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Monday, November 21, 2016



Whenever I am short of material, I need only pay a visit to the supermarket.  It never fails.  The following incident occurred the day I posted about poor customer service.  This event may well explain one reason for poor customer service…poor customers. 

Today Mrs. Cranky needed some celery for the Thanksgiving stuffing she was making.  We have Thanksgiving Sunday before, to accommodate plans of multiple families.  I had to go to the local Shop Rite for a small pack of celery; nothing more.

I picked up my celery and stood in the 15 item or less lane behind three other 15 item or less customers.  Well to digress, one person had about 30 items, but there were three lots of ten of the same item.  For some reason, even though each item is scanned separately, supermarket rules say that is only three items…maybe a rant for another day.

The first lady in line had one item, but then wanted some bags of ice.  She took several minutes picking out two bags from the freezer right next to the register, asked about a dozen questions and then took forever figuring out how to swipe her credit card.  This caused a delay of about five minutes.  Five minutes is actually an hour-and-a-half in the 15 item or less line.

After about three minutes (45 minutes in a 15 item or less line) a rather disagreeable looking robust man, and by robust, I mean grossly overweight, and by disagreeable, I mean butt-ugly, started to loudly complain.

“This is ridiculous, the line isn’t moving!”

When the line still did not move, he spoke louder,

“What the heck is going on, I want to see a manager!”

He was told by a nearby employee that the manager was busy.

“Busy!  I have a complaint; he is disrespecting me!”

Finally, ice lady figured out which side of her card had the chip and the line moved.  After I paid for my celery, I took my time before leaving.  I bided my time by checking out the nearby cigar humidor display.  I wanted to see how the disagreeable robust man treated the cashier, who was a very nice, very competent young lady.

Disagreeable, robust man started in with the cashier like I thought he would.

“What the hell are you doing that this line moves so slowly?  I want to see your manager!”

I immediately stepped in and gave this douche bag the business.

“Excuse me sir, the delay which several of us endured but did not complain about, was not the fault of the cashier.  I suggest you pay for your three items, apologize to this nice young lady, then shut your pie hole and waddle your ample backside out of the store and go home to the rock you live under!”

Disagreeable robust man mumbled an apology, and waddled out, the nice young lady thanked me and the people waiting in line applauded.

OK, actually the disagreeable robust man paid for his three items and said nothing.  I bought a cigar and went home.

But I was prepared to say all that…probably…maybe…maybe not…probably not.   


  1. Was it Danny Thomas that used to have a routine when, after an argument, he'd lie in bed mumbling "I should have said..."?

  2. I'm convinced I can pick the shortest line at the check out and end up waiting the longest in it. I'm sure it is to be more patient, but it can be so frustrating. That's why I guess there are advantages to self check out lanes, even though I wrote about them several blog posts ago.

    Hoping your family get together was a good one!


  3. Waiting in the queue for longer time kills my patience. When we come across this type of issues in the line which we are standing makes me tensed...

  4. At least your celery had a price on it. Yesterday I picked out my bag of white onions specifically because it looked like it would have the least rotten ones (I ALWAYS have rotten ones in there when I buy at Walmart) and in the middle of scanning my order, the cashier said, "Do you remember how much these were?"

    No. Because I assumed you would have your merchandise marked! I am going to learn to spout out a price. The cashiers don't care. They'll ring it up. But I was too honest. She said, "I'll run over and see. I know right where they are."

    You know how big Walmart is, don't you? No way was I waiting there, with a line of people staring me down, while she ran across the store to find a price on my onions.

    "Forget it. I'll get some at Save A Lot." And I did. And they're probably not rotten. I don't remember what I paid for them, either.

  5. There always seems to be someone loud mouthing when there are lines. I won't shop WalMart ...

  6. What the heck is wrong with some people?? The manager is disrespecting him by being busy elsewhere? I suppose he would prefer the manager disrespect the other customer by rushing away to tend to this disgruntled tub-of-lard?
    I've never seen such goings on here in Australia, perhaps I've just been lucky, but most people take their complaints to the service counter for a supervisor to deal with, managers are rarely called down, only if there is a problem the super can't handle without authorisation.

  7. Here's the thing: supermarkets are the kind of store that attract a lot of customers, everybody needs food, lines are common and should be expected. The cashiers do the best they can, but they're not superhuman; customers will have to wait their turn. Of course it doesn't help if someone at the head of the line suddenly decides they need something else and dashes off to get it, I agree that is rude, but unless they are back speedily, here in Australia, we can 'suspend the sale and continue serving the line. When the person comes back, of course to the front of the line, we resume the sale and carry on. And everyone is polite about it. They may be seething on the inside, but that's the way we do it here and cashiers do apologise for the waiting if there is any unexpected hold ups. I simply don't see the need for the self-important, demanding attitudes I read about.
    I'm sure everyone who reads and comments here is a decent customer who know waiting must be endured and is polite about it.

  8. We could do with someone like you at our check-outs. My worst grouse is when folk have conversations with the check-out girl and doesn't know when to stop.

    1. Valerie; in those cases it's up to the checkout girl to put a stop to it. "I'd love the chat some more, but you can see there's a line waiting, you have a nice day now. Next please!"

  9. Cashiers everywhere thank you for your good intentions...

    I do work part time as a grocery store cashier and though there are occasionally some customers like you mentioned, I have to say that I've seen a lot more who discreetly pay for the customer behind them (in the 15 or fewer line). Or the one who overhears that the customer ahead of them can't manage the total and needs to put something back so they cover it for them. Then there's the woman who always buys a bag of sweets for the cashiers to share. Those are the ones most customers might not see because they're quiet but in my experience they greatly outnumber the unpleasant ones, thankfully.

  10. Thus i try to do self-checkout whenever i can.

  11. I always do self check-out, but there are stories that go with that, as well.

    People can be miserable jerks.

    The thing is, there's no reason for anyone (including the store employees) to be nice to someone like that. They take time away from the customers who are acting in a civil manner and they're never going to change the way they act.

  12. Well, it was a good thought anyway. It would have been fun to watch.

  13. You could have said half of that...maybe.

  14. Yes, people are more and more hateful everywhere. People are so very unhappy for some reason. I see the same thing almost every time I have to shop for something. It's the customers that need the reality check most of the time.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. Hello to Mrs. Cranky. ☺

  15. I think your supposed statement falls under the category of: Woulda-shoulda-coulda!

  16. Why, just the other day, I brought two items to the self-checkout lane (which is also clearly posted as '12 items or less'). One of the six stations was occupied by a mother and her teenaged daughter; halfway through their checkout, Mom sent the daughter to the far corner of the store to fetch an item they'd forgotten (I'm not certain that she didn't go to the store in a neighboring county, for as long as it took her to return with the no-longer-forgotten item). One lane was out of order; two lanes were stalled because the chip-readers were balking.

    And one lane was occupied by a lady with an overflowing large cart, with five full bags already on the scale, and no room for any more. I mean, I don't really care if someone has 15 items in the 12-or-less lane; I don't want to be the guy who stands there counting items, or bickering over whether a six-pack is one item or six. But this was at least three scales-full of items, and each scale-full was at least double (probably closer to triple) the posted 12-item limit; not even close. And there was an open lane for unlimited self-checkout not five feet away. I was tempted to start chanting with the others in line, about how to count to twelve. But I didn't. . .

  17. You're wife should have been there, too. She could have gone over to MR Fat Ass and call him a JERK! ;)

  18. You came "this close" to being my hero. I appreciate your intent anyway. Got a feeling that if there is a next time, you will let the guy have it.

  19. I've been in the checkout lane marked "Ten Items or Less" and remarked to the cashier that it should say "Ten Items or Fewer."

    She looked at me like I was a JERK.

  20. Good thing my 91 year old mother wasn't in line. She would have given the people that held up the line a piece of her mind. Then she would have walked out with her head held high from the Acme and thinking she was a queen. Of course, she's so hard of hearing she wouldn't have heard the snickers about her being so rude!!

  21. I have these same conversations with myself. When I tell my wife about it she always says "you live a rich fantasy life."

  22. I NEVER go to any store in a hurry. When I do go in a hurry, I usually encounter people like the ones you describe. It makes me crazy when people are rude to the help.


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