Also, please remove the dried pasta from my order, as I can see the box already starting to sag from getting wet, which means the bottom layer of pasta is probably covered in sanitizer spray, too.”

The #1 reason I refuse to go to [Cashier]’s line unless forced to:

I unload a full week’s worth of groceries for a family of four onto the belt. [Cashier] comments on every single item he rings up.

Cashier: “Are these good?”

Cashier: “How do you use [item of produce] in your cooking?”

Cashier: “I haven’t eaten this since I was a kid!”

Cashier: “Oh, these make people fat.”

And so on. I ignore him and tune him out, until…

Cashier: “Oh, a box of tampons! How do these feel when you use them? I see lots of women buying them and I’ve always wondered what it is like.”

He continues asking about the tampons the entire time I’m bagging my groceries and paying.

Even if he was flirting — and I don’t think he was — the guy is pasty white, wears Coke-bottle glasses, and has been working as a cashier for at least the ten years I’ve been a customer, while most of the other cashiers I’ve known have received promotions to better positions. He’s not a Prince Charming by any stretch of the imagination.

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