Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cheerful Check-Out Girls

I want to tell you about the OVERLY friendly check-out girl at Safeway who absolutely WEARS ME OUT with her cheer, and of course I feel like a HEEL for it, and every time I leave that store I am exasperated with myself for not being cheerier, even though I try, and maybe she just catches me on a bad day, every time I happen to go through her line.

She never has a bad day. She is like a Stepford check-out girl.

And then as I walk to my car, I think maybe I will just go to Ray’s Foods next time, even though it’s more expensive, since it’s never crowded and the checkers are friendly in a REGULAR way, like NORMAL-people-friendly, who might be having a bad day, but they’re doing their best to cover it up since it’s their JOB to greet people in a pleasant tone with a normal smile, and just a flick of eye contact. Sort of like I might do if I were a check-out girl.

Ray’s always has a bagger available, a bagger who always remembers if you said paper or plastic, and doesn’t just automatically give you plastic which you hate, because the food rolls out of the bags all over your car, unless you tie them, which they never do at Safeway, and you feel so bad about the ENVIRONMENT and you know you should just buy more of those cloth shopping bags, even though you have 4, but they’re never in your CAR when you have to run in and get EMERGENCY WINE before the kids get done with swim team, are they?

But if you get paper bags, it’s somehow better for the oceans, and you can shove all your unread Wall Street Journal newspapers into those paper bags and recycle them eventually, which makes you feel good for so many reasons, on so many levels.

I swear that Safeway Girl is so cheery, she must be a Mormon missionary in disguise, probably sent out to field test the happiness vs. crabbiness of certain target markets, in order to measure the effectiveness of a new brand of essential oil air freshener Safeway plans to release into their stores soon. The kind of custom designed scent that will subtlety cause middle-aged Chubby Mommies to stop being so crabby to the nice check-out girls who are just trying to earn a living, by the way, and would it kill you people to smile and be friendly for 20 seconds in a grocery store for Pete’s sake?

I’ve never met a crabby Mormon, except for ex-Mormons like Dooce, but she does not count because I haven’t met her in person, and I have a feeling if she were working at Safeway, she’d probably try to be nice, since she was raised that way. And she’s not crabby all the time, either. Just sometimes, like when people send her death threats or leave nasty comments, or her dog is throwing up or her kid is having huge tantrums in furniture stores, and of course that would make a person crabby, no questions asked.

Dooce is probably much nicer than me, since I was always more of a Lutheran, and even though I’m not an ex-Lutheran, I’m not sure I’m really a regular Lutheran any more because I stopped going to church when my 3 year old screamed “STOP SINGING” over and over in the aisle on Christmas Eve, and the whole charade was just too much for me, because deep down maybe I’m more Jewish or Buddhist or something, but when I took a religion test online, it said I was actually a Secular Humanist, which seems about right, but don’t tell my mom, it might hurt her feelings, since I’m the one that sort of got her going to the Lutheran Church back when I was in 7th grade and it seemed like a great idea.

Seems I was only there on that one Christmas Eve for the singing anyway, and the screaming sort of ruined that. And my kid is 14 now, for the record, and I'm not blaming her for my non-church going ways, not in the least. For the record.

So maybe some of you Parking Lot Mama’s readers will have clever ideas to help me be a better person to the Safeway check-out girl, so I’ll feel better about myself. I want to learn to fake CHEER at the grocery store and I need helpful hints. I’m obviously not doing it very well on my own. My mom says I should pray about it.


jen said...

Oh, jeez. This is the girl at the Westside Safeway, right? Blond? Desperately sweet? She's SO frickin' nice. I can't handle it. And she offers me help out to my car several times per visit. My goal for the last year? GO TO NATE'S LINE. He makes the appropriate amount (read: very little) of small talk and is sweet as can be. And if Nate isn't there? Self-checkout.

Pretty much every shopping day of my life? I just want to buy my food and l-e-a-v-e. I didn't go to Safeway for groceries AND a saccharine conversation. Just groceries. The end.

Miss Julie said...

I love Nate. I've always loved Nate. He is just right.

Fawn said...

Geez. If it is one thing I can't handle it's unecessary conversations with people I don't know in public places. Please just the bare minimum of pleasantries, okay? Just let me get on with my day.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Weirdly enough, I actually like meaningless cheerful grocery store line conversations, perhaps because I hate shopping so much I'm just relieved to finally be getting closer to it being over.

Great blog you gals have here, btw!