Cashiers never get to say what they are thinking. They are like automated dolls; they have to be polite at all times, even when customers are rude. They have to smile even though they’ve been standing in the same place for two and a half hours making small talk with strangers. However, ever once and a while a customer will come along who really makes an impression.
Katelyn was a cashier at Canadian Tire. She was sixteen years old and had been working there for two years. She was one of the best cashiers in the store and she never lost her cool. She was always polite and well-mannered, as well as efficient. And no matter how good-looking a man was, she never stared or swooned. Katelyn was a young woman with her feet firmly planted on the ground.
One night in January, at around six or seven o’clock when the store was all but empty, Katelyn and three other girls were standing at their tills, chatting about nothing in particular. A young man, no older than his early twenties walked up to Katelyn’s till and set his sportswear items on her counter.
“Hello, how are you this eveni… ahh, hi.”
As her words trailed away, Katelyn’s world came to a sudden, shuddering stop.
Standing before her was a man with the most amazing eyes she had ever seen. They were clear and deep and a color somewhere between green and blue. She felt as though everything was floating and she finally understood the meaning of the phrase “falling into someone’s eyes.”
There was a long pause, and she realized that she hadn’t moved since he’d come up. Reacting slowly, as though she was trying to move underwater she eventually managed to speak.
“Ahhh, right, hi. How are you this morning? I mean, this evening?”
With a smile that was all-too-knowing, the young man replied in a smooth voice, “I’m fine. How about yourself?”
All Katelyn could think about was how she now finally understood how eyes could be sexy… very sexy. They seemed to contain all the secrets she’d ever want the answers to. In the back of her mind she realized that he was a good-looking man, cute rather than hot and that he was of average height. He also had dark hair and a great smile. She just kept coming back to his eyes though; they fascinated her. She felt mesmerized and slightly simple all at the same time.
Again, it took her some time before she could speak coherently.
“Me? Oh, I’m fine, thanks. And you? I mean, did you find everything you were looking for today, tonight?”
She had to get a hold of herself! She never acted this way.
“Yes, I did find everything I was looking for, thank you.”
And he continued smiling. He really did have a nice smile.
“Right, good. Umm… Right, I need to ring through your stuff. Ok, I can do that. I got this. Ok.”
She was babbling. He knew she babbling; she knew she was babbling. Why couldn’t she stop babbling?
Taking decisive action, Katelyn grabbed one of his items and scanned it through. Feeling accomplished she grabbed for the next one. Only this time, the item was apparently reluctant to scan. Well, she thought, I’ll fix that! With what was probably an unnecessary amount of vigor, Katelyn began swiping the item back and forth in front of the scanner. Multiple beeps later, she realized that the item, according to the computer was actually eight items.
“Oh! That’s not right! I am so sorry! I promise I can fix that! They told us in orientation that this could happen. I know how to fix this. Trust me, you won’t have to buy eight of these. I mean or get a refund. Oh, God.”
She was mortified. This was the most absurdly humiliating moment in her entire life. She was acting like a bimbo! She was not this girl! She had to get control of herself.
Taking a remarkably deep breath, she deleted seven items from his account. Ok, problem solved. Another very deep breath later, Katelyn squared her shoulders and with the facial expression of a general surveying the enemy, she turned to her customer.
“I apologize for that, sir. I will now scan through your other items. Yes, that is what I will do.”
She didn’t say “even if it kills me,” but the words seemed to hang in the air regardless.
Without looking up, she scanned through the other three items without incident.
“Ha! Did it!” She pumped her fist triumphantly into the air.
‘Ah, yes, you did do it. Well done. What’s the price?”
Had she honestly just pumped her fist? Oh, God, she thought, I’m turning into a lunatic!
“Price, yes! The total comes to $22.89. I mean, $22.98. Yes, that is the price of your purchases, or is that purchase? Never mind! It’s $22 .98… please.”
Again, the smile. He knew, he so knew. Calmly and with no fumbling or babbling whatsoever, he handed her a twenty and a five.
“Thank you, sir. I will now get you your change. Here is a twoonie and two cents. That is your correct change. Hence the reason why I am giving it to you.”
Shaking her head, Katelyn closed her till and handed him his receipt.
“Have a nice day! Night! It’s evening. Have a nice night. Ok, yeah, bye.”
He didn’t move. She didn’t move. He looked at her expectantly. She looked at his eyes. Still he didn’t move. Wait a minute, she thought, maybe he feels this too? Maybe that’s why he’s not leaving! He can’t walk away anymore than I can!
“Ah, miss? Could I have my bag, please?”
Crash. So much for that. Feeling like the world’s biggest idiot, Katelyn snatched his plastic bag and thrust it into his hands. She didn’t trust herself to speak.
“Thank you. Bye.”
With that, he walked towards the doors. He had made it as far as the second set before the laughter of three young cashiers burst out loud. He turned and with that adorable, knowing smile waved goodbye. Katelyn’s head hit the counter. She groaned and he was gone.
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