Are you talkin’ to me??

I was standing in the checkout line at GAP yesterday and in the mix of the hustle and bustle of the shoppers, heard someone crooning something once, then twice, until I finally looked up and realized the cashier was summoning me with the liquid-y new lingo pilfered from Target, “Following guest?” Huh? Believe me, I am as rabid a line stander as anyone and wouldn’t miss the chance to hurry to the register but after so many years of being shouted at with “NEXT CUSTOMER!”, I was tone deaf to this gentle invitation to step forward. It happened again at another mass outlet and I watched the customer in front of me stand silently like a car that doesn’t respond to a green light. So, the cashier re-announced, a little louder, “Following guest, please”. But it’s hard to yell that phrase, so still no action.

We’re not used to being talked to as guests after retailers spending years training us to respond to “NEEEEXXXTTT!”.  But it seems that this holiday season, with every dollar on the line, stores are not only offering discounts, they’re extending courtesy. Wow. What a concept. Hope it sticks if things pick up!

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November 27, 2020
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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