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A grocery cashier is an employee at a grocery store who handles customer purchases, from recording the items to collecting the money owed. He or she may tally items using a computerized cash register and an electronic scanner that reads an item’s barcode, automatically brings up the description and price from a database, and adds any applicable tax to the total order. Smaller grocery stores may only have a manual cash register in which a cashier has to enter in each item’s amount by pressing down on individual number keys that print the amounts directly onto paper. Grocery cashiers are also responsible for giving each customer a receipt of his or her purchases.
One of the main duties of a grocery cashier is to be able to handle a variety of payment methods. He or she isgenerally trained to be able to quickly and accurately count currency to ensure the customer gives the correct amount, as well as be able to give the customer the correct change back. If a customer uses a credit card, the cashier will run the credit card through a scanner and verify the customer identity matches the name or signature on the card. Cashiers must also know if a paper check is valid and properly filled out by following the store’s protocol, such as asking for identification or a phone number written on the check.
If a customer has a coupon, a cashier will verify that the coupon is valid and that the customer has the correct item that matches the coupon. Grocery cashiers may also have to be knowledgeable about government food vouchers or assistance programs and know what food items are permitted to be purchased using the funds. For instance, government agencies may give parents vouchers for healthy food for their children, but specifically prohibit them from using the funds to purchase alcohol or nonfood items.
A grocery cashier will generally have a wide knowledge of different food items, especially fruits and vegetables, which may have to be itemized using individual numbered codes. He or she will need to accurately weigh the items and enter the correct code for the precise variety of the item in order to prevent overcharging the customer. Since many grocery stores sell items that may be government mandated, such as tobacco or alcohol, a cashier may have to ensure a customer is of legal age to purchase certain items depending on local or national laws.
Some grocery stores may employ a separate person to package a customer’s groceries into sacks; however, if a store is smaller and less staffed, a grocery cashier may also be responsible for bagging groceries as well. He or she is typically trained on how to maximize bag space without making bags too heavy. Cashiers must separate potentially toxic items, such as toiletries or cleaning supplies, from food items to prevent contamination. They must also follow other safety protocol, such as wrapping raw meats to prevent leakage or keeping cold foods together. Grocery cashiers may also be responsible for safely bagging and handling fragile items, such as eggs or bread.