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Apr 18, 2010 01:31 PM

Crazy supermarket check-out experience

I recently posted my experience at the opening week-end of a Fairway supermarket, an event that has been anticipated for years. The following passage got enough response that I thought I should move that particular conversation to this thread.

"So we were in and out in an hour and the check out would have been OK except for the lady in front of us who had OCD and inisted that her final tab be exactly $75.00 to use the coupon. If it was $76.40 she had to remove an item.....or add an item, until the total was EXACTLY $75.00. I must say the cashier really kept her cool, because she would have been justified in telling her off."

To be clear, it was a $10 off coupon when you spend $75 or more.

The original thread is

So, what do you do when the line comes to a screeching halt because of one person with a (to my mind) ridiculous issue? What should management do? In this case I couldn't move to another line because every line was long and I had gotten to the point of almost being able to unload my cart.

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  1. That is just a teeth gnashingly weird experience. I'm not sure what I would have done, except for maybe a hard stare or two. Then just grabbed a magazine and start reading.

    Looks like management was there trying to resolve the issue, not sure what more they could have done especially if the rest of the checkout counters were open. But I would have apologized to you if I'd been the supervisor.

    The whole idea of having be 75 exactly is the part I can't get my head around. Mind you when I was on a strict budget I would add up my items in the cart with a calculator as i went, and then pick and choose. But that was in the aisles before i got to the checkout counter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cosmogrrl

      depending on the city/county/state you are shopping in you may have to take sales tax into account on some or all items, in some locations a different tax on different items.

    2. "one person with a (to my mind) ridiculous issue?"

      Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm assuming you're not an OCD sufferer then?

      As for what management should have done? Obvious - just cull the woman and let folk get on with their shopping.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harters

        Yes, not personally affected by OCD, which is why I said "to my mind". And also why I waited patiently and did not make the situation worse by outwardly expressing my inner frustration. But that inner frustration needed venting, so it was included in my review of the shopping experience. And to be fair, I don't know that it was a case of OCD, it just fit my pop culture sense of what OCD is. Apologies if offense was taken.

      2. maybe she had only $65 on her.

        1 Reply
        1. re: smartie

          I was thinking that, but she paid by credit card. AmEx Gold to be exact.

        2. My response would have been 'here's a buck fifty (or whatever the overage was) , let's keep this moving'....

          12 Replies
          1. re: jeanmarieok

            That would have been my inclination too.

            1. re: meatn3

              Ain't no way I'm subsidiing a pain in the ass like that... JMHO

              1. re: EWSflash

                I view it as a cheap solution to a situation which is costing me time and frustration. A buck or two is quite worth it to me to be able to let everyone get back to business. Sometimes it even can be the reality dose that gets the person holding up the line to realize what they are doing.

                1. re: meatn3

                  I get the idea of trying to 'awaken' the perpetrator of this interruption to your life's pace. Unfortunately I find that people who will spend that much time over something that you can't really know the reason behind are usually beyond your power of suggestion. The thing that is more easily changed is the way the store handles it.

                  But then there's the issue here that we don't really know if this situation took two minutes, ten or more. It isn't specified in the original post, I don't think. I'm in the "life's too short" school, but on the side that says it's too short to too aggravated over the minor stuff. Not that I don't get riled sometimes, but I try to keep it under control.

                  One of the best examples of unnecessary angst I've seen here was a post where someone bemoaned that they had to wait in line at Trader Joe's while the checker asked the customer ahead how their weekend had been. You just can't win with some people, I guess. Can't say as I miss growing up in New York................ if you get the idea. I thought it had mellowed some.

                  1. re: Midlife

                    Certainly it did not annoy me as much as some of the drivers around here who need to be first so badly, that they will pass you on the exit ramp or the left-turn-only lane..

                    1. re: Midlife

                      I guess my phrasing didn't really convey my thoughts that well. Not so much that I'd be trying to alert them to how their actions were interrupting the flow. My thought is when someone is that hyper focused a certain obsessive button has been kicked into overdrive. I find that sometimes a new, unexpected interruption can help break the cycle - like a splash of cold water in a way. It allows the person a new way to move forward, one which they may not have been able to reach easily on their own.

                      1. re: meatn3


                        Good luck with that. My wife works at a 'better' department store and just had a customer who selected a high-priced item that had a 'gift-with-purchase' companion item. The woman changed her mind after it had been rung up, had my wife credit her for the main item, then argued with her that she should get to keep the 'gift-with-purchase'. That's how some people are!

                        I don't disagree with your basic premise, but I doubt most of us are skilled enough to know if someone is in the state you describe or just fixed on a goal - like making sure they only spend $60 at the market ($75 with $15 off). There really are people whose budget is that tight. I'd still like to know how long this took.

                        1. re: Midlife

                          Didn't have a timepiece handy, but my inner clock is pretty accurate. It was at least 10 minutes but seemed longer.

                          1. re: jcmods

                            Whatever you do, do NOT move to the south. It will drive you completely mad.

                        2. re: meatn3

                          I'm with you meatn3. My time is worth something to me, and to just give her that cash would have been a nice way to both help her stop being so annoying (if only for a moment) and to get things moving. Well worth it.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Go for it guys. I'm obviously on a different planet on this one.

                            1. re: Midlife

                              I've work with the public for so long that I generally have a pretty good read on where they are coming from. Once in awhile I'm totally off, but not often. It is a skill born from much past frustration!

              2. oh well people are odd sometimes. I remember standing behind a guy in Walgreens who had brought his receipt back because he hadn't got his buy one get one free or a coupon hadn't been deducted - I can't remember which. He made a big point of telling the manager that he had got home and checked his receipt and driven all the way back. Cost of coupon/BOGO? 50c. A whole long line behind him were getting impatient for his 50c but of course, sigh, he told us all it was the principle, even though we all told him the cost of gas was probably more.