4 tips for supermarket cashiers just starting out

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There's no such thing as a slow day when you work as a supermarket cashier. It's an exciting position that will teach you plenty of skills that'll carry over into other areas of your life.

Of course, you're proud and excited that you landed this job. But somewhere along the line, as your first day approaches, you might feel a little bit of doubt. What if you can't keep up with the lines? What if your register is off? What do you do when a guest is upset?

It's true that there will be hiccups along the way, and you'll probably make a few mistakes. But with practice, you'll find that cashiering can be easy.

Always be prepared
You never know what might happen in a day's work. It could be a breeze or the point-of-sale might crash. Chances are, you'll face the same problems numerous times and you can bet that you'll be exposed to new ones frequently. Ensuring that you handle these situations properly and professionally is a matter of knowing what to expect.

Here are four tips to keep in mind.

1. Remain calm: This can be difficult at times, and it's understandable. You might have to face an irate guest or the point-of-sale program may have frozen. The event can be worsened if there's a long line and you're the only cashier present. It'll be tempting to panic and run to look for a manager or co-worker who can get ahold of a higher-up. However, it's essential to stay calm, inform guests of the situation and let them know that you'll resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Ask them to kindly wait while you get your manager. This way, they know what's happening and know that you're working on a solution. Investing in a pair of slip-resistant shoes will allow you to move around the store quickly while helping to keep you safe from slip accidents.

2. Take your time: Time and speed may be of the essence when you can't see the end of the checkout line. However, during your first few weeks, your managers understand that you're still learning the ropes. Never rush. You're handling cash, so taking your time to ensure that you've scanned every item, are accepting the right payment and give back the proper change is essential. If you have any doubts, tell the guest that you might have made a mistake along the way and politely ask him or her to bear with you for a few seconds longer.

3. Communication is key: Don't get caught up in a rush and forget to speak to your co-workers and guests about what you're doing, especially if you're going to walk away. Whether you're stepping off the floor to wash your hands or need to find a manager to answer a question, be professional and let the other person know what you're going to do. It also ensures that if a supervisor does come looking for you, someone can let him or her know where you've gone, showing your high sense of responsibility.

4. Take care of problems quickly: Prioritizing your tasks will take practice, but you'll soon get the hang of it. For example, a liquid spill takes precedence over a long line. Nonslip shoes will allow you to clean up the mess safely. On the other hand, you can ask a co-worker to take care of the puddle while you continue ringing people up. Guest satisfaction is important, but safety always comes first. You can always work things out with guests afterward.

Cashiering will take time to get used to, but learning from your mistakes, patience and a good attitude will ensure that your co-workers, managers and guests appreciate your dedication.

Brought to you by Shoes For Crews, the trusted leader in safety footwear to foodservice employees for more than 30 years.

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