General Question

Vinifera7's avatar

Why do some cashiers refer to the customer as "boss"?

Asked by Vinifera7 (2846points) September 9th, 2010

I get this quite often. I’ll walk into a shop or establishment and the cashier, clerk, or server will say “What can I get you, boss?”. I get also get it when checking out: “Thanks, boss.”

I don’t know why I feel strange about this. Has this happened to anyone else?

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14 Answers

Taciturnu's avatar

I had a friend who owned a convenience store, and he addressed his customers this way.

I think it’s just a way of making someone feel important, and respectfully gives you a way to address them without a cheesy “Buddy” or “Pal” being used.

DominicX's avatar

I can’t say I’ve ever experienced that. Most of the time I get called “sir”, which I always thought was cool, especially when it would happen when I was even younger. :)

Maybe it’s a regional thing. :P

curlyz's avatar

something has to do with “customers are always right”...probably…

Vinifera7's avatar

@curlyz Being called “boss” makes me feel like I did something to piss them off though.

DominicX's avatar


It’s kind of like when my friend tells me to do something without saying “please” and I respond with “anything else you’d like, your majesty?” I doubt that’s what it is, though.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I was told it was a less formal substitute for sir when I was traveling in the mid-south region of America.

Trillian's avatar

Another time, you could ask the source of your question and get an answer on the spot. Nobody has ever said tha to me.

Haleth's avatar

@WestRiverrat That sounds about right. I’ve worked with a few people who used this. It’s a pretty informal way to address someone, but not disrespectful.

SundayKittens's avatar

I always thought that was a regional (mainly country-fiiied) thing.
Edit: Just re-read @westriverrtat’s reply. That’s just about what I was thinking.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
hobbitsubculture's avatar

When my partner worked in the Home Depot paint department, he noticed that contractors always called him boss.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I have never heard it used for anything other than in a supervisory capacity. Having lived in Virginia and Tennessee most of my life, and having traveled most of the US inspecting hotels and eating out, I have never heard it in a service establishment. Maybe it is because I am a female.

Would you be willing to share a general location (country/state) where you’ve heard this and what your gender is?

lonelydragon's avatar

That must be a regional thing. I have never heard anyone use that term for a customer or been called that myself (maybe because I am female). However, it does make sense, in an odd sort of way. Because a cashier serves a customer, the customer is the boss, in a sense.

hobbitsubculture's avatar

I’m female too, and I’ve only ever been called boss by my uncle. He’s a funny guy. And also works in the Home Depot Paint department, so maybe he picked it up from those contractors.

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