My wife and I have been involved in the grocery business for years. While in college in the 1960’s, she was a checker for Kroger’s and many years later worked the checkouts for Safeway in Scottsdale. I was a salesman to the grocery trade at the headquarters and retail level for twenty years.
As a peddler, I had my share of headaches in the job but no more than peddlers in any other profession. My wife, however, had to deal with the eccentricities of customers who knew nothing of the grocery business or, for that matter, about working at the retail level of any job.
Phil Hawkes writes for the Arizona Food Industry Journal and has listed a number of ways to annoy a supermarket checker. Ever since I went to work in the supermarket business, I have had the utmost respect for the checkers of the world. If I was in their position, I probably would have smeared more than one lemon meringue pie in some customer’s faces but the checkers I have seen over the years possess the patience of Job and I admire that.
I’m sure you have had the displeasure of seeing some of these antics if you have spent much time shopping in a supermarket:
(1) I hate cellphones anyway but when I see someone yapping on one while holding up a checkout line, I hate them even more. I have even seen customers “shushing” the checker while they are on the phone.
(2) Don’t complain about being carded for alcohol. The checker dislikes asking you as much as you dislike being asked. It’s her/his job so let it go.
(3) Use the dividers to separate your order from the person behind you. It’s easy to do and speeds things up. Is that asking too much?
(4) If the check stand light is off, don’t use it. Remember: Off, no. On, yes. It’s like at Halloween. If the resident didn’t want you ringing their doorbell, the porch light would be off.
(5) There are still those who write checks at the check stand. If you must do this antiquated practice, have the check filled out except for the amount when you pay. Also, PLEASE do not balance your checkbook at the check stand.
(6) Don’t be the food stamp shopper who buys porterhouse steaks and king crab legs with them.
(7) Don’t wait until the checker has bagged your order before saying you brought your own bags.
(8) Don’t load the check stand with groceries then tell the checker, “I only have $80 so stop when you get there.”
(9) Don’t argue with the checker when your debit or credit cards don’t work. That’s your problem, not theirs.
There are more irritants in the thankless job of being a supermarket checker but you get the idea. I don’t think it is too much to ask for everyone to apply a bit of common sense while shopping.
Whew! I feel a lot better now having said this!