Thursday, September 1, 2011

wet clean up

A couple of days ago, I was grocery shopping.  The cashier cried.

No, she really cried.  It was rather awkward. 

Now, this is the grocery store I typically go to.  I'm not on a first name basis with this cashier or anything, but I've certainly seen her there before, and I think it's safe to say she could pick me out of a line-up quite readily.  She's good - efficient, competent, seems to be well-liked by co-workers.  She also has a bit of a tough look about her.  She's no butch, but suffice to say that if  we were in a bar fight, I'd rather she was on my side than the other.

But, I also sense that she's not the type to hide her emotions which makes the crying thing not all that strange, but still a little strange.  I was just there at the ready with my credit card as she was scanning my purchases.  A manager walked by and simply asked the Tough Cashier how much longer her shift was, to which TC replied, "that remains to be seen" with a bit of flair to the nostrils.

This seemed to take the manager a bit aback, but Miss Manager seemed to sense that this was a now-is-not-a-good-time moment.  She simply paused and said, "okay", and walked away, leaving me there with the now watery-eyed Tough Cashier.

The watery-eyes became full-puddled-eyes accompanied by flush-face and a bit of sniffle-nose.  She would briefly compose herself, then the puddles would return.  Never all out bawling, but enough to show that it wasn't allergies.  A friend recently remarked to me how uncomfortable she is when someone cries in front of her.  I thought, it's not such a bad thing, but this was pretty uncomfortable.

What would you do?  I didn't know what to do.  Say something in condolence?  I had no idea what she was upset about.  She just continued about my groceries:  "Want your milk in a bag *sniffle*?", etc...  I thought to ask if she was okay, but then that seemed like  a stupid question.

When it was over, I just smiled, gently took my receipt, and genuinely thanked her for doing her job.  Later that afternoon, a cloudburst broke out just in time for my crossing guard duty. 

I guess it was just a water theme day.


  1. I'm not good with people crying, and especially when it's someone who is more an acquaintance than a friend. As a tough girl, she probably appreciated you not making a big deal out of the whole thing.

  2. I am never good with people crying. I never know what to do/say, always feel like I should help but don't know how. I think you had the best approach and did not make her feel worse.

  3. I had a job in which it was important to "be comfortable being uncomfortable". Crying was part of the deal; simply listening (and some tissue nearby) served me pretty well.

    It's true, sometimes people just need a good cry. It's not just girls, either.

  4. Maybe an Extreme Couponer had done her in earlier in the day?

  5. Brandy101 - you could be on to something. LOL

    Seriously, don't recall seeing anyone boohoo big time lately, but when confronted with someone similar, my line is: I hope you feel better soon. Or, I hope your day gets better. And then I make a "quick" exit.