Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Store Cashier

Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or are already working in the field. Whatever the situation, as with any defining aspect for your character, you’ll need to do the proper research to be able to write that career knowledgeably.

Enter the Occupation Thesaurus. Here, you’ll find important background information on a variety of career options for your character. In addition to the basics, we’ll also be covering related info that relates to character arc and story planning, such as sources of conflict (internal and external) and how the job might impact basic human needs, thereby affecting the character’s goals. It’s our hope that this thesaurus will share some of your research burden while also giving you ideas about your character’s occupation that you might not have considered before.

Below is a sample list of ideas to help you see how an occupation can reveal your character’s beliefs, history, goals, and more.

To view the full entry, visit One Stop for Writers where it resides within the largest fiction-based descriptive database ever created. (Free Trial available.)

What is your character's occupation? If they are a retail store cashier, this post will tell you all about that type of job. Occupation: Store Cashier

Overview: A cashier is someone who handles transactions, accepting payments for goods from customers (who might be buying milk at a grocery store, a plant from a flower shop, or a meal at their local pizzeria). Cashiers are usually stationed at a specific checkout with a cash register and remain there as customers come to them. Occasionally they may have other duties they perform during a lull in traffic, such as

Cashiers handle a variety of payments such as cash, credit cards, gift certificates, coupons, and the like. They require basic math skills and need a good memory as they must…

Cashiers with seniority in larger stores may be put in charge of the front end (customer support), working more with management and less on cash, performing duties such as scheduling hours for cashiers and clerks, creating break assignments for…

Necessary Training:  Most cashier jobs require no formal education level, but on-the-job training is provided. Cashiers either attend special training sessions to learn how to run the cash register and perform related duties, or they are shadowed for the first few shifts…

Useful Skills, Talents, or Abilities: A knack for languages, charm, empathy, enhanced hearing, exceptional memory, gaining the trust of others…

Helpful Character Traits: calm, charming, cooperative, courteous, diplomatic, disciplined, discreet, easygoing, efficient…

Sources of Friction: Angry customers who feel they are being overcharged or can’t find the product they like best, people soliciting customers outside the store without permission, ethical issues when customers wish to buy products to get high with or underage customers try to buy products that are not age-appropriate

People They Might Interact With: customers, other store employees, management, delivery people

How This Occupation Might Impact One’s Basic Needs:

  • Self-Actualization: A character who is unable to find employment elsewhere due to job shortages may feel underemployed and unfulfilled. Trapped by financial circumstance
  • Esteem and Recognition: People may look down on cashiers because this work doesn’t require much education and a character’s self-esteem may suffer as a result.
  • Safety and Security: As a cashier with direct access to money, your character will be in danger should someone
  • Physiological Needs: Because this job pays very little, the character may find they are unable to secure basic needs (food, shelter, etc.) depending on

Common Work-Related Settings: bakery, bank, bar, bookstore, bowling alley, break room, casino, casual dining restaurant, cheap motel, circus, coffeehouse, convenience store, county fair, cruise ship, deli, diner, farmer’s market, fast food restaurant, flower shop, gas station, grocery store, hair salon, hardware store, high school cafeteria, ice cream parlor, jewelry store, laundromat, library, liquor store, mechanic’s shop, movie theater, museum, nightclub, pawn shop, psychic’s shop, pub, race track (horses), shopping mall, spa, sporting event stands, tattoo parlor, thrift store, trade show, train station, trendy mall clothing store, truck stop, upscale hotel lobby, used car dealership, video arcade, zoo

Twisting the Stereotype: Cashiers are often portrayed as run-down women who have fallen on hard times and hate their job. Why not give us a character who genuinely loves the work and interacting with people?

Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.

How will your character’s occupation help reveal their innermost layers?

Much of your character’s life will revolve around their work, and whether they love it or hate it, their job is a great way to show, not tell, their personality traits, skills, work ethic, worldview and beliefs, and more, so we should choose it with care.

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Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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[…] Although, that doesn’t really happen for a while as there’s this thing called editing, lol. 11. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2018/03/occupation-thesaurus-entry-store-cashier/ “Twisting the Stereotype: Cashiers are often portrayed as run-down women who have fallen on hard […]

Erika Hayes
2 years ago

I love this entry. I have a character that is a cashier and this REALLY HELPED me with this character…