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My tension levels skyrocketed earlier, when I heard the sound of Russell's voice. Russell is my grocery store's contribution to my personal concept of hell.

Russell is one of the cashiers. And, to be fair, as best I can tell, he is very good at his job. He appears to be quick and efficient, and he certainly attempts to be personal.

However, that's a strike against him, in my book. I most often go to the grocery store right after work, and the last thing I want at that point is for someone to be pleasant and attempt to make small talk. Whenever possible, I go through the self-scan lanes. I can scan nearly as fast as most of the cashiers, except that I don't have the produce codes memorized[1], and I prefer to bag my own groceries when possible.

The first time I really became aware of Russell, daernhelm and I were there picking up a few things at about 11 PM, and the self-scan lanes were closed. Russell's lane was one of the two open, and the one we picked. While standing in line, we heard him give the same spiel to each customer he helped. By the time it was my turn, I could recite it along with him. In fact, I did.

He then noted my name from the receipt, and commented on the most famous person who shares my last name. And made some disparaging comments about his work, after ascertaining I was not related, along with similar commentary about other such works that I happen to enjoy.

I'm sure it's something they're encouraged to do; in fact, it's entirely possible that his entire introductory spiel came out of a training video or some such thing. And I know people are always complaining when the cashiers ignore them, or talk to each other. So I'm sure Russell is very popular with the management, and probably even with many of the customers.

He just annoys the crap out of me. And it doesn't help that his voice is both loud and irritating. It reminds me a little of Screech from Saved By the Bell, only without any of the endearing qualities.

So, I fled.

[1] At least, I assume the cashiers at my store memorize the produce codes. I know when I was in high school, you could always tell who'd just started working at Market Basket by listening to the sounds of the more experienced workers quizzing the newbie. Back then, I had a bunch of it memorized myself, just from overhearing it.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
turtle_morn
Aug. 31st, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)
I've actually stopped shopping at the closest grocery store to home because it is policy that the employees push your cart to your car and load your trunk for you, even if you say no. Therefore, I've stopped going. Next time you're up, I'll have to show you the Shopping Buddy Stop and SHop where you scan your grocieries with a cart attachment as you shop and then swipe your card on the way out the door. No human interaction required.
daernhelm
Sep. 1st, 2004 03:14 am (UTC)
Russell...eek *tries to reblock the memories from his mind*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )