“Can I Help Who’s Next?”

When I moved from the East coast to retail-challenged mid-Michigan more than 15 years ago, I heard a cashier say this phrase. I’ve heard it repeated thousands of times since, and I haven’t gotten used to it. I still need to restrain myself from saying something, mainly because I’ll just get a dirty look, and maybe spit in my soda.

This, and the fact that a road trip is necessary for a decent shopping experience, relegated me to shopping online for most of the past decade. Occasionally, and especially around the holidays, trips to local shopping establishments cannot be avoided.

Suggestion to retailers:  Eliminate “Can I help who’s next?” from your employees’ vocabularies. A simple, “May I  help you?” would do nicely.

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