I’ve decided to become a teacher of sorts. Today you are going how to be a proper customer in a retail store. I’ve had it with stupid customers who come into my lane, and as we are not yet at a point where Cashiers and other “Customer Service Representatives” can solve any problems that arise with a shotgun (This will change when I rule the world. [Mandatory safety classes and IQ tests must be passed before one can become a Customer Service Rep.] ) I have therefore decided that it is high time we had a customer training pamphlet.
Unloading the Cart~
When unloading your cart, please keep all of your like items together as you place them on the belt. You don’t want your bread placed in a bag with your heavy, bulky, and non-yielding cans, as that would crush your bread, so why would you place one loaf of bread in the middle of your placement of cans? You know that dozen eggs you’re buying? Place the bread on top of that, then, when it gets bagged, you’ll know where both the eggs and the bread are, and they won’t get lost in the process of ringing you up. Keeping all your like items together also serves to keep your cashier from having to stand on tip-toes and reach halfway across the lane just so they can put another item into the bag. To spell it out: meat goes with other meat, dairy with other dairy, frozen with other frozen or cold items, keep the crushable items with the other crushable items. Keep in mind that you may not have a cashier in the prime of their shift. They may have just started, in which case they need time to get into cashier mode, or they could be just ending a shift, in which case their brain is fried from dealing with stupid people all day, so the less they have to think about what’s already in the bag, the less likely they are to make a mistake and put the watermelon on top of the birthday cake you special ordered for your kid from the bakery because you were too damned lazy to bake one yourself.
Requesting Special Bags~
This one is simple. If you want your things put into paper bags, use this question: “May I have my order bagged in paper please?” (Be friendly, remember, you don’t know how many idiots we’ve had to deal with already, so you don’t know how close we are to the point where we just go retail.) Do not ask to have your things placed in bags, we all ready do that for you, so be specific. “Paper bags” and don’t call them brown bags either, they are paper bags, so that‘s what you should ask for. Also, don’t wait until your order is halfway finished (or completely finished) and give us the, “Oh, I wanted paper bags,” crap. Also, most cashiers hate bagging paper, so if they’re doing a good job, let them know, it’ll help brighten their day.
If you have brought your own bags, be they paper or cloth, let us know in advance. If they’re cloth bags, understand that things are going to go a little slower, as cloth bags have no support and its hard to hold them open and scan items at the same time.
If you want bags to be packed lightly, let us know, and don’t get mad at us if the bag is still too heavy (unless its obvious, like twenty cans in a bag) what’s light for us might still be too heavy for you, so it takes a little trial and error for the first couple of bags.
The Scanning Of The Items~
Okay, lets say that the Cashier is going a little slow with the scanning. The likely thing is that either they’re new to being a cashier, or they’re tired. In either case, yelling at them to go faster isn’t going to help you. It may increase their speed a little, but it increases the likelihood that an item, usually glass, will “accidentally” fall onto the ground and smash into many pieces of possibly lethal shrapnel. This will in turn mean that you then have to wait while someone goes back and gets you a replacement for that item. Usually this item is a rather expensive wine. Also, if the slow bagging is bugging you because “you have other things you need to do today,” then you should have re-thought what order you did things in. Grociery shopping takes time, and if you have a particularly large order, it takes a while to process the order. Then you have to drive home and unload everything. Grocery shopping should be done as the last thing you have to do before you go home for the night.
Loading the Cart~
A few grocery stores still employ baggers to bag your groceries and load your cart. Some will even have baggers who are there specifically to take the groceries to your car, and load the car for you. However, stores like Meijer and Walmart now employ a system called scan and bag, in which the cashier does everything from scan the items to bagging it. They will also load your cart for you, however, this takes time, especially if you have a large order. The easiest thing is if you load the cart yourself. The benefits of this is that you will know that your eggs aren’t in a danger zone inside the cart. Also, if you have requested that your bags be light, because you can’t lift much, loading the cart yourself will tell you in advance which bags you can lift, and which need to be redistributed into other bags or into their own bags. (My favorite are the people who want light bags because of a bad back, but have no trouble getting the 50 lbs. bag of dog food onto the belt.)
Price Discrepancies and items that don’t scan~
Okay, you think an item is supposed to be priced differently than how it shows on the screen. Be courteous to the cashier, “You know, I think that that item was on sale.” or “I’m pretty sure that the tag has a lower price.” If you are nice about it, the likelihood is that the cashier will give you the item for the lower amount, even if that item isn’t on sale and is correctly labeled. Being rude is a sure way to keeping the price at the current amount.
If an item doesn’t scan, don’t say anything like, “Oh, it didn’t scan, it must be free.” This was never funny, and is indeed quite annoying to a cashier. Nothing is free. Not even air. Air has pollution in it, so you’re still paying some kind of price.
If you don’t want to put your clothes on the belt because “they’ll get dirty,” that’s fine, but don’t hand the clothes to us all at once. Hand the clothes to the cashier one at a time so that they can scan and bag them easily. I’ve noticed that a lot of the customers who do this will place their produce items directly onto the belt without having them in a produce bag first, I don’t think they realize just how nasty these belts are. We don’t clean them efficiently until after midnight. I just hope they wash the stuff before eating it.
Cards and Coupons~
If you have coupons, don’t hand them to the cashier one at a time, hand them to the cashier all at once.
If you have a store issued card that gives you savings, or goes to charity, hand it to the cashier to scan, don’t reach around and scan it yourself. Its an invasion of personal space. We all have our little bubbles that we don’t like invaded by strangers, so stay out of mine.
This is all for now. If you have any questions about how you can become a better customer, feel free to ask them in the comments, and I’ll answer them at a later date. Also, please pass word of this post as far and wide as you can, so that many can learn how to be a propper customer. Copy and Paste it into your own blog (give me credit though!!!) or print it out all over the work place.