Saturday, 2 January 2010

Do You Have A Clubcard?

Mundane as it could seem, I actually rather love my job working in Tesco - particularly so at the moment working on the checkouts. I suppose you could call me a nosey bugger, but I prefer the term "curious". I find it absolutely fascinating having a 5 minute incite into somebody's life, weighing what they're purchasing, their interaction with you, their appearance and the people with them.

By nature I am a people watcher, actually I'm probably more of a people absorber than a watcher. Those close to me and those I have frequent crossings with I take a lot of time to read their signs and absorb their auras. I pride myself really on not often getting it wrong - but that's when I have time to watch hidden signs (usually over my knitting) but at work it's completely different and exciting. I have but a few seconds to read someones profile and decide how to react to them - how friendly to be, how chatty to be and when to shut the hell up for fear they might just thwack me around their head with their Tesco Value £7.97 kettle.

I find myself wanting to empathise with them or at least have them feel someone is on their side - each customer becomes a mini challenge - I just want to make them smile before the infamous "Do you have a clubcard?" question. I create roles for myself in return; I can be the dry witted cynical girl friend stressed out wives need, the red lipped young lady calling you "honey" that generally tends to appeal to lone men between the ages of 30 and 130, the giggly type with young girls complimentary and charismatic, the sweet granddaughter to old couples, the diva to the gays and depending on what is in their shopping basket I become a sudden enthusiast for everything from thermal knickers to toilet brushes. I don't always get it right, some people are rather insistent on being miserable bastards but c'est la vie.

I suppose really what surprised me most and rather made my day, was that at 7:57pm, 3 minutes before I was about to clock off, the lady being served on the till next by my collegue caught my eye and said, "You look like a creative type". I gave her a big smile and smiled even more on the inside - and not even because of the compliment but because I realised that whilst all day I've been reading and weighing up people that someone just did the same to me in return and it did genuinely feel lovely to feel like someone had taken notice of the small things about you. Baring in mind that I do just wear a Tesco uniform like everyone else it felt lovely that this lady could read my aura despite the uniformity of the surroundings. I told her I was a fashion student and upon leaving she said she'd look out for me in the future because she said she could tell I would go places. Whether she meant it or not, I know she said it in some part to make me feel good about myself and I hope that my customers today went away feeling that something I said made them too feel good about themselves.

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