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Rudest grocery checker remark

My brother just told me that the checker asked him, "Do you ever buy anything that's not on sale?"

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  1. "why would you ask?"
    "why is it important to you?"
    or simply painful, stony silence with a raised eyebrow and just a hint of a glare.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      "Good question! what else does this tell you about my perceived demographic? wanna guess what TV shows I watch? what magazines I read? who's my favorite author? who? who? who?! c'mon we've got a line building so make it quick!"

    2. My reply would have been "Only when you're not here."

      1. I was checking out one evening at about 8pm, and the store was strangely empty. When I commented to the checker that I had finally discovered a good time to shop, she replied, "Well, most people have something better to do on Valentine's Day." Uff.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cachetes

          What is wrong with someone who'd say something like that?
          Absolutely no filter and a crap personality to boot.

          1. re: Cachetes

            .......did you wanna say 'well obviously you don't, you're here'

            a clerk said to me, "you must really like that song, you've been singing it ever since you walked in"

            1. re: iL Divo

              Darn, that's what I should have said! If only I were quicker on my feet...

          2. "No, and that's why I don't have work as a grocery checker for a living."

            1. I'm overweight (and was at one time morbidly obese). And I occasionally will buy things for our restaurant in a retail store. Try being 5'7" and 300 pounds and present to a checker an order which includes 4-5 different pies, several bags filled with candy (starlight mints), and 5 or 10 loaves of specialty bread -- you're bound to get some sort of comment. Now I'm in much better shape and the comments run more toward "I see you're having a party," or "what's the occasion?"

              7 Replies
              1. re: shaogo

                Seems like cruelty never gets old. Big hugs, shaogo.

                1. re: shaogo

                  I often buy from local stores for our restaurant and I hate it when the checker comments on my purchases. I would like to say MYOIB but it's a small town so I usually tell them it's for a restaurant. Some day I will simply tell them it's rude to comment on someone's purchases.

                  1. re: elegraph

                    look at them in the eye and state evenly and cryptically "it suits my purposes" (a potential landlord said that once when asked why he was pouring a new concrete floor in the basement beneath what WOULD have been my unit).

                    ehh it's a small town, they surely know you run a restaurant and you're just filling in the gaps in the pantry. or make something up, people mess with you? you get to mess right back. giggle and say "I know it sounds weird but I am just CRAZY for cilantro, pickle relish and unsalted butter today!" and toss off a dashing smile.

                    1. re: hill food

                      y'know, that's probably the best answer....

                      (another comes to mind -- my best friend's daughter is a horrifically picky eater, although she's getting more open-minded with time. A notoriously busy-body mom asked why my friend's daughter always packed her lunch when there was a perfectly good cafeteria -- my friend stared her down and replied, "Because.")

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        this guy was just creepy and I was thinking fresh corpses...

                        "because" works too.

                      2. re: elegraph

                        A restaurant customer once asked me to pick up all the Kraft Mac and Cheese they had at BJs for his kid's menu and run it out to him. I also picked up some of the Stouffers frozen for my husband while I was at it. I had a U boat full of various Mac and Cheeses!

                        Another customer saw me wheeling it to the check out and just said "Wow you must REALLY like mac and cheese!" I thought that was kinda cute actually.

                    2. None. Other than suggesting I'd get a better deal if I bought a case of that wine. A great suggestion. DFWM.

                      1. I had a similar comment at Whole Foods the checker commented "wow, you spent so much and only have 1 bag of groceries." Uh, thanks...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          I hate that -- I've also been known to just ask them to put it into two bags, because I'd hate to think I could get that much money into to such a little bag.

                            1. re: sciencediet

                              Yep. $40/bag minimum, usually more like $50.

                          1. It's very rare that I go into McDonlads but the last time I was there, I ordered and after 5 minutes the order was delivered with the comment "Sorry about your wait" To which I replied "Am I that fat?"

                            The look on the guys face was awesome. It's a play on words for those who don't get the joke Wait and Weight.

                              1. My mid-week treat is a couple of beef kidneys and honeycomb tripe in pastry or skewered on the grill. I get great quality at my neighborhood Publix located near the soup kitchen and the sharing center.

                                I live on a boat with no refrigeration. Having lived in Europe with a 6 cubic foot fridge, I am use to going to market multiple times a week for meats and dairy.

                                Looks at me, looks back at my purchase, and says quizzically, "Funny, you don't look homeless."

                                Being next to the high school, they get them young here.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                  When I was in school, we had a game where you brought 3 items to checkout to see who could freak the clerk out the most......

                                  1. re: zippypinhead

                                    like that Simpson's episode when Homer comes home from the store with cheap bourbon, enemas and fire works.

                                    (Marge) "I don't know what you have planned but you can count me out!"

                                      1. re: coll

                                        Reminds me too of an old Ellen DeGeneres bit when she did standup back in the 80's, about looking at the groceries of the person in front of you and trying to figure out which they *needed* and which they just picked up on impulse. The 3 items she used were whipped cream, douche and a lawn chair. My husband and I constantly joke that we are running out to buy these 3 items.

                                    1. re: zippypinhead

                                      The day my husband bought maxi pads, chocolate and Tylenol the checker asked if he had a new baby at home. And we did.

                                      1. re: zippypinhead

                                        Hmm, I never knew about this game although I'm sure I've done it more than once without knowing it. The most memorable time was some years ago when my then boyfriend and I stopped at a bodega on the Lower East Side on our way back to Brooklyn. We went up to the counter with a sixpack of beer, two cans of dogfood for his dog out in the car, and a package of shabbos candles to use in the bathroom where the light fixture had shorted out. The clerk looked at us, blanched, and whispered, "would you like forks and spoons?"

                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                          Ratgirl,I laughed so hard I choked on my iced tea. So funny.

                                          This thread is reminding me of one on another board where people post the worst things that have been said to a recently-bereaved person. My favorite was that someone on the phone from Social Security asked the caller "Are you sure he's dead?".

                                          1. re: Querencia

                                            Oh god, that is horrible yet funny. Who says stuff like that??

                                    2. "Hey, you have to pay for those two plum pits in the bag too" I always what you ate before you got to the registers was on the house.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: zackly

                                        Luckily he didn't estimate the cost of the two plums instead ;-)

                                      2. I think that I must be lucky with grocery store employees. All I ever get are nice questions. How I like a certain product or how I use a more 'unusual' item. I have had checkers tell me that they have never seen someone buy a particular thing before, but it is always followed up with a question about what it tastes like or how to prepare it - seems to be genuine curiosity.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: jw615

                                          I've had lots of those conversations, and those I don't mind, because they're asking, not judging.

                                          1. re: jw615

                                            Yeah, I can't remember being asked anything rude. Cashiers who won't make eye contact or who are talking to the person behind me in line the whole time they ring me up, sure. But if they talk to me, they're generally pleasant. My last trip to Trader Joe's started with "You're wearing all your pearls today, aren't you?" and turned into a conversation about the full set of Mikimoto pearls that his mother-in-law had divided among her daughters.

                                          2. I have had the opposite of the OP's brother's experience. I often get, from the older female clerks, "it must be nice to be able to buy fancy fruit" (when I am buying $1 mangos) and "I guess your husband doesn't check the bills" (when buying key west U20 shrimp on sale) and so on.

                                            It drives me absolutely bonkers and makes me yearn for the days of self checkout (my store did away with those a couple of years ago). It is inappropriate to comment on one's buying/spending habits no matter which end of the spectrum they fall.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                              Wow, that's some inappropriate stuff.
                                              I think I'd talk to a manager.
                                              Uh, don't you think the store wants you to spend?

                                              1. re: monavano

                                                I have thought about saying something but I don't want anyone to get fired. Yet it still annoys me enough to post on CH.....

                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                  It wouldn't be good management practice to fire someone for an offense like that. They should have trained checkers to mind their own business before they started, but if someone forgot that rule, management should be able to say to an employee that they received customer feedback about them giving inappropriate commentary on purchases. Managers should be able to explain a friendly interaction with customers versus interactions that come off as critical. It's called "managing."

                                                  On the other hand, if someone *did* get fired for that single reason, the store has a deeper management problem -- firing employees without proper feedback or training -- and that is not your fault, either.

                                                  I'd say something.

                                              2. re: cleobeach

                                                I had a similar experience that really irked me- the clerk said condescendingly, "I don't know why anyone would buy these." I was buying a bag of 6 hard boiled eggs that come in a pouch for around $2.50. Then she went on to explain that I could get twice as many eggs for the price and just boil them myself if I wasn't so lazy and that anyone should be able boil an egg. Geez!! Let me be lazy if I want to! Even better I was buying them for my 93 year old grandmother who likes a HB egg for breakfast but just broke her hip and has poor eyesight. I bought them so she doesn't have to stand over the sink fussily peeling a white eggshell off a white egg!

                                                1. re: PinkLynx

                                                  Thats understandable. But whats not is: I sent my bf to the grocery store and he came home with a CAN of QUAIL EGGS. Now that I would question, CANNED EGGS! yuck. At least yours were fresh!

                                                  1. re: daislander

                                                    They have always made me curious... did you try one?

                                                    1. re: ursy_ten

                                                      I have. They're just hard boiled eggs the size of big olives. I've used them for deviled eggs around the holidays. I often thought that it would be fun to put them in a bowl with grape tomatoes and big green and black olives. I believe I've got a can in the cabinet. They're very inexpensive at the Asian supermarket.

                                                  2. re: PinkLynx

                                                    How will your 93 year old grandmother know if the eggs you brought her were white eggshells or brown eggshells?

                                                    1. re: PinkLynx

                                                      They wouldn't be selling pre made hard boiled eggs if there wasn't a market for them. The cashier should be overjoyed to see it selling, thus contributing to her paycheck. Sheesh.

                                                    2. re: cleobeach

                                                      The "fancy fruit" comment would have elicited a weird face and a "yeah, I guess", but the husband checking the bills thing would absolutely light me on fire. I'm a grown woman who is completely in control of my own finances, thank you. I don't need permission to buy goddamn groceries.

                                                      I've obviously got a feminist streak, but... my mom had to get permission from my dad to buy groceries. And shoes for us. And anything, really. So that seriously would have gotten my hackles up. I'm curious about how you responded to that one.

                                                    3. What am I doing wrong?

                                                      My checker never says anything more than "thank-you" or "may I see your ID"(if I am picking up a bottle of wine) or "have a great day".

                                                      I think my grocery shopping must be pretty boring!

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: pedalfaster

                                                        Not sure, but they can be pretty chatty. In fact, just yesterday a checker started discussing an item in my cart and then continued on and on and on and finally removed it from the bag it had already been placed it to further review it. Also you must not go to TJs, they always have something to say. Usually it's nice chit chat but there's occasionally a funny story. It wasn't a checker, but last week one of the employees who was just stocking the shelves would not stop talking. I inched further and further away and she continued.

                                                        1. re: pedalfaster

                                                          I never get these crazy comments and I've never heard such comments to others while waiting on line. Maybe it's a regional thing.

                                                          1. re: pedalfaster

                                                            I know, I never get those comments! I think I may have been the only pregnant woman who was never patted or touched on the belly by strangers, coworkers, or even friends.

                                                            Spouse says I can be "intimidating."

                                                          2. ha! it's the customers behind me in line who make the odd comments. but to the OP's clerk: "full-price? only my children, the marked-down ones last such a short time before it's right off to the workhouse for them."

                                                            34 Replies
                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                sometimes....a few weeks ago I was at "my" meat market. Beef shanks were on sale, and I commented to the butcher about how good they were (they'd been on sale the prior week, too).

                                                                And thus began a 20-minute q&a session with a half-dozen other customers (several of whom were old enough to be my mother)about how to cook them (low and slow braise), what to add for seasonings, oven vs. crockpot vs. pressure cooker vs. stovetop, wine or no wine, which veg to add, etc., etc, etc....along with a discussion of the rocking Italian ragu I made with the leftovers.

                                                                The butcher was pleased as punch....as I talked, the pile of shank in his case all but disappeared....I really need to talk to him about doing a workshop with a "cut of the week".

                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                  fldh - mostly in rural stores but oh yeah other customers comment, and I sort of look forward to it if I've tallied my cart contents and practiced, it's become a game "yup vodka, dog treats and men's boxer/briefs - I am one FINE date!" that's one I've been waiting to use.

                                                                2. re: hill food

                                                                  Has this ever happened to you? (This is at our fairly new The Fresh Market.) I'm standing in front of the "cage Free Eggs and there are brown large eggs and white large eggs, The price sign is straddled between the two and says: " sale--large cage free eggs, $2.79". I chose the brown eggs and when I got to the register I asked her to please do a price check on the eggs. They rang up at $3.29. I told her the price was confusing because it didn't say "brown or white". She said, the sale price was for the white ones. I asked her to please have someone check that, and she let me have them for $2.79. I was in a week later and the same thing happened. I insisted that the sign should be less confusing, and again she let me have them for the sale price.
                                                                  There are other sneaky marketing tricks they do, also. I still shop there for my produce and eggs, but I hate to have to go through the "egg thing" everytime I shop there. Any suggestions besides wriiting an editorial in our local paper?

                                                                    1. re: cimraLT

                                                                      So, they sold you brown eggs for white egg prices, even after you knew the price of brown eggs, and you want to write them up in the paper?
                                                                      It may be bait and switch and the signage should be more clear, but the fact that you knew the price of the eggs and acted like they owed you $.50 again doesn't sit well with me.
                                                                      I think your hands are just a tad dirty here.

                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                        I disagree. I don't care whether I get brown or white eggs. What totally bugs me is that stores use the bait and switch policy and I was checking to see if they did it a second time.
                                                                        And yes, I will talk to the manager. I may have a lot of quirks, but dishonesty is not one of them!!!

                                                                        1. re: cimraLT

                                                                          I apologize if you inferred I was saying you're dishonest.
                                                                          I would say, unfair, to go to a newspaper without addressing it with management.
                                                                          In produce departments, I've seen items not clearly marked many, many times.
                                                                          I take the bull by the horns and answer the question of price before I stand in line- there's always someone around to grab and ask.
                                                                          If there was some confusion, the FIRST time, you should have asked someone, anyone, what the price was and if you didn't want to pay more for brown, you should have bought white.
                                                                          The market capitulated and gave you a discount, which was a nice thing to do.
                                                                          I find your second purchase, at a second discount, after you knew darn well what the price was, to be entitled and punitive.
                                                                          So no, it hasn't happened to me, because I don't play "gotcha" games with markets.

                                                                          I hope management rectifies the problem with clearer pricing.
                                                                          I also hope they don't give you a third discount.

                                                                          1. re: cimraLT

                                                                            Evidently, you do care if you get brown or white eggs.
                                                                            The cheaper eggs were white, yet you accepted a discount, allowing you to get brown eggs for the price of white.
                                                                            Why not put the brown eggs back and buy the cheaper eggs?
                                                                            OK, not the first time, but the second?
                                                                            Come on.

                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                              Because if he does that, he would be enabling the store. How many people do you think saw the wrong price and bought the item thinking it was on sale but then did not check their receipt? A lot of people do that. OP informed the store of the mistake and asked them to change the price to make it more customer friendly. The store store to keep the inaccurate sign and mislead more customers. Here in Montreal, I would have insisted BOTH times on getting the item for free in accordance with the price accuracy code. The fact that they have to give it to me for free makes them more likely to fix the mistake.
                                                                              1. THE ITEM FREE SCANNER POLICY
                                                                              Retailers will implement an Item Free Scanner Policy as follows:
                                                                              1.1 On a claim being presented by the customer, where the scanned price of a product at checkout is higher than the price displayed in the store or than advertised by the store, the lower price will be honoured; and

                                                                              (a) if the correct price of the product is $10 or less, the retailer will give the product to the customer free of charge; or
                                                                              (b) if the correct price of the product is higher than $10, the retailer will give the customer a discount of $10 off the corrected price.

                                                                              1. re: hala

                                                                                Wow, free food.
                                                                                That's a great concept.
                                                                                Where can I get free food?
                                                                                Paying for goods is so annoying.

                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                  Where I live we have fair market value, so if a corvette gets advertised for 800 dollars by mistake, you pay the 80,000 or whatever they cost, you're not getting it for 800. Mistakes happen and virtually all retailers are honest, or they won't remain in business long.

                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                    It's not about the free food. Often it's an annoyance and you have to wait and lose time to get it for free. It's because the supermarket needs to be accountable. They should not be able to mislead people. Asking and insisting on the free item is a form of social activism.

                                                                                    1. re: hala

                                                                                      Wow, having to wait for free food, sounds like you want punitive damages. At the company I work for, we honor the wrong price and change it. Profit margins are tight, we can't afford to be giving away free product any time there is a price difference. Believe me, it is not done purposely and the employee responsible will probably get a write up. What shall we do, keel haul them a la the Bounty?

                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                        We are talking about items that usually cost a few dollars. You say it's not done purposefully, but I really think that the stores are negligent. I always verify my receipts before leaving the store. Many times there are errors. And usually there are more errors in places where they don't have to give you the item for free. I have often pointed out a mistake (eg: lemons that were scanning at 4 dollars each instead of 4 dollars a kg) and rarely has the store changed the price when they didn't have to give me the item free. Asking for a free item means that there is a better chance that the store will notice. Not everyone has the knowledge or the time and energy to check their receipts. If we don't insist that the stores fix mistakes, they won't. How many times do you think people bought something thinking they were getting a sale price and never got that price? I have often asked a store to fix an announced price or to change the price coming out on the scanner, and they never did in places where the code was not in effect.
                                                                                        And, no I did not write the scanner accuracy code. The stores themselves wrote it and participation in it is voluntary which means a store can opt out if it wants.

                                                                                        1. re: hala

                                                                                          oh, come on -- negligent? Hardly. Human error -- my local grocery is a smaller format for that chain, and there are still probably 20,000 SKUs in that store. With that kind of volume, shit happens.

                                                                                          The stores didn't write the accuracy code -- it's a technical standard written by the folks who manufacture the scanners and print the labels (it's a global organization, by the way)

                                                                                          There is no way for every bar code to read 100% accurately 100% of the time...

                                                                                          It's how they handle those mistakes that make the difference -- and most stores will fix it (credit or free ) when you bring it to their attention *rationally*.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            Yes negligent. In cities where the code was not in effect at least one item in every bill was wrong. That was very stressful to me when I was a student. I really could not afford to pay even a few extra dollars a month. If the stores would treat their employees like human beings and train them better, they would be able to change the codes immediately once one customer complains. But, they have no incentive to do that unless we make them.

                                                                                            And I do point it out when an item swipes lower than the price.

                                                                                            1. re: hala

                                                                                              The only thing I'm asking is that the Norma Rae's out there DO something constructive about it!
                                                                                              Talk to a manager.
                                                                                              Write to the company.
                                                                                              Reach the Powers That Be.
                                                                                              Help others by your activism.
                                                                                              Follow through!

                                                                                              Don't just stand there with your hand out!

                                                                                              This wimpy shit about mentioning it to the checker is useless.

                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                >Wimpy shit about mentioning to a checker?
                                                                                                Why is mentioning to to the checker wimpy shit? Isnt' the checker an employee of hte company? Are you implying hte checker doesn't have the brains, the work ethic or the dedication of the manager and he can't make a simple request for a price change?

                                                                                                I do follow through. When I ask the store to respect the scanner accuracy code and give me the item for free, a paper trail is created that the checker, manager, and company can use to fix the price. This means that at stores that honour the code, mistakes less frequent on my receipt because people know about the scanner accuracy code and they insist that it be respected all the time. We (shoppers in my city) are collectively doing something about dishonest grocery stores that will only fix a price when it's scanning too low not too high.

                                                                                                1. re: hala

                                                                                                  I don't think the checker cares, most of the time.
                                                                                                  I don't blame them, either!

                                                                                                  Your actions are passive and assumptive.

                                                                                                  Only if we know for sure that there is Q&A going on consistently (have you asked about that? The company's policy? If it's enforced?), do we know where the paperwork ends, or ends up, like in the "round file".

                                                                                                  That's my push for seeing things through. That's my push for activism that extends beyond your getting something for free.


                                                                                              2. re: hala

                                                                                                All the chains have their prices input at the corporate level, as far as I know. The people you are interacting with have nothing to do with that at all.

                                                                                                My closest supermarket always had at least one mistake on every bill, but no reward for pointing it out. I got sick of automatically stopping at the courtesy desk when I got there, some of the mistakes involved $5 or $10 if I bought in quantity. Finally started going somewhere that if a mistake is made, it is small and I don't even bring it up. Now when I go the the original store, it doesn't happen anymore....I seem to recall there was some kind of news report on the worst stores with pricing, and they were number one. After that they seem to have cleaned up their act. But lost the bulk of my business.

                                                                                              3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                Stuff does happen. I work in a big retail store and every Sunday we scan everything, but with 5 to 6 thousand price changes a couple fall through the cracks and we hear about it. No negligence, we really want to get it right.

                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                  The supermarkets where I shop give the item free if the computer makes a mistake in the price, so I don't tell the checker at all---I tell Customer Service afterward, if necessary showing the shelf price for proof, and get my money back.

                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                    What if it's a 100 dollar tenderloin that's off by a dollar? Should it still be free?

                                                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                      Where I live (Ontario), they will give you the item free to a max. of $10. Then it's just $10 off if item is over $10.

                                                                                                      1. re: fryerlover

                                                                                                        Thanks for the clarification. Where I work, Texas, we give them the marked price which is often more than 10 dollars being electronics. It's not a law, it's just unofficial store policy.

                                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                          Sounds like good customer service to me!

                                                                                                          Here is the link to the government site explaining in case anyone wants more details:


                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  The problem is not that the bar code is being read inaccurately, it's that the price in the computer for that bar code has not been updated for the current sale price. So still human error, but something that store management should be on top of.

                                                                                                  In my experience, bar codes are either read accurately, or not at all. That is when the checker has to manually enter in the code that is printed on top of the bar code.

                                                                                                  And, yes good customer service when a customer reports an error is very important.

                                                                                                  1. re: pamf

                                                                                                    but store management doesn't input the price -- that's all done at the regional (or national) offices.

                                                                                                    There are many, many instances where it's not even that the wrong price is input -- it's pretty common to have a print error (not even the manufacturer -- the label producer!).....so it's a very, very long tail.

                                                                                                    The cashier is never the one to correct prices, anyway -- not because they don't have the brains, the skill, or the care -- but because credits have to be processed at the customer service desk.

                                                                                        2. re: hala

                                                                                          This policy is also in effect in Ontario. Usually happens with items that should be on sale but scan through at regular price. If you catch it, it's free!

                                                                                  2. re: cimraLT

                                                                                    buy the white eggs next time unless you want to pay the full price for brown. the first time i agree, that was on them. second time? you darn well knew. tired of arguing over egg prices? buy the eggs (white ones) with the price tag you want. problem solved.

                                                                                    1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                      >the first time i agree, that was on them. second time? you darn well knew. tired of arguing over egg prices? buy the eggs (white ones) with the price tag you want. problem solved.<

                                                                                      I disagree. At least in my state (CA), it is my understanding that the store has an obligation to sell at the listed price, and if they don't specific color, it should apply to both. In that regard, I had a similar situation with Yukon Gold potatoes at my local sore: there was a sign that said they were xx price per pound, but they rang up for 20cents per pound more. I told checker, got the lower price. Two weeks later, same thing. Again, I told checker, got the lower price. Third time, same thing, I told checker: "Look, clearly there is an issue because this is the third time in three weeks I've mentioned the sign not matching the register, and nothing changes. Please alert your manager." She immediately called the produce manager, who said someone would take down the sign. Well, you guessed it: they didn't. next time, I just asked for, and got the discount. Ultimately, it is the store's responsibility to abide by their posted prices. If I tell the checker, and checker tells the management (or even if checker doesn't tell manager)I really am NOT responsible for their failure to fix their mistake. I am entitled to the posted price, and I will ask for it, every time. A business model that doesn't change 'mistakes' may be a business model that relies on most folks lack of assertiveness in getting what is advertised. Or maybe it is just carelessness. Either way, it is the store's problem, not mine.

                                                                                    2. re: cimraLT

                                                                                      oh the checker has little or nothing to do with the shelving. easier to just accommodate the disputed the price.

                                                                                      if you have a real issue talk to the manager as s842 suggested or play "the egg game"

                                                                                  3. I worked as a cashier at a grocery store throughout high school (and I was very polite!). One day, a difficult customer started stacking ketchup bottles vertically one on top of the other. We were trained to ask customers not to stack glass as it often falls when the conveyor belt restarts. She ignored me and sure enough the bottles broke on the floor. I asked her if she was ok and she grinned, leaned toward me and with a smile said "I'm just really excited I get to see you scrub the floor now on your hands and knees."

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                        "lady if you want to admire my ass, just slip me a fiver and I'll meet you by the rotten produce dumpster"

                                                                                      2. I had a female cashier lean over and pull my top up. I was wearing a tank top and I guess it had gone down a bit and the top of my bra was showing. Still can't decide wether it was rude or not.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: daislander

                                                                                          Hmm, that reminds me of a story I had completely forgotten about. I was checked out and about to leave and the cashier offered me lotion while announcing "I thought you could use some lotion, I've never seen hands that dry." Well, thanks for that.

                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                            when traveling with a colleague, I reached in my purse and handed him my tube of hand lotion....but we'd just been talking about deserts and dry skin on the plane.

                                                                                          2. re: daislander

                                                                                            I could see quietly saying something about exposure (because hey, nobody wants to realize too late that they've been flashing the general public, or walking around with spinach in their teeth...)

                                                                                            but to physically touch someone without warning or permission? Yeesh.

                                                                                            1. re: daislander

                                                                                              Reminds me of a joke.

                                                                                              Guy goes into the doctor's office. He's all battered and bruised: two black eyes, a split lip, broken nose, and a huge knot on his forehead. The doctor takes one look at him and exclaims, "Where the hell have you been??"

                                                                                              "Believe it or not, doc, I was at church!", the man replied.

                                                                                              "Ok," said the doc. "You're going to have to tell me how this happened."

                                                                                              "It went like this," the man said. "I was sitting in my pew listening to the sermon. The pastor asked us to stand and open our hymnals, and when we did, I noticed the woman in front of me had her skirt caught up between her butt cheeks. I reached forward and gave it a slight tug to free her skirt so it fell naturally. Well, as soon as I did that, she spun around and started beating me with her hymn book. So here I am."

                                                                                              "Wow," said the doc. "That's quite a story!", as he ministered to the man's injuries and sent him on his way.

                                                                                              A couple of weeks later, the same man comes back to the doctor's office, this time even more beat up than the first time. The doc started to ask, "Don't tell me….?"

                                                                                              "Yep," the man replied. "Church again. I was sitting in my pew when the pastor asked us to stand and open our hymnals. Wouldn't you know it, but I'm behind the same woman again, and when she stands up, her dress gets caught between her butt cheeks again. The woman sitting next to her sees this, and reaches over and pulls her dress out. *I* learned the hard way that she doesn't like it that way, so I reach forward and tuck it back in."

                                                                                            2. I stopped in a market to pick up an advertised special on small cans of catfood, of which I had a dozen or so, and on the way through the store I picked up a carton of 18 eggs. The checker packed all of it in one bag so that the eggs fell out of the carton and were rolling around amongst the cans of catfood so I asked for the order to be re-bagged. The checker: "Lady, you got an attitude."

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                That is ridiculous.

                                                                                                I always ask for my eggs to be bagged separately, even when I bring my own bags. I'm allergic, and I don't want the eggs to ruin all the 'safe' food if one happens to break. Thankfully, all of the folks that I have asked have been nice.

                                                                                                1. re: jw615

                                                                                                  I actually don't want or need my eggs to be packed separately, but they ALWAYS do it anyway. I've never had anyone do eggs together with another item.

                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                    They do it at TJs. Just yesterday I was driving home and thought "oh crap, where did they put the eggs" since I mindlessly piled the bags in the trunk. The eggs were ok but it was sort of annoying to have them tossed on top of everything else especially in a paper bag which lost a handle when I lifted it out of the car.

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      Glad to know I'm not the only one that has issues with TJ bags. I should bring a staple gun next time, to secure those darn handles.

                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                        I think you commented about it on the TJs thread. I have never had an issue with them and to be honest, I did yank it from the trunk so I blamed myself, but still it was a near miss for the eggs. I confirmed that it's the pulling at an angle which is the issue. I've torn them while taking out the recycling if I lift in the wrong direction. Clearly, not a good design. They usually double bag, it was the first I've ever had single bags.

                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          They do usually double bag, but I always just use one automatically. Seems it would be cheaper to get bags with twine handles than double bagging all the time.

                                                                                                          Please don't think this is something I lose sleep over though ;-)

                                                                                              2. Maybe the checker was having a bad hair day?

                                                                                                1. I had a male checker once say "Eww. Lady things." when looking at pads. I gave him a break because he was obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed.

                                                                                                  33 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                                                    my local grocery employs several mentally-challenged folks...unless I knew this guy to be in a similar group, I'd have talked to the manager. Absolutely unacceptable.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                      the clearly socially challenged do get a (qualified) hall pass.

                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                          why I added 'qualified' there are lines and then there are lines. a weird comment? no problem, unwelcome physical contact? problem.

                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                            Okay got it.

                                                                                                            The difference between you and me is that I don't accept the weird comment either.

                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                              I used to get freaked by that stuff until I was a manager of a guy who was uhh 'otherwise engaged' and 99% of the people in the office found his comments sort of amusing and they even became catch phrases, although there were times we had to have a frank talk about what was and what was NOT ok. it was said calmly with no finger shaking, he was cool and understood.

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        <I'd have talked to the manager. Absolutely unacceptable>

                                                                                                        Totally agree. Hiring 'mentally-challenged' people is certainly a nice thing to do.
                                                                                                        However, vetting them and carefully monitoring what they say to customers is imperative. I don't give them a pass. Ever.
                                                                                                        I've worked with and experienced many of them enough to understand they're just as responsible for what comes out of their mouths as anyone else.

                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                          ldancer, true, it is a different playing field, one that took me a few months to learn but glad I did. (we're getting waaay OT here) his brief obsession that people were trying to touch his butt was sort of humorous, his demand that people stop arguing in public was endearing and most welcome as it was a cranky office, phone messages were useless, the toughest was probably the talk about loudly muttering and masturbating in the bathroom stall (closed and latched, no visuals). that stopped and all was cool again until his mom died and he was looking for answers and blame. poor guy.

                                                                                                          but he was always a sweetheart to any and all, often said odd things, but all quite forgivable.

                                                                                                          he also functioned as my barometer in the office, if someone couldn't even be civil to this guy I knew they were not going to be on my holiday card list.

                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                            I have mixed feelings about this, as someone with Asperger's. I don't know what you mean by "I don't give them a pass. Ever", but I hope that you are kind about it.

                                                                                                            There are many things I have said in younger days that I absolutely cringe about even now, and weird or rude though it might have been, was often crushed that it was interpreted differently to how I meant it (I NEVER would have wanted to hurt or offend anybody, but only can see looking back on it how bad it might have sounded). I am thankful for the graciousness of kind and understanding people whose paths have crossed mine over the years.

                                                                                                            I can fly under the radar now that I am much older, and people would never even know I was Aspie most of the time, but I carry a lot of esteem issues and social anxiety from people "not giving me a pass" when I really was a kid without a clue, and had no idea that my brain was wired differently to most others.

                                                                                                            But - again, I'm not sure what you mean when you are using the phrase. Could be different to how I understand it.

                                                                                                            1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                                              <I don't know what you mean by…>

                                                                                                              There are far too many people who enable people they feel have no power over what they say. I'm not one of them.
                                                                                                              It's terribly important for the type of population, that is being described on this thread, to be taught social manners. Oftentimes they're not because parents believe the overall populace is going to be tolerant of their behavior BECAUSE they're handicapped in some way and they don't address problems as they arise.
                                                                                                              I have alot of experience with family mental illness and mentally handicapped.
                                                                                                              Luckily, there has been, along the way, very astute and professional assistance.
                                                                                                              This is waaay off topic so I'll stop.

                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                ehh Asperger's or whatever, some people just get nervous and say silly things they wish they hadn't - god knows I do. I could offer an example from last week verbally comparing unwanted kittens and sending orphans to the workhouse that was meant as a joke (a joke!) too late to take it back now but I don't think anyone was listening anyway. at least here I can report myself if I've said something truly horrific.

                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                  I have to learn to remember to say "Oh no, that came out completely screwed up" but I am usually too busy feeling completely mortified!

                                                                                                                2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                  Sometimes, controlling inappropriate behavior stemming from mental illness or brain damage is like asking somebody with one leg to walk normally as if they had two. It just can't be done. Period. Brain damage is permanent and sometimes it truly cannot be helped.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                      Gary didn't get brain damage until later in his career. Before that, he was just a wild and crazy guy!

                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                        Gary is the kind of guy I would like to spend a weekend in Mexico with unlimited tequila at our disposal. I could just imagine that tattoo I would have as a keepsake of that weekend.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Uncle Yabai

                                                                                                                      Yes, brain damage is futile when it comes to some sorts of expected behavior.
                                                                                                                      I agree.
                                                                                                                      However, brain damage has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.
                                                                                                                      Beyond that…there are just certain circumstances where a person who's known to blurt out offensive comments shouldn't be hired. Not everyone is going to be okay on the receiving end of the comments.

                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                        Brain damage may have something to do with what you are talking about. If you were on the receiving end of an unwanted comment, how would you know what medical physical or mental disability the person has or even if they have one? Let me guess, you would ask.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fryerlover

                                                                                                                          "Were you dropped on your head as a child?"

                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                            Yes actually I was, but I'm not sure this is on topic anymore.

                                                                                                                          2. re: fryerlover

                                                                                                                            <Let me guess, you would ask>

                                                                                                                            I don't enjoy being on the receiving end of ANYONE who throws ANY unwanted comment at me if I haven't deserved it. I don't care what their problem is.
                                                                                                                            It's not acceptable and I don't tolerate it.
                                                                                                                            No excuses, nothing less than a 'I'm sorry I offended you' will do. I wouldn't ask because it's irrelevant.
                                                                                                                            But, certainly, we're all entitled to decide for ourselves what we're willing to endure when it comes to other people and how we're treated.

                                                                                                                      2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                        I'm late here, but in reply to "they don't address problems as they arise" that is the key, to be calm and consistent and not freak out. lots of people don't seem to be capable of that. in the bathroom behavior issue we didn't tell the guy what he was doing was wrong, we just explained his noises made other people uncomfortable. he didn't get a 'hall pass' on that, just an easy talk that it's a behavior best indulged at home, not work. of course after that he was always reminding everybody to wash their hands - not a bad result IMHO.

                                                                                                                        of course I did manipulate the butt-touching idea one day when a complete raging ass was with us in the tiny galley kitchen who was simply a thoroughly hateful person. he was sure she had tried to 'touch his butt' and in her presence I asked him dead-pan "so do you think she likes you?" I still bear the scars of the daggers shot from her eyes that AM and wear them as a badge of honor, even though I am going to hell for that.

                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                          Stick with me HillJ, I got an in with the Pope!

                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                            climb every mountain, work every angle!

                                                                                                                          2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                            This entire conversation is illuminating to me.
                                                                                                                            Nobody really knows what another person's story is on this thread, unless they know the person personally.
                                                                                                                            Without going into great detail, because it's definitely personal on my part, I'm NOT unaware of the complexities of mental illness or any other brain abnormality.
                                                                                                                            My personal boundaries have been challenged most of my life with the population of people we're addressing.
                                                                                                                            These people are close to me, are respected by me, they respect me and everyone lives life fully…or to the fullest extent that's possible.
                                                                                                                            Not one of them would appreciate NOT being called on their social behavior if it was ever an issue. They, for the most part, like being in the world with 'normal people' and don't want the attention of people who feel sorry for them or make reference to their disability.
                                                                                                                            On the flip side of that I'm not going to be a target for their misbehavior. It works both ways.

                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              That's why I was asking for clarification in the first place, I wondered if you were coming across as something you might not have intended - but as you said at the time, this is waaay off topic - so I felt like even though I still wasn't sure of what you meant, it would have been rude of me to pursue it... so I recommended your post to acknowledge that I appreciated your response and left it at that.

                                                                                                                              Eh, sometimes it's all too difficult... differently wired or otherwise, communication is a fraught business.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                                                                <communication is a fraught business>

                                                                                                                                Wow, isn't that the truth? :-).

                                                                                                                                The other day I was sitting next to someone in a theater who, I swear, didn't take a breath in between sentences.
                                                                                                                                It was nonstop and everyone around her was becoming increasingly agitated (I could feel it in the air) but nobody was going to take the chance.
                                                                                                                                I simply, calmly and directly eye-eye, asked her to quit talking because she was giving me a headache.
                                                                                                                                She did.

                                                                                                                              2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                that's reasonable, I don't pity or feel sorry for them, they are not basket cases, and they have a lot more to offer than some are willing to see. that's all, so what if a transaction takes a moment longer and involves a 'knock-knock' joke that Sartre would have wished he were clever enough to think of.

                                                                                                                            2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              As the mother of a son with borderline Asperger's (and as the sister of a man with Asperger's AND as the aunt of a teen boy with autism), I can tell you that we do not "enable" our children, nor do we expect the "overall populace" to be tolerant of their behavior. We do teach social skills, but sometimes, their brains just don't absorb the lesson right away because they think differently from neurotypical people.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                I get that you don't enable your children, and probably most don't, but I have seen some who do. One woman in particular comes to mind who did absolutely nothing ever to correct her daughter's behaviour. This daughter ran wild, so to speak. This wasn't a casual acquaintance, by the way, but someone who I engaged with socially over a long period of time, so was around her and her daughter on a regular basis.

                                                                                                                                Parents who try I applaud. Parents who gave up because they can't be bothered I find irritating.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                  I applaud you for not enabling because it's very, very easy to do…the guilt and all kinds of emotions preclude very loving, caring parents from not being able to do so. So many feel they can't be helped and they just give up and let their loved one run everyone's life. It's truly difficult.
                                                                                                                                  I've been around people you're describing all my life.
                                                                                                                                  I've interacted and experienced all kinds of incidents that only a professional could handle.
                                                                                                                                  Of course they 'think differently' from neurotypical people.
                                                                                                                                  It's the reason why many live in homes or assisted living where they're overlooked all their lives.

                                                                                                                      3. I had to buy a pregnancy test. The female checker said "Omg!! Are you excited?!?!" I wasn't. Thankfully it was negative anyway.

                                                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: sherrib

                                                                                                                          sherri - woulda been a better story if you were a guy. (smirk)

                                                                                                                          Tracey - heck I have bought pads or whatever for gal-pals many times, I don't care, just gimme a list of preferred brands and types, if anybody says anything I'll go into a long, sad story about explosive diarrhea or how just NOTHING soaks up blood out of car trunk crevices as well as they do. a good friend has to buy adult diapers for her mom and has developed a certain humorous "F-U" attitude towards anybody who feels the need to comment "boy I can't WAIT to slide into a pair of these babies!" (well she always had that 'tude to some extant)

                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                            Wow, some of these comments are horrible. One more reason why I'm glad I do my groceries at public mrkts, farmer's mrkts and mom and pop grocers/butchers/fish mongers.

                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                Your post made me remember something that happened when I was about 13. My family always went away for the summer and that year I needed some pads. My dad drove me and a friend to the (small) town drugstore. The guy at the counter couldn't have been more than 20 years old, obviously a local, and he held up my box very high and said (in a loud voice) "how much are these things?" The drugstore had one of those lunch counters which was filled with more local teenagers. His mission was accomplished, I was mortified, and resolved never to be in that situation again.

                                                                                                                                1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                  "resolved never to be in that situation again"

                                                                                                                                  and how did that work out?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                    Perpetually pregnant? Heh.

                                                                                                                                    I avoid it too...I always go to a female clerk even if the line is longer. Neurotic? Perhaps.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                      "Never to be in the situation again" of going out of town unprepared and having to go to that small-town drugstore. Always went there well stocked!

                                                                                                                                      BTW (and off topic): the small town was about 2+ miles (as the crow flies) from the original Woodstock festival. Almost next to the drugstore was the small grocery store that was featured in the film. I have very vivid memories of that weekend (not that I could go to the festival, I was too young).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                        heh, I know places like that and around here chances are an older woman perhaps a clerk, would pull you aside and say "oh honey you don't want that - they had a toxic shock scare just a while back, this is what I recommend to my daughters"

                                                                                                                                        although it's sad that any woman might have felt shamed by that purchase. what a weird world it has been and continues to be.

                                                                                                                                        next time call me, I'm shameless: "do these come in stripes or paisley? maybe some kind of cat print"

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                          I like to think that many years later, I've matured and grown up quite a bit. I'm not so shy and introverted anymore and have gotten very bold in my comebacks. Sometimes I can't believe the things that come out of my mouth.

                                                                                                                                          I do like your ideas of stripes, paisley or a cat print :)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                      This wasn't so much rude as not paying any damn attention. I had tampons, pads, a script for a UTI and a big tub of Advil.

                                                                                                                                      Clerk rung it all up, packed it all up, and then looked at me and said the ubiquitous "Have a nice day!" I took a beat, looked her in the eye and asked "How the hell is that going to happen?" She came out of her retail-worker coma and laughed and put a free kit-kat in the bag, too.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: lsmutko

                                                                                                                                        "She came out of her retail-worker coma and laughed and put a free kit-kat in the bag, too."

                                                                                                                                        Nice! That's what I call good customer service on her part and a damn good sense of humor (I'm guessing/hoping) on your part.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                          I was wondering if she put the money in the drawer herself though.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                            Oy, didn't think of that. Shortages in some retail outlets are evaluated by the percentage amount (against the total per cashier). Obviously, the higher the shortage, the bigger the problem. If the cashier is off $2 with a total sales of $2,000, then that's .001%. Could also be that there's a stash of whatever to give to customers for various reasons.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                              Overages send up red flags, meaning the skimming cashier's math is off.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                It was a small privately owned pharmacy/little bit of everything store in a small town. I knew the owner/pharmacist, and I'm pretty sure that if she'd been asked about the difference (I kinda doubt that they were that exact about their inventory in the late 80s) she would have ID'd me and it would've been fine. The owner once lent us a wheelchair for no rental fee when a family member had an injury that limited mobility. He was a good egg.

                                                                                                                                                And alwayshungry -- yeah, I was kidding when I said it. I found it pretty hilarious that that load of purchases could, in any way, be followed by a good day. But the candy helped.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: sherrib

                                                                                                                                    I hate the grocery stores where you have to pick those up at the service desk.

                                                                                                                                  3. From both cashiers and other customers.

                                                                                                                                    When I visit my parents I have to go to Wegmans for beer, baked goods and desserts. I get a lot of " man, what would I give to be able to eat like that and have a body like yours" with wistful stares at my purchases. Or the opposite when I'm at home doing my normal shopping. "I see why you have a body like that".

                                                                                                                                    I think next time I'm going to say," that's sexual harassment and I'm not going to take it anymore".

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                      Yea, I often get the "do you eat all of this yourself?" to which I always reply "yes, in fact, I do" and then have to handle comments of "wow, where do you put it?" Seriously? Mind your business.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                        that's where a quiet "why do you ask?" generally alerts them to the fact that they're totally out of line.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                          I think Miss Manners would suggest a sly smile and reply of "what an entertaining question."

                                                                                                                                          but she's far less crass than I.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                        oh I bet I could come up with something, how's this? (a coy smile) "now are you flirting with me? (show dimples, run fingers through your hair and lean in close) because let me tell you a little secret, in about 20 minutes you'll want someone to hose down the spot in aisle 5 right. by. the. cart. return." (wink and exit)

                                                                                                                                        yeah ok bulemia is no joking matter but they asked for the discomfort.

                                                                                                                                      3. Many, many years ago, I checked out a few items including a four pack of diaper pins. The male checker said, "Wow these are old fashioned. I didn't know anyone used these any more."

                                                                                                                                        A few weeks ago, I checked out a few items and a package of Pampers. Another male checker, said, "How do you afford to use these. They are so expensive." Sheesh.

                                                                                                                                        I also had a guy make a face about the price of a stainless grater I bought there once.

                                                                                                                                        The store was ultimately bought out, and then closed. Overall, it was a good store. But I have no idea why the young men felt they needed to comment on things I bought.

                                                                                                                                        Here in Vancouver, WA I notice that if the checkers chat it is always upbeat, plain vanilla small talk. And the checkers at Winco and Safeway appear to be working too hard to comment about anything at all. Fred Meyer and WF checkers are more likely to chat. None of them comment on my purchases though.

                                                                                                                                        1. I get the most annoying comments at local pharmacies/drugstores.

                                                                                                                                          One woman at the CVS down the street ALWAYS asks me about nearly every product in my basket. Once she held up a line of maybe 8 people to ask how I put my eyeliner on "so perfectly." I kept shrugging and saying "I don't know, I just do" but she wanted more tips and even took out a piece of paper to jot down notes, the brands of makeup I was purchasing, etc.

                                                                                                                                          I often get the "How do you eat this and stay so thin?" line of questioning when I buy my carbs.

                                                                                                                                          When I was in my late teens, I had to buy a pregnancy test and had the checkout woman ask: "So, are you hoping for a positive or a negative?"

                                                                                                                                          And I stated this in my thread a few months back about the "chatty bagger" at my local grocery store, but I have a picc line in my arm (a somewhat permanent IV catheter) which has to be kept dressed in gauze and a mesh sleeve. I have had COUNTLESS checkout personnel ask me "What's that?" as they nod or point or reach at my IV. I am not so much offended as put in an uncomfortable spot. I never know what to say. It varies from "None of your business" to "I got bit by a raccoon" to "It's an IV," which ironically is the only one that shuts them up completely.

                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                            I'd be so tempted to say "It's my sussssssstenanaccccce" in a really, really creepy way just to wig people out.

                                                                                                                                            (a friend of mine tripped over her cat and twisted her ankle and ended up on crutches. After the third day of answering "Oh, what did you do?" and not wanting to admit how it really happened, she gave a wink and said "the sling broke" Shut people up immediately, although I thought I was going to choke trying to not laugh)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                              Sometimes people will ask about the respirator mask that I sometimes have to wear out - I have refractory asthma.

                                                                                                                                              I like to tell them that it keeps me from biting people.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                "sweetheart, can I call you that? sweetheart? ehh? confidentially, it's either this or a muzzle"

                                                                                                                                              2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                Not a grocery store, but I once had a pharmacist lecture me in front of a whole line of customers telling me, "That's what you get when you buy your medication from Canada," because I had run out and needed a week's worth to hold me over. That would be my medication that cost about $1000/mo. in the States and I had no insurance back then. Oh yeah, and I needed it to keep on living so that I could continue to listen to his small minded stupidity.

                                                                                                                                                There's also a doctor's nurse who will never make a certain mistake about announcing pregnancy test results in public again, but that's a story for a different time and place.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                  that is SO in violation of a multitude of laws under HIPA in the US (or ought to be) a close friend is HIV+ this was back when it was a timed cocktail of pills and had phoned in his renewal days in advance. yet the pharmacy was out. he had to demand through clenched teeth just how vital the next dose was and his life depended on it. after threats of violence (so I hear and sorta believe) they made some phone calls to make it happen but only after his BP went through the roof (and heh, scared a pharmacist or two). shit I would have gone across town to play 'fetch' had it been an option, there was just no reason they didn't have it. major city, plenty of folks in a similar situation, no excuse. I hate that chain for many reasons, but that was the icing on the cake.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                    I would have reported that pharmacist to whatever governing authorities I could find. As hill food said - that's totally against HIPAA laws to discuss any patient's meds in public, even a broad statement like that.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                    OMG, There's a CVS in a neighboring town that has a checker like that. She inspects and talks about every little thing I'm buying, and I just want to pay and get out there.

                                                                                                                                                    And I've actually found it interesting to walk up to a young man to check me out and have feminine hygiene products. I'm not embarrassed by it, but sometimes they are. Better get used to it, boys. You'll be buying them soon enough. :-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Haha yes to this. There was definitely a moment in my life when I went from only going to a female cashier to buy feminine products to getting in the high school aged boy's line just to see what happened. I've actually never had a problem- good for them!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        I find a drugstore to be one of the last places on earth I'd like commentary on the items in my shopping cart!

                                                                                                                                                        The worst worst worst--and I'm sorry if I'm crossing some CHOW line here--is if you're a young female buying *ahem* prophylactic items late at night. Maybe it's just L.A., but I've had some of the CREEPIEST interactions in this situation with male clerks. It's been a few years since I was out painting the town, but I distinctly remember how much I dreaded doing that.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          There is a King of the Hill animated tv show called aisle 8a. Straight as an arrow neighbor Hank Hill has to take care of his neighbor teenage girl when she gets her first period, and poor Hank has to visit 8a,a place he would never navigate. Funny show.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                            Love King of the Hill. Remember that episode... "Do you need a band aid?!"

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                          @nothingiswrong, I checked your profile to see if you posted in the Philadelphia board, because I think you and I go to the same CVS, crazy lady with overly-dyed hair and thick black eyeliner... she needed that tip on how to apply, so bless you for helping her out like that

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                                            I'm in L.A., but there must be someone at CVS corporate who's hiring similar women at their stores nationwide. Anyway, last I checked, the woman at my CVS didn't take my advice anyway. Still the same smeared purple eyeliner all over her face :)

                                                                                                                                                        3. A friend of mine was in the hospital and asked me to purchase about 10 magazine rags from a nearby market.
                                                                                                                                                          People, US, etc…magazines to pass the time away in the hospital.
                                                                                                                                                          The checker started a conversation in front of me about people who purchase these mags and how their lives must be so sad and unfulfilled and how dare they buy them.
                                                                                                                                                          All the time ringing them up with a huff.

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                            Sometimes being distracted by rag mags is just what you need to pass time, or help you relax.
                                                                                                                                                            Helps me in the dentist office.
                                                                                                                                                            That, and Angry Birds ;-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                              "Thank you for sharing your opinion" is about all I would say to that checker.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                                                When people talk about me in front of me I return the favour by completely failing to acknowledge they are even there - drives them NUTS.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                                                  I find that kind of behavior even MORE weird…

                                                                                                                                                                  Passive aggressive is an angry response. I'm more apt to be more honest and calmly respond with something more direct.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                    If a stranger chooses to talk about me without addressing me directly, which is what I thought you were describing, I feel no need to address them directly either. They are usually looking for attention and a reaction. So I give them none. They get quite worked up sometimes. I smile and move on.

                                                                                                                                                            2. I can't recall a rude or really inappropriate remark at check out.
                                                                                                                                                              I only have this one guy checker who loves to chat as he scans and bags. He'll be telling a story to the customer in front of me, then just continue on with the same story or line of thought when it's my turn.
                                                                                                                                                              I overhear what he says, of course, but I'm not listening!
                                                                                                                                                              Yet, he just sees another person in front of him and continues!
                                                                                                                                                              It's harmless and doesn't slow him down, and he doesn't seem to notice that we customers are smiling and nodding politely, and moving on asap.
                                                                                                                                                              "OK, then, thank you...byeeeeeeeeeeeee"

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                I did have a bizarre comment last week that wasn't rude -- just supremely weird.

                                                                                                                                                                I made some comment about how it was only Tuesday, and I shouldn't be this tired already (the universal consensus is that last week was a bizarrely long and exhausting one, regardless of location or occupation!

                                                                                                                                                                She said that she had a sinus infection and it was making her really tired (a bit TMI, but okay....) She then went on to tell me that she'd been reading that it's because there are infected boogers in the air and we get sick because those boogers get caught in our noses!

                                                                                                                                                                (she's not entirely wrong, but hooboy, something got really mixed up in the translation.....)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                  That's why I wear a Booger Guard over my nose!
                                                                                                                                                                  The only boogers I want up my nose are mine.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Working in retail most of my life, it's a two way street. My favorite is "I'm in a hurry!!!" My wanna be response is "wake up earlier." Fortunately I don't deal with the public much anymore, but most are nice and understanding, it's the one or two every day that wants you to resort with the ole bamboo under the fingernails.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                  It's funny because I always say "I'm in a hurry" when I want the employee to stop chit-chatting with me. It's not that I want to rush them, just want them to STFU and focus on their job (ringing me up, bagging groceries, swiping credit card, etc.). I know that sounds awful and like I'm an asshole, but sometimes when running lots of errands, I just have to go into my "quiet happy place" (L.A. traffic!) and don't feel like having a 10 minute conversation with every person I interact with that day.

                                                                                                                                                                  Then again, for whatever reason, I'm constantly bombarded by comments and chit chat with every store clerk I come face to face with. Not sure what it is, but they all seem to want to talk, so it's impossible to just get in and out of anywhere, even if I AM in a rush.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Ha! Just last night as my husband and I were checking out at a large liquor/beer store, the cashier said, "Come back and see us - maybe around the time of baseball playoffs?" (Implying that we were buying a LOT of beer.

                                                                                                                                                                  I wanted to say, "No, Kasey. This is exactly the amount of beers we require, so why don't you shut your whore mouth?"

                                                                                                                                                                  But I didn't.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                                    Comments like these make me wonder what the guys who pick up our recycling must think of all the wine bottles they collect from us every week!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                      heh - there's a Bukowski poem about that - being woken by his own trash being collected and the comments made...

                                                                                                                                                                  2. At the risk of bringing up the Trader Joe's comment thread again, SO and I find the checkers at our local TJs generally intrusive. It almost always starts with a "So what are you doing today?" To which we reply (because we usually stop at TJs on a weekend afternoon when running other errands), "Oh, just some errands." Then they come back with, "Like what? It's so nice today! You should get outside!" And then we'll come back with, "Well, we have some yard work planned." And inevitably, the unnecessary critique/comments on our plans, like, "Oh I like to go hiking! You should go hiking!" Or similar.

                                                                                                                                                                    Look, we both work full-time and we enjoy our time together on the weekends AND our yard work. Just stop after "Hi. Did you find everything you were looking for?"

                                                                                                                                                                    I think it's so annoying to us because this back-and-forth is almost always accompanied with a running commentary on our purchases. "Aren't these great? I love these. Do you have a cat? You have a dog, too? How do they get along? What kind of cat?" Occasionally, it's negative comments about our purchases, like "Ick! Black licorice!"

                                                                                                                                                                    With the exception of the overtly negative comment (like on the licorice), it's difficult to verbalize why the chattiness is intrusive unless you experience it. It's like being hounded with a frantic questioning in the five minutes it takes to check out and bag. I haven't complained yet to management because "hounding" is vague feedback. One day I'll be cranky enough to say something, though.

                                                                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: team_cake

                                                                                                                                                                      I am generally okay with the chattiness (and often I'm the one to start it), but I do sympathize because I have those days when I just don't feel like it. On those days, I simply don't give any direct answers. To any question, I give an answer like, "Oh, ya' know" and let my voice trail off. Kills conversation without being too aggressive (I hope!).

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                                                                                        That's funny because we've both tried that approach when it's too much...and it doesn't deter them! That's one reason it seems to tip them from genuine friendliness to being a boor.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: team_cake

                                                                                                                                                                        I would bet that those TJ checkers are doing what management wants them to do. They probably have to sit through orientation sessions on how to "engage" customers.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowyadoin99

                                                                                                                                                                          I don't doubt TJs staff are trained to engage the customers. However, there is a line between "friendly and engaging" and "intrusive and judgmental" and not all the checkers have the common sense to tell when they've gone too far.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: team_cake

                                                                                                                                                                            "ohh I just love this stuff" is about the most I want to hear (if even that)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: team_cake

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't usually mind the chattiness, aside from that one employee stocking who couldn't shut her mouth. She was new from what I gathered in her conversations with other employees so perhaps over zealous. Sometimes though I find the topic of the conversations between employees while I'm checking out to be uncomfortably TMI

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                I once overheard a checker and bagger having a somewhat hushed conversation, where they almost completely ignored me (customer) and were loudly whispering back and forth. Fine by me! Anyway, it looked more like they were trying to hide their conversation from the store manager than anyone else.

                                                                                                                                                                                Topic of conversation? In the time it took to ring up my 10 items or less, I got an earful about one gnarly vaginal infection, and a husband that would "wait" for it to clear up before resuming bedroom activities.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: team_cake

                                                                                                                                                                            The checkers at my usual store have been trained to ask every customer, "Did you find everything you were looking for today?" The few times I've said, "No. There were a few things I wanted that I couldn't find," the poor kids had no idea what to do. Seem no one ever expected the customer to answer truthfully. Usually they just mumble, "Sorry," and keep on scanning.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                              Our TJs does this. The one time I truthfully said "no," the checker called over another employee who said there was some in stock and offered to go get them. Problem was I was in a hurry and it was not anything I needed urgently. It took all of my insistence to assure them that I did not want to wait and would buy some next time. Lesson learned.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: masha

                                                                                                                                                                                The one time I said yes to a TJ cashier, he left his register and got it for me himself. Now that's service!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. They are very willing to help. I just did not want to wait. When I need something there that is not on the shelves, I usually ask an employee stocking items and they will find it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: masha

                                                                                                                                                                                  I had that happen to me at Kroger. They were out of tarragon, and I mentioned when she asked if I'd found everything. Just something along the lines of, "Mostly! There wasn't any tarragon left, but I found everything else."

                                                                                                                                                                                  She immediately called over a manager and tried to find some for me. She didn't even know what it was, so I had to tell her it was an herb. I tried to clarify that I knew where it was supposed to be, but there wasn't any there. After talking it over for a while, they offered to go see if there was any in the back.... At this point it had been going on for several minutes. There was a line building up behind me, and I didn't need it THAT badly, so I told them I was actually in a bit of hurry. (I was DARNED sure there wasn't any in the back, anyway, because there never has been when I've asked about other items.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  They looked irritated, and I felt incredibly awkward as I ducked out. I hadn't asked them to trip over themselves trying to find it, I just answered her question. :( I'll definitely be saying "Yes I did, thanks!" from now on, regardless of how truthful that is.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                  I always say "yes" even if I didn't find 100% of what I was looking for.
                                                                                                                                                                                  If it was that important, I would have pursued finding something further, before I unloaded onto the belt.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                    but aren't you ever tempted to say something to the checker out of left field like: "I coulda sworn there were potty trained ring-tailed lemurs last time. I sure could have gone for a few of those in my atrium"

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                      for that one, I usually dredge up the "never did find that 5-pound bag of fifties I keep looking for"

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                        they're usually kept behind the hand-ground masa on the bottom shelf.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                    When I go to Aldi and the cashiers ask, I always mention if they were out of something that I wanted to pick up. They usually tell me when they will be restocked, which is nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                4. Not a checker but a grocery employee. My former favorite supermarket has now become the center where they fill all the online orders.
                                                                                                                                                                                  An online order stockist who was pushing a large cart through the aisles bumped into me. He apologized, then qualified, "But you're just going for a stroll; *I'm* working."

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: almond tree

                                                                                                                                                                                    it's pronounced "ahs-WE-pe"

                                                                                                                                                                                    yet still spelled asswipe

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I haven't gotten any remarks as offensive as some of the ones that other people are reporting here, but one time a bagger commented mockingly on my purchase and, for once in my life, I had the presence of mind to say, "Next time you go shopping I'm going to come and comment on what you're buying." And glared. He mumbled something that might have been "sorry" while the cashier gave him a dirty look.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: P_penelope

                                                                                                                                                                                      it is OK to reply to jackass comments with something equally jack-assy (and believe me when I say: I can always come up with something even jack-assier)

                                                                                                                                                                                      but your response was good.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I can't think of any rude remarks, but I've had checkers completely ignore me because they were talking to the checker in the next aisle over.

                                                                                                                                                                                      One time my total was $6.66. The checker said to me, "Oh, you better buy something else!" I guess since 666 is an evil number and something bad would happen since that came up on the register. I didn't find this rude, just kind of weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                                                                                                        This happened to my mom this weekend! She actually was going to buy something else before I brought her back to reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                                                                                                          In that case, feel free to put something back.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tell the checker to keep the pennies -- neither of you will get the bad luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. There's always that checker, after she/he's rung up my $300 worth of groceries, who announces:

                                                                                                                                                                                            "I've been running to the restroom all day long and I'm sure I have the flu, I hope you're having a good day".

                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                              Gross. Or after they've swiped and bagged all of your fresh produce, they begin coughing and hacking into their hands and go "I'm so sick. I've been coughing up mucus all day."

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've walked away and left the entire purchase.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyone who's sick shouldn't be working with food and I'm not willing to take the chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Indeed. I'm the office manager for a produce subscription company, and sometimes people come to pick up their boxes at my office. If I'm sick (like today), I have no contact with that box. I always stay several feet away from the customers, inform them that I am under the weather so I and apologize for not being able to get their box for them, and then show them where to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Obviously, it would be better if I just stayed home, I know. I would have to work from my coffin, were it necessary. I can't even take a real vacation, because I know the owner would call me every five minutes needing his hand held.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But seriously. Sick people and food are not okay. And it's a grocery store! There is SOMEONE who can cover for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I applaud your thoughtfulness and only wish more people do what you do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The last time I heard this from a checker at 'my' market, and my entire order had already been rung up, I asked him why he was working. He's working with food, after all, I explained to him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      His answer?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      First he laughed. Then he went on to explain that HE didn't like to call in sick unless HE was REALLY ill because HE likes to build up sick days so HE can use them for vacation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ugh. I got the message loud and clear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                        food, or no food, I HATE coworkers who do that and get everybody in the workplace or on the train/bus sick as well. I want to belt them and explain "none of us are indispensable, the company will survive without you or me and in a few days you'll still have your job and fewer sworn enemies who want to take you out behind the dumpster... you can take a sick day or two now or you can be laid up for weeks with a ruptured kidney due to blunt force trauma - your call pal"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't belt them (although I want to) but I have NO problem saying "Go home. Our company is small - we can't afford to have a lot of people out of work because they're sick." I've even shooed the CEO out of the office. Most of our employees can work from home, so it's not like they're not getting anything done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            we had a hideous bout of flu and respiratory illnesses this winter, and we're a small office, too

                                                                                                                                                                                                            We bought a bottle of sanitzer for every desk and every sink in the place (both out in the plant and in the office), fogged the entire office with Lysol before we went home,posted "cover your cough" and "wash your hands" posters over every sink, and pretty much just asked everybody to please just stay home if they felt even marginal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My message was that you'll recover faster with proper rest, you can't work when you feel like hell, and while we like having you around, we're not so fond of all your cooties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Go home, go to bed, and come back when you feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            We were still down to skeleton staff a few times...as careful as we were, we just couldn't avoid it all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                              just gotta roll with the punches. and hey! life goes on!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The closest grocery to me has a notorious checker who wants to talk to everyone about Jesus. She can work Jesus into any conversation about any product or item, or the weather or whatever impetus she uses to try to engage you in conversation, so that she can turn it towards Jesus. I've told the manager about her but she only tones it down for awhile and then starts up again a few months later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I avoid her line whenever possible. I've been known to see that she's the only checker, look her in the eye, abandon my cart and leave in a huff to try to indicate that I'd rather quit shopping there and do it all over elsewhere than to interact with her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I know, I know, quit shopping there. But the next closest grocery is a considerable distance away and I find myself stopping there when I need just one or two things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would still go through the line, and hold up my hand and say "STOP. I don't wish to discuss my religious beliefs with you, please." And if she continues? THEN abandon everything on her checkout counter - which means she'll then have to delay checking anyone else out because she'll have to remove the items from the belt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And speak to the manager again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Those situations are where my canvas bag with DOG IS MY COPILOT lettering comes in really handy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm planning one based on a bumper sticker I saw in SF a few years ago:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "God used to be my copilot but we crashed in the mountains and I ate him"

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kcshigekawa

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder if there is an exemption if its a Friday during lent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We've removed some posts here that had nothing to do with the subject at hand, or about chow, for that matter. Let's try to stick with the subject at hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I would take that as a compliment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I had a long day at work staring at the computer and stopped at Whole Foods on my way home. The checker said, "Wow you look really tired." Thanks jerk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've always thought "You look really tired today" is man code for "You look like sh*t today." I hate when men say that to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, I just reply: "Nope, this is just what I look like."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What's worse is when people say that, and you actually feel really good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dang, I thought I looked good today!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lol, very true! I had someone say that to me recently when I'd gotten all dolled up for a dinner thing and thought I looked pretty decent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Wow, you look exhausted."
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I shot back immediately: "NO I DON'T!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seriously. I've gotten that my whole life, even when I'm not particularly tired that day. It's always gotten me down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            (I was just diagnosed with narcolepsy though, so I guess they were right!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. One time, a few years ago, I was in line at the checkout at a local grocery store. The store had one of those Clearance display things near the checkout, and they had some corn on the cob dishes for 75% off. I took a couple in my basket. It was winter time, and the parka I was wearing had a deep pocket and it was full of change for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I got to the checkout line, the corn dishes didn't ring up at the clearance price, so I asked the cashier to check them. I said I didn't want them if they weren't on clearance. After that was straightened out, I paid the bill and decided to empty some of the change out of my pocket to pay with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          While I'm counting out the change, the cashier asks me, "Are you Jewish by any chance?".

                                                                                                                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Being cheap/frugal/stingy is a Jewish stereotype.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was a blatantly bigoted comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sorry perhaps I should have explained my original comment better. I understand that stereotype for Jewish people, I guess what I didn't understand was the reference to paying with exact change as being "cheap/frugal/stingy". I HATE change and have a jar in my office and bedroom to empty my pockets of it as often as possible. Similar to the mwk I (non-Jewish) will try to use or pay with whatever change I have on me, just to get rid of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I could see if the change due was $.02 and the cashier was out of penny's and mwk insisted on getting his/her change, that would be "cheap/frugal/stingy" or if in fact the plates weren't on sale, but mwk was trying to get them discounted etc. I guess on my initial read I didn't catch onto a cheap/frugal/stingy aspect of mwk's actions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Change is generally a PITA anymore.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We throw ours into a beautiful green glass jar in the kitchen (convenience so we don't forget and leave it all over) and when it looks like it's getting heavy, we take it to a bank coin counter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Usually, a really nice dinner out ensues!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The coin counter is the best: It's like free money!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, really? I can't even believe that, how rude!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unless he happened to notice by some chance that the school you've linked your loyalty card to (like groceries in my area do) has a distinctly Jewish name and just wanted to know if he'd seen you at services last week, that's worth an immediate trip to the manager. It's also worth his job on the spot and a letter to the store's CEO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The funny thing was that it didn't register with me right away. I am in fact Jewish, and I was counting change and thinking about everything I needed to get done that day, and it just didn't hit me until I was driving away from the store. When I got home, I told my wife the story and asked her what she thought, and she read me the riot act for not turning around, driving back to the store, and having the guy fired. I just never did anything about it, unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    this falls into the category of so beyond stupid I say it's ok to mess with them right back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "do you SEE me wearing that funny hat to hide the little horns on my head? do I LOOK like a Christ-killer? nobody's trying to Jew anybody down and that's the posted price! I thought the bean-counting merchant class LIKED exact change so they don't have to do subtraction and risk a debilitating STROKE"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (voice getting a bit louder with every word until a manager comes over)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the poor schlub probably doesn't actually know any Jewish people. kinda makes me wonder if he asks folks buying ace bandages and thumbtacks if they're members of Opus Dei.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <falls into the category of so beyond stupid>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's hard to tell what category this falls into unless you're there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Usually I've been able to decide, on the spot, where the person's coming from.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This type of comment isn't always innocent and stupid.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's happened to me where there's LOTS of venom behind it and it's hit me right between the eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have lived in areas where the very idea of Judaism is exotic. so in that context does referring to yahoos as 'astonishingly clueless' work better? hence my comments relating to ideas held by the hopelessly stone-brained.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am sorry latindancer if I offended, as I always appreciate your remarks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never took any offense to what you said, hill food and it's wonderfully thoughtful of you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really understand what you're saying, though, and agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with your wife on this…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However, it's not the first time it's happened and it won't be the last.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had a similar experience when the couple ahead of me in line had been interacting closely with the checker over prices of items, then after they were finished and had headed for the door, the checker motioned toward them and said to me, "I don't like Jews, do you?". I would suggest that this kind of comment be reported to the store manager. Years ago when my son was working as a checker his co-worker was fired on the spot for making an ethnicity-related comment to a customer and that was about 1975---surely nowadays businesses should have zero tolerance for this. It isn't a joking matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I had a cashier tell me that the free-run eggs I was buying were "a rip-off". He then proceeded to lecture me about how the chickens don't even get to run around and that the free-run label was a marketing ploy. I just wanted to get these eggs for pasta making, as the yolks are a beautiful orangey-yellow and I've found they make beautiful fresh pasta. I replied "I like these ones", but he kept talking! I don't need a morality lecture from someone who probably read something on the internets and has an axe to grind! Take my money!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: forthetrees

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Similarly, I bought some organic apples and there was a cashier being trained. "How to I key these in?" She asked her supervisor. The supervisor explained that the code was different because they were organic. The cashier asked 'what does organic mean?' and the supervisor explained that it doesn't mean anything and that it's a trick to get people to pay more for identical items.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The grandmotherly cashier who gasped when she saw that I had chicken and pork in the same bag. She told me she would put them in separate bags to avoid "cross contamination". Um, what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I was pregnant with my third and while I was bagging my groceries, the cashier pointed out that I must be due anyday. When I said 'nope, not until September' (it was July), she said 'Holy Cow! I was never that big with any of my kids!'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roostermom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          cheer up....that isn't as bad as the server who said she wouldn't serve me a drink since I was pregnant and 'I find it horrifying that you would do that to your baby.' Even though clearly it was none of her business to make such a value judgement, I might have appreciated the concern for my unborn child, except for the small detail that I was most definitely NOT pregnant!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As someone who has been mistaken for pregnant more than once, I can sympathize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please tell me you said something to her, susan. PLEASE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh yes. "I am most definitely not pregnant and I need that drink now, please". I think she learned her lesson..by the way, in case there are any completely clueless people out there: NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant (or for that matter, when she is due, unless she has previously told you she is pregnant)!. Well, I suppose if she has one of those T-shirts with the arrow pointing to the baby and she is clearly at least seven months along....or maybe not even then. It is the height of rudeness and none of your damn business unless you are the woman's doctor, and you will end up REALLY embarrassed if it turns out she just hasn't lost baby weight yet, or (as recently happened to a friend of mind) has some other medical condition that can make her appear a few months pregnant even when she is not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                By the way, in response to the question put to the OP's brother, my answer would have been simply "NO!" said emphatically and with a bit of a glare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I only made that blunder once.... at a picnic, there was a lady who certainly looked to be 7+ months along, and was wearing a pale-green blouse with a pink flower print, an empire waistline, and gathers in the front -- I'd still bet my lunch money it was a maternity blouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I asked her husband (fortunately out of earshot of the lady in question) when she was due, and he just said, Oh, she ain't pregnant - she's just fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I still wanted to crawl under a table...but boy, I've never done that again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love his reply.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I actually have a few maternity blouses that I wear, just because I like the style... so it's still possible that it WAS a maternity blouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes, that is indeed a delicate subject, when expecting and announced co-workers have returned after a mis-carry (that everyone in the place knows about), I feel I'm pushing the boundary to just say "oh hey Mary, it's good to see you back." so far it's always been received with a relieved look that I'm not going to press for details or pretend I'm a real friend (sure I like to work with you, but let's be real - y'know?), yet still I wonder if even that is going too far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wrote a lot of science fiction when I was in middle and high school, and checked out a baby name book a few times to get ideas. One time when I was returning it, the librarian asked if I knew whether it was a boy or a girl,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was 13. I had no idea what she was talking about and mumbled "I don't know" or something, then ran away. I was standing by my mom thinking about it, I made the connection. I told her what happened, and she very quickly went up front and explained that I was most certainly NOT pregnant and what the book was for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was in the middle of gaining a lot of weight due to depression, so it hit me pretty hard. To this day, 12 years later, I can't look that lady in the eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        don't let it bug you, 12 years is a lot of un-needed stress as it was her mistake. I live out in the hills on some land we bought when I was a toddler, the former owners showed up once to visit and casually asked if our parents had been able to marry off my sisters yet (who were only about 13 and 14 at the time) WTF!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        my folks just sort of mumbled something about maybe finishing high school first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, it doesn't stress me out at all. Still fat, but much more at peace with it. :) And luckily, I don't go to the library nearly as much anymore (having internet at HOME in this lovely modern era!) so I don't see her often. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd still want to mess with her maybe ask if the resources available can say how to create transgender babies in utero - that HAS to be a stumper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Two weeks ago I was doing my "big" shopping and I stocked up on my de riguer 15 (1 liter) bottles of Diet Coke. (one every work day for three weeks) and the checker went on and on about "how bad that is for you"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for this thread, next time I'm going to report her (didn't occur to me at the time)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  smile sweetly and reply "sure as hell beats the weeks of reconstructive surgery after consuming one huge-ass knuckle sandwich!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Not at the grocery store, but: I took a dress in to my long-time dry cleaner and the gal said, "I can't believe you still have that." I don't think she was trying to be offensive, but I couldn't manage to put a positive spin on it. I mean it's kind of funny (I've told this story to many friends), but not really on the "Do" list in the customer service manual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My potential replies:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Oohhh, feeling cranky today? Metamucil always works for me."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Are your parents truly proud of you?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Could I offer you a free five-year subscription to 'New Personality Magazine?'"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "You really need to attend more to your daily hygiene. Your breath is very bad."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. FYI, supermarket industry lingo for people who only buy sale items is "barnacles".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Back when I raised and showed pedigreed cats, I stocked up whenever there was a sale on canned cat food. Typically, I'd fill an empty carton, which might be a month's worth, or more. Often, checkers - and other customers - would look at the cans and say, "Wow, how many cats do you HAVE?". When I kvetched to a friend about this scenario, he suggested I reply: "What cats? I've got grandparents to feed!" I never had the nerve to use that line, but thinking about it was gratifying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't really think the question was RUDE, just overly inquisitive. I can't recall ever getting a rude comment from a cashier or checker anywhere. Considering that it's a monotonous job that requires hours of standing and doesn't pay well, I would not be at all surprised to encounter someone who was in a bad mood and shared it. I'd cut them a LOT of slack unless there was an ongoing problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        grey - I'd edit your friend's retort to just a deeply confused look and the reply "what cats?" let them fill in the blanks - if they have an imagination it might occupy their idle moments all day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it is a boring job and sometimes I try to be smart-ass in a kind and fun way. "yes that is good soap, but it's useless for removing old fingerprints"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sydthekyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always heard we were called "cherry pickers." I most unashamedly stock up on all sale products and love to see that tally at the bottom of the receipt "Sale : $56; You saved: $27." All those bags of jumbo shrimp, chicken breasts, lobster tails, green mussels and everything else they offer from overstock is welcome in my deep freezer any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One store I used to go to had a very hands on manager, who wandered the aisles in his spare time talking to customers. He came up to me one day when I had my cart overflowing with sale items, and said (in a very friendly way) "I'm not making a penny on you today, am I?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love to see what percentage I've saved too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. As a grocery clerk for a two years at an organic health food store there were some interesting conversations. I'm sure I offended some people with my remarks but I also got my fair share of rude customers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We'd switched to papers bags. I, obviously, had no say in the decision but that didn't stop a customer from going out of his way to ask.... "Do you feel morally superior by offering paper instead of plastic bags?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those we his exact words. My reaction was "Pardon me?" so he repeated the question. I've come up with a few good retorts but at that moment I was too stunned to say anything. He smirked and left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: piano boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wow I can't come up with a response to that beyond "nah my attitude is inherent and doesn't rely on external inanimate objects - just kinda zen that way I suppose or some such shit"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: piano boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                looking back at this it would have been tempting to remove his purchases from the bag and place them loose on the counter and say something like "oh you're right, this is so much better. Thank you, come again!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                il quest o gatz d'it la papagalle (sp)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (it's this or shit said the parrot)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: piano boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That seems like a pretty strange thing for a person who's buying stuff at an organic health food store to say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Our local markets employ intellectually disabled adults to bag groceries and walk them to your car (Publix supermarkets). I was purchasing assorted seafood and veggies to make gumbo this weekend. My bagger said, "Wow! It looks like you're going to be making something really delicious with all that food . . . I sure wish that my mom would cook like that!" His sincerity and facial expression made me want to invite him over for dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe freeze some, label (in case he's allergic) with ingredients and reheating info) and bring it by the Publix?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my gosh . . . had I not read so many vehement, hostile replies to the thread about giving homemade food gifts, I probably would have thought to do exactly that, GG!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh lord, I remember that thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I think there is one big glaring exception, and that's young men who miss home and can't/don't cook for themselves. I've never had someone like this be anything short of over-the-moon to receive something homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I purchase milk in bottles and return the cleaned/sanitized bottles to the store for refund. I pay $1.50 for the bottle when I'm purchasing the milk so it adds up and I'm not willing to just throw money away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a checker, today in fact, tell me that most people don't return the bottle for the money back, they just throw them away and that it takes alot of work to clean them and bring them back in.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Insinuating that I'm cheap…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's odd that I have to defend myself to the checker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ask her how many times a day she can throw away $1.50.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          $1.50 a pop adds up - and for all they know, you could be doing it for the environment. That would certainly be a big motivator for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I get similar comments when I bring my bottles back to my health food store...but it's always with an impressed/complimentary tone, rather than a condescending/insulting one. I'm pretty sure that even here in Michigan, where people are in the habit of collecting all of their cans and bottles for $0.10/pop, the people who are willing to pay for the Really Good Milk just don't think to bring back the Really Good Bottles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I keep them because they are such great storage bottles. Cost be damned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I've been tempted to keep them for the very same reason. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                when we were kids spending summer vacations in Michigan, picking up empties and returning them bought us a LOT of nickel candy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or, in the case of my friendly local alcoholics, their morning tallboy. To each their own fix. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you might be too sensitive.. the clerk simply said that most people don't return the bottles... which definitely could be true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is interesting. I return my milk bottles to WF and usually there is at least one other person there doing the same thing so I gather I'm hardly unique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  However, I think I'm the only person in the neighborhood who sends spouse out to "walk the dogs" on recycling day to look for Illy coffee cans in select bins. I *love* those things!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <I'm hardly unique>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not taking my bottles there anymore because I don't need the attitude….it's not the first time it's happened. Let's just say this particular market caters to some very pretentious and entitled acting clientele. Even though I know everyone in there, have been a customer there for years and don't really need the money for the returns, I don't really care for the attitude with a new person who works there and feels it necessary to act like a douchebag. There are lots of workers in this particular area who think people like the attitude. I don't get it. I can go down the street to another market where, as you say, returning bottle isn't unique
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm practical and for some psychological reason, even though I've already paid the deposit, the money back on the bottles sort of feels like a credit. It's weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and it's not even about the money really (if it were you wouldn't be shopping at WF in the first place, right?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "most people don't return the bottle for the money back, they just throw them away "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder how "most people" would feel if those bottles ended up in their backyards instead of in landfills where they don't see them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sherrib

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a side art/architecture 'project' on a long abandoned house sorta going in fits and starts and apparently the last tenants just chucked their bottles and jars out the windows when they were done. I think I collected about 40 intact ones last time I was doing a yard sweep, there are more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I hope the middle-aged gent ahead of me in the Market Basket line tonight did not complain to his wife about my comment to him. The checker didn't make a peep but I couldn't help notice that he had 4 of everything from loaves of bread to bunches of bananas to hot rotisserie chickens. I apologized in advance for being nosey, then joked that it looked like he was doing the Lennon Sisters'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    grocery shopping. He replied, with seemingly good nature, that their two sons, in their 20's, still live at home and that if they ever leave, this typical weekly load would last them a month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My story is slightly off-topic since it's sweet and not rude, but I think this crowd will enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was checking out at my local in midtown Manhattan; the clerk looked at my purchases and said, "Wow, that's a lot of healthy stuff!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I replied, "Well, I try to be a locavore when I can."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Oh," she said, "you mean like crazy eating?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply