By Dan Fitzpatrick
My experiences as a grocery store cashier have been far from exciting. In each shift, I somehow cope with the lethal monotony of pure repetition and survive throngs of clueless customers. It ain’t easy. However, a few patrons occasionally shake up my mindless routine by sharing off-color comments or weird personal information with me. Unless your cashier is a family member, close friend, or licensed therapist (better ask to see his diploma), these are things you absolutely should never share. For better or worse, these complete strangers decided to remove their mental filters and confide in a minimum wage-earning teenager, and so I had no choice but to compile the best comments here for the world to learn from and enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: All of the following exchanges are 100% authentic. Some contain explicit language and subject matter.
#6 “Oh God, my arm! I told you not to make the bags heavy!”
- This lady turned out to be surprisingly frail in her attempt to lift a plastic bag holding a single jar of tomato sauce. She didn’t take kindly to my response of “I can’t make the bag any lighter unless it’s empty or we scoop some sauce into another bag,” either. No biceps or sense of humor.
#5: “I’m lousy. None of you assholes give a fuck about a crippled old bastard like me! All you care about is making money, and you don’t care that your store is crap!”
- Giving perhaps the most unexpected reply to “How are you?” in the history of mankind, this screaming old man effectively made me the scapegoat for every “problem” in the entire store. The main reasons behind his ire: the high shelf placement of canned tuna fish and the extreme weight of Ocean Spray cranberry juice bottles.
#4 “You know, I have a blind pet squirrel. He doesn’t have any eyes, just a black skin covering and long, black eyelashes coming out of the sockets.”
- I sincerely hope that the quoted woman, who clearly suffered from some kind of disorder, embellished this nightmarish image. Then again, she was missing her two front teeth, and the squirrel was missing two eyeballs, so they probably just made a trade.
#3 “Sometimes you have to get out [of the house]. You can only sit around and watch so much porn.”
- Appearances can be deceiving, or in this case, completely accurate. Don’t let his dirty beard, yellow teeth, beer belly, or rascal scooter mislead you; this gentleman is clearly enjoying his retirement.
#2 “I used to be really smart. I worked for the U.S. Defense Department with missiles and rockets. If they had errors in the code, you know, the numbers, they would bring it to me, and I would just look at it and find them.”
- Another gem from the woman in #4, this snippet provides some valuable insight into her past. Once a genius government operative, she defected from the agency, which in turn captured her and scrambled her brains. She’s like a muumuu Jason Bourne.
#1 “I have to get used to doing the shopping now that I’m divorced. Women can rip your heart out. Do you know the three worst words a woman can say to you, Dan? ‘Is it in?’ Can you believe she said that?”
- While friendly and personable, this man shattered the remaining innocence of a then-seventeen-year-old with an uncensored summary of his failed marriage and sexual history. Still, I hope he finds love someday and a reason to stay away from the store.
The register’s beeps
Never muffle the horrors.
Paper or plastic?
The views expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect those of my coworkers, employers, or company in any way.