Checkout Girl: A Life Behind the Register
By: Anna Sam
Published By: Sterling Publishing
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Won through Goodread's First Reads Program
I don't think I would have picked this book up if I had not won it through First Reads. I mean a memoir about working as a cashier in a grocery store for eight years doesn't sound like riveting reading material. However, I'm not one to knock a free book and in the spirit of the First Reads program I wanted to read and review this one. However, the best thing I can say about this book is it is super short and didn't take me away from reading something I would enjoy more for very long. I blew through it in one afternoon. The book didn't feel like a memoir to me - it read more like a cashier guide with some helpful hints for making the job a bit easier.
The book was supposed to be a humorous look at the career of cashier, but I didn't find the book funny at all. I suppose since I have never worked in retail that I may just be having trouble relating to the material. The writing style is solid, but doesn't offer anything special to set it apart from other memoirs. I also felt that sarcasm was overused in this book and didn't really make me feel sympathetic to Anna; her judgments about customers at times were annoying. Also, everything I learned in the book I also learned from watching the movie Employee of the Month.
I will say that this book really made me think about how I approach the cashiers at the grocery store. I realize that they have so much junk to put up with from other customers that this book has inspired me to make sure I am polite and understanding when glitches happen.
One Last Gripe: I thought the concept behind this had so much potential. Unfortunately, it just didn't live up to my expectations.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I enjoyed the chapter titles.
First Sentence: My name is Anna.
Favorite Character: I didn't have one
Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one
My name is Anna. I'm 31 years old with a degree in literature and a life story that is both completely ordinary and a little bit unusual
Former cashier Anna Sam offers an insider's peek at what really goes on behind the register. In the wise and witty voice of the college-educated, underpaid retail worker, Sam comments on everything from ill-cut uniforms, to drunken customers, to Express Lane tricks. Filled with hilarious and hair-raising observations, Checkout Girl is a great gift for anyone who has ever been, or had an encounter with, a supermarket cashier.