What is the role of the cashier?

What is the role of the cashier?What is the role of the cashier? Surely it is not that of the helper. The cashier is, at base, the low-level security guard. The cashier is the executor of arbitrary access guidelines. Her most basic job function is to ensure that if one attempts to access a thing without “possessing” a defined number of points (USD in my context) that one will meet violence (or the threat thereof) at the hands of the appropriate person. In order to mask the arbitrary and violent nature of the relationship between customer and cashier, the cashier must convince the customer (and himself) that his role is that of the helper.

What then is the difference between the cashier and the bureaucrat of the totalitarian state dispensing rations? I’d suggest that the primary difference is in form of the categorical “gun” held to each of their heads. With the latter it is concentrated: if she does not uphold the guidelines of access, she faces the literal gun of her supervisor. With the former it is diffuse: if he does not uphold the guidelines of access, he faces the gun, not of his supervisor, but of the police officer, or, in an even more dispersed form, the metaphorical gun that is the threat of homelessness and starvation.

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Bryan Endersstocker

Bryan Endersstocker was born on a small island in the Mediterranean to a family of muscat grape farmers. He came from hard‑working, stained‑ankle vineyard stock, but the farming island life never appealed to him. Bryan brooded as a boy, absorbing the work of Kierkegaard, Camus, and Simmons (Gene Simmons, that is) and studiously taught himself to play the harpsichord in the abandoned church on the island.

One day he befriended a gypsy who had floated to the isolated farming village on a piece of driftwood, along with her sifaka, Florica. They were escaping the brutal repression of the Roma people in France. Bryan led them to the abandoned church to hide—where, upon seeing the harpsichord, Florica began playing the most beautiful gypsy, harpsichord music. Together, Florica and Bryan started a band called the Absurd, which produced baroque-style music with a gypsy flair and asemic lyrics which sounded like whale calls.

Bryan grew tired of always being confused with the right-wing black metal band from Germany, when they played shows. So one day, after a show in Louisville, Kentucky, he bade farewell to Florica (who was in any case beginning to trouble him with her increasingly more meaningful lyrics) and thumbed a ride from a couple of shady-looking clowns who dropped him off in front of the NO BORDERS library. And the rest, as they say, is unterseeboot.

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