There are three types of people who frequent supermarkets. There’s the unpleasant, rude, whiny, angry, demanding shopper, then there’s the happy shopper, and finally there’s the cashiers … those underpaid public servants who stand behind a counter all day and demand you give them money.

And I know this why? I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’m having a nervous breakdown to prove it.

Anytime you want to be right in anything you do or say, do it or tell a cashier. I learned this in school “How to be a cashier and live to tell about it.” Lesson number one was: the customer is always right. Well actually the store manager told me this when I started working at one of our local supermarkets. I think it was one of the ten commandments in the cashier manual.

This is a good rule of thumb … or language. No matter what a customer says, be polite and keep smiling. Sooner or later, they will take your purchase and leave. In the months that I was working there, I developed permanent wrinkles on my face from smiling. To this day I can be grinning like a possum and yet be angry enough to remove the polka dots from a clown costume.

Sometimes I would come home from work and reminisce about my day and realize that I had apologized for everything from the Civil War to the crack in the Liberty Bell. My face would be sore and my teeth would be on edge from the effort it took to hold my tongue and not offer them cheese and bread to accompany their moans.

Nine out of ten shoppers will be nice and polite to the store employees, then the number ten comes up and if you happen to say “How are you today?” they will tell you. They’ll go off on a tangent about how they had to wait in line for a full five minutes while the customer in front of them paid for their purchase with a check. Well, kiss my assets. Not all of us carry cash. They will complain that the merchandise is not ordered correctly in the store, that the store does not have the XYZ brand of their favorite product, and that they are almost determined to go elsewhere to buy.

You stand there smiling and apologizing and thinking about how much you would like them to go elsewhere to buy.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that these people were showing the main signs of TAB. (Not to be confused with the old diet soda called Tab.) TAB stands for Type A Behavior. Six of the main symptoms are:

1. Impatience and hostility.

2. Beads of sweat on the forehead

3. clenched teeth

4. trembling eyelids

5. Dark circles under the eyes

6. Shaking of the corners of the mouth.

Did I just describe my high school math teacher?

Type A personalities are people who take everything seriously, don’t laugh often, and are always nervous and stressed. These are the type of people who are prone to heart attacks and strokes.

I started wondering about people with this disposition. What made them so negative and bitter? I don’t think people are born this way. Most babies, if they are dry, fed and loved, are happy babies. I wondered what kind of life they led that made them so miserable.

And then one day something strange happened. I started hearing the things they weren’t saying … really listening, and trying to understand why these people seemed to be angry. It wasn’t about the store, the service, or me … it was about them and their personal issues. After talking to them for a minute or so and showing genuine concern, I usually learned that they had a sick family member, or that they had been up all night working, or that they had lost their job, or that some other tragedy had occurred. in their life. .

Of course, this did not make me feel better. I quit my cashier job after a few months. I was starting to show signs of TAB.

So, in honor of our brave men and women who give their sanity for this great nation of shoppers, I would like to designate this as “Be Kind to Cashiers Week.”

And if you have a spouse who works as a cashier, be nice to him when you get home. Most likely, even if they are smiling, they have had a bad day …