’ve a new-found admiration for till staff. The reason is that I’ve just started volunteering at my local hospital shop scanning items and operating the till sometimes in quick succession. The scanner definitely has a mind of its own because it keeps scanning me! First I thought it was picking up the silver threads in a scarf I was wearing, but it did it even when I took it off. All very disconcerting and try explaining it to puzzled customers in the queue. And twice now I have tried to charge someone (not the same person) over £50,000 for some crisps and drink. I know it’s all for charity, but that seems a bit steep. Anyway, keeping calm when you’re making endless cock-ups in front of an audience is something new that I’m having to learn.
As for the shop itself, it’s only a few hundred square feet and is choc full of chocolates, sweets, soft drinks, magazines and greetings cards. Repeat business is good as customers say that when they’re sitting waiting for someone to give birth or have an operation, there’s nothing to do but eat!
The new different flavour KitKat Chunkys have been flying out while Crème Eggs are a big fat pain in the behind because they don’t scan. Damn that wrinkly, shiny paper.
Somebody came in the other day asking for vegetarian wine gums while clutching a Peperami. Very strange! On another occasion, a heavily pregnant lady came rushing in asking for pork scratchings. Unfortunately we did not have the vegetarian wine gums but we were able to provide the pork scratchings.
The shop is run mainly by volunteers and its profits are given back to the hospital in the form of equipment so it’s all for a good cause. I love working on the till and counting out the money I think I was deprived as a child and was never given a toy till.
I find charging people 2p for a carrier bag a struggle and quite often give them one then pay for it myself. I’d therefore probably be rubbish if I had my own shop.
One man came into the shop dressed in his pyjamas saying he didn’t have any money but could he have a sandwich, and his dad would pay for it later. We gave him the sandwich and never heard hide nor hair from his dad. But I had to ask, would someone dress up in pyjamas just to try and get a free sandwich? Surely he was just stressed about being in hospital and forgot to tell his dad?