Dear Barnes and Noble,
Since I have written to you before, it may seem that I am trying to establish a pen pal relationship with you. As this is not my intention, please continue reading without feeling any obligation to send a note in return.
Based upon my shopping experience at your store, I imagine that your employee handbook states something along the lines of:
“Cashiers: After greeting your customer, take note of each item they are purchasing and find a way to connect with them regarding that item. No subject is considered taboo, so be creative.”
I thought you’d like to know that the cashiers in my local Barnes & Noble store are going above and beyond when trying to connect with me. Here are the last three of many exchanges I’ve had this
passed *past year.
Book purchased: The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need
At the register, the cashier scans the book and pauses while she reads the cover. She then leans over the counter, bringing her head within my 2 foot perimeter of personal space.
CASHIER: “Great book. I am somewhat of a grammar Nazi. I correct my step kid’s textis all the time.”
Cashier scans the book, pauses for a second while she reads the cover and then holds the book up and calls out to the 2 other cashiers to look her way.
CASHIER #1: “Whoever this is, she is my new hero! Look at how she rocks the Boho Chic style.”
ME: “Um, Caitlin Moran is a columnist in the UK and this is a book on feminism.”
CASHIER #2: “Love the boots with the dress.”
CASHIER #3: “Yes, to the boots!”
ME: “Can I just pay?”
Cashier scans the book, pauses while reading the cover. She then looks up at me and blinks three long and what seem to be intentional blinks.
CASHIER: “I read this book when I was in Junior High School.”
ME: “Hmmm. This book hadn’t been written yet I was in Junior High School.”
CASHIER: “Oh. (long pause) Well it’s a great book.”
ME: “I was only kidding.”
In closing, I think you should consider rewriting your employee manual. Clearly, if other patrons are “connecting” with your cashiers too, you’re probably missing out on sales. I imagine that titles like The Sex Starved Marriage, Travelers’ Diarrhea and The Complete Guide to Adult Diapers aren’t flying off the shelves. For me, I decided to buy my copy of 50 Shades of Grey online because I just wasn’t sure I was ready for what cashier #2 might have to say.
*I was able to select the correct “past” by using The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need
Disclaimer: Obviously you all know this, but I need to write it anyway…… the copy on the books, highlighted with the arrows, was photo shopped by me and not part of the actual book cover.