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AIBU to think the person answering their phone at Sainsbury checkout was ignorant

(117 Posts)
daisychain01 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:17:23

As soon as I heard the news item about the checkout assistant in Sainsbury telling the customer (while yabbering on their mobile) that they would only start ringing the items through when the person put their phone away, I felt they were absolutely justified and very brave. And also to think that Sainsbury shot themselves in the foot by NOT backing their employee up (they have since cynically changed their stance).

Checkout people do a great job, despite pretty crap conditions (try staying smiling for a whole 6 hour shift and listening to that bloody beep, beep beep OMG) and they don't need people with zero social skills holding things up and not engaging - instead of jawing they could have at least enjoyed a bit of banter or pleasantries, "how's yer belly off for spots?" anything to re humanise a job that technology has effectively stripped of any skill - they don't even need to add up anymore!

I had a real winner the other day... Not only was the woman in front of me in full conversation, but she completed the whole credit card transaction without looking up at the person serving her, no thank you, nothing, then to top it all, rather than walking ahead and round, she pushed BACK up through the queue with her bags, still talking! Maybe that's why the news story made me fume!! angry. Oh well, rant over. Sorry its too steamy hot for all this ... Happy Sunday y'all

ITCouldBeWorse Sun 07-Jul-13 10:21:25

Tbh I know just the other day I took a call from my daughter whilst going throughout the checkout. A school activity had finished 45 mins earlier and she wanted me collect her.

I explained to her I had to be quick and confirmed I would collect her ASAP, then apologised to the sales assistant.

I felt kind of rude, but I feel I cannot take a call from the children as it is never idle chit chat, but them needing me (the joys!).

She seemed ok about it, but now I wonder what I should have done. There was no queue, but had their been I felt I needed to take the call, but could not whip my shopping off the belt to let the next person go on.

My manners have not prepared me for being contactable 24/7

LouiseSmith Sun 07-Jul-13 10:45:44

I answer my phone at the checkout, and if someone told me what the cashier did I would have told there where to go. Some days I can be expecting an important so I answer it. Who are they to judge?

They are paid to put the shopping through and ask for the money. I, as a customer, am more than capable of packing my shopping while on the phone and dealing with a toddler in the trolley.

kali110 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:48:41

There is a difference between answering important call and just chitchat. That woman was just having a conversation and wasn't even bothered that she was being served.You were polite to apologise this woman wasn't.that woman couldn't even see she was rude. The cashier maybe could have said what she did in a more polite term, so can see why sainsburys apologised to her, but giving her compensation? i was horrified. i used to work in retail i feel for staff who still are. members of the public seem to think its acceptable to yell scream and swear at staff. It has only got worse in the last few years. if someone was on the phone but can see they are trying to end the call and apologise for keeping the cashier waiting i dont think that is so bad, but to not even say sorry? Bet shes regretting going to the papers now though as nobody has supported her!!

VixZenFenchell Sun 07-Jul-13 10:50:22

Fine, but then I d

VixZenFenchell Sun 07-Jul-13 10:54:10

Fine, but then I don't expect the checkout staff to be talking among themselves or to the previous customer (while scanning my items through) and completely ignoring me - up to and including me paying. It's happened a lot more than once.

I often have to answer my phone while out, it's the peril of a regular on call roster. If I have to take a call at the checkout, I'll take it. I can multitask!

Lj8893 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:54:22

I was just discussing this with my dp.

We both agreed that yes if it was an important phone call we would apologise to the cashier and take the call. But if it was just a chatty call or something that could be dealt with in 5 minutes time once outside the store than we would ignore the call and ring them back.

How can a cashier give you their best customer service if you are on the phone?!

I personally think its disgusting to be on the phone while someone is trying thier best to serve you! I used to work in a supermarket and now work in fashion retail and it makes my job alot harder when someone is on the phone while I am trying to put thier items through the till. That's normally when mistakes happen as the customer isn't concentrating.

Jan49 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:56:30

The customer was very rude. The trouble is, the employee appears to have lied by saying there was a rule that people on mobiles couldn't be served, so Sainsbury's couldn't really take their employee's side.

I think when it's a small shop and the customer continues a mobile phone conversation whilst being served, the employee should just say "Could you please stand aside whilst I serve the next customer and I'll serve you when you're off the phone".

kali110 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:57:42

Completely agree. Then when things are wrong customer complains.its rude for staff to chat between themselves when they should be serving but also think its rude to be on the phone when someone is trying to serve you. It works both ways

Lj8893 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:57:59

louisesmith

Just because they are paid (crap money) to a job, does that mean they don't deserve any respect?!

kali110 Sun 07-Jul-13 11:01:23

People don't think they do louise. Iv been sworn at before due to a shop policy. I was disgusted as i would never speak to anyone like that. I would never go to a shop and not treat the workers so rudely

LuisSuarezTeeth Sun 07-Jul-13 11:02:22

What an arrogant attitude Louise! Are you too important for manners then?

LuisSuarezTeeth Sun 07-Jul-13 11:08:48

I think the incident was indicative of a general loss of manners in society. You wouldn't do your shopping whilst writing a letter would you?

Well done Sainsburys cashier.

extracrunchy Sun 07-Jul-13 11:10:27

What LuisSuarez said... Jeez

extracrunchy Sun 07-Jul-13 11:11:29

(I mean I agree - as my grandma would have said, "manners cost nothing")

PorkPieandPickle Sun 07-Jul-13 11:12:07

I don't understand people just HAVE to answer their phone. If I am doing something (ie putting shopping through checkout, talking to someone, whatever) I don't answer the phone, I check it when I'm done and return the call if it was important.

Mobile phones shouldn't rule lives!!! Those people who MUST answer these calls, what do they do if they're on the loo and the phone rings??!!

LuisSuarezTeeth Sun 07-Jul-13 11:13:53

Take it in the loo with them pork pie - I know folk who do this shock

LEMisdisappointed Sun 07-Jul-13 11:21:55

I was in a coffee shop the other day and a woman was paying for her coffee, whilst the poor barista was completing the transaction this bloody woman was TEXTING on her phone and didn't even look up - i was tempted to say something but i just thought she wouldn't look up long enough for me to say"im sorry, did you mean to be so rude!"

As it happens, i may well answer a call at the checkout, but only long enough to get the callers number/and or tell them i'll ring them back.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 07-Jul-13 11:24:57

I don't understand what would be so important that you would have to continue a call whilst at the checkout or dealing with another person. I certainly wouldn't want to have to deal with anything "important" whilst in public anyway.

ChunkyPickle Sun 07-Jul-13 11:40:00

I used to work on the checkouts, and TBH, I don't actually want to make small-talk with the vast majority of the endless stream of people who spend a couple of minutes going through my till.

I found people who mucked around getting their money out annoying, but people carrying on conversations with other people (whether they were there, or on the phone) actually gave me a break from having to think up something innocuous to say (I was required to try and talk to the customers)

It's not that I'm grumpy, I'll happily smile, or chat to you if you are a chatty person, but the enforced smalltalk was just awful.

On the other hand, unless I was literally running through the till buying a bottle of drink I wouldn't be on the phone while paying myself, because it does seem rude, and I'd be happy for the till staff to join in any conversation I was having, meet their eyes and smile. On the other hand, I'm certainly not going to force conversation on them, and again, as long as there's no mucking about taking more time, I don't have a problem with them talking to each other because I know how horrible the job can be (although the supermarket managers hate that).

GobHoblin Sun 07-Jul-13 11:41:30

When i worked in a hair salon, i had a customer answer her phone whilst i was washing her hair. General chitchat about where they were going for lunch. I carried on, not sure if the phone survived it or not...

ihearsounds Sun 07-Jul-13 11:51:15

Yes, sometimes people have to take important calls.

Like the parent getting endless calls from the school because their child has had an accident. Or the hospital calling about a loved one and their situation has worsened. Or gp's calling to give bad news, to explain what is happening before the letter lands on the mat. The worker who is oncall and needs to be contacted. The SW who has popped into a shop for lunch and an emergency has arisen. Plus many, many more situations.

TimeofChange Sun 07-Jul-13 11:58:29

I think the noise of it continuing to ring unanswered is really stressful.

Lj8893 Sun 07-Jul-13 12:02:40

That's why my phone is permanently on silent smile

LEMisdisappointed Sun 07-Jul-13 12:04:13

i hear sounds, all of those are emergencies yes, i agree with you - The call that a child has had an accident needs dealing with there and then, as does the hospital call. All of the other calls need answered but i would put them all off until i can get the shopping done and somewhere private to take the call. I'd answer and say "i'll call you back/give me ten minutes and call me back please"

Only ten years ago this wouldn't even be an issue because most people didn't have mobile phones and even if they did the majority of people were too scared to call them for fear of needing to remortgage

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