I haven’t been behind a retail counter for 31 years. Until today. Last time I was slinging drinks, the cash register had real buttons with numbers on them. You rang up the prices, took the cash and made change. God forbid someone gave you a credit card, you had to get out that crazy slider thing. Change jumped into my hands, I didn’t even have to think about it, and a lot of the math I did in my head. Now each product Â has a menu button and the array of buttons is mind boggling.
But that’s not the interesting part of my new job experience. Maybe I’m just self conscious but I think I noticed a little bit of reaction among the customers to the new guy. Which of these does not belong. The old person! I fancy myself as being pretty good at reading people and I definitely saw a range of interesting responses. There was, “This poor old fart is having to work behind a counter, must have gotten laid off somewhere,” to “We need to be extra nice and encouraging to this poor old man who has to do a young person’s job.”
It doesn’t bother me. I know what I left behind, which was for me insanity. I know it’s an opportunity to get out among people and make some extra dough to take some of the pressure off as I try to get my graphics gig up and running. But I think I get a little bit of insight into what it must be like for people who constantly see that “you don’t belong here” look on peoples faces.
You know what hasn’t changed though? You still have to smile and say, “Thanks for comin’ in!”