• Steven Macalester

What does Cashier of the Year mean to me?

A few weeks ago, I was called into the break room by my manager. At first I thought something bad happened, but they told me that with this rather rough year and after careful consideration they have decided to reward me the Cashier of the Year award for my Home Depot District. When I received this I was honestly speechless because I never earned something like this before. Naturally this made me think about something, what does Cashier of the Year mean to me? How did I prove myself worthy of such a rare honor?

Does it have to do with always showing up to work on time and doing your job as it needs to be done? Maybe but if it was that simple everyone on the front end would get Cashier of the Year. There has to be more to it, more than just doing the job but doing so well that other peers will have to notice you. Employee of the Year in my opinion is not necessarily something you should think about working towards, rather it should feel like a badge you wear constantly. This title was something I wasn’t even aware of at first, all I did was go in there each day ready to do as much as I can. No matter how much you try to grab the attention of the higher ups if you are not always willing to give it your absolute best then what reason do you give others to notice you? At the same time if you think too much about working towards an award like Employee of the Year you’ll find yourself very stressed out at even the tiniest of mistakes which will inevitably affect your performance at work. Just go in to work each day ready to give it your all and be respectful to others, the rest will sort itself out.

Another important hint to remember is to do the right thing by helping those around you. If there is something happening at work be it either how other people are treating you, a scenario that could impact your co-workers in a negative way or perhaps you are worried about your overall performance don’t wait let your supervisors or managers know about it. Maintaining communications with your higher-ups is key to getting acknowledged by them as well as improving the work environment for you and the co-workers around you. Your fellow employees might thank you or they might not, this shouldn’t be the point, the point is to help make the work location a better place for everyone. It’s something I learned in Boy Scouts on my way to the rank of Eagle Scout. Becoming one is about doing the right thing even if no one else is around to praise you for it, even if you don’t get anything out of it or even if some people disagree with your decision. So long as it is the right thing to do that will help others, that is what should be truly important.

While it is significant to know what Employee of the Year means, it is equally significant to know what it does not mean. Employee of the Year does not mean you kiss the feet of every single person you see because it is impossible for someone to be liked by everyone. There are some people that will brighten your day and there are those that just want others around them to be as miserable as they are. This is especially true in the retail business where some customers want everything served to them on a silver platter and if they don’t get what they want supposedly it’s the employee’s fault. When this situation arises you have to remember your real worth, your personal value and understand that you are paid to do a job not take whatever garbage someone throws at you. Many times I have had customers say they would never shop here again for one reason to another while making it sound like they are trying to leave a guilt trip for me. However, I just decide that their behaviour is not worth my time if they say they are not going to come here anymore then that is fine I’m not going to beg them to change their mind. There's a saying in my workplace “Not every dollar is a good dollar”, you don’t need the praise of every single person you meet, only those that will listen to what you have to say and appreciate you.

These are the main things that come to mind when I think about Cashier of the Year; always going in to give it your best, do the right thing for other people even if it’s just notifying your boss about something and remembering your own value when someone is giving you a hard time. I am very grateful to be working where I am now as well as the honor I was given. It is my hope that this story helps you on your way to greatness as well to let you know that you can do whatever you set your mind to as long as you give it all you got and always remember that you are important, no one can ever take that away from you. Thanks for reading and until the next blog, see you later!

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