To moan about licky fingered sales assistant?

(88 Posts)
NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 06-Sep-13 22:07:13

Ok....I have some issues around cleanliness which border on OCD but I don't believe I have full on OCD as I beleive that to be very debilitating.

ANyway....went to Sainsbos today...assistant A saw me standing waiting to pay...there was a lot of stuff on her till area due to a mix up and another shop assistant B was sorting it. While we waited, assistant A in preparation for serving me, licked her fingers repeatedly and absent mindedly....she was probably thinking about grabbing me a plastic bag.

Which I didn't need. I have a rucksack.

Anyway...I was inwardly cringing at her licky display then it was time to pay...I approached fast...hoping to stall her licking with "It's ok...I have my own bag!" but too late!

She slurped, grabbed and offered the bag...."Would you like a bag?"

I said, "No thank you, I have one." And she fucking LICKED HER FINGERS AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE ANYWAY!

then she picked up my milk carton by the neck and began putting things through with her saliva covered digits.

AIBU to send a polite note to Sainsbury's Head Office naming no names but asking them to please tell their cashiers not to slobber on their hands whilst serving?

StickEmUp Fri 06-Sep-13 22:09:08

If you hadn't seen it how would you know?

A teacher friend of mine said a class experiment was taking swabs of things we touch and testing them.

Yes - poo traces on door handles.

Everything gets everywhere.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 06-Sep-13 22:09:52

But I DID see her! If she wants to lick her fingers in private then go on...feel free! She needs to be taught that finger lickin aint good in Sainsbos!

WorraLiberty Fri 06-Sep-13 22:10:57

I think I'd put more effort into looking into getting your problem treated, if you haven't already.

Your shopping will have all manner of germs on it anyway.

HootShoot Fri 06-Sep-13 22:13:25

YANBU - very grim. My husband does licky fingers when flicking through magazines or newspapers and I hate it! He always gets offended when I point out that it's horrible! Although I realise that there is probably a lot worse on most people's hands I try not to think about it

WorraLiberty Fri 06-Sep-13 22:15:02

And yet I take it you have at some point, shoved your tongue in your DH's mouth HootShoot? grin

HotCrossPun Fri 06-Sep-13 22:17:54

This is a wee bit silly.

She will have just moistened her fingers to make it easier to get the bags, there isn't going to be a blob of spit on your milk carton grin

If she was about to serve you food, I'd maybe say YABNU.

But as it is, YABU.

HootShoot Fri 06-Sep-13 22:18:32

Bleurgh! Maybe I should stop doing that Worra! It's the slurpy noise that I really dislike I think!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 06-Sep-13 22:18:32

I think it's the sight of it happening! MIL does it too....she puts her finger in cooking and licks it and does it again! But this isn't in a professional environment...I'm paying for those goods...why should they also have bloody spit all over them!?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 06-Sep-13 22:19:26

Hot I know WHY she does it...but there's no need...if you just rub the bag a bit, it comes open. Her spit doesn't belong on the neck of my milk!

edlyu Fri 06-Sep-13 22:21:10

I was in a charity shop recently when a customer took the sales lady to task for this exact reason. He maintained (at some length) that it was never necessary to lick fingers before touching bags etc. The manageress was called and she agreed with him( gently ,so that the elderly volunteer sales lady wasn't too offended) and promised to put it right.

A few weeks later I visited again and noticed a pack of baby wipes open on the counter. The sales person wiped their fingertips on the wipe and then attempted to open the plastic bag. The wipe was used many many times -as obvious from the greyness of the visible bit of wipe in the pack.

I wondered if this solution appeased the original complainer or if he just gave it up as a bad job .

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 06-Sep-13 22:21:12

I'm not generally worried about germs but I hate it when shop assistants lick their fingers before handling the things I've just bought, especially if it's food.

AmpullaOfVater Fri 06-Sep-13 22:32:02

YABU. You've got issues.

FreckleyGirlAbroad Fri 06-Sep-13 23:30:07

YABU. Personally I wouldn't even notice. Just think how many people have touched things on the shelf and put them back again before you touch them and you have no idea where they have been, the money you handle every day etc. I think you have a bit more OCD than you care to admit!!

Capitola Fri 06-Sep-13 23:41:07


It's disgusting to lick your fingers to open bags.

I can remember the days before chip & pin machines when people would hold their debit cards in their mouths whilst their packing shopping and then happily give card to the poor person at the till. Yerk!

It's not the germs that bother me - it's the general unpleasantness of it!

BoozyBear Fri 06-Sep-13 23:46:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Silverfoxballs Fri 06-Sep-13 23:51:02

I wouldn't like it, but imagine all the ick she is putting in her mouth, that is surely worse as coins are absolutely filthy.

MrsGSR Sat 07-Sep-13 00:00:47

YANBU, I worked in Morrisons during a gap year and we were told not to do this. It's not nice.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 07-Sep-13 08:32:30

There you go! Two people who've evidence that tesco and Morrisons frown on this! I have emailed...I didn't name names...the lady was nice enough but I suppose she and others need to be told. It wouldn't be allowed in a cafe.....or a bakery...and the fact is that not all foods in Sainsburys are sealed. They have breads in open bags.

Tee2072 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:43:17

Not something that bothers me, but I can see how it might bother some people.

Then again, don't think about what else has probably touched your milk carton before it gets to you...

district12 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:45:23

I do have OCD ,and I have seen this too and hate it ,I would not eat anything not wrapped that have been touched. I use self service tills , no one touches my shopping then.

MrsDoomsPatterson Sat 07-Sep-13 08:49:24

The milk wasn't touched last by you picking it up though. It's been handled by umpteen different people before that checkout lady.

daisychain01 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:59:25

Pointless sending Sainsbo's a letter. How are they realistically going to handle that one - send out "Memo to All (15,000?) Staff, please stop licking your fingers .. Etc". No they might just cover it in a future hygiene awareness course. But that doesn't stop it straight away.

I would have quietly and specifically mentioned to the person concerned that it isn't good practise to lick their finger and then touch food shopping. It would stop the problem at source. Better that walking off and staying wound up. Probably a member of the general public mentioning it would have given the message a greater impact that a staff pep-talk anyway.

Its a bit like telling a child off. if you do it at the time, in the context, it is more meaningful.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 07-Sep-13 09:03:21

Daisy experience has taught me that if you mention it to staff yourself they always get offended. I didn't want to offend. It's not my job anyway. The company COULD send out a's not to 15,000 people but only to main managers.

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:05:34

Unless she was going to pick up your food then yabu.

buss Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07:06

it does spread germs though-especially in flu season

cashiers in banks have a spongy thing which they use to moisten their hands when they count piles notes

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07:18

Sorry that's not very explanatory.

I mean unless she was handling food you were going to eat that wasn't wrapped ie cake, sandwich etc then yabu.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 07-Sep-13 09:10:16

Everlong no....if she's got some sort of virus, I handle my purchases with her virusy spit on them...then I might ingest her germs and get her virus. It's simple.

PuppyMonkey Sat 07-Sep-13 09:11:54

I'm surprised you can even cope with drinking milk, considering where it originally came from. wink

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:14:46

It's not simple. You sit next to people on the bus or train, stand next to them in a queue, hold the rail on the escalator, open doors etc etc. All these people may be germy virus ridden.

Germs are everywhere.

And to say she was slobbering is a tad ott.

makemineamalibuandpineapple Sat 07-Sep-13 09:16:58

My mum told a lady off in the supermarket for doing exactly this. I was completely mortified. I just concentrated on packing the bags
whilst hoping the ground would swallow me up

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:19:20

There's been a similar thread about snotty checkout assistants.
Poor sods they can't do anything right.

DownstairsMixUp Sat 07-Sep-13 09:26:43

I work at a "well known" supermarket, we don't have any wet cloths or anything, I am sorry to offend, I sometimes lick without realising when I can't get a bag open and am standing there like a doughnut trying to get it to open whilst a queue full of customers stare at me. blush

cardibach Sat 07-Sep-13 09:27:53

I think it is the language you use that gives away the fact YABU. You use words like 'slurp' and 'slobber' which are very odd and OTT for a little lick. I sort of get what you mean, but as others have pointed out far worse has happened to your food before it gets to the till lady, and your own hands have all manner of germs on them. Most of the time our bodies. defences deal with the germs we meet - that is what they are designed to do.

izzydazzling Sat 07-Sep-13 09:30:03

urgh YANBU. It''s not hygienic for the customer or the cashier.

They could easily do what the post office and banks have - those little round tubs with the wet sponges in. I'd email Sainsbury's with this suggestion.

fuckwittery Sat 07-Sep-13 09:31:48

Oh god I asked a bakery assistant to slice my bread in Asda yesterday. After watching him scratch his bollocks first, I had plenty of time to assess the filthiness of his meant to be white bakery uniform, which certainly didnt look like he'd just got a bit of flour on him that day. I could also see the dirt on his hands, he didn't wear gloves to handle my bread and had no hair net on, long greasy looking hair.
I'm ashamed to say I put the sliced bread back on the shelf. Was in a rush but will email Asdas!

Mumof3xx Sat 07-Sep-13 09:35:25

My friend who worked at tesco was given a warning for biting her nails at the checkout

Kind of similar

So people obv do complain bout things like this

I prob just would of told her

BoozyBear Sat 07-Sep-13 14:40:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2rebecca Sat 07-Sep-13 14:56:26

I don't have sweaty hands and find it hard to openplastic bags unless I lick my fingers. I usually take my own bags to shops but often struggle to open the thin plastic ones to put vegetables in. paper would be easier.

I wouldn't like it but would think she probably does it automatically and didn't think of it.
I work with a younger male teacher and caught myself licking my thumb to wipe off a mark on his face-nothing cleans better than mummy spit

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 07-Sep-13 16:48:21

Blue that happened to my brother when he was about 30 and he liked it! grin

We had a horrified split second where I realised and tried to look like I hadn't just licked my thumb, he tried to look like he hadn't realised what I was about to do and we shuffled some books :-)

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Sep-13 16:52:01

I can't stand people who lick their fingers....
Like when they are reading newspapers or separating pieces of paper etc... WHY?

It is absolutely disgusting!

Get some manners because nobody wants to see it and nobody wants to touch something with your saliva on it!

I can't bear it grin

Dawndonnaagain Sat 07-Sep-13 16:52:04

Years ago, Sainsbos had brown paper bags. They were huge, with good paper handles, the size of a small laundry bag. They didn't disintegrate in the rain. I wish they'd bring them back. Reusable and recyclable. Perfect.

BigBrassBand Sat 07-Sep-13 17:02:15

I have never in my life needed to lick my fingers to turn a page, count notes or open a bag! And I've read thousands of books and worked in a bank and a supermarket in my time. I don't think my hands are sweaty, they're always cold.
Can some people not grip paper or thin plastic then?

LayMizzRarb Sat 07-Sep-13 17:16:52

You do realise that if you eat in a naice restaurant (i.e not Frankie and Bennies or Weatherspoons) that the chef will taste the gravy, soup etc that he is preparing for you and add some salt/seasoning then use the same spoon to taste it again?

OHforDUCKScake Sat 07-Sep-13 17:23:58

I dont have OCD or close to it (did as a child, awful thing to have, very distressing) but even I find finger licking totally rank.

As for poo particles everywhere we touch, yuck!

twistedtoffee Sat 07-Sep-13 17:29:07

I don't have OCD and it drives me mad when checkout assistants lick their fingers to open a bag and then start handling my groceries. They should have a small dish of water or damp cloth at the till for this purpose. It looks soooo unhygienic.

complexnumber Sat 07-Sep-13 17:38:59

You have issues.


12thDoctorsCompanion Sat 07-Sep-13 18:17:53

Im obsessed with hygiene and stuff. i carry a hand cleanser gel in my pocket/handbag. its easier in winter as you can wear gloves when touching things but I obsess about the buttons on traffic lights (i use one knuckle), buttons on lifts (same thing)

shopping trolleys-i wipe handles with wipes before i use them (and I know moneys that exchanged has passed hands but after that im wiping hands too).

Im like Niles in Frasier when i go to a coffee shop or something (wiping seat down) im awful really. and pull sleeve over hand to open door handles. try not to use public loos.

at supermarket ill run fingers over a frozen food to get them wet to open a plastic bag. although i usually take my own bags.

i could go on....

januaryjojo Sat 07-Sep-13 18:35:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 07-Sep-13 19:08:50

Jan that's right....DH has worked in kitchens as a younger man and says no chef he's seen has ever done that! As for those people saying "Oh there's more germs than THAT on just don't see them"

That really is not the point! I KNOW things are not spotless.....but I still don't want fresh spit on my bags! An employee of a large company should be taught not to do it. It's disgusting. I bet all those who say I have issues are finger lickers....actually it's finger lickers who have issues...and no manners.

TedMoseby Sat 07-Sep-13 20:32:45

Waitrose have a rule on this wink

A bugbear from the other side of the counter though. I always offer to keep raw meat separate from all other food and 9/10 get "no, it's ok. It won't be together in the bag for very long". That's all well and good but bacteria only needs a moment to transfer onto your freshly baked bread and lettuce. Makes me do an internal boak everytime, and I wouldn't consider myself fussy hygiene wise. I just dont want to eat raw meat bacteria.

Jengnr Sat 07-Sep-13 20:38:09

Yes they do Neo. I went to see Michael Caines at a food festival recently and he did exactly that.

Two Michelin Stars can't be wrong.

YABVVU re the carrier bags too.

phantomnamechanger Sat 07-Sep-13 20:40:05

Tesco checkout lady licked her fingers several times yesterday to open my bags, did make me shudder a little - she then proceeded to say "I'll start a new bag for your meat" and was merrily intent on packing raw and cooked meat together, till I grabbed the sandwich meats away from her !

buss Sat 07-Sep-13 23:49:27

Was at waitrose tonight and they use the sponge thing that bank cashiers use.
Aldi don't handle bags at all except to put them through the scanner so not a problem in there.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 08-Sep-13 08:03:10

Jengnr Except I'm not! So many on here agree with me....and also shops too! As I said before, I reckon it's the lickers who say I am BU!

LayMizzRarb Sun 08-Sep-13 09:27:41

Jengnr, I have worked on the production of many food related programmes for TV and have seen it many many times, with top celebrity chefs.
There are plenty of things they do that would have you crawling up the walls if you wanted to get totally OCD about it. One top chef told me the best way to gauge how steak was cooking was to press down on it in the pan with your fingers . Well done it feels like your forehead, medium is like the end of your nose, rare, like your cheek.
Yes, chefs will wash their hands before cooking, so would have clean hands before touching the steak, but they won't wash them after every single contact with themselves, ie tiny scratch to the head or face. There is not time in a busy kitchen.
The thing that makes me boak though, is seeing people with jewellery making pastry or hand mixing mince etc. the germs that must be in rings, with stone settings..

emmelinelucas Sun 08-Sep-13 10:17:57

I wouldnt like it, yuk.
I once had a hissy fit in Morrisons. In the cafe there are laminated numbers on card which you place at your table - then your number is called when the food is ready.
I am in the queue waiting to place an order and the assistant at the checkout picked up a number - and picked her teeth with it.
Boak !

OOAOML Sun 08-Sep-13 11:19:12

All these people saying Tesco have a policy that their staff don't do this - I see this a lot in Tesco. There are specific checkout people that I avoid because of it.

OOAOML Sun 08-Sep-13 11:22:48

Actually thinking about it I find it really weird that people who handle money would put their fingers in their mouths - money is filthy, especially coins. In the days before the coinsort machines I used to take bags of change to the bank and I always found my hands got filthy counting it out.

Dubjackeen Sun 08-Sep-13 13:32:56

I was approaching a check out one day, when the person at the till sneezed into her hands. I took the easy way out, and pretended to have forgotten something, and went to a different check out.

Fluffyears Sun 08-Sep-13 14:12:11

You do know that the food is delivered into a yard/storeroom in pallets and that in these areas there are usually some sort of vermin. After working for one major supermarket I wash all jars and drink cans/bottles as they tend to come into contact with rat wee somewhere. The delivery yards/trucks are filthy as I found checking off a delivery and being covered in muck.

ZeroTolerance Sun 08-Sep-13 14:26:29

Yuk. I don't think I've ever seen that but it would repulse me too. People sneezing into their hands then serving you brings me out in a cold sweat till I can get my hands on some Milton!

Another thing, in principle I don't like fruit being pre-packaged but then I watch people finger and maul every apple in the display before selecting one and I'm thinking pre-packaged has its advantages. I wonder when you eat a plum how many people's filthy fingers have poked and prodded it first..,

Fluffyears Sun 08-Sep-13 14:38:16

I was in loos once washing my hands and an old lady walked out of cubicle adjusted her dress and walked out not washing hands and first thought in my head was 'on his she's headed to the loose fruit and veg! Boak'

wokeupwithasmile Sun 08-Sep-13 15:51:58

Oh yes! So because there are germs all around us I might as well shut up and get more! Why don't I start pissing around in Sainsb, then? After all god knows what other people bring in anyway! We should be trying to contain germs, not spread them around even more, people!! Well done OP for writing them.
End of rant.

miffybun73 Sun 08-Sep-13 17:41:29

YANBU, that would make me feel a bit sick too.

Well, this thread has been an eye-opener for me! I do touch my middle finger to my tongue as part of my reaching-for-a-bag movement. I will try not to do that in future, as it seems to gross so many people out. <contrite>

But I would like to point out that I neither 'slurp' nor 'slobber' over my fingers! OP, are you sure that this assistant's behaviour could truly be described thus?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 08-Sep-13 19:13:21

Yes. Because she did it so was WAY more than usually might be done.

Bumblequeen Sun 08-Sep-13 20:10:03


I will never touch a used newspaper left on public transport. The thought of someone's saliva fingers flicking through each page puts me off.

I cannot bear when people lick their fingers whilst eating I.e. when having a packet of crisps.

kiriwawa Sun 08-Sep-13 20:15:58

Hahaha - what the hell do you think happens when you can't see the packets? The bloke in the back has probably been picking his arse before loading the milk cartons onto the shelves. Your milk carton has been handled about 10 times before getting onto the shelf and you think that if you use a self-service till, it's going to be clean.

And you think a little dot of saliva is disgusting grin

SilverStreak7 Sun 08-Sep-13 20:46:43


FannyMcNally Sun 08-Sep-13 21:08:09

But what do all you fusspots do about trolleys? Do you hose then down before you shop?

And the slobbering lick is just to get purchase on the outside of the bag, that's where 99% of the saliva will be, not on your carton.

And anyone who has never had to lick their fingers to turn a page, you're just extra sweaty than us normals grin

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 08-Sep-13 23:43:08

Fanny we KNOW that there are germs everywhere...we just don't want to SEE it happening! Plus...that lick on the outside of the bag gets transfered to my fingers...and it's offputting! I don't see the licky fingered, sneezy man with the trolley do I? So it's not such a worry. I do clean my hands after shopping immediately though.

Morloth Mon 09-Sep-13 08:00:38

PuppyMonkey 'I'm surprised you can even cope with drinking milk, considering where it originally came from. wink'

LOL, this.

I can't drink milk since I breastfed for the first time. For some reason it was only then that the thought of the lactate of another species started grossing me out...

A bit of spit on the carton is not nearly as gross as what is in the carton.

YABU. Use the self-service checkouts and alcohol hand gel if you find actual human beings too germ-ridden for your tastes.

The spit on your milk bottle will go down a treat with all he cow pus in the actual milk! Mmm!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 09-Sep-13 10:41:21

Oh don't be silly Mackerel. Cow's milk is cleaned/pasteurized whatever....the spit of the cashier is not.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 09-Sep-13 10:41:53

Plus cows don't drink, smoke or do other nasty things with their mouths...I'd rather cow spit than human! All they do is eat grass!

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 09-Sep-13 10:50:43

Cows do shit a lot though.


lljkk Mon 09-Sep-13 10:58:49

Snurk, cows eat grass that other cows have just crapped on.

Actually most dairy cows eat mostly grain and hay nowadays. Which has plenty of insect body parts in it. And insect poo. Lovely!!

Don't go touching the trolley and basket handles, OP.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 09-Sep-13 13:05:03

But cows don't lick my handles!!

ZeroTolerance Mon 09-Sep-13 13:17:18

In American supermarkets they have cleaning wipes next to the trollies for you to scrub off the previous pusher's germs.

I love that grin

I used to work at Pets At Home when I was a teenager - the non-licky trick is to hold the two long bits that become the handles and pull your hands away from each other. It stretches the top just enough that the inside of the bag appears and then you can open it.

I'm not explaining it very well but if you imagine an H - pull the 'prongs' away from each other so it vaguely becomes a V - it works.

Thisvehicleisreversing Mon 09-Sep-13 14:22:47

I work in a shop and would never put my hands anywhere near my mouth while at work. Everything I handle is filthy. The money, the floor when I have to kneel down stacking shelves, raw meats, split cartons etc.

The first thing I do when I finish my shift is wash my hands. Twice.

As a customer I'd hate to see a checkout person lick their fingers to open my bags.

But assistants have to put up with customers licking their fingers to get their money out, licking fingers to help slide out cash cards, putting cards in their mouth, handing over money that's got bits of snotty tissue attached, letting their babies suck on things before handing them over to scan, coughing into the hand with the money in, or even coughing or sneezing in your face.

Fucking grim all round.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 09-Sep-13 14:32:49

Oh cheers Thisvehicleisreversing ,

I start a new job ..... in a shop...... tomorrow.

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 09-Sep-13 14:41:39

Just thinking of all the men who unload the produce and stack the shelves who forget to wash their hands after going for a wee... and all the money that's been in the front pocket of jeans all day and...

soorploom Mon 09-Sep-13 15:00:40

licky fingers yeuch
waiting in queue to buy ice creams and noticed that chap dispensing cones was licking fingers between scoops. that and the zillions of wasps buzzing around the cart made me want to throw up.

Canidae Mon 09-Sep-13 15:53:27

If everyone brought their own bags when shopping then she woudn't need to open any plastic ones. grin

I work in sainsburys and some staff bring with them a little damp sponge but it isn't provided. I may mention this thread to my manager tomorrow.

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