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to be freaked by a checkout operator

(27 Posts)
niniane Tue 16-Aug-11 22:18:50

AIBU to be freaked out that a checkout operator managed to find out from me whilst putting through a small amount of shopping, my age, my daughter's age, whether or not I would have any more children, if I'm married or not, how long I've been with my partner, how many brothers and sisters I have, where I used to work, and what I do now.

Was she just being friendly asking so much or was that just wierd?

UKSky Tue 16-Aug-11 22:20:38

YABU you didn't have to answer her.

LadyThumb Tue 16-Aug-11 22:20:43

Be very afraid - it's all gone on your Loyalty Card you know.

squeakytoy Tue 16-Aug-11 22:21:43

Did you answer her questions? You didnt have to.. you could have been non-committal.

Then again, she was just probably being friendly.. a rarity these days.. I quite enjoy having a pleasant chat with people who serve me in the shops. Much better than some surly misery who cant even say please or thankyou as they see how fast they can shove my shopping down past the scanner.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Tue 16-Aug-11 22:23:35

You mean you answered all those questions?

You didn't have to.

You could have given vague replies, lied or changed the subject.

Some people are like that. They fire questions at you. You don't have to answer them.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Tue 16-Aug-11 22:30:00

And people complain that the supermarkets are the cold, unfriendly face of capitalism! Would you have been "freaked" (hmm) if she had been behind the counter of your locally-sourced nice ham and organic bread shop?

YABU! She was being friendly.

hopenglory Tue 16-Aug-11 22:31:03

You'd make a great spy!

CustardCake Tue 16-Aug-11 22:31:19

That's what loyalty cards are for though aren't they? They know where you live and your age so can guess at your demographic grouping and then watch every week to see how many more bottles of wine than carrots you consume and whether moving your favourite toilet rolls down two shelves makes you switch brand or not.
They'd probably easily be able to tell size of household and number of children / pets as well and guess at medical complaints / recent holidays / bouts of tummy upsets and man-flu as well all from what you buy each week. I bet they get tons more info from them than from a chat with the cashier

niniane Tue 16-Aug-11 22:35:26

I know I should have been non-committal but I was trying to keep hold of 14 month old DD who was refusing to get in the trolley and pack my bags at the same time. Afterwards I was kicking myself for answering them all.

TheyCallMeKipper Tue 16-Aug-11 22:36:06

Yesterday a very friendly checkout girl came out from behind the checkout and started touching my 10 week olds face and hands. The queue behind me didn't look very happy, and can't say I was thrilled, but she was just being friendly (and of course my baby is gorgeous!), and all of this while lots of questions. Actually op - could it be the same one?! Where do you live???

TheyCallMeKipper Tue 16-Aug-11 22:38:13

Ahh, you see I should also have asked a whole load of personal questions - see if you've learnt your lesson! Does the town begin with S?!

niniane Tue 16-Aug-11 22:45:16

No! It doesn't.

NorksAreMessy Tue 16-Aug-11 22:46:17

This makes a change.

Usually in the supermarket queue the person in front or behind, mostly unprompted by me, tells me their life history, size of their DHs feet, first car, favorite song and childhood sweetheart.
I swear all I do is smile and nod and repeat bits of what they say.

DH thinks it's hilarious. He has stopped asking me if I know that person or that one, or that loon who is pulling out pictures of their last holiday in Majorca. I know none of them

TheyCallMeKipper Tue 16-Aug-11 22:59:36

Good work - you are learning grasshopper.

Oh well - there must be two super-friendly checkout operators out there!

snippywoo2 Tue 16-Aug-11 23:23:30

I hate being in the same queue as people like you. Your fooled into standing there chatting to the till assistant 'who's pretending to be interested in the answers to the questions they have asked cos that's what they have been told to do by the bosses to make their shop seem customer friendly so you'll come back' (but they really couldn't give a toss) spilling your life story. Instead of packing up your shopping paying and moving on,whilst holding up (pissing off) the rest of us that have better things to do than stand in line listening to you and waiting to pay for our shopping and getting on with our lives.

EttiKetti Tue 16-Aug-11 23:51:11

Norks I'm the same, everyone calls me the magnet! My kids are forever saying Mummy why do you always talk to people you don't know grin I just can't be rude and cut them off prematurely!

Andrewofgg Wed 17-Aug-11 08:14:49

That is why I pay cash, I don't use a loyalty card, I use the checkout machines where possible, and if I have to go to a cashier I act self-absorbed so they probably won't ask questions, and if they do they hear lies. I'm there to buy necesaries, not to put my private life on some other bugger's computer.

TheFlyingOnion Wed 17-Aug-11 08:19:08

What do you think the checkout operator is going to DO with this information? Is she an undercover benefits spy?

Paranoid, at all OP?

TheFlyingOnion Wed 17-Aug-11 08:20:42

Christ almighty why so miserable everybody?

I bet the checkout lady was so utterly bored that a couple of minutes chat to the punters lightened her shift a little

Sheesh!

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Wed 17-Aug-11 10:15:06

See, Flying, I see it a bit differently. I don't think it's unfriendly under the circumstances. I love to have a chat with the folks on checkouts. I always have a natter.

Someone firing question after question after question at you is not a chat. Not a natter. It is overwhelming and it does make you step back and think whoa!

If you and I met up for a coffee, and we sat down and in the space of that one cup of coffee, I said Hi Flying, how old are you? how many kids have you got? how old are they? are you going to have any more? Are you married? How long have you been together? Have you got brothers or sisters? How many? Do you work? where have you worked? what are you doing these days...

You would not see that as a friendly natter, but as an interrogation and you would recoil from it.

EauRouge Wed 17-Aug-11 10:21:45

I wish the cashier at the checkout I used yesterday had tried to make conversation instead of just scowling and throwing my shopping at me as she scanned it. I almost asked her if she was looking for another job.

If I wasn't in the mood to answer lots of personal questions then I would just amuse myself by making up ridiculous answers.

sheepgomeep Wed 17-Aug-11 10:45:55

It seems that checkout operaters have been getting a bit of bashing on MN lately.

I am a checkout operator/shopfloor assistant at Asda (oh my god quick get the pitchforks! Its ASDA and the checkout operatore are all thick as shit and chavvy hmm

We are told to be chatty, make converstation, smile make eyecontact, enquire after children, make goo goo remarks over babies, little children blah blah. If we don't and a customer happens to be a mystery shopper then we are doomed, we face a bollocking even disciplinary action.

I am a sensible person and can usually tell when a person does not want to engage so I just say please, thank you and goodbye and smile but most people are not miserable bastards and do chat whilst I pack their shopping and it is appreciated.

No we do not sit there cackling at our tills and enter all the information that we 'force' out of you on a database and then inform higher powers/benefit fraud people etc etc. Its called CONVERSATION people and really if you didn't want to give out your personal info then why did you answer the cashier op. You could have kept quiet.

I do give a shit about my customers because I do genuinly like chatting to people but If Ive got a queue I am politely brisk and still manage a few niceties at the same time.

However saying all this there are some till operatores that really do go over the top. We have one bloke at our store who does harrass the customers and never shuts up!

exoticfruits Wed 17-Aug-11 10:56:55

It all helps to have a nice chat and costs nothing to be friendly. I can't believe how miserable some people are. You can be perfectly friendly without answering questions.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 17-Aug-11 12:14:53

I do sympathis with checkout operators - it's a very fine line between loosing your job because you haven't done what management ordains, and irritating your customers so much that they complain. As I do frequently, when called 'babe' by the awfully over friendly staff at my local sainsbury's. I'm no-one's 'babe' thank you very much! Polite chit chat of a couple of sentences ("how are you today, lovely weather/awful weather" etc) is one thing, but intrusive questioning (anything about children etc should be totally off limits, you never know what minefield you could be entering) and anything other than Sir and Madam as a form of address is not. Urgh, can't stand checkout conversations.

manfromCUK Wed 17-Aug-11 12:20:18

sparkle12mar08 Whilst I sympathise - I've seen this from the other side. When I worked in a Filling Station (possibly the worst job I've had) my colleague and I kept a bar chart for the names we get called each week - Pal, Chief, Mate, Youth, Captain etc... Some people don't think about it.

I also used to work with a bloke who called everyone else Dennis.

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