To think most people wouldn't carry on speaking on their mobile while being served in a shop?

(256 Posts)
angelos02 Wed 03-Jul-13 09:14:45

On Lorraine (sorry) this morning they were talking about a case in which a cashier refused to serve someone until they finished their mobile phone conversation. What kind of person would carry on speaking on their mobile while being served. I've never seen it happen but clearly it does. Manners? Anyone?

schoolgovernor Wed 03-Jul-13 09:19:38

Yes, it's fucking rude. According to what I read she actually made the phone call while at the checkout. There wasn't anyone behind her, but what's that got to do with anything? She should have more respect for the person dealing with her. I'm sure a lot of people will think it's OK to deal with phone calls while shopping, but honestly, we lived without mobiles glued to our ears until a very few years ago, and lived.

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 03-Jul-13 09:25:46

I think it depends on circumstance to be honest. I have done this a couple of times, once when i had finally been called back for something work related (at the till! great timing!) and once when my mum called to say gran was in hospital. But both times i said to the till person 'sorry, its important do you mind?' And they smiled, said no its fine etc.
i wouldnt do it if i was just chatting to my mates or something though.

pudcat Wed 03-Jul-13 09:26:39

Very rude, but what is worse is when a shopkeeper is on their mobile when serving. Two small independent shops have lost my custom because they served me without saying a word to me. I wish I had had the courage to say "No thank you" and leave.

dubstarr73 Wed 03-Jul-13 09:27:57

I worked on checkouts and its my biggest bugbear.They are not concentrating and get arsey with you when they make a mistake.

Cause they cant hear you asking them questions.
I had this someone on the phone i asked did they want cashback,they said no so i put their card through.
She gave out and said she wanted cashback but i had a lovely man behind who told her if she wasnt on her fucking phone she would have heard me asking her.

Sirzy Wed 03-Jul-13 09:28:33

When I used to work in a shop I would ask as many questions as possible to anyone who was on a mobile phone (unless they apologised in the way shabby said)

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 03-Jul-13 09:29:15

It is so incredibly rude to remain on your phone whilst being served in the shop.

Clearly the woman has no manners.

That cashier said what I spent years biting back.


ARealDame Wed 03-Jul-13 09:33:01

I have quite regularly seen this (in London, guv). I think its incredibly rude. Like the person in front of you, serving you, doesn't even exist.

GobblersKnob Wed 03-Jul-13 09:35:18

I don't have a mobile because I hate them, but worked as a cashier for a long time and quite a while ago, and would say this is common place and happened all the time even then. Though where I worked we catered mainly for 18-25's so they may well have had an impact.

I think for many young people today, the phone takes precedence over everything. I am currently at uni and so many people drop everything for the phone, it is impossible to have a conversation, many refuse to turn them off while we are being taught, which makes me exceedingly stabby, it is like an addiction though.

schoolgovernor Wed 03-Jul-13 09:36:19

Shabby, I don't think it's ever fine. What right do you have to expect others to wait while you take your call? Just pack up your shopping and ring the caller back.

hackmum Wed 03-Jul-13 09:39:02

I agree, it's hugely bad manners. And I don't get why everybody is so obsessed by their bloody mobile phones that they have to take calls wherever they are - when they're having a meal out, driving a car or standing in a checkout. How many things are so important that they can't wait? Maybe it's my age, but I just don't get it.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Wed 03-Jul-13 09:39:25

It happens all the time, patients will answer their blood phones while you are explaining about their medication - II walk away and wait for them to finish.

MabliD Wed 03-Jul-13 09:41:14

Happens at least 3 times a day. Rude, obnoxious, and generally done by women in their 30s-40s for some reason. I live in a student town, but in general the students are considerably more polite.

One day I hope to have the nerve or the lottery win to do what that cashier did. It's a bit of a fantasy of mine. blush

TheMoonOnAStick Wed 03-Jul-13 09:41:28

I also think it's very rude. I notice Sainsbury's are apologising about this though. The customer is always right etc.

The problem with that though is that it just underlines the idea that anyone attending to you in any situation isn't worthy of much considerationhmm.

I'm going to sound like my grandma probably but a little consideration and manners for other people goes an awfully long way. We're losing that and my goodness it doesn't half show with the attitude of many people nowadays.

People bang on about respect and rights but it's a two way thing.

GwenCooper81 Wed 03-Jul-13 09:48:34

A small shop near me has a sign up asking customers to hang up their phones he they want serving grin
LIke a previous poster another independent shop near us has lost my custom because the rude arse assistant constantly talks on his mobile when serving you, while multi tasking and watchin sky sports in the background.
it's so incredibly rude to carry on chatting to your mate on the phone, I've worked in shops and I'm out of my way to ask as many complicated questions as possible grin grin
Hang up, ring back, simples!

Startail Wed 03-Jul-13 09:53:40

I might have done when the DDs were younger as the art of sending coherent texts was beyond them.

If DD2 has two minutes between lessons to explain PE dept. arrangement-changing-itis I might have to.

But, I'm working hard on When, Where, I want picking up, I will get the bus texts and they are getting better.

DD1 is dyslexic and some of her texts are 'interesting'

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 09:57:55

I think it depends on the call actually.

I may go against the grain here but I don't actually want a relationship with the till operator at ASDA when I pay. I just want to pack and go and if I get a call then I take it. I can perfectly well multi task and say thanks and smile at operator while in my phone anyway.

I have worked on a till btw.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 09:59:12

And I think the cashier was rude actually. Some calls need to be taken.

dubstarr73 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:02:42

Its not about having a relationship with the till operator,i thought it was common courtesy.My mistake.

Beeyump Wed 03-Jul-13 10:03:19

I agree with thebody actually. I don't think being on a phone while being served is necessarily the height of rudeness, unless you are completely ignoring the cashier, or having a particularly obnoxious discussion...

NellysKnickers Wed 03-Jul-13 10:03:24

Some calls do need to be taken, agreed but you can still apologise. What gets me is checkout assistants talking amongst themselves whilst serving. Now that's rude.

samandi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:07:50

It happens very frequently. At least it did when I used to work in a shop, about ten years ago. Probably even worse these days.

If it's a routine transaction, fine. I do think it's incredibly rude but I never refused to serve anyone. But sometimes you need to ask the customer questions - whether to clarify things, or you're required to try and sell customers other items/let them know about promotions etc. - and that can be pretty difficult when they have a phone glued to their ear. When they're talking in loud voices that's also rude - not just to the cashier but also to any other customers in the shop.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 10:10:19

Gosh some entitled.. No don't mind the cashiers gossiping why would I? I always assumed they don't mind me talking to my dh or chatting in the phone either. Why would they?

I am there to shop and they are there as its their job.

Assume neither of us would be there as a social event so what's the problem?

If we were in a pub the 2 of us and I was texting and chatting and ignoring her then that's rude.

I can take a call, smile, pay, say thanks and go.

DeWe Wed 03-Jul-13 10:11:49

I have answered my mobile while being served. However I only give my mobile number out to very few people and know if it rings it is almost certainly urgent. I would apologise to the person serving.

I didn't answer my mobile when it rang at the exact moment I was taking communion. The whole church was laughing at me blush <glares at dc who switched it off silent>

samandi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:11:53

*I worked on checkouts and its my biggest bugbear.They are not concentrating and get arsey with you when they make a mistake.

Cause they cant hear you asking them questions.
I had this someone on the phone i asked did they want cashback,they said no so i put their card through.
She gave out and said she wanted cashback but i had a lovely man behind who told her if she wasnt on her fucking phone she would have heard me asking her.*

Good for him :-) And an excellent example of the situations that can arise when people refuse to detach themselves from their phones for two seconds.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 10:12:06

Samandi, I find it incredibly rude to be bombarded by an assistant trying to sell me warrantees or a bloody reward card when all I want to do is pay and go.

YoungBritishPissArtist Wed 03-Jul-13 10:13:07

I saw a sign once in Lakeland saying that they wouldn't serve people on the phone.

I think it's incredibly rude. If the call is important, tell the sales assistant that. Otherwise, just wait until you're outside!

I wasn't brave enough for AIBU when I posted about this yesterday!! Yes it is very rude and a pet hate of mine. Just like loud conversations on trains (once heard a woman discussing her STD then complaining people were listening in) and taking calls / answering texts over dinner.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 10:17:15

If I saw that notice in a shop I would assume THEY were incredibly rude.

No wonder out service industry and customer care is so crap.

I am sick of being asked if I want insurance, a reward card, a loyalty points card.., no I don't I just want to pay.

I suspect that's why shops don't like it, just like chuggers don't approach you when you are on the phone as they can't sell you crap.

You can be polite and pay while on a phone.

Bumpotato Wed 03-Jul-13 10:19:16

I agree with thebody

However if the transaction involves anything more than asking if you need a bag it is easier to stop the mobile conversation for a moment.

I've worked in shops and of the customer is always right mentality, unless of course they are being abusive. I don't think a mobile call falls into that category.

angelos02 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:19:39

I think if someone apologises and says the call is important that it is OK. At least that acknowledges it is a bit impolite.

Yonihadtoask Wed 03-Jul-13 10:22:49

I think it is rude.

If the call is that important - speak to the caller and tell them you will phone them back in 5 minutes . No one is ever at the checkout for longer than that surely?

There is a shop local to me - and the guy who owns it/serves on the till is constantly on his mobile - whilst serving customers. he did it last time I went in - I shan't shop there again.

Yonihadtoask Wed 03-Jul-13 10:24:43

I also do not answer a phone call if I am out with a friend, lunching or visiting. I may look at the phone to switch it off. If I was expecting something really important then I would take the call but otherwise no. I certainly don't check for texts every 5minutes like some people I know. It is the height of rudeness, implying that your company isn't sufficient.

angelos02 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:26:30

yoni I completely agree. None of my friends/family do it but I often see people out for drinks or a meal and have their mobile on the table. Put it away FFS.

Beeyump Wed 03-Jul-13 10:27:50

I think that lunch with friends and quickly buying something in a shop are very different scenarios.

GobblersKnob Wed 03-Jul-13 10:27:57

It is the height of rudeness, implying that your company isn't sufficient.

So true.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Jul-13 10:29:08

EXACTLY what Yonihadtoask said. What is wrong with people that they have to check their phone every minute? It's like a comfort blanket or a dummy for some people, I reckon. It is a compulsion and I find it quite disturbing, as well as just bloody rude.

mayorquimby Wed 03-Jul-13 10:30:33

Worked behind a till for years.
Like most things it depends completely in the manner in which someone does it.
Acknowledge the worker and display a bit of an apology and respect = fine
Completely ignore them and act like they're unimportant = very rude

MidniteScribbler Wed 03-Jul-13 10:34:31

It's rude, and the people that think that sales staff are machines and don't deserve the courtesy of being spoken to should stick to the self serve checkouts. But then they won't be able to take their "the fate of the world rests on this" phone call while trying to scan their own groceries to.

Lots of stores here have signs that say they will wait until customers finish a call before serving them. What a shame we need a sign to remind people of basic courtesy and respect for others.

LisaMed Wed 03-Jul-13 10:36:50

I once got refused service at Sainsbury's because I was on the phone many years ago.

I had got my phone out to get h to come and help me unload and pack the trolley as I was recovering from dislocating both shoulders (don't do this, you can't get your knickers up if you have both arms in a sling and you have to go commando!). I was in bits as I was really struggling as it was and it was really only seconds.

I also feel a bit uncomfortable having chats with the till operators but I try and co-operate as I know that they can get into trouble if they don't.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 03-Jul-13 10:37:02

I have done this

my work at the time I took lots of phone calls and diverted my phone to my mobile when away from my desk

I do not feel I was being rude I would still thank the cashier

plainjaney Wed 03-Jul-13 10:38:55

It is bloody rude. I was in queue at Tesco once, just got to the front when DS rang, I said 'call you back in a sec I'm just at the till'. Cashier actually remarked that I was the first person she'd ever seen do that. I find that incredibly sad.

puffinnuffin Wed 03-Jul-13 10:43:03

I was an a keep fit class the other week and a lady there was talking on her phone for the entire class. She had a weight in one hand,the phone in the other and talked loudly whilst doing the exercises! I thought that was extremely rude as we couldn't hear the instructor.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 10:46:38

Oh for fucks sake.

It's yes rude to be talking and texting when out with a friend and ignoring them. Everyone knows that so stop banging on about it. Totally different debate and not relevant to the op.

It isn't ' incredibly rude' to pay at a till, take a phone call, smile at operator and say thanks.

Again I suspect shops/ banks dislike customers NOT giving them full attention because it drops them from trying to sell bloody club cards or insurance you don't want / need.

That's 'incredibly rude' especially in BHS when you say no and they say 'are you sure?'

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 10:47:29

i don't see that me talking on a phone is any different to a checkout person talking to their colleague on the till next door whilst they serve me. at the end of the day i want to be served and i'm the customer - i'm not looking for a relationship with the check-out person.

work calls can be very important and you can't just hang up half way through so you don't upset the check-out person.

so what happens if you get a work call once you get to the head of the can't just hold the queue up whilst you take it.

its fine for all those that are just taking calls from mates....unfortunately life isn't like that for everyone.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 10:50:25

I may go against the grain here but I don't actually want a relationship with the till operator at ASDA when I pay. I just want to pack and go and if I get a call then I take it. I can perfectly well multi task and say thanks and smile at operator while in my phone anyway.

I disagree with this obn a couple of counts: firstly it's damned irritating and disrespectful to the cashier and secondly I'm sorry but I don't care how much attention you think you are paying and how good you think you are at multitasking, you will inevitably be going slower (possibly only suing one hand for one thing) and it has been said here and I have witnessed it a LOT of times that the cashier has asked something (eg cashback) which the talker has missed.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 10:53:33

i don't see that me talking on a phone is any different to a checkout person talking to their colleague on the till next door whilst they serve me.

Correct: I hate that too! And ironically ime Sainsburys are the worst offenders!

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 03-Jul-13 10:56:56

school govener i didnt make anyone wait actually, i carries on packing with the phone wedged in my shoulder, said please and thank you, smiled etc. i dont want to be bff's with the cashier, i do the pleasantries and still did. Its not like i held up a queue or anything.

I'm with you.

I saw this in the papers. I couldn't believe how upset the woman seemed to be, and how normal she thought it was to just continue your phone call.

I'm disappointed in Sainsburys, as they should have backed their staff member. Being on your phone is rude and very unnecessary for the few minutes it takes to get served - especially as the staff are taught to ask questions such as cashback and help with packing.

Also the staff member didn't refuse to serve her, just told her she was waiting till she was off the phone.

Unfortunately, it is something more prevelant than you would think. I haven't worked in shops for 10 years, but remember it happening back then! Such bad manners.

Inkblinkandmustard Wed 03-Jul-13 11:01:03

I'm a GP - have once had a patient take a phone call and chat away whilst I was examining her and doing a smear - v odd.

YummyYummyYum Wed 03-Jul-13 11:03:32

Cashier not rude, customer rude. And I also don't like small talk from cashiers but I am aware they could be sacked if they don't ask you silly things about your shopping or upselling.

And that is why I am glad I do not have to that job again, lots of people seem to think cashiers/customer service staff are beneath them

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 11:04:28

It's not disrespectful at all. I worked on a till and I couldn't give a rats ass. As long as I was paid at the end of a shift I couldn't give a crap whether a customer chatted to me or on the phone or not at all.

It's a job.

I have incredibly rude parents now and in my days as a nurse incredibly rude patients and relatives who I couldn't actually refuse to treat/ liaise with.

Get over yourselves.

YummyYummyYum Wed 03-Jul-13 11:04:51

And that cashier is probably going to have an investigation/disciplinary or will be fired.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 11:05:22

Well if that don't beat all Mustard grin

xylem8 Wed 03-Jul-13 11:07:35

The cashier was rude, she is employed to serve the customer, do a job of work not have a social interraction with a customer who doesn't want it.
She needs to get over herself!

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 11:07:39

I have incredibly rude parents now

That's no way to talk about the people who brought you into the world Body grin

Get over yourselves.

Straight back at ya! Incredibly there are things more important in the world than your right to carry on a phone call!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 11:07:58

If it's an important call I will smile at the cashier, mouth 'sorry', keep making eye contact and carry on doing both & thank the cashier. If it's not an important call I'll ask the person on the phone to wait a minute. I can multi-task thanks Schoolgovenor and (to others), some of us have more important calls to take than our friends/kids/DH's calling us where it it not possible or appropriate to 'call back' in 5 minutes.

Yes - we all survived before mobile phones, but now we don't have to. We don't have to stay at home all day waiting for the hospital to call - we can go about our lives and take the call on a mobile phone - isn't modern life great.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 11:09:09

And in fact if what I read was true (who can say) the cashier was possibly rather more lippy than she should have been but she gladdened my heart nevertheless and she would have got a cheer from me if I'd been in the queue!

YummyYummyYum Wed 03-Jul-13 11:10:09

And to everyone who thinks it's ok, would you talk on your mobile phone when visiting the GP? After all, you are just there to get a diagnosis/medical help, it's not a social event... right? angry

Beeyump Wed 03-Jul-13 11:12:37

Visit to GP/buying something in a shop - COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 11:13:41

I'm a GP - have once had a patient take a phone call and chat away whilst I was examining her and doing a smear

You would have thought so Yummy but lookit what Mustard said!!

xylem8 Wed 03-Jul-13 11:13:43

Yummy - different scenario because you need to communicate it is a consultation!!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 11:13:56

YummyYummyYum LOL really, you are scraping the bottom of the bottle there, because that's exactly the same thing as buying a pint of milk of course hmmgrin but if it was the school calling or something like that, then yes, I would take the call and ascertain how important it was.

youaintallthat Wed 03-Jul-13 11:17:05

I think it depends if it's an emergency call then I don't see a problem. I used to work on a checkout when I was a student and I never minded the people on phones who would acknowledge you with a smile.

But the people who spoke on the phone and acted like you didn't even exist bugged me. But I would have never refused to serve them, I just didn't say thanks, bye or smile at them when they paid.

But anyone working on checkouts will know that the kind of people who act as if you don't exist by being on the phone would most likely be just as rude to you if they didn't have a phone in their face.

I think it's the general attitude of the person i think you can still be on the phone and polite. I had one man tell me to 'put the goods through faster slave as he was In a rush' and that was way ruder than anyone with a phone.

They were both rude.

When I was a sales assistant I fucking hated people blathering away on their phone when at the till but it was my job to serve and be polite. I wouldn't have dreamt of saying anything.

My rule of thumb when in retail was if someone was being rude and ignorant then put up and shut up and smile, they are afterall the paying customer (moaning about them once out of earshot of customers was always therapeutic) If they were abusive then I would obviously say something.

Although whilst working my redundancy notice I used to have fun asking loud, bright and breezy questions and making happy remarks about the toys they were buying. The confusion and irritation on their faces would make me smile.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 03-Jul-13 11:22:19

I hate this! I use to be a bank cashier and alot of business customers would walk in talking on The phone and stay on it throughout their whole transaction only stopping to bark orders at me and then back to their phone conversation. Very rude.

I also hate shops where the staff on the counter answer the shop phone while there is a queue infront of them. Imo you should deal with the customers infront of you and then sort the phone enquiries.

littlepeas Wed 03-Jul-13 11:36:21

I think it's fine as long as you acknowledge the cashier, smile, make eye contact, mouth thank you - body language is more significant when communicating anyway.

MabliD Wed 03-Jul-13 12:11:14

Hmmmm seems to be a bit of a superiority complex going on with some of the on the phoners hmm.

You realise that you're not making some statement about upselling to 'the man' when you're rude to the cashier? You're just being rude to some poor sod on minimum wage trying to do their job.

If a customer apologises for being on the phone I assume the call is necessary. Otherwise I just think they're an arse. Of course I don't actually have a mobile phone any more and manage my life pretty well, so am a bit bemused by the whole thing tbh.

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 12:13:59

It is rude and bad manners. Not about a relationship with cashier but a good morning nice day etc ...

I agree with Chipping, especially if you've been queueing for ages. In our supermarket there is a mobile reception black hole so calls/messages always come through just as you get to the check out anyhow.

Would never do it during a doctors appointment though, although I might email or text during a smear (not sure I could manage a conversation) but that would be because I hate them, get very nervous, and it could take my mind off things.

DoctorRobert Wed 03-Jul-13 12:27:43

I'm perfectly capable of talking on the phone AND packing my shopping / paying / saying yes/no to loyalty card. I didn't realise it was seen as being so rude. I thought cashiers hated having to make inane small talk anyway, so surely it gives them a break

Crinkle77 Wed 03-Jul-13 12:30:19

Yes I have seen it happen. They carry on having their conversation and holding up the queue. My local Bargain Booze had a sign up asking customers not to use their mobiles while being served. Although it works the other way round. Staff answering the phone while serving is equally as annoying.

SkinnybitchWannabe Wed 03-Jul-13 12:38:34

I cant wait to go to work tonight to see if any of my customers talk about this!
Im a cashier and if someone is on their phone and doesnt even look at me I fling their shopping down the belt, give them an unopened bag, interupt them to tell them the price and then totally ignore them and dont say thankyou or goodbye.
I give great customer service and have done for the past 22 years. If you're rude to me..Im rude right back.

LittleBoxes Wed 03-Jul-13 12:40:42

The only phone calls I ever get on my mobile are either work calls (important, have to be answered), ones from DD's school (presume important, have to answer the call to find out how important), or DH phoning (usually with something important). I don't really do general chinwagging on the phone. So if my mobile rings at the till, it's going to be important. So I'll answer it, while smiling and apologising to the person on the till and usually spilling the contents of my handbag all over the floor.

fairylightsinthespring Wed 03-Jul-13 12:42:47

It isn't great and should be avoided when possible, but I have on several occasions, got to the front of a queue, just started being served and phone has rung, someone that I have been playing answerphone tennis with, to do with a house purchase for instance, and I need to speak to them - I always make eye-contact, mouth "sorry" and get off as quick as poss but calling back is not an option as if I do, the v busy person on the other end will already be engaged on another call and off we go again. People are easily offended if they really can't understand that.

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Jul-13 12:48:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 12:53:28

I don't think theres a problem with it and as long as bags are packed and money ready to pay as soon as the cashier has rang it through. As long as the call is not too loud and the person smiles and says thank you its a non issue.

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 12:56:00

kansas - but surely its not the shoppers role to boost a cashiers self esteem? its a selling and buying transaction....nothing more, nothing less.

if a shopper chats to their mate whilst at the tills is that wrong too? after all they are ignoring casheer?

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Jul-13 12:59:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

samandi Wed 03-Jul-13 13:00:18

Samandi, I find it incredibly rude to be bombarded by an assistant trying to sell me warrantees or a bloody reward card when all I want to do is pay and go.

You might do, but it's hardly the assistant's fault.

samandi Wed 03-Jul-13 13:01:23

LMAO at "boosting a cashier's self-esteem"!

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:01:46

Sorry dreaming but raising self esteem that is very funny grin

Longdistance Wed 03-Jul-13 13:02:08

It's plain rude.

If my mobile goes off whilst I'm shopping/ at the checkout, I ignore it.

The world isn't going to fall apart if I don't answer it confused

crumblepie Wed 03-Jul-13 13:03:23

id rather be on the phone to a friend than listen to `are you going away on holiday this year ` wtf thought i was in asda not the hairdressers , i dont want to have mundane chit chat with someone who doesnt give a shit if i had a nice week end or where im going on holiday , just scan my stuff and let me pack ,pay and go .

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 13:03:31

kansas - but why should you give the cashier preference over the person on the phone? especially when the person on the phone maybe a customer? i'm guessing you must be a cashier?

i don't think this has anything to do with treating people like a human being. i think the cashier is expecting something thats unrealistic - people having the time to chat to them when work may mean they don't have this lixury

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:05:36

Look it depends on the shop.

If it's the kind of shop where I expect to engage with the cashier in a way that doesn't involve them asking me ridiculous questions like "do I want fries with that" then I won't use my phone.
If I'm in a shop where I expect to either be ignored whilst the cashier talks to the colleague next to her/him (which is fine btw) or where they are going to try and up sell something then I'll use my phone if I feel inclined.

Disclaimer: I will always smile and say thank you which is very easy to do whilst on the phone.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 13:08:43

Kansas, I certainly haven't described myself as a shopper who ignores a check out assistant.

You need to read the posts properly.

Long, completely depends upon the call. Maybe for you that's correct and how nice for you. For me I have to take one if my dds calls ASAP. She is certainly more important to me than having a long conversation with a stranger at the till.

I have worked as a caterer, district nurse, check out assistant, casualty sister and a TA.

Only you can make you feel 'like shit in your shoe' that's your projecting your personal feelings into others and not actually having a professional approach to your job.

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Jul-13 13:09:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:11:47

"fucks sake, its not about 'raising esteem' its about treating the person in front of you, providing you with a service LIKE A HUMAN BEING."

Do you think customers are treated like Human beings when;

1) They are asked inane questions which are not personal but repeated verbatim to every customer. That is not being treated like a human being.

2) When they are bombarded with up sells like gigantic fucking bars of chocolate by the cashier when they have clearly asked to pay for a newspaper.

No I know it's not the cashiers fault but equally it's not the customers either.

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 13:13:30

perhaps kansas its an important call that they have to concentrate on? perhaps they can't ring off because its a work conference call they have to listen to? perhaps they shouldn't be doing their shopping at all during work time but work pressure means they have no alternative or they won't have any dinner.

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:13:58

Sorry dreaming but if you are really working 24/7 then shop online or get an assistant. Both me and my Husband work hard at busy jobs but 10 mins to pack shopping and chit chat is a luxury I find time to have. Even if I am in a grump still would not hold another conversation on phone. No excuse rude.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 13:14:07

It doesn't matter what some cashiers do - whether some at some stores bombard you with questions.

At the end of the day, it is a basic human courtsey to engage with a cashier.

If you don't feel that is necessary it is perfectly possible to use self-checkout and talk on your mobile to your heart's content.

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:14:50

Do you really shop when there is a conference dreaming you are making this up. You really are

schoolgovernor Wed 03-Jul-13 13:15:10

All I can say is there seem to be a heck of a lot of "emergency calls" in the world these days. hmm
Or maybe people's definition of what is an emergency has got warped.
If I had an "emergency call" on my mobile I wouldn't know it was until I'd packed up my shopping (had my smear test... insert activity as required...) and had a look at my missed calls, maybe also picked up the voicemail.
At the checkout we're talking a few minutes in your life, it's not going to be critical in any way to wait and look at the phone after you've finished. And, I observe that most people need TWO hands to pack shopping, open a handbag, take out purse, card and pay. The people we're moaning about here aren't on hands free are they?
To take this further, what happens when these worryingly frequent emergency calls happen when the phone owner is driving? Do they take a few minutes to pull over (equivalent to waiting to clear a checkout, or maybe pull their knickers up and leave the surgery...) or do they grab the phone up to look at the number displayed... then answer it?

AmusedColleague Wed 03-Jul-13 13:16:17

I've had to name change for this.

I work with this woman!!!

pierpressure Wed 03-Jul-13 13:17:58

I have had the lady threadng my eyebrows holding her phone under her chin and holding a conversation throughout!
Yes rude, but it took my mind off it!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:18:10

Dreaming is right Kansas.

I run a small business from my mobile, I pretty much available to clients 24/7. If a client rings me and I happen to be at the checkout would you really expect me to hang up? Seriously?

southbank Wed 03-Jul-13 13:19:02

It is rude,it's got nothing to do with selling cards etc.
I think most posters who work in retail come across this on a daily basis.
I find it just as ignorant as people who throw their money on the counter even if I have my hand out to receive it.
Some people actually enjoy retail,we aren't all brainless idiots like many customers think we all are!

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 13:19:09

imnot - i work with someone who did a conference call whilst having her hair cut and dried. she had a particularly demanding boss....

southbank Wed 03-Jul-13 13:21:01

Omg amusedcolleague!!
Tell us everything!

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 13:21:38

No rottentomatoes I wouldn't expect you to answer in the first place, and return the call when you have finished interacting with a human being

AmusedColleague Wed 03-Jul-13 13:22:17

I don't work in the same office as her but a friend of mine does. I'm going to get to the bottom of who she was speaking to! Lets see if it was an 'emergency call' grin

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 13:22:37

Amused which woman...the cashier or the customer on the mobile? Do tell!

AmusedColleague Wed 03-Jul-13 13:23:21

The customer!

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 13:23:35

Cross post Amused. Can see it's the customer now!

Breath duly baited!

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 13:23:51

The thing is, you're in a queue so your phone rings. You're near the front so you don't answer it.

If only we had clever talky boxes whereby we could see at a glance who was calling or they could leave us a message asking us to call back urgently......oh.........hang on

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:24:45

I am amazed that people cannot book hair appointments or shopping when not at work

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:28:07


I absolutely have to be available on my mobile.
I may not get a call all day or I might get a call while I'm out that could earn me some money that could be the difference between financially making it through the month or not.
I absolutely would take that call if happen to be at the most inappropriate time of check out. I may leave the queue if the cashier has not started processing my shopping, or may mouth sorry to the cashier but mid purchase I would definitely take the call.

It is very naive to think that some calls are not as important as engaging with the cashier.

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 13:28:20

imno - depends on the environment and projects you work on i guess. i've worked 18 hour days before, and my work is not nearly as presured as some of the people i work with.

AmusedColleague Wed 03-Jul-13 13:28:22

Damn! My friend is out of the office today, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try and find out. Argggh!

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 13:30:41

Gosh, I had no idea that my sparkling conversation was so prized by a check out assistant.

I actually thought I was just shopping, paying, nodding and smiling.

Perhaps I need to produce a script of acceptable conversation and topics for my next weekly visit.

schoolgovernor Wed 03-Jul-13 13:31:47

So, for the people who think their lives and businesses are so important that calls can't be ignored for a couple of minutes every now and then, and after that returned... what do you do when you're driving?
You might mouth "sorry" - but you aren't. And you still only have one hand left free so you are really being a pita to anyone behind you. grin
p.s. I'm self employed with my own business.

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:32:02

Wow how did we all live 20 years ago ...

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 13:35:04

Emergency homing pigeon imnotmymum - would circle above the heads of the queue so those who are so vitally important may get their emergency message...

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:37:07

Lady Bryan

"No rottentomatoes I wouldn't expect you to answer in the first place, and return the call when you have finished interacting with a human being"

Yes I would answer the phone absolutely. It could be the difference between a sale and no sale for me and the difference between paying my bills or not.

And I have answered calls and made a sale whilst in a supermarket queue several times. If my customers don't get through they are likely to move onto the next number in the phone book or google.

My businesses is sporadic and therefore I have to get on with my life therefore unfortunately it is not the most convenient time to be called, however, I will always make eye contact or mouth sorry whilst taking the call.

I cannot believe you think there is anything wrong with this.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 13:38:52

But what happens when you're driving/in the shower etc etc

All sorts of situations where you can't answer the phone.

I just think its the height of rudeness to carry on a conversation on a phone whilst you're interacting with someone else.

davidjrmum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:40:29

I don't understand people who say the call is so important they have to take it right there and then. What happens if their phone rings when they are in the car? Presumably (unless they break the law) they wait until they stop and then pick up the message or see who's called on their call log and call the person back. Do they answer the phone if they are sat on the loo or crossing a busy road!

OTTMummA Wed 03-Jul-13 13:41:58

9/10 people who I serve on phones ignore you and always take extra time to get their money/card out and pay, they usually try to add on bits to their order as well, so I can understand why some companies put signs up, people do walk out of shops that have long que ( I am one of those people ) so it makes sense to have people who are not distracted by trying to have a conversation with 2 people at once.

It might not be hard for some (BODY) to multi task with a polite manner but I can tell you hand on heart that it is very very rare that customers who are on the phone apologise or have a smooth transaction.

If I don't try to link/up sell or tell a customer about X event or some such nonsense then I can get underscored on a mystery shopper, it is my job to ask you that! If you don't like it complain to the company who demands this of us, no need to be rude to us for just doing our job.

I've had customers shout at me for offering them a product which is a cheaper price with same benefits and I quote ' if I fucking wanted that one I would have fucking asked for it, wouldn't I stupid?!'

We get abused daily and quite frankly when you are trying to do your best and are very professional and behaving in the way you are trained it is demoralising to then be treated like some skivvy who is so unworthy of a simple Please, Thank you.

It is my job to give my fullest attention to each and every customer and I take pride in giving the best customer service but it really doesn't seem to matter to a lot of the general public that come through the doors and I can see why a lot of retail workers end up with an attitude and poor job satisfaction.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:43:33

If I am in the shower, I would jump out (laugh at the absurdity of the situation) and try to make the sale.
I don't own a car.

There are times, especially when my ds's are home from school making very obvious unprofessional background noise, when I have had to run upstairs and find somewhere quiet to talk before the rings run out. I have become a great sprinter three stairs at a time.

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Jul-13 13:44:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 13:45:13

Or engaging in rumpy pumpy-sorry dear do carry on but I need to take this call !!

AmusedColleague Wed 03-Jul-13 13:46:19

grin imnotmymum

schoolgovernor Wed 03-Jul-13 13:47:42

Maybe rottentomatoes is the lady who answered her phone during her smear test. gringrin
Still no answer re the inevitable delay caused to others by only having one hand left to sort out packing and paying with. Honestly, if I'm behind someone in the queue doing this my feeling is that they give the message that they feel they are more important than me, and their time is more valuable than mine.

AmusedColleague Wed 03-Jul-13 13:50:17

If someone in front of me in the queue was delaying my being served by this then they would feel the wrath of my huffing & puffing and eye rolling.

Cheeseatmidnight Wed 03-Jul-13 13:50:55

I don't think this is that bad

My nan talks for hours and if I didn't get on with stuff I'd do nothing! I cannot say hang on a minute as she doesn't!

Half the time checkout staff are arsey, rude, talk to each other etc

Give and take - am on the fence

JRmumma Wed 03-Jul-13 13:53:11

Why is this national news?????

Ive worked in a variety of cashier roles in my younger years and I can honestly say that someone on a phone whilst trying to pay for something simple such as a pint of milk is no problem. I wouldnt expect them to try and arrange a mobile phone contract whilst having a seperate conversation, nor would I expect someone having a smear test to have their phone in their hand!

The sort of people who would be having inane chit chat whilst paying a cashier are probably the sort of people who you would rather avoid interaction with anyway so whats the problem?

But if someone was rude to me in ANY way, whether whilst on the phone or for whatever reason, id always mirror thier attitude whilst dealing with them if I felt like making a point at the time. Most of the time though I would have been too busy counting down the seconds till the end of my shift and probably not even noticed! Anything that made it a bit more interesting however was always a bit of a bonus. Having a customer to bitch about once they were out of earshot was always a welcome distraction to me!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:54:07


Please don't belittle me. I struggle financially and the calls I get make or break my budget.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 13:56:28

"Still no answer re the inevitable delay caused to others by only having one hand left to sort out packing and paying with"

Surely if it's an emergency or a situation such as mine where it makes or breaks my budget you would worry about the possible delay of say a few seconds, or would you?

I am not talking idle chit chat here

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 14:00:00

School governor.., phone calls in the car= hands free. Been around a long time you know.

Check out assistants, clearly you are in work and have secure jobs. Lucky you.

Perhaps the mobile call the shopper takes is valuable business to those of us who are self employed and not as lucky as you.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 14:00:05

The thing is rottentomatoes, who knows why you're on the phone? The people behind you in the queue certainly don't.

And maybe they need to get to a shift where if they're late it makes/breaks their budget?

OTTMummA Wed 03-Jul-13 14:00:33

A lot of it is idle chit chat, I feel responsible for these customers and end up apologising for the wait!

There is a lot of rudeness around and it causes bad feeling.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 14:01:22

Fair enough thebody, hands free kit. But I don't take work calls in teh car. Or if I do its a "excuse me I'm just driving, can I call you back" because whilst I'm driving I don't have access to the materials I may need for the call and therefore waste their time and mine!

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 14:06:07

Still no answer re the inevitable delay caused to others by only having one hand left to sort out packing and paying with

no inevitable delay here. I can balance the phone between ear and shoulder and use both hands to fling the shopping in the bag as quick as the next person.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 14:06:57

I bow to no-one is my hatred of the ubiquitous mobile phone (and yes I have got one but I regard speaking on it a bit like picking my nose: great fun, immensely satisfying, but I try not to do it in public) but I would just like to make my own position clear.

Where it is a matter of emergency/domestic crisis/important business then of course I just suck it up whether it's someone ahead of me in a checkout queue/sitting next to me on a train/ doctor's waiting room etc etc. But for every one of those by which I have been inconvenienced/irriated there must be fifty others which have been what I can only describe as inane, toe curling chit chat

Any of you old enough to remember Sybil Fawlty on the phone (landline obvs) just continuously saying 'ooooh I know.....oooh I KNOW....ooh I know.....' grin

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 14:08:43

I can balance the phone between ear and shoulder and use both hands to fling the shopping in the bag as quick as the next person.

I'm sorry I seriously doubt that...quite apart from possibly doing huge damage to your neck muscles/nerves.

LucilleBluth Wed 03-Jul-13 14:10:34

I was in a cafe recently having lunch with my toddler DD, on the next table there was a middle aged lady and a girl of around 18, because I was with DD I could earwig smile turns out the lady was her aunt and had travelled to see her niece at uni specifically to take her shopping and out to I'm not exaggerating when I say that the girl had the phone in her hand and her head down for the entire time I was there, I actually felt like telling her not to be so fecking rude.

I have answered calls from school etc at the checkout but I would always acknowledge the cashier and apologise.

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 14:13:28

I'm sorry I seriously doubt that...quite apart from possibly doing huge damage to your neck muscles/nerves.

it doesn't matter if you doubt it when I know it to be true. Yes, its possible that damage could be caused to the neck muscles, but the cashier or anyone else don't really need to worry about someone elses neck muscles.

LittleBoxes Wed 03-Jul-13 14:15:01

If the phone rings while I'm driving, it's dangerous (and illegal) to answer the phone. So I don't. This doesn't apply in the supermarket.

choceyes Wed 03-Jul-13 14:16:20

As long as you smile and mouth an apology I think it's fine to be on the phone when at the till, especially if it's a quick and straightforward transaction.
I was a cashier a long time ago in my student days. People did do this and it never bothered me. I never took it personally, never thought that they were being disrespectful towards me. It's a simple thing, a you scan the stuff, they pay you. I'm not there to make idle chit chat with customers and I understand that they don't want to befriend me either. A smile to acknowlege the person in front of you is important though. If they didn't do that, then that is certainly rude.

I have been at the till countless times when the cashier has completely ignored me whilst chatting with collegues. I have never done that while I was a cashier.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 03-Jul-13 14:19:20

it doesn't matter if you doubt it when I know it to be true. Yes, its possible that damage could be caused to the neck muscles, but the cashier or anyone else don't really need to worry about someone elses neck muscles.

Oh but I do worry Brian!! And I should clarify that I don't for one minute think you were telling porky pies but from the perspective of someone standing behind you, you may not be going nearly as quickly as you think!

Still we're wandering into the realms of philosophy here...

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 14:19:36

"And maybe they need to get to a shift where if they're late it makes/breaks their budget?"

Honestly I am a demon packer whilst on the phone and I manage to make eye contact and apologise whilst doing it.

I just think the zero tolerance attitude to being on the phone is very naive to how some people who are self employed need to work.

Sometimes there is cause to take a call you know. And the call taker is quite able to speedily put things away and make eye contact and smile at the cashier you know.

IMO nothing is ever black and white and just as I am aware as to how it might leave the cashier feeling and attempt to smile and apologise some posters on here would do well to see things from those who do have a legitimate reason to take a call.

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 14:26:00

I disagree Evie. My test is that I have got my bags packed and in the trolley and my card ready for when the cashier is ready to say 'have you got a club card, and that will be £245667 please."
If theres no delay, no pauses, then this is a true test right?

samandi Wed 03-Jul-13 14:32:42

Check out assistants, clearly you are in work and have secure jobs. Lucky you.

Who is to say their job is secure? confused They could be on zero hour contracts, temporary contracts or a back to work scheme for all you know.

JRmumma Wed 03-Jul-13 14:42:41

I know a bus driver who gets p*ssed off if a passenger doesnt shout 'thank you driver' from the back doors of the bus as they get off as they think this is rude. I would never dream of shouting this out as I would get embarrassed but I always say good morning and thanks to the driver when i get on. He thinks this is not sufficient and as a result is a very bitter bus driver and im sure that his passengers must pick up on this and is possibly projected as rudeness to them when they get on.

What im trying to say is that different levels of courtesy/etiquette are acceptable to different people and someones best, might not be enough for someone else. Doesnt mean they are being rude necessarily.

BubaMarra Wed 03-Jul-13 14:49:35

I think it is exceptionally rude to discuss what is or what is not an emergency call for someone and to actually discuss whether a customer is entitled to taking it. People cannot put their lives on hold for the sake of chit chat with cashier about clubcards, etc. You nod, smile, say sorry, thank you, goodbuy. What more do you expect from a random stranger that happens to be a customer?

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 15:24:52

BubaMarra, exactly well put.

Samandi, its paid work so you are lucky.

Cheeseatmidnight Wed 03-Jul-13 15:56:29

Lucille - I have a niece who does this but she has aspergers and finds social situations hellish. I'm not excusing it but the aunt if it was a problem should say something.

Imagine if you did and there was an underlying issue you knew nothing about.

OTTMummA Wed 03-Jul-13 15:59:34

You quite often don't even get a nod or a smile because they are too engrossed in their conversation.
Only on Saturday a middle aged woman and her teenage daughter came into my shop and were ordering a lot of things when she then phoned someone to ask if they wanted anything!? She was queuing for at least 5 mins before hand as it was busy and we were short staffed why on earth she couldn't phone before hand I have no idea?

The phone call lasted quite a while both of them going back and forth over the phone and as people behind her started getting the rage her daughter went bright red and stared apologising for her.

After the mammoth task of deciding the one extra thing that was needed she then took an age to find her card whilst muttering about maybe paying with cash or not.

Of course I was very proffesional and remained polite and said it's no problem, take your time etc but she still didn't even acknowledge how rude she had been to all the other customers!

angelos02 Wed 03-Jul-13 16:12:08

Lucille that is such a sad story. I feel so sorry when you see 2 people sat together and one of them is constantly checking their mobile. Happens all the time and it is such a shame. I would seriously doubt my friendship with someone if they did it to me as I would feel I was boring them.

badguider Wed 03-Jul-13 16:18:05

I've answered the phone in shops many times as i'm self employed and calls on my mobile are likely to be work calls.
I would ALWAYS make eye contact with the casheir and cover the mouthpeice and apologise.. and I also would try to end the call and call them back if I had lots of shopping to pack.. and I wouldn't chitchat to a friend or dh while shopping.
But many calls can be the result of hours or even days of voicemail-tennis and when I finally get the person I've been chasing or has been chasing me I can't afford to just not answer because i've nipped out to buy a sandwich or whatever.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 16:24:40

What I would like to know is what is so important for cashiers to say.

Products put on belt, products scanned. Customer picks them up, looks at brightly lit total, puts card in machine, reads instructions. Takes card says thank and goes.

What important discussion is to be missed from the cashier? Nothing oh except some sales patter.

Oblomov Wed 03-Jul-13 16:40:49

I don't think it's that bad.
And I rarely, very rarely, do it.
But I don't consider it THAT rude.

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Jul-13 16:44:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 16:49:32

"What important discussion is to be missed from the cashier?"

Well nothing, apart from I was brought up with the view that if someone speaks to you, you reply. I was bought up to be polite to those offering me a service and quite frankly jabbering away to someone on a mobile isn't being polite.

And you know what, it might be irritating and it might not be what you want to do, but if someone is chattering banalities, I'm kind enough to listen and interact with them.

needaholidaynow Wed 03-Jul-13 16:51:34

The ignorant git at my corner shop was on the phone AND staring at the tv when I was waiting to be served. After 2 minutes of just standing there, he threw a bag at me, put my stuff through and held his hand out for the money whilst still yelling something in another language and not even having the courtesy to tell me how much my shopping was!

But yes the customer was rude as well. It works both ways.

Burmillababe Wed 03-Jul-13 16:52:14

The problem with certain supermarkets is that the staff are too busy chatting to each other and its difficult to butt in snd ask a question. I would do it in that case. However places like my local Tesco Express are great - the staff are friendly and helpful - I wouldn't dream of doing it there!

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 16:53:35

Of course it is absolutely just as rude for a cashier to carry on a conversation with a colleague (unless its a query regarding the transaction) or to be on a phone.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 16:53:37

Obviously if someone is using vouchers there might possibly be something to say, although I would probably not describe explaining vouchers as "important".
I digress though, I'm talking about straight forward transactions. The only thing the cashier does that the machine doesn't is physically put the items into the scanner. I just don't see what the need for conversation is?

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 16:56:21

I mentioned this earlier, but why aren't they people who want to speak on their phones using self checkout? Removes the situation entirely!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 17:00:23

"Well nothing, apart from I was brought up with the view that if someone speaks to you, you reply." But if someone deems their phone conversation to be more important I would say it's rude to decide chitter chatter with the cashier is more important.

" I was bought up to be polite to those offering me a service and quite frankly jabbering away to someone on a mobile isn't being polite." But things have changed. Cashiers no longer offer an honest service but instead try and bombard you with offers, up sell, explain vouchers because they are so convoluted and complicated in order to try and make the most money from the customer. This is not service in my view it is selling disguised as service.

Mintyy Wed 03-Jul-13 17:00:42

I had to take a call whilst being served in a shop the other day. I think it was the first time. I finished the call before the lady had finished serving me and I said "I'm sorry about that, I wouldn't normally answer my phone" and she was really appreciative and said "that's quite alright my love".

And both were happy.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 17:02:48

But you're missing the point. Not all cashiers do that - certainly don't in any of the larger supermarkets I visit. In fact the only place I know that does it on a regular basis is Superdrug!

And cashiers do offer you a service, otherwise its just self checkout. And I still believe in being polite.

Scholes34 Wed 03-Jul-13 17:05:33

The problem with phones today is you can't balance them between your ear and shoulder and carry on with what you're doing. I wouldn't carry on a phone conversation whilst a cashier scanned through my shopping. If people don't consider it rude, it's certainly disrepectful.

I'd quite like a landline phone I could balance between my shoulder and ear so I can carry on cooking tea, washing up, etc when my mum rings daily (any other calls are for the kids).

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 17:13:23

Clearly some of you would be better off using the self service checkouts,rather than interacting with an actual person.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 17:14:43


I do understand what your saying about being polite and I agree politeness is important. Politeness and using a phone are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes there is a perfectly valid reason why someone needs to take a call and the cashier needs to accept that their patter is not always the absolute most important thing. The call taker can show politeness by acknowledging the cashier and excusing themselves.

And FWIW nearly all shops do some sort of up sell at the till. It's tedious for the consumer. Even just asking for your club card IS sales patter. Clubcards save a minority of people money, those who are really savvy but for the vast majority it means they buy more goods and consume more albeit at a cheaper rate.

I can't think of many shops that don't bombard consumers with up selling at the till, from the visuals on display, the cashiers patter, the clubcard requests or the voucher schemes. They all tie people in and aim to increase revenue.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 17:17:43

Its not difficult to get benefit from clubcard/Nectar card - we get loads of points and buy Christmas presents/stuff from Homebase etc.

I certainly don't buy more than I need given I don't give in the card until the checkout when I've chosen everything.

I tend to think that - and certainly in the examples I think - that use of a mobile in this situation and politeness are absolutely mutually exclusive.

Of course the other option would be home delivery of groceries....

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 17:22:56


Clubcards are a sales tactic to tie people in amongst other up selling techniques.

If you think about it on a zero sum basis. If a shop has a clubcard scheme it cost them money to operate it no?
Therefore they have to gain more than the cost of operating it to make it worth while.

It's sales patter whatever way you look at it and ultimately we pay for the cost of the scheme through our shopping.

If all stores stopped loyalty schemes and just gave the best price it would be a better price.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 17:27:22

Of course they are, but you said unless you were savvy there was no benefit.

But I was saying there is. I can spend in Tesco, and get days out for free. Well worth it IMO!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 17:30:02


We will have to agree to disagree, sometimes the call I receive allows me to make a sale and spend more money in the said shop. I am able to be polite and say sorry etc whilst on the phone.
It's not black and white and sometimes there is a valid reason to use your phone.
I find it ridiculous to say I should buy my groceries on line because I might get a work call and not be able to talk to the cashier. I don't like buying on line because I like to make my own substitution choices if something is unavailable.

So 99% of the time I shop and talk to the cashier but just in case I get a work call I should always shop on line, even though it doesn't really work for me!
Crazy, who is the customer here, I always smile and mouth an apology but you still think I should only be allowed to shop on line! I've heard it all now!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 17:31:15


It's not free, that's my point. No company is giving anything away free, we all pay for it with the products we buy.
I can't believe you can't understand my point.

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 17:33:06

I didn't say you should only be allowed to shop online - how ridiculous.

What I said was "of course the other option would be home delivery of groceries...."

It was a genuine suggestion that may make life easier for you, goodness!

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 17:35:57

Oh I do understand, thanks awfully.

Is there an eye-roll icon?

MrsOakenshield Wed 03-Jul-13 17:42:53

what I see far more frequently than this (though I agree it's rude) is 2 people behind a joint till (say, in a clothes shop) chatting to each other whilst serving customers. That is much ruder and if I was a supervisor and saw this I would give the staff short shrift. I would say that this happens in at least 50% of shops with a shared till that I go in, and even in supermarkets where 2 cashiers lean back and chat to each other whilst scanning.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 17:43:10

So,you job and work call is so much more important than the checkout persons job then?

They get paid to offer you points etc.
It's part of their job.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 17:43:55

Your job*

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Jul-13 17:50:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JRmumma Wed 03-Jul-13 17:59:27

Is it bad that im typing this whilst at the checkout? Just kidding grin

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Jul-13 18:00:07

Amusedcolleague - I read the DM article on this (I know, it was linked to on FB though, what can you do) and apparently she had called her boyfriend. So not an important business call, no.

I have to say I appreciated the comments on the DM page though - heavily weighted in favour of the checkout operator rather than the client (who must really have her knickers in a knot to have created such a fuss over this!).

She also hadn't perfected her DMSadface™ in the photo in front of Sainsbo's. grin

<<STILL can't believe this made national news - talk about storm in a teacup!>>

PralinesWithExtraCream Wed 03-Jul-13 18:18:41

Last week a customer came in the shop whilst on their mobile, came up to the counter (whilst still on their mobile) and snapped his fingers at my colleague and pointed to what he wanted. He then carried on talking (about YouTube so hardly an important call) until he left the shopshock

I have also been in the bank with one person serving and the person in front me went outside with his phonecall mid transaction so the poor woman couldn't serve anyone else! Luckily another lady started serving and he was still outside on his phone when i left!

Rude. Rude

PralinesWithExtraCream Wed 03-Jul-13 18:34:28

Also 9 times out of 10 the person on the phone will apologise to the person they are talking to on the phone for interupting the conversation and don't bother apologising to the person serving them.

Plus the majority of phone calls are drivel and could wait. It just depends how self important the person thinks they are and how little they think of the shop sales person.

I don't know what people did 20 years ago!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 19:04:50


"It was a genuine suggestion that may make life easier for you, goodness!"

Oh thanks it was a suggestion? Gosh I would never have thought of that myself!

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 19:06:22


"So,your job and work call is so much more important than the checkout persons job then?"


crashdoll Wed 03-Jul-13 19:09:49

I don't always agree with usual but I do today! What it says to me (not a checkout person btw) is "I'm just too important and busy to say hello to you, lowly less important human being".

Crowler Wed 03-Jul-13 19:13:49

I agree 100% with crashdoll. It's just so fucking rude, that you can't be bothered to interact with the human being who is serving you.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 19:14:51

You do know check out people get paid to chat to you,don't you?

If they put your shopping through in silence,they would get sacked.

But their jobs are not as important as yours, obviously.

Crowler Wed 03-Jul-13 19:15:10

I don't think it's OK for a cashier to demand the customer's attention, however. If they want to be rude, they're within their rights to be rude.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 19:17:49

usual suspect
"You do know check out people get paid to chat to you,don't you?
If they put your shopping through in silence,they would get sacked.
But their jobs are not as important as yours, obviously."

So it's my responsibility to listen to sales patter or it's my fault they'll get sacked? That is hilarious.

schoolgovernor Wed 03-Jul-13 19:19:22

Someone miles up thread mentioned hands free... Yes, I wish people made more use of them. When driving and when attempting to run their businesses at the same time as completing mundane shopping tasks. I might not get as p'd off at checkouts if they did.
And I'm not belittling anyone who needs to make a living, I'm pointing out that we all know that there are times in our lives when we simply can't answer a mobile and do business. (Or would anyone really try to conduct a business call while having a shit? Or at the dentist with tools in our gobs? Just for example). So why get so wound up that we need to grab a phone and natter away when we're already engaged in another task and probably as a result inconvenience others? And actually, some of this proves my point - some people DO think that their need and their time is more important than mine.
My clients aren't stupid. They understand that I'm a one-man-band and that sometimes I won't be able to grab the phone up straight away to speak to them. For one thing, would they like me to do that if someone rang my mobile while I was speaking to them on the landline? Or when I was in a meeting with them? Of course not. So they understand that sometimes they need to leave a message.
Having said that, most of the checkout phone chats I listen to have nothing to do with business.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 19:21:30

You want your shopping in silence, use a robot. There's plenty of them. They are called self service tills.

You can take your important calls all you like then.

rottentomatoes Wed 03-Jul-13 19:23:06


There aren't where I go shopping btw.

SoTiredAgain Wed 03-Jul-13 19:27:53

The other day at Tesco, the (young) girl at the checkout took her mobile out to text whilst DP was struggling with packing and DS. shock. He complained.

TheSecondComing Wed 03-Jul-13 19:44:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 03-Jul-13 19:53:20


There is a difference between not treating shop workers like hired help and having cringeworthy conversation though. It's amazing what a bit of eye contact can do for somebody else's day.

PralinesWithExtraCream Wed 03-Jul-13 20:11:37

schoolgoverner you have summed it up nicely there. When you run a business there will always be times when you cannot answer the phone and the person has to leave a message. Some people are just trying to make excuses for their rudeness.
In a supermarket people should just use the self service checkout if they want to chat on the phone.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Jul-13 20:12:17

Treating strangers who are doing you a service as if they are not important enough to warrant basic civilised patter (hello,please,thank you, goodbye) is quite like clicking your fingers at waiters.

Its rude.

PralinesWithExtraCream Wed 03-Jul-13 20:20:56

I wonder how the person who doesn't think it's rude to talk on the phone whilst being served would feel if the "important" person they were speaking to on the phone suddenly said "hold on I just have to take a call on my landline phone, it is "really important" and cannot wait"? I wonder indeed. . .

HappyYoni Wed 03-Jul-13 20:27:22

I once got on the bus whilst on the phone, I had the phone tucked under my ear but pushed it to one side and said to the person I was speaking to "could you bear with me a minute I'm just getting on the bus" I then said to the bus driver, " hi, please could I have a single to xxxx" he responded by shouting at me that he wouldn't give me a bus ticket until I put the phone down, I explained that I wasn't actually talking but didn't want to hang up on ther person on the other end ( a call centre I'd waited ages to get thru to)
I apologised and asked again if I could buy a ticket. He started properly shouting at me that I was rude and that he wasn't going to serve me. I asked where it stated anywhere that this was company policy as I wasn't aware of it, he jus kept shouting at me. During this whole nteraction that lasted about 5 minutes I never said one word to the person on the phone, I really wasn't conversing with them I had just asked them to wait for me.

Anyway eventually he served me and when I finally returned to my phone call the first thing the person on the other end said was that they couldn't believe how rude the bus driver was, they had heard the whole exchange and said that they were shocked at how I was yelled at.

So it's not always the person on the phone who's rude!

And for those who honk I shouldn't have rung the call centre from the bus stop...I had limited time Neil they closed, I needed to speak to hem and he bus was 20 mins late, so if I hadn't have called from there they would have been closed by the time I got home.

biological Wed 03-Jul-13 20:38:40

I work in a shop and it really doesn't bother me if a customer happens to be making or taking a phone call while I'm processing a till transaction. They usually manage to smile, make brief eye contact and say thank you to me while they're doing it. Occasionally customers are rude but it's not usually the phone that makes them rude. The vast majority of my colleagues disagree with me of course. I quite enjoy a few moments respite from social interaction during my shift.

Crowler Wed 03-Jul-13 20:46:58

It's not that you should not speak on your phone so as to have idle chit chat with the cashier. Rather, it's rude to assume that someone's role is so insignificant that they could possibly expect to have your attention when you're transacting.

dreamingofsun Wed 03-Jul-13 21:04:12

pralines - they do this all the time. I realise that i am not the most important person in the world to most people, so totally understand if they have to deal with something else more pressing.

briany Wed 03-Jul-13 21:56:52

i've worked on checkouts and i don't now. i sometimes answer the phone if it's ringing because usually it's someone at home saying they want something else from the shop. so I'll answer, say I'm paying now so talk later.

I never found this a problem when I worked on checkouts. if someone was on the phone, they'd still pack their shopping and make eye contact.

I find it more annoying that you're waiting in a queue on the checkout and the person on the checkout is talking to her friend or colleague behind her, stopping to say something, stopping to listen and largely ignoring you completely. This is far worse to me because they are being paid to do a job and they're not doing it. I work in a small business now. Some customers are polite, some are not. it doesn't affect me. my job is to provide a service and collect their money.

Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Jul-13 22:15:41

What call is so fucking important that you can't call them back in 30 secs or put them on hold??

PralinesWithExtraCream Wed 03-Jul-13 22:24:14

My job comes with 20 questions: which one would you like,would you like this, would you like that, would you like anything else etc. If they are on the phone it is really difficult to serve them because you are constantly interupting them and sometimes they look at you as if to say how dare you interupt!

Now we will serve the next person. One woman griped a few weeks back when a colleague served the person behind her because she just couldn't get any sense out of her because she was on the phone. The woman soon realised what a twit she was being when my colleague pointed out the queue behind her when she griped. My colleague said she couldn't stand there waiting for her phone call with a queue of people behind.

Sometimes it seems some people really do not see the world around them.

frillyflower Wed 03-Jul-13 22:24:57

I think it's awfully common to talk on a mobile when you have a live flesh and blood person standing in front of you.

No manners. No class.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 22:33:53

My job comes with loads of questions too, then I get Scowled at by a phone jabberer because I got their order wrong.

To which I reply, 'no problem' I will change it. While thinking get off your bloody phone and talk .I'm not a mind reader you rude cow.

gnittinggnome Wed 03-Jul-13 23:01:22

I have done this occasionally, but never ignored the cashier - I'll say to whomever I am talking to "wait a minute, I need to pay for this" and then act as I normally would, talk, listen to, smile at, make eye contact with, the cashier, then when I'm walking away will pick up the call again. It takes a minute to do a transaction, and it's bloody rude to ignore people. I wouldn't have a problem if someone I was speaking to asked me to pause for a moment whilst they were being served either.

Yes, because the cashier is NOT more important than my dad, my boss, the banks anti fraud department, my childs teacher, or whoever has called me while I am out shopping!

I think there are many entitled and bigheaded cashiers who think that ringing your shopping through makes you more important and worthy of respect than the Queen.

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 23:14:12

QuintessentialOldDear grin

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 23:24:42

I think think there are many customers who think they are more important than the cashier.

But hey ho, it's all part of the job.

LittleBoxes Wed 03-Jul-13 23:27:43

Yep, I always use self-service checkouts when they're available. And no, I don't mind if someone I'm phoning puts me on hold. It's really not a big deal.

oreocookiez Wed 03-Jul-13 23:28:06

its so rude, people who work on tills are not servants they are people and deserve to be spoken to with respect. I expect she has said to that customer what thousands of people think everyday... good on her

But, even so, why should this affect how the cashier is doing her/his job? Why should they offer less customer service or professionalism just because they dont like who they are dealing with?

I dont like all my clients, contractors and colleagues, but it does not give me the right to be rude, patronize them, or in any way belittle them, disrespect them or behave in a less than professional manner towards them. I am sometimes really annoyed with people who are more important than me, but I still need to remain professional, not rude.

What makes a cashier any different? Should one not expect professional attitudes from cashiers?

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 23:28:59

And if you can't get through a few minutes of your life without answering your very important phone, it's a bit sad really.

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 23:29:54

I think think there are many customers who think they are more important than the cashier.

no, one of my closest friends is a cashier. However she wouldn't give a shiny shit if someone was on the phone. As long as they packed their bags quickly, paid, smiled and said thank you and then buggered off.

I think it is even more sad that a cashier, a virtual stranger, would feel offended that you have answered a call when out shopping.

Would I be offended if my bus driver dont look at me when I enter his bus? If he does not acknowledge my greeting? I would not think twice about it.

Are bus drivers offended, and refuse to drive the bus if a cashier is on the phone as she enters the bus? "Sorry, I wont drive until you turn that mobile off"

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 23:34:08

Well it pissed me right off.

Because you sure as hell wouldn't treat anyone else doing their job with such disdain.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 23:35:59

I wouldn't answer my phone if it rang while I got on a bus,until I had paid the driver.

I have only once been on the phone during check out. A school mum rang and reminded me it was a bake sale, and my son was literally tripping over with impatience. Afterwards I commented to the cashier that I was late for pick up, and it was even worse because it was a bake sale and my son had no cash for cakes, and made light of it. I always chat with cashiers, I actually enjoy it. But, telling somebody off for receiving a call, is rude. And it is nothing to do with respect for the job, or who is more important, it is totally beside the point. The point is that sometimes shit happens, and sometimes the phone rings, and it really should be no big deal.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Jul-13 23:40:49

If it happens several times a day, trust me, it is a big deal.

You know, technology, and mobile phones are a curse.

As you have a mobile phone, you are expected to be available all the time, every day, whatever time. Whether by work, your children s school, friends, family, cold callers, you are inundated by texts and calls, yet there is nowhere you can really talk! You cant talk and drive, you cant cycle and talk, you cant really run and talk, and you can talk in shops, and not on the bus/other transport, and not while you are sleeping.

You are supposed to be accessible all the time, but you are not, and it is causing me a great deal of stress.

And worse, there is your home land line. Your work phone. Your mobile. Your SKYPE. Instant chat, facebook chat, email.

All these methods for other people to contact you.

Can we not just start writing letters again?

SoTiredAgain Thu 04-Jul-13 07:36:07

Just because you have a phone and it rings, it does not mean that you have to answer it. Thats why voicemail was invented. wink

Catsize Thu 04-Jul-13 08:17:06

Hate it. It is very rude and dismissive of the person serving them. I am a barrister and often, when in conference with someone, they will answer their phone. It is really rude, and usually means I then have to start explaining whatever it was I was explaining all over again. My phone is always off in conferences, out of respect for my clients. Shame the respect isn't mutual.

As a cashier, it happens a LOT! It also drives me nuts. If my phone rang when I was talking to anyone, my doctor, my husband, the cashier, the teacher or my boss, I would always apologise and either ignore it or just possibly check that it wasn't the school (in case my DD, who has a medical condition needed me). I'm also one for asking as many questions as possible to the person on the phone. Funniest one I had was a man who ended up paying far too much for his petrol because he wasn't listening when I asked him which pump he was on. I asked was it number 3? Is it the large blue car? at the front? £67.50 (or whatever). "Yes", "yes""yes". Paid by card. Another customer came in and wanted that pump, the man had actually put in £25 and was driving a small silver car, on pump 8 at the back! He never came back for a refund grin

EvieanneVolvic Thu 04-Jul-13 08:24:46

Laughs you are evil...but I love you very much grin

Sometimes a bit less interaction with the chastier staff would be good too.. Pet hate around here is the ones who stand and gossip for ages oblivious to the huge queues and my screaming children waiting for the tills behind them.

Cashier staff. Don't know if they're chaste or not!

samandi Thu 04-Jul-13 09:14:54

But, even so, why should this affect how the cashier is doing her/his job? Why should they offer less customer service or professionalism just because they dont like who they are dealing with?

It's already been explained several times that it makes communication difficult. Therefore the customer doesn't get the same level of service/professionalism.

As for cashiers being big-headed because they expect an acknowledgment ... good lord. Heaven forbid they start getting ideas above their station.


My job comes with 20 questions: which one would you like,would you like this, would you like that, would you like anything else etc. If they are on the phone it is really difficult to serve them because you are constantly interupting them and sometimes they look at you as if to say how dare you interupt!

Yes, exactly. When they bark at you too, saying "what??" and then don't bother answering you anyway. And then decide that actually, they do or don't want a bag, they just couldn't be bothered listening to you when you asked, quite clearly, if they wanted a bag in the first fucking place. Meanwhile, the queue is building up ...


I honestly can't quite get my head around what very IMPORTANT and BUSY lives some people on here seem to lead. It's a wonder they have time to doss around on a chat forum.

NinaJade666 Thu 04-Jul-13 11:20:14

No you are not being unreasonable To think most people wouldn't carry on speaking on their mobile while being served in a shop

Most people wouldn't. Some do though. I think as long as you still smile, pay and say thank you and of course listen for any questions (cashback etc) from the cashier there's no need to hang up.

I'm assuming the person this woman refused to serve was being unresponsive and rude at the time and it must have made it impossible for her to serve adequately. I can understand the frustration.

Otherwise I think she should just get on with her job and serve the customer.

Thumbwitch Thu 04-Jul-13 14:27:53

Some people seem to think they are in a personal bubble while they're on their phone - interacting with other people face to face isn't important because they're not in the bubble.

I say this because I was on the train for a couple of hours last week, and a lady on the same train decided that it was a good opportunity to call Vodafone and discuss her contract transfer from her previous provider. During the course of the call, we learnt her name, which company she had been contracted with, her visa card number, expiry date, 3 digit card security code, her 6 digit security code for contacting Vodafone to discuss her account, her DOB - the only bits we were missing were the actual phone number and her address, but if anyone had taken notes, I'm sure they could have done a pretty good ID steal if they'd wanted to! Crazy woman - she was 31, so not that young and naive either - she had just gone into her "I'm on the phone" bubble and seemed to think that if she ignored everyone around her then they would ignore her too.

Stupid AND rude - hope she didn't end up paying for it!

xylem8 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:09:17

Ok lets get this straight.It is not an equal relationship.the person who said the cashier is not a servant is wrong!! That is exactly what they are 'one who serves' ever heard of serving a customer? or of customer service?
I would normally make a little small talk with the cashier, but if I had an important call? Not a chance would I not take it .I am the customer Their job is to serve me not my job to entertain them!
This is not about social class or anything like that, it is the facts of the situation.

crashdoll Thu 04-Jul-13 16:52:31

xylem As humans, we are equals. The fact that you think that a cashier is not equal to you says an awful lot about you and not in a good way!

5Foot5 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:09:41

xylem8 I am afraid I fundamentally disagree. Just because, in a particular scenario, someone's role is to serve you - whether that be at a checkout, in a restaurant or wherever, that does not mean you should treat them with any less courtesy or respect than you would anyone in any other situation. Not in my book anyway.

And talking on the phone and disregarding the person who is serving you does not count as courteous or respectful behaviour I don't think.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 17:44:54


Your views on people are fundamentally unpleasant.

Most of us "serve" people one way or another in our jobs. It's just considered okay by people like you to treat people who work in any kind of outright "service" industry badly.

Catsize Thu 04-Jul-13 17:54:34

Xylem, your view is horrible. And unbelievable. I only hope any kids you have don't pick up this attitude.

Catsize Thu 04-Jul-13 17:57:55

Just saw the petrol story. Priceless. Well, £67.50 I suppose...

Sirzy Thu 04-Jul-13 17:58:49

Looking down on someone because of their job is a horrible attitude.

If your call is important then wait to go to the checkout until you have finished or are able to say to the person you are talking to "just give me a minute I am at the till"

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 18:14:54

Out of interest xylem - would you answer a call whilst being seen by a doctor because it was "important"? Probably not and yet - the doctor is providing a service too.

brilliantwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 18:17:13

i would answer my phone if someone in my family was phoning, they are far more important than some stranger scanning my shopping .

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 18:21:26


Does the same apply when you're being seen by a doctor then? Because your family are more important? Or are you just being an incredible snob?

brilliantwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 18:31:22

Alisvolatpropiisyou seem to be a bit obsessed with the doctor question smile

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 18:32:42

A question you seem unable to answer. It is just a snobbish attitude you have then smile

brilliantwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 18:37:13

Alisvolatpropiis if im going to the doctors im there to talk about my health so that would take priority over anyone phoning me , if im in a shop and my family phone they take priority , its not about being a snob , its about assessing the situation im in ,oh and its my life to do as i please smile

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 18:38:39


Of course you do smile

Sirzy Thu 04-Jul-13 18:55:46

Then if you want to answer your phone wait to go to the checkout otherwise don't be surprised if people judge you as being rude and ignorant.

brilliantwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 19:00:21

i dont care if check out police judge me , they are not important in my life wink

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 19:05:29


People like you lack foresight. Young checkout operator could well be a student and end up being someone whose opinion is rather important in relation to you.

You'd be surprised how many rude customers are remembered.

I really enjoy coming across them in my current job. They don't enjoy it quite so much though grin

rottentomatoes Thu 04-Jul-13 19:11:10

brilliant has a point.

The doctor scenario is not comparable because the doctor will be talking about something personal and important in the persons life.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 04-Jul-13 19:13:08


I'll concede the point re doctors,though not about manners and general ignorance.

brilliantwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 19:15:48

hardly think a student on a till will remember me in years to come that i was a woman on the phone 10 years ago ,if they end up doing root canal on me ,i dont see it as rude . you do .end of .lifes to short an all that .i dont bear a grudge with the cashiers who dont tell me how much my stuff is or ask if i want a bag . some people just dont swaet the small stuff wink

brilliantwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 19:17:09


strawberryswing Thu 04-Jul-13 20:01:12

Not the same thing but my doctor answered his phone the other day in the middle of my appointment, about his son being picked up from football! He did ask if it was okay, and I couldn't really say no but I was a bit confused

bit of common respect between two individual wouldn't go amiss. YANBU.

rottentomatoes Thu 04-Jul-13 20:11:37

The bottom line is cashiering nowadays is a robotic job. Bleep bleep...say company sales line verbatim...would you like fries with that? Do you want cash back? yawn!

There is no genuine interaction, many of the superstores have taken the 'local' out of the shop. The shop assistant doesn't know the customer and that's the problem.
The job IS robotic and impersonal.

I agree it is polite to not ignore the cashier but a smile and a nod should be enough. Both of which can be done whilst on the phone.

There is nothing urgent or vital a cashier will ever need to ask. We can read the screens for the amount and read when to retrieve our card and enter our pin number.

PralinesWithExtraCream Thu 04-Jul-13 21:11:05

It's not just cashiers in supermarkets who endure this, many shops do not have a screen you can look at and lots of shops also involve being served by someone where you have to answer certain questions when being served.

rottentomatoes Thu 04-Jul-13 22:09:55

Can you give me examples praline

PralinesWithExtraCream Thu 04-Jul-13 22:21:42

My job is a shop job, it involves me asking the customer questions about what they would like such as do you want this, do you want that, would you like me to do this etc. We do not have a till with a screen that the customer looks at, I tell them how much it is and they pay.

Lots of shops don't have screens for tills and lots of shops, especially food ones have to interact and it is hard to do so when the person is on the phone. Not every shop is a simple scan, look, pay and go.

Alot of people also look down upon shop workers and cashiers. It is a sad world sometimes.

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