Letters to the Editor

The thing about respect

Dear Sir,

I went into a pharmacy on October 28 to purchase a number of items. I placed everything at the cashier’s desk. I was told “$78.40”. I placed a $100 bill on the counter, then searched for the 40 cents in my purse, which I then positioned next to the $100 bill.

The cashier looked at the money for a moment, picked it up and then said words to the effect that I “should put the money into her hand”.

I inquired as to why that was; she told me that it was “out of respect to her”.

This is something that I have never heard of before, and in spite of that and her comment on “respect”, she placed my change on the counter!

When I asked her why she did that, her reply, of course, was “because you did that to me”. I may add that previous to this, I had asked this same girl where I might find something — “aisle three”, I was told, where I had already been unsuccessfully looking.

Thankfully, the other lady behind the counter personally located the article that I wanted.

I asked to speak to the manager after this very demeaning, rude, condescending and humiliating exchange, but was outdone by this cashier, who had obviously dashed to have words with the manager before I had even left the counter.

I wonder if she had felt some culpability at her insolent manner.

May I add that a thank-you and a smile are always well received, and that customers and patrons of any business should never be reprimanded, and certainly not by some adolescent, with lips squeezed and pursed together with a look of indifference.

The manager was concerned when I spoke to him, of course, but there was little that he could do at that point, apart from the standard and predictable “regret” on behalf of this employee.

Perhaps even parents might take responsibility to teach their children good conduct, manners and attitudes.

I came home and read Al Seymour’s column in The Royal Gazette — headlined “More precious than gold” — just ten minutes after this incident at the pharmacy.

Thank you, Mr Seymour, for taking the words out of my mouth.