Friday, December 9, 2011

Grocery Store Etiquette

I've worked in a grocery store since August of this year and I've kept mental notes about all the things that irk me while I'm at work. The number one thing that bothers me would totally be rude customers (obviously!). I've met a ton of interesting people during my time at this store but there are the few that have come across and broken these "rules" and aggravated me to death - but don't let me fool you, I just stand there with a smile on my face, only mentally wishing them out of the store. If you've ever worked as a cashier, anywhere, I'm sure you'll find yourself nodding at some of these.

1. Hang up your cell phone! This one bothers me, a lot. We can't talk to you if you're on your phone. We might need to tell you about something new going on in our store or let you know why your credit card isn't working. Sadly, I've seen people (who are on their cell phones) get frustrated and are really rude to the cashier because they, themselves, are not paying attention! Now that isn't really fair, is it? So please, hang up - look us in the eye, interact with us, and call your friend back later!

2. Have your discount card ready. But please don't shove it in our face or rattle off your phone number before you even let us ask, "How are you today?".
3. Use your inside voice. We all learn this when we're kids, what makes adults forget it? The cashier is 5 feet away from you, there is no need to speak louder than necessary. If you're yelling, we're probably ignoring you! 

4. Read! Know the coupon policy and read your coupons! Coupons are for certain brands, amounts, and types of products. Don't get mad at us when you don't pick up the correct product for your coupon. Just because one type of certain product is marked down doesn't mean that the sister product is marked down as well. If the sale tag isn't directly below (or above, depending on the store) where that item is, it's probably not the same price! Signs in the stores do have fine print - read that, too, so you aren't surprised at checkout!

5. 15 or less means 15 or less! Don't act dumb, we know you saw the sign before you whipped that overflowing cart up to our register. We have that option available for customers who are in a hurry or for new cashiers who aren't ready for big orders yet. Yes, we will make exceptions for the polite people who are patiently waiting in another line and the store isn't busy but, please, respect those other customers who really do have a small order - it could be you on a different day.

6. Kids. Don't bring them with you if you know they're going to throw a fit! I'm not as bothered by this as much as most cashiers are, but it does get old when you're not paying us any attention at all because your kid is misbehaving. I will say: if a kid didn't get the candy they asked for at checkout and you didn't give in just to shut them up, I will applaud you - even if they kick and scream. I have seen many families come in with very well behaved children and I usually compliment them for it.

7. Help us bag! Especially if you're going to complain about how it's done by us and especially if you see us struggling to get it done alone. Sometimes the bagger is on break or gathering carts in the parking lot. Give us a hand, we appreciate it!

I really always thought that these things were common sense but I can say that about 50% of my shoppers break them on a daily basis. The other 50% is what I look forward to when I go to work. I've met a lady with a pet squirrel, a woman who comes in to purchase magazines that have published her articles, a man who tells me crazy stories and buys 3-4 cans of beer every time,  a woman with hair that looks like a hat, an old couple that ask for their cold stuff to be put in plastic bags and the rest in paper, and a middle-aged woman that brings her elderly mother shopping every Wednesday. I look forward to seeing those people and many more who've slipped my mind at the moment. I do enjoy my job but please, next time you're in a store, think about these "rules". We really appreciate polite customers!

I do realize that not all cashiers are as polite as they should be, which really bums me out too. I've had my fair share of rude cashiers (and customers) but I do try to keep in mind that maybe that person is having a bad day. This post really just out of humor and meant to be taken lightly.  


  1. I love this post times a million.

  2. Words cannot describe how much I love this-it should be printed and hung on every register.