Yesterday, I went to the grocery store after work. I was anxious already when I walked into the store. There were so many people milling about in the parking lot, I immediately became nervous when I drove up to the store. I called my husband to distract me while I was inside shopping. That way I would (hopefully) not have to interact with anyone, and I wouldn’t notice all the people in my way.
I usually use the self checkout, but I had more items than usual. I figured it would probably be quicker and easier if I went through a line with a cashier. I’ll never do that again at that store.
As the cashier took the items out of my cart, he was talking to the bagger, to the guy pushing carts beside his register, to the cashier behind him; everyone but me. I had made a point to end the call with my husband while the cashier rang me out because I felt it was rude not to give him my attention, and I am not the one working in the customer service industry.
When he DID finally speak to me, I wish he had kept his attention elsewhere. I was purchasing an unusually high amount of frozen food yesterday afternoon. I eat a frozen French bread pizza most days for lunch, and I could get them at that particular store for only one dollar. I bought six yesterday. Enough for next week at work, and one this weekend. I also had thrown several Hungry Man frozen dinners into my cart for my husband. Jay LOVES those dinners, and they were having an amazing sale at that store. I also had picked up a large frozen pizza for dinner that night. I did have some real food in my cart too, not just frozen sodium-packed meals.
The cashier glanced down at what he was doing, and decided that it was his place to comment on the food I was purchasing. “I know your deal,” he said. “Just throw all this in the ice box, and pull it out when you want it. That way you won’t have to cook. I got it.”
Why was it necessary for him to comment? Would he want people looking at the food HE was buying and judging him based on that? Now, I most likely blew his comment out of proportion. I know I have a tendency to do that. I felt that he was looking down on me for not cooking, though. I live in the South, and people pride themselves on their home cooked food here. His comment made me feel not only judged by a strange guy who is younger than me and probably doesn’t even cook himself, but it made me feel guilty all over again for not cooking for my husband. I feel like I should be cooking actual meals using an actual stove and oven far more than I do.
I walked into that store full of anxiety. I walked out feeling stupid and lazy. Driving away, I turned on some music to try and distract my thoughts. I know that I took what he said wrong, though I still feel he had no right to comment on my purchases. It doesn’t take much for me to feel stupid. I think, though, that I’m going to stick to the self-checkout from now on. I will get amazing customer service and won’t have to worry about feeling judged for the food I’m buying. The self-checkout machine is just happy to have my money. It won’t give me any lip.