Taking pride in ‘paper or plastic’

Raise your hands if you hate errands. OK, you can put that hand down and continue.

I’m the kind of guy who takes a no-nonsense approach to annoying errands like grocery shopping. I stomp through the store with grocery list in hand, throw the food in the cart and make every attempt to breeze through the register.

If you have ever seen me shop, which would be a bit creepy of you, then you’d know that I turn into Speed Racer at the cash register. I load and unload my groceries like a pit stop crew at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It was during one speedy cart liberation that a cashier said something that struck me.

“You are pretty fast with your groceries,” she said. “You could totally be a cashier. I don’t know if that is an insult or a compliment.”

Both of us shared a laugh about it, but that comment nestled itself comfortably in my brain as I traversed the parking lot. It bothered me that the thought of being a good cashier be an insult to anybody.

We all work hard. Our nation’s workforce includes janitors, construction workers, teachers, managers, artists, athletes, writers and so many others just looking to earn a paycheck each week. The only thing that divides these professions is how important they are perceived in the public eye. No job should be above or below anyone who is willing to put in the effort.

Respect should be given to anyone striving to be a good worker and being the best at what they do. Many cashiers I have come across are amazing at their jobs because they take pride in their work. It does not require a college degree, but it does require good old-fashioned effort. No self checkout machine can replace good customer service.

Skill diversity is the key to a healthy economy because everyone is born with different talents. An individual may possess the knowledge to navigate law school, while another has the endurance required to plow roads all night. One earns a bigger paycheck and drives a nicer car, but in my mind, neither is more important than the other.

Growing up, I have always been told to work hard at any job. This forced me to put effort and enthusiasm into a simple task like flipping pizzas or a complex one like running a website. The type of work does not matter because it is all boils down to the passion put into it.

Those who take pride in their work represent the very best of the American workforce. That cashier made my shopping experience that much better and I contend that her compliment was no insult.

I enjoy my chosen career path, but am happy to know that I would make a speedy cashier if needed. Trust me, I’ll have those groceries scanned and bagged before you have time to consider paper or plastic.