The Receipt-Eating Girl
“Would you like a copy of the receipt?” I asked a young girl as I handed over her change. After an extenuated pause, she replied, “Umm, sure!” Immediately after snatching the receipt out of my hand, she inserted it into her mouth and began chewing. She smiled and skipped towards the doorway, receipt in mouth, before even taking one bite of her cotton candy and mint ice cream mixed with Reese’s Cups. During the interview, when my manager described the different people I would have to deal with on the job, the thought of girls eating receipts never crossed my mind.
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Working at Cold Stone Creamery involves a large amount of employee-customer interaction. There is plenty of room for conversation. “Would you like to try any flavors before you make a decision?” I ask.
“Oh, yes, I would like to try the chocolate, thank you.” It is always entertaining to observe the multitude of personality types that pass through the shop on a daily basis. On any given day, customers range from grumpy elderly ladies with walking canes to smiling children mixing all kinds of flavors and toppings together. Between extremely rude customers to overly nice and sociable ones, there is never a dull moment.
A few days before Christmas, this concept was reinforced. “What is the largest tip you have ever received, young man?” an older gentleman asked.
“I’m not sure, probably five dollars or so,” I replied.
“Well Merry Christmas!” the man announced as he shook my hand and unselfishly dropped fourteen dollars into the tip jar after purchasing a six dollar ice cream. Every experience is not as perfect as this one, however.
By no means do I look old enough to make decisions for a large corporation that serves customers all across the United States. Although I completely agree that Cold Stone’s prices are outrageous, there is simply nothing I can do to affect the suffering of a customer’s wallet. “That’s way too expensive! Take it back,” an unhappy customer proclaimed, “Why does one ice cream cost so much?” In the most polite way possible, I told the customer that there was nothing I could do about the cost. Although the signs in the shop clearly state all prices for all sizes, rudely proposing this idea to a customer is not the right thing to do.
Dealing with different types of people and the different attitudes they project is an important quality to possess. Nobody likes to suppress their opinions, but it is a valuable learning experience. Part of the job description is to make the customer feel welcome. I kept this in mind when replying to the lady who complained about the prices. Upon entering the college years and beyond, having the skills to communicate effectively with other people is very helpful. The receipt-eating girl proved to me that people have their own way of expressing themselves. Respecting their uniqueness is essential.