Friday, July 5, 2013

Cashier Curiosity

There are approximately 300 reasons why i love my local Aldi. We have a very special relationship. It's such a happy and fulfilling place; sometimes you just expect everyone to burst into song.

Today i was there picking up ingredients to make a chicken stock for my poor puking BabyGirl. The cashier was a girl i've never seen before, which immediately aroused my curiosity. I know (or at least recognize) all the employees there. Who is the new girl? Recently they were accepting applications for a new hire, is she the one? But she was all on her own, without a preceptor hovering behind, telling her what to do. So if she's new, how is she off of orientation already? She was very confident and skilled in what she was doing; clearly she knew the ropes. She was also extremely outgoing and friendly to all the customers, so she also loved her job.

But who was she?

Another characteristic about her that was immediately obvious was her strong Great Lakes accent. People around here don't have much of an accent. She sounded like she was straight from Pure Michigan or the Green Bay area.

As i stood in line waiting my turn, i tried to decide if and how many questions i could\should ask her. I have a strict policy on not asking strangers the questions they probably get asked 1500 times a day. Being pregnant teaches you that. When i was working while pregnant with the BabyGirl, i had the type of job where my customers were completely new every day. I had an average of 20 customers during the course of the day. Multiply 20 people by 3 days per week by 9 months, that is a heck of a lot of times being asked how far along i was, what i was having, what's the name, are you having twins, my your belly is small!, Good Lord your belly is huge!, etc. As a result, i resolved not to put others through that torture.

If she is in fact the new Aldi employee, then i'd kind of like to introduce myself and welcome her to the team. My mother told me that at 3 years old, i loved talking to new people, and not much has changed.

As i was contemplating this, the [presumably] district manager walked/rushed past. He enthusiastically greeted her by name and said something about, "You getting along okay here?" or maybe "Things are pretty similar to what you're used to, you finding everything okay?" Whatever it was, it let me to believe that she was a substitute cashier filling in from a different store. It explained a lot! It explained why she was so good as what she was doing, but i'd never seen her at this location. Well this was fascinating to me, and raised several more questions.

In the end, i didn't say anything.

My next stop on the way home was Starbucks. Granny gave me a gift card on her visit, and then her friend gave me one too, so i've been enjoying Starbucks recently! I walked into Starbucks and the barista was wearing a hard C-collar.

Whoa, so interesting!

Of course i needed to know the full story on that. Was it a diving accident? A bad case of torticollis? Could he feel his toes?

But man, the poor guy must get asked about it 1500 times a day. A C-collar is infinitely more attention-grabbing than a Michigan accent. The former ER nurse had to know the full story, yet the formerly pregnant nurse would not permit herself to ask.

In the end, i couldn't bear it another minute. At least i waited until after he rang up my order. Turns out, it was a bicycle accident. He was riding his bike and got hit by a Trailblazer running a red light. It was a good story, i gotta say. I was glad i asked =]. The trouble was, i wanted to know more. What was the extent of his injuries? How long was he in the hospital? What is his specific cervical neck trouble?

He said that he was lucky to be doing as well as he was, which was the bona fide truth. He also said he was only about halfway through his recovery, which wasn't surprising.

The residents of the Kingdom of the Cornstalk are the type that mind their business. They don't ask questions. They are very reserved. So by their standards, you aren't supposed to ask cashiers what their deal is. I, however, love knowing people's story. I'm so interested in people!

Maybe i'm nosy, maybe i'm considerate; i can't decide.

I'll tell ya though, it allowed me to understand a little bit of why young kids ask so many questions! In the span of two errands, i was overwhelmed by questions, and felt like my 3-year-old. Who is that girl, Mama? Is she new here? Oh, she's not? Where is she from? What is she doing here? Why does she have that accent? Will she be here again? Why is that guy wearing that funny thing on his neck? What did the MRI show? Is his spinal cord bruised? Did he get Mannitol? Did he have to have surgery?

I guess i'll have to be patient with the incessant questioning, since i'm the exact same way myself!

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