The other night at work, a man came to me with 3 tubs of ice cream and a large carton of milk. I was planning on packing 2 of the ice cream tubs in one bag and the remaining ice cream in a separate bag with the milk. After packing the first bag, I started to pack the second and the man tells me that one bag is fine.”I don’t think they’ll fit, do you want me to double bag it?” I asked him, he said no and proceeded to snatch the other two products off of me and stuff them into the one bag. “Oh they don’t fit,” he says, “Can I have another bag?” I gave him another bag and he one puts one of the ice creams in there. I just thought, whatever, and let him do as he pleased. He paid, walked a bit into the mall, I start serving the next customer then I hear a bang and an angry, “Aarrrghh!!!” I looked over, and sure enough, the over-packed bag had broken. He storms back to my checkout, frowning at me and he says, “It broke!!!” Oh really??? I felt like saying. “It was too heavy for the bag!” he tells me. Thank you Captain Obvious! I just stayed silent and got another large bag to evenly distribute his groceries, and even double bagged the heavier one like I was going to do in the first place. “Yes, good idea,” he says to me, then he adds, “You should’ve done that in the first place. I hate hateHATE when people try and make me feel stupid so I said to him, “That’s what I wasgoing to do!” And off he goes, leaving me hoping that they’ll break on him again.
This event inspired me to list other things that annoy me about customers on the back of receipt paper for the rest of my shift. Here is what I came up with:
1. People who buy cigarettes. They’ll say the brand name quickly and expect me to be able to find them straight away. I’m not a smoker, nor are any of my friends, how am I supposed to know every single brand of cigarettes off by heart? It also annoys me when customers ask for blah blah blah in “eights” – what does that mean? I don’t know how many mg of tobacco are in each product (if that’s what it even means!) – I don’t understand why they can’t ask for the colour of the packet or the name that is actually written on the packet, instead of me having to ask every single time, “What colour is that?” Also, it is our store’s policy to ask anyone who looks under 25 for ID. I do this because, despite the stupid customers, I don’t want to lose my job. People get angry with me like it’s so much effort to take their ID out. If you’re under 25 you should have your ID ready. Expect to be asked! I’ve never asked someone and they were actually 25+, so I’ve been a pretty good judge of age so far. It annoys me even more when people are like, “What?! I don’t look 18 to you?!!” – they show me their ID and it turns out they’ve only been 18 for just over a week.
2. People who make a scene about having their bags checked. Another of our store’s policies is to check anyone’s bag if a loaf of bread could fit into it. I’ll ask to check these bags if people are buying groceries. If people are hurrying out through my checkout without buying anything, I’ll be more likely to check their bag, regardless of size. A lady came to the kiosk one day and asked me what our policy was, I told her what I just wrote. She says to me, “Well would you check thisbag???” and turns around to show a little backpack on her back. I say, “Probably not, but if you didn’t purchase anything I might.” She says, “Well I just got made to feel like a complete FOOL for not presenting my bag for inspection.” I said, “I’m sorry you felt that way, but it is store policy.” She just repeated the same sentence. I just looked at her. What am I supposed to do about it? Big deal! Why would you make such an issue about bag checking if you had nothing to hide? Luckily, my manager interrupted and said she’d talk to the staff member about it. Turns out, she just went over to the guy and told him that he did the right thing but to make it look like she was lecturing him. Ha. Also, if we ask to check someone’s bags and they say no, then we just let them go. If this lady thought it was such a big deal, she should’ve just said, “No, you may not check my bag,” and gone on with her life.
3. Impatient customers. Of course, this is unavoidable because some people are just born rude and I guess, working in customer service, I have to expect that (even though it’s definitely not necessary). My scan rate (items I can scan per hour) is above average in the store, so I don’t usually get customers complaining about me taking too long. However, when I’m working in the kiosk, I have to serve people with trolleys of groceries and also the front desk (people who are buying cigarettes, phone credit, lighters, etc. or have queries – I usually refer them straight to supervisors for this). Usually, I will serve people at the front as soon as I have finished ringing up a load of groceries. I hate it when I say to customers on the side, “Sorry, I’ll just be a second,” or “Do you mind if I just take care of the customers out the front?” and they just look at me like Well, no, that’s not okay.Gosh, it takes me a maximum of a minute to put through someone’s cigarettes or something, it’s not that much to ask! It works the other way though, occasionally I will be in the middle of serving someone on the side when I hear someone tapping on the front desk. That is so rude!! What on earth is wrong with people? Chances are, the people on the side were there first, I’m not going to just ignore customers. Even someone who has 100 odd items will only take 4 or 5 minutes maximum for me to put through. BE PATIENT, PEOPLE.
4. Customers who blame me for the prices of products. Regularly, I’ll get customers who will comment on the increase in price of a product. Out of the people who comment on the more expensive prices, over half of them will say it in a tone as if they’re almost blaming me for the price. I do not understand where their logic is in this, at all. How can they think that I, the girl scanning through their groceries and putting them in bags, am somehow responsible for setting the prices in a nation-wide supermarket?! Some people!
5. People who interrupt my awesome packing skills. I think I’m good at packing bags. What an amazing skill, am I right? Ha. People who “throw off my groove” when I’m packing said bags really, really annoy me. Some people pick up items and hand each and every one to me – there is a conveyor belt there for a reason!! There is no reason to pick up items when you have already placed them on the belt, they move towards me themselves – magic! I also (like most other checkout operators, I’m sure) group similar items together and pack them in bags according to this. It annoys me so much when I put aside an item while I’m waiting for another one to come along and then the customer grabs it and shoves it into another bag. By the time the item I was planning to pair it with comes along, there is nothing for it to go with, so I have to waste a plastic bag for one measly item when it could have gone with a couple of things that the customer just took and put elsewhere. Why would they do that? Obviously I’m not just going to leave items on the side, I’m clearly planning to pack them eventually – LET ME DO MY JOB! With that said, I certainly don’t mind when people offer to pack their bags themselves (this happens with reusable bags occasionally), but customers should choose at the beginning. If they’re going to pack, then they’re welcome to, but if they allow me to pack for them, then they should let me pack the whole freaking thing!
6. People who eat products that need to be weighed. I don’t mind if people eat chocolates or start drinking drinks and then hand me the half-eaten or empty packaging to scan. It’s a bit gross, but it’s fine, because the price doesn’t change once they start eating. However, sometimes I get incredible dense customers who have eaten some or all of a fresh produce item (e.g. nuts, fruit, vegetables) – these products are generally charged by the kilogram, how am I supposed to determine the price if the customer has eaten it?! Usually, if they’ve eaten an apple or something, I’ll find the heaviest apple they have left and weigh it twice. That’ll teach them! Ha.
7. Customers who don’t listen. This mainly happens when I ask people if they have FlyBuys (a supermarket points-based rewards card) and they don’t even reply. Sometimes I’ll ask again and it turns out they were just being rude (see no. 10) but other times they still won’t reply. I take this as a no, they don’t have a FlyBuys card and process their payment. The receipt begins printing which means the order and their transaction is over, it is now that these people who weren’t listening to me say, “Can you put through my FlyBuys?” and everytime, I calmly tell them, “No, sorry, it’s too late. If you go to the service desk they can add your points on,” when inside I’m thinking, “I ALREADY ASKED YOU TWICE AND YOU JUST WEREN’T LISTENING!!!! ^$#(&%*(&$(!” Then, usually, the customer will get stroppy withme. Such is life!
8. People who make exchanging money difficult. You wouldn’t think that paying for groceries/receiving change is really that hard. Some customers certainly prove me wrong though. When I state the price, customers often count their change onto the moving conveyor belt. What is wrong with this, you ask? Well the fact is, it moves!! When the change reaches the end, it falls down underneath onto the floor. Many people really don’t have any common sense. Also, when I have my hand out when I say the price, that means to count the money into my hand! Not onto the conveyor belt. No! Contrarily, other customers will almost grab my hand when they give me the money. Or they’ll kind of stroke my hand. This is a big no! Can you say “creepy”?
9. Customers who point out each item that is reduced. When I first scan products with reduced stickers on them, the price doesn’t appear straight away. I have to manually put it in. On the screen the customer sees, the original price comes up first then, once I type it in, the reduced price appears. Some customers deem it necessary to tell me it’s reduced before I even scan it, yes, I can see that. Other’s quickly say, “That’s reduced!” when I haven’t finished typing in the price yet, “Yes, I just have to type it in…” Now, if that’s not irritating enough, there are some other customers who point out each and every item with a reduced sticker on it – even after I tell them the first time that I need to type it in. After a full load of groceries, with multiple reduced items (because most customers who display this annoying behaviour are in fact cheapskates) I just feel like screaming at them. Aaaaargh!!
10. Rude people. My least favourite kind of people. I am polite to everyone, I don’t appreciate people who are rude to me before I’ve even said a word. I always ask people how they are and it’s actually disgusting how many people just grunt or completely ignore me. It’s so rude!! I can’t stand rudeness. It’s really not that hard to be courteous!
…And that concludes my extremely long rant. Please, if you do any of these things I urge you to change your ways now. Today is a good time to start!
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