Monday, 5 May 2008

Overheard in the stair-well

"So, you're, like, a check-out chick?"

"Actually, we prefer the term 'cashier'."

14 comments:

TimT said...

Pity the website 'Disgruntled Checkout Chicks' isn't up anymore. Then I would have been able to make a good comment. A very good comment indeed, if the website 'Disgruntled Checkout Chicks' was still up. Which it isn't.

This is a comment in memoriam of the comment that could have been, but never was.

eyrie said...

Having been a "cashier" when I was a much younger person many eons ago, I know how the cashier in the stairwell feels. Some people could be very patronising and I was always in agony over plastic bags and eggs. Most people would want a separate bag for their eggs, but you would get the occasional tosser who would launch into a tirade when the additional bag was offered. I preferred serving elderly people, on the whole.
Now I'm trying to deal with adminstrators who resolutely refuse to answer my simplest question in plain English.

TimT said...

However, I like the principle at work here: from 'checkout chicks' to 'cashier'. You could apply it to plenty of professions:

OLD TERM: Executioner. NEW TERM: Facilitator of Death-Related Services.

OLD TERM: Dictator. NEW TERM: Coordinator of nation-wide dissent-crushing activities. OTHER POSSIBILITIES: John Howard, Kevin Rudd...

OLD TERM: Censor. NEW TERM: Communications professional.

OLD TERM: Trashman. NEW TERM: Administrator of recycling and waste services.

OLD TERM: Telemarketer. NEW TERM: Manager and coordinator of irritation-related telephonic activites.

OLD TERM: Satan, Prince of Hell. NEW TERM: Administrator in chief of infernal flame, and coordinator of eternal suffering and pain

Maria said...

I remember a male checkout chick (Actually, what is the politically correct term for checkout roosters?) who used to lament the problems of checkout chickery.

One customer had lots of items, and he put them through, but missed a small, inexpensive item out of the hundreds of dollars worth she had. The queue was very long and it was the busy time, so he was on to the next customer who had a full trolley worth when she came back to complain that she hadn't put through her small inexpensive item. He said it was a mistake, and considering so, she could have it for free. She insisted on paying for it. He explained that if she insisted on doing so, she would have to wait til he was done with the customer he was now serving, as he'd begun processing all THOSE goods. The woman kicked up a fuss and wanted her one little item to be processed, now, instead of taking it for free, and to therefore hold the queue up for another ten-fifteen minutes.

Another example of even weirder-ness of customers was a woman who was drinking from a water bottle and got paranoid with this idea that she might be accused of stealing the bottle and opening it in-store if she walked into the supermarket with the bottle.

The staff told her nobody would really care, but she started harassing staff and wanting signed declarations from them, that they had seen her walk into the store with her OWN water-bottle, so they couldn't accuse her of stealing one.

And they say checkout chickery is mundane.

eyrie said...

Come now, Tim, no title could top being a Lord High Executioner!

TimT said...

Hmmm. True.

I think checkout chicks are just checkout chicks, no matter what sex they are. When they're babies, you don't sort the chickens from the roosters - they're all chicks. It's the same with ducks, you don't have little ducklings and little drakelings, they're just all ducklings. And for baby geese, you have goslings, not ganderlings. And baby swans are not divided into coblings and swanlings, they're all just called cygnets. And so on.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Absolutelement. If the expression were "check-out hen", it'd be a different matter.

eyrie said...

When the 1c and 2c coins were abolished and for a while thereafter, one of my more bothersome relatives imagined that he was taking a vitally important stand by going to the supermarket with all the obsolete coins he'd managed to squirrel away and insisting upon paying the exact price, even when it was indicated to him that the price had in fact been rounded down.

Maria said...

So the term checkout chick ain't sexist, but it kinda categorises you ageist wise, eh?

Stay forever young and be a checkout chick, hmmm?

TimT said...

When R. brought in an old issue of 'New Idea' into work the other day*, I spotted the phrase 'Wiglets' in there.

Wiglets! They're little baby wigs. Geese have goslings, swans have cygnets, wigs have - wiglets!

*It was from 1971. But I'm a little concerned, as the phrase 'an old issue of 'New Idea'' seems a tad oxymoronical.

Mr Mean said...

Self-serve checkouts 'pose no job risk'
The roll-out of self-serve checkouts in Woolworths supermarkets around Australia is not the beginning of the end for checkout operators, the company says.


Nope, it's not the end. Soon there will be more of them. Soon we'll all be one.

Mr Mean said...

That was unintentionally Tao. I mean each of us will be a checkout choperator. I'm sure you're all relieved that you won't have to "become one" with me.

Mitzi G Burger said...

Incidentally, MM, there is a Taoist centre in Surry Hills, Sydney, near the police horse-top regiment - for those who are intentionally Taoist. I often wonder how those following The Way plan to become one with the hooftop cops.

Maria said...

Maybe, Mr Mean, it can be like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and everyone who was a cheackout ch - I mean, cashier - can be hired to fix or answer enquiries about the self-serve checkouts!

No jobs lost!