I had a bunch of errands to run and knew that I would be interacting with a lot of cashiers, so why not use it to my advantage, their advantage, our advantage? The premise is simple. One cashier writes or doodles a note for the next cashier, and I am but a mere messenger pigeon.
My first stop was at a doughnut shop. The cashier was a woman in her early thirties.
PLUG: Hi. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions.
DOUGHNUT: Is this for a class?
PLUG: No, it's for… I do a little magazine. It's for that.
PLUG: Sometimes I wish it were for a class so I don't feel so out of place.
PLUG: Anyway, do you like cashiering?
DOUGHNUT: Yeah. I like working up here better than in the back. It's easy work for what I get paid.
PLUG: You must get lonely, right?
DOUGHNUT: Not really. There's always people to talk to.
PLUG: Like me?
DOUGHNUT: [laughs] Yeah, but you're not usually here.
PLUG: I'm going to go to some other stores. Would you like to write a note to the next cashier, and I'll deliver it?
DOUGHNUT: I'm not sure what you want.
PLUG: You can write them a note or draw a picture. You can do whatever.
DOUGHNUT: I'm not sure I understand the point.
PLUG: Well, cashiers have common experiences dealing with people. I don't know. It'd be cute.
I next went to a music store. The cashier was a woman in her early twenties.
PLUG: Hi. I've got a note for you. [hands her previous cashier's note]
MUSIC: [reads note] Okay. How'd you get this?
PLUG: I'm asking cashiers to write a little note to the next cashier I go to. Could you keep the chain alive and write one?
PLUG: It doesn't have to be a message. It can be a picture even.
MUSIC: So do you keep all these?
PLUG: Oh yeah.
MUSIC: [contemplating what to write] Let's see.
PLUG: Do you like cashiering?
MUSIC: Oh sure. It's kind of tedious.
PLUG: Sometimes people can be jerks.
MUSIC: Yeah, that part I don't mind. I just smile and blow it off. I like cashier more than stocking stuff. [hands Plug the note]
PLUG: Is this a dumb idea?
MUSIC: No, it's funny.
PLUG: Alright. Thanks for the bloo bloo bloo.
I had to buy paint brushes, so I shopped at an art store. A man in his early twenties was behind the counter.
PLUG: That's for you. [hands cashier previous cashier's note] But you can't keep it.
ART: [reads note] I have to give it back to you?
ART: [re-reads note] That's pretty funny.
PLUG: I've been asking cashiers to write some thingamabob to the cashier at the next store I go to.
ART: So you need me to write something?
PLUG: Yes, I do.
ART: [starts drawing immediately]
PLUG: Oh, it's a picture. Yes! I've been waiting for one of those. Leave it to an art store cashier.
The last stop on the commerce train was a card store for, you know, cards. This time the cashier was another man in his early twenties.
PLUG: Hi. I want to show you this. [hands cashier previous cashier's note]
CARD: [reads note] What is this?
PLUG: I'll tell you. Not only was this drawn by a fellow cashier, but by an art store cashier.
PLUG: He drew it for you.
CARD: That's cool. He drew it for me?
PLUG: Yeah. What do you think?
CARD: I don't know. It makes you laugh. [laughs]
PLUG: I'm having cashiers write or draw something for the next cashier I go to.
CARD: So you want me to...
PLUG: Well, except that you're my last cashier. I'd love for you to keep the chain alive, but it won't go to another, to someone else.
CARD: What's this for?
PLUG: Class. Math class.
CARD: Yeah, I can draw something.
PLUG: You don't have to draw. You can write something if you want.
CARD: Let's see. [begins drawing]
PLUG: Thanks for being a good sport. [cashier finishes picture] Man, that is just leagues above the last one.
PLUG: I kind of figured that an art store worker…
CARD: Just because he works there doesn't mean he can draw.