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Meet Ethan Chatsis: superstar cashier

Grocery shopping is a mundane task at best and a stressful experience at worst, but 20-year-old Ethan Chatsis makes paying for groceries the highlight of many customers' days.

20-year-old grocery store cashier loved by store regulars for brightening their day

Ethan Chatsis says telling jokes and making people smile is his way of helping make people's lives just a little bit better. (Nichole Huck/CBC )

Grocery shopping is a mundane task at best and a stressful task at worst, yet for customers of Mike's Independent Grocer in Regina, paying for their groceries just might be the highlight of their day. 

"I just try and loosen the edge, tell them icebreakers, tell them jokes — you know something that might lighten their day," said 20-year-old Ethan Chatsis. 

Chatsis has been a cashier at Mike's Independent on Broadway Avenue for two years.

It's his first paying job, but he doesn't just do it for the money. 

"I don't know what people go through — they might have horrible things going on — so I just try my best to make people feel welcome and happy."

Meet Ethan Chatsis - Morning Edition's Employee of the Week 1:25

The young cashier is well-known and loved by many of the store's regulars. 

CBC spoke with one couple who said they always try whenever possible to go through Chatsis's till as he always makes them smile. Another shopper told CBC he usually hits up the grocery store after work as Chatsis brightens his day.

I tell people I think you're great. I don't know how much that means to people. I'm just some schmuck who works at Mike's, but I like to pay it forward.- Ethan Chatsis

Chatsis said it's a good feeling knowing he makes a difference in the lives of strangers.

"I've had people come through and say 'I was having a rotten day and you made me feel better.' That's why I do it."

He said it's about perspective and choosing to appreciate the good in life rather than focus on things he'd like to change. 

"I do this because I know there are people like me, especially this time of year — Christmas ... It's a lonely time of year for some people, so if I can help somebody, then I'd like to do that."

He said he knows what it's like to feel angry or angst ridden or isolated, and he makes it his mission to have people leave in a better mood than when they came.

"I tell people 'I think you're great.' I don't know how much that means to people. I'm just some schmuck who works at Mike's, but I like to pay it forward."

Who's the next Morning Edition employee of the week?

We are looking to show some love to folks who make Regina a better place just by being great at their jobs. 

Do you have a favourite gas attendant? Is it a lifeguard at the pool? A librarian or letter carrier? 

Call Talkback at 1-800-661-7540 and tell us who you think deserves to be the next Morning Edition Employee of the Week or email morningedition@cbc.ca.

About the Author

Nichole Huck

Reporter

Nichole Huck is a producer CBC Radio Current Affairs. She has worked as a human rights journalist in Thailand and Ghana. Today, Huck has three children and is proud to call Regina home.

Video by CBC's Dan Plaster