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AIBU to HATE checkout operators commenting in my purchases?

(169 Posts)
lallyk Mon 15-Apr-19 16:39:04

It drives me mental! I think it's so rude 🤣. One day I might put some KY, cucumbers and Johnnie's on the belt just for laughs...

Yesicancancan Mon 15-Apr-19 16:40:04

I agree, but I think it’s part of their training. Smile and nod.

Yesicancancan Mon 15-Apr-19 16:41:59

What I hate is the checkout operator waiting for me to load the belt, I mean sitting watching me load. Then when I am ready to pack, usually it’s a she, pipes up and says “do you want me to pack?” hmm

SimonJT Mon 15-Apr-19 16:42:57

Sounds like my average shop to be fair!

I did buy three three packs of condoms from tesco express recently as they had a really good deal on, the older lady on the till asked if they were a new type of chewing gum. I was fighting the urge to laugh too much to think of a witty reply!

Shiverrrrmetimbers Mon 15-Apr-19 16:43:14

The one I had the other day kept commenting on how much I’d spent and shaking her bead. It was bizarre

Bringbackbertha Mon 15-Apr-19 16:45:03

Or when you get your bags out ready and then ask if you need bags... hmm like I might not want to use mine!

There is one particular supermarket where I will queue longer to avoid one checkout last because she comments on everything, is slow and has a full blown conversation about her life and what she is doing including making comments about why she has to work there... I am sure she is lovely but I just want to get out and go home

ScreamScreamIceCream Mon 15-Apr-19 16:45:30

Their jobs are boring so talking to people makes the time go faster and if you are one of the people in society who have not talked to an adult for a few days, they are someone to talk to about something mundane.

titchy Mon 15-Apr-19 16:46:01

Reminds me of a Fast Show (?) episode in a newsagent where the customer buys a paper, 'Ah hoping to read about current affairs sir?'
Next visit he buys stamps 'Hoping to post a letter sir?'
Next visit is a top shelf mag. Long pause. Then 'Hoping to have a wank sir?'

pisspawpatrol Mon 15-Apr-19 16:46:12

I had one once ask if I thought I was pregnant when I was buying a pregnancy test. I said I don't know, that's why I'm taking the test and she somehow ended up grilling me for information and telling me I was too fat to be having IVF. She was very rude and I was very upset.

I almost exclusively use self service checkouts now.

outpinked Mon 15-Apr-19 16:51:58

That’s an extreme and rather horrible example pisspoor, sorry you experienced that.

It’s mostly just mundane small talk. Their job is shit and they’re trying to make the day go a little quicker, I really don’t mind it. It’s usually just asking if I’ve tried something before because they keep wanting to try it, nothing sinister.

fussychica Mon 15-Apr-19 16:53:47

pisspaw you poor thing, how awful.

I use Waitrose so often I have a normal chat with many of the checkout staff grin. I'm also a bit of a bargain buyer so they might mention that or that something I have purchased has just given them an idea for their own supper. I don't mind at all as almost all the staff in there are so nice.

fussychica Mon 15-Apr-19 16:57:17

Also my mum worked on the checkouts many years ago and I did it as a Saturday job. We both loved it and a quick chat was always nice but neither of us would have dreamed about making personal /nasty comments about people's purchases. Plain rude.

MitziTheTabbyIsMyOverlord Mon 15-Apr-19 16:59:00

@titchy grin

@pisspawpatrol flowers

I Hate it when they comment on my excessive alcohol consumption. Still, maybe 25 bottles of wine is a little bit much on a Monday wink

Bbang Mon 15-Apr-19 17:01:48

I hate t when they look at my snacks and alcohol and are all ‘oooh having a party?’ No I’m not fuck off Brenda, let me be greedy and lonely in peace 🤣

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Mon 15-Apr-19 17:02:31

You'll get someone else moaning that they were rude or sullen if they didn't make small talk. Can't win!

PlatypusLeague Mon 15-Apr-19 17:03:11

I hate it too and find it intrusive. It isn't a 2-way thing where the customer sees the checkout operator's shopping in return and can reply "Yes, I'm buying cake and no it isn't "naughty". Why are you buying shoelaces, 47 kiwi fruits and a top that won't suit you?" The policy is probably devised by someone remote in head office who has never worked on a till or met an actual customer.

OopsOhNoZHM Mon 15-Apr-19 17:04:31

It’s customer service. In retail/supermarkets etc they’re encouraged to treat customers as a ‘five minute friend’. It’s harder for some than others, so chatting about what you’re buying probably feels like the safest option. Though clearly some of you have been served by absolute bellends 😳

buttermilkwaffles Mon 15-Apr-19 17:05:03

I don't mind. I doubt it's the most stimulating job in the world and I am sure serving every customer in silence would make the shift feel even longer, so although I am not usually a fan of inane small talk I am happy to do it for the few minutes I am standing at a till. And like a PP, the most frequent one is usually asking me what a food product is like, so I am happy to either say, yes it's really delicious or this is the first time I have bought it, but it does sound nice doesn't it or whatever... Better to try and be nice and friendly back when someone is just trying to be nice, rather than stand there in silence. Or even worse talk on your phone, which I have seen happen a few times.

If I really don't feel like talking to someone I just use the self-service machine...

At least checkout staff in the UK are reasonably friendly and pleasant unlike some countries (eg Croatia) where a significant number seem to hate their job and their customers (or maybe they just don't like tourists). smile

havingtochangeusernameagain Mon 15-Apr-19 17:05:41

Yes I don't like it either but they are told to "make conversation".

The policy is probably devised by someone remote in head office who has never worked on a till or met an actual customer

Yes. this. They sit in their ivory tower thinking they know it all and ignore staff and customer feedback.

Ditto chasing you round the shop asking you if you need help. It makes me want to shop online as I can browse in peace.

The self service tills are a good idea for anti-social folk like me (as long as they work).

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Mon 15-Apr-19 17:05:56

I had an audible tut from the judgy bitch behind the till in Boots once, when I was buying a pregnancy test. Same woman also loudly asked me if I'd seen the offer on durex and did I want a second box, when I bought condoms one time. I was mortified.

I've worked behind a till though and we are told to make some conversation. I sold clothes, so "this top is so popular" type comments were the easiest way to at least try. I recognise that not everyone might want us to chat or they could be really shy... but looking at us in disgust is excruciating.

Slippingcareer Mon 15-Apr-19 17:07:14

A girl on the till once commented on the amount of sweets I was buying, I laughed and said oh they’re not all for me....they were! I was mortified!

startalovetrain Mon 15-Apr-19 17:07:48

@titchy I think it was little Britain, I can remember this too!

TheHodgeoftheHedge Mon 15-Apr-19 17:08:32

Picking up on the bag thing - since we started charging for bags, has there been some sort of policy change in most shops for helping you pack? Every time I present my own bag for shopping, the checkout operators seem to go out of their way to scan things and NOT put them in the bag. Does anybody else have this or is it just me?

recrudescence Mon 15-Apr-19 17:10:49

I think they must be told to make conversation and some are simply better than others when it comes to small talk. One assistant asked what I had planned for the day and when I said I had a dentist’s appointment she told me all about her gingivitis!

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Mon 15-Apr-19 17:11:36

Oh I don't mind. One checkout girl refused to let me buy Vanish until I first tried taking out a pesto stain with Head & Shoulders. She was right too.

BiscuitDrama Mon 15-Apr-19 17:13:15

I don’t know, I imagine they’re thinking something about it so I’d rather they just say it!

YesQueen Mon 15-Apr-19 17:14:01

I always get the recipe people
"What's this?"
"What do you make with it?"
"I just roast it" by the bagful
"How do you do that then? What do you have with it? Do you put stuff on it?"

Although one of the women told me she had taken a recommendation from me (heat up dark chocolate almond milk) and it was amazing so that was nice grin

ScreamingValenta Mon 15-Apr-19 17:15:48

As long as it's nothing unpleasant, I don't mind it. They've only ever said things like 'those are really nice, aren't they?' to me. I'm sure checkout staff are trained to chat pleasantly to customers.

The weirdest comment I've witnessed is when a checkout operator commented on my dad's strong resemblance to an obscure 20th Century poet. We went home and Googled and sure enough, they did look alike!

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Mon 15-Apr-19 17:17:44

Also, if you work somewhere with mystery shoppers, you treat everyone like the bloody mystery shopper. They comment on how friendly you are, so yes you do tell Margaret that her new blouse will look great in the summer and wish her a nice time in Cleethorpes.

We're quieter if we're queue busting though. Christmas sales queues, I'd only chat to people if I really had to.

AdaColeman Mon 15-Apr-19 17:19:43

I quite like it when they discuss new products, ask what you are going to make with them etc, it shows they are engaged and interested.

Funnyface1 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:20:07

I know they are supposed to be pleasant and make small talk but sometimes they are intrusive though. I had one pause over my bottle of milk of magnesia and ask loudly "what does this actually do?" So I thought fuck it and said "it helps me poo". Which was the truth.

53rdWay Mon 15-Apr-19 17:20:16

When I worked on tills we were told to do that. If you didn’t and a manager noticed, you’d be in trouble. We did point out it was going to annoy a lot of customers but nope, rules were rules.

DGRossetti Mon 15-Apr-19 17:21:22

Anyone remember "Roseanne" taking over the class, and showing them how to shop and read a checkout ...

A packet of Cheetos, a six pack of beer, and a microwave meal. My guess is single and staying that way ...

bridgetreilly Mon 15-Apr-19 17:23:25

I hate it. The thing is, sometimes you can have had the worst day in the world, but you still need to go to the supermarket. You really, really don't need the cashier asking if you've had a nice day, or got any plans for the weekend, or indeed anything other than whether you've got a clubcard.

Ironfloor269 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:25:14

There is a very annoying checkout man at the self checkout till at a Sainsbury's. He always speaks very loudly to the shoppers, to the point of attearibg attention of everybody. And he always approaches me with raffle tickets. And clucks judgementally if I refuse to buy. Prick.

InvisibleLlamaBurningCamel Mon 15-Apr-19 17:27:54

The worst example I've ever seen was the customer in front of me, buying a large quantity of wines and spirits. The check-out lady said "Having a party?" in a friendly fashion, but he replied "No. A funeral". She was mortified. I really felt for her.

Beeziekn33ze Mon 15-Apr-19 17:28:29

Tawdry-useful to know!

dragonflyinn10 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:28:29

@TheHodgeoftheHedge I think it's because of health and safety you can't expect the cashiers to pack endless conveyer belts of peoples shopping due to repetitive strain

ittakes2 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:28:40

I agree - especially when they stop serving to read the packets or ingredients!

damnthatoneistakenagain Mon 15-Apr-19 17:28:55

I hate it too, although I do 'get' why the assistants do it. They are told to be friendly, and it passes the time for them if they make conversation.

We used to live quite remotely, and 25 miles from a moderate sized town, and we struggled to get things from the little shop closest to us - 2 miles away. So we would often stock up (especially if the big store in the town had stuff with a third off for example.)

We would buy 6 jars of nescafe coffee and 3 packs of 9 loo rolls, and every time, the checkout operator just HAD to say something. Some smart mouth remark like 'are you opening your own shop?'

They also sometimes start reading the magazine I am buying, and commenting on it. That narks me off because I think 'that's my magazine! Fuck off.' hmm

We also stock up with wine or beer sometimes, and may buy 10 bottles for 6 weeks. 'Oh you'll turn into an alkie' one woman said to me once. Rude. hmm

One thing that DOES get my goat, is when I draw a large amount out of the bank, like 3 grand, they ALWAYS ask 'doing anything nice with the money?'

Errrrrm, mind your own business. It's MY money! hmm

Andylion Mon 15-Apr-19 17:30:41

A girl on the till once commented on the amount of sweets I was buying, I laughed and said oh they’re not all for me....they were! I was mortified!

I once bought two tubs of Haagan Daz because they were on sale. The young woman at the cash said, "Oh, you must really like this stufff!"

(I may have bought two the day before, as well. blush )

mistygrl Mon 15-Apr-19 17:31:59

To the people saying it's because their job is shot and they want to pass the time.

Nope. They are told to do it. They really don't give a shit about your bread and milk.

SneakyGremlins Mon 15-Apr-19 17:35:17

I always have a bit of banter every time I get IDed for an energy drink. Although they can be quite arsey, I don't mind "Have you got any ID" but "Sorry lad, you need to be 16 for these"... The look on their face when they see on my passport that I'm 21 is great grin

And I get lots of comments because 90% of my shop has yellow stickers on it - I'm a bargain ninja grin

If I'm not in the mood to talk I go self service.

CampfiresAndBeer Mon 15-Apr-19 17:36:45

I was buying newborn nappies and was heavily pregnant at the time.

The girl (she was young) on the checkout did the usual, "ah lovely, when are you due?" type chit chat and then proceeded to tell me that the girl on checkout number 5 was also pregnant but the boyfriend was being a bit of a dick and she wasn't sure she was going to keep it or not.

Now a bit of "ooh those look like tasty biscuits. I think they're new..." is one thing but...

Gingefringe Mon 15-Apr-19 17:37:38

fast show RIP Caroline Aherne

Laura221 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:37:52

Today at sainsbury, having a full on conversation whist I'm standing at the end with my bags ready and she hadn't even started scanning! I don't mind a chat if they are scanning as well. I had 3 kids with me being wild all I wanted to do was get home.

EVEOH Mon 15-Apr-19 17:40:18

I have just had to make a formal complaint about a checkout person in Aldi - Liverpool - I don't mind a bit of 'conversation' but this person actually spun the till readout thingy to show the other people in the queue the amount I'd spent whist informing them that I was only halfway through the shopping!!! She offered to come to my house to show me how to eat cheaply - I was mortified - but asked what she'd knock me up using artichokes tuna and spinach ( normal lunch). I've gone back to online Waitrose shopping.

CalamityJune Mon 15-Apr-19 17:40:40

There's a way of doing it, I think.

"Oh these look nice, you can't beat a chocolate biscuit with a cuppa can you?"

"Ooh salad. I could do with shifting some weight as well"

TrixieFranklin Mon 15-Apr-19 17:41:23

My dad and I were once shopping in Sainsbury's and the checkout girl said I was good at packing and I said I used to work at Waitrose and they trained us blush so she went on to tell me that her mum got fired from Waitrose for eating crisps in the warehouse out the boxes and putting the empty packets back, she then turned to my dad and said that her tongue hurt - it has just been pierced and did it look infected!!

Turns out she was my future husband (didn't know him at the time)'s best friends daughter grin

WoollyMummoth Mon 15-Apr-19 17:41:53

Was with dd whilst she was buying some undies in Ann summers(think lacy and cute not leather and crotch less) as we waited to pay the assistant cooed over how pretty they were,then out of nowhere asked “are you ok for cock rings” as she gestured to an abundance of them in various hues and sizes on the counter.Dont know where it came from but quick as a flash I quipped “we’re good thanks I’ve just bought doughnuts.”

BlueMerchant Mon 15-Apr-19 17:42:17

I once bought a grey blazer in New Look. The girl was saying how lovely I'd feel in it and how I'd turn heads. I told her it was for a funeral and she stood and looked mortified.
In the supermarket I bought a 'christmas morning' scented candle. The till operator started ranting about how do we know what 'christmas morning' actually smells like? They had a pointgrin

RomanyQueen1 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:43:33

I've never met a bad one, must be lucky where we are.
No, I love them and have a good chat or laugh. I won't use self service, would leave the shop and have done if no tills open.
Let's hope it doesn't become fully automated, putting people, mostly women out of work.

12FreeRangeEggs Mon 15-Apr-19 17:44:13

It’s more than customer service. My friend worked with a major supermarket calculating their lost earnings through shop floor workers being interrupted by customers lonely and wanting conversation. Offering conversation at the checkout is a sales driver for those people so lonely that often the only people they speak to regularly is their supermarket cashier. And frees up the shelf stackers and increases their productivity.

It might be annoying to you but to some people it is a godsend. And it isn’t just the elderly who are benefitting. There is an increasingly high number of young people who have moved areas for work who fit into this category.

Topseyt Mon 15-Apr-19 17:45:55

I can't say that I let it bother me really. They are often instructed to do this, and some are clearly very awkward with it.

I don't use manned checkouts very often now as both of our local Tescos have "scan and pack", using the hand held barcode scanner, which I like.

The manned checkouts in there are much less busy these days because scan and pack is so popular. I do feel a sneaking sympathy when I see a checkout person sitting there on their own with nobody going through.

dontgobaconmyheart Mon 15-Apr-19 17:46:34

ahh i hate this too OP but i always think IABU and antisocial. I know its part of their job to 'engage' and let's face it small talk is difficult so what else is there to say other than potentially comment on the purchases. I'm a grumpy cow though so in my head when the assistant says ' oh that so nice isn't it' - I am feigning delight that they think so and throwing back some rubbish chit chat whilst thinking ' yes that's why i bought it, must we do this'.

I did buy some whipped cream and some condoms once in the shop when i was younger, just those two things. Didn't think it through at all and it was not what it looked like, if anything the opposite. I'd bought a cheesecake earlier in the day and fancied whipped cream on top, as part of my plans for a night in by myself scoffing. The condoms were just for the cupboard really as i knew i had run out and might see my then boyfriend later in the week. It only occured to me afterwards why the checkout man had been glaring at me in disbelief as i chirpily wished him a hello/good evening

NeverSayFreelance Mon 15-Apr-19 17:46:41

I've been that girl at the checkout. I tried to only make chit chat when the customer initiated it - but one day a gentlemen was buying a LOT of dog products and I got excited and asked if he just got a new dog, hoping to pass the time with some chat about puppies.

"No actually, I've had him for years, but this is me just getting him back from my ex after the divorce."

Wasn't sure how to reply to that blush

zeeboo Mon 15-Apr-19 17:48:11

I agree with @12FreeRangeEggs . For many people in society that may be the only friendly chat they have all day, or even all week. I've never heard of a checkout operator saying anything blatantly rude as mentioned on this thread though hmm. We are fairly lucky in our Sainsbury's in that they stick to "ooh I like your top" "Your baby is lovely" "got anything nice planned for the rest of the day" rather than commenting on the shopping, though they do often say how much they too like certain items from TU as they are ringing them up.

SneakyGremlins Mon 15-Apr-19 17:48:21

"Are you okay for cock rings"

grin <wheeze>

WatchingFromTheWings Mon 15-Apr-19 17:53:30

Every time I present my own bag for shopping, the checkout operators seem to go out of their way to scan things and NOT put them in the bag. Does anybody else have this or is it just me?

I'll pack anybodies shopping in any bag they give me, even a competitors. However if they're handing me a flimsy 5p bag insisting it'll be fine for the 4 bottles of wine they're buying, they can pack it themselves! On their head be it if it doesn't make it across the carpark! Not getting he blame for that!

JustAnotherMNUserPassing Mon 15-Apr-19 17:56:29

As an ex shop worker I was told I had to make conversation with the customer. Although I normally asked about the weather, wouldn't comment on purchases unless I was asked about them!!

AdaColeman Mon 15-Apr-19 17:56:40

grin grin WoollyMummoth!

SpringLake Mon 15-Apr-19 17:59:05

I usually enjoy a quick moment of chatter, but once, I thought I had found a quiet time to buy a PT and of course then you get the chatty till staff... I almost didn't hear what she said, in my fear, but then realised that "I hope you get the answer you want" left me with only one thing to say. "Thank you". Kindest thing anyone has ever said to me (at a till, anyway!)

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Apr-19 18:03:04

This doesn't bother me one tiny little bit.

OP, you haven't said why it bothers your or why you consider it rude?

SrSteveOskowski Mon 15-Apr-19 18:04:09

I'm really shocked by the amount of snobby comments on this thread and can't believe the amount of people who look down their nose at checkout operators.

@bigpinked Their job is shit.
I'd love to know what amazing career you have that you think gives you the right to make comments like that.

Before anyone asks, or comments, no, I'm not a checkout operator, but years ago when I was in college, I was and unfortunately encountered plenty of people with similar attitudes to what I've just seen on here.

Ted27 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:11:50

When I worked at Sainsburys we had a list of questions we had to ask customers and you were monitored.

I worked Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings. Dozens of people would come in and buy condoms, KY , chocolate and wine/beer. I would just wish them a pleasant evening - no big deal

ZigglesAndPaws Mon 15-Apr-19 18:12:30

Bought a pregnancy test in boots once, woman asked if I was hoping for a boy or girl. I was only about 19, in a fluster I answered ‘er, a negative’ 😬

Awkward for everyone involved...

CherryPavlova Mon 15-Apr-19 18:12:51

It would be a sad world if we couldn’t make small talk without causing offence. Their job must be as dull as dishwater but they generally remain polite and pleasant throughout. I really don’t think the odd “Ooh they look nice” or “Have you tried the cookie dough one?” is such a dreadful crime. I made inane conversation about Lindt bunny heads being eaten yesterday. It wasn’t going to change the earth but was hardly offensive.
What about those people whose only social contact is at the tills? It’s nice for them to be recognised and asked about their cat, or whatever.

I think you need to get over yourself.

grumiosmum Mon 15-Apr-19 18:13:17

Poor old checkout operators, trying to be pleasant and pass the time while they do a fairly mundane job.

Lots of unkind people on this thread.

Savoury99 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:17:43

You sound really miserable.

Figmentofmyimagination Mon 15-Apr-19 18:17:47

I won’t use an automated till. Every one is a (mostly female) wage spent circulating in our economy.

Marks and Spencer is the worst. They have lost all my custom through failing to provide any actual human beings. Boots is pretty bad too, although if you stand there long enough, someone will come and serve you.

SimonJT Mon 15-Apr-19 18:18:35

I don’t use self scan etc, I would rather wait a little longer and hope that my decision may keep someone in a job.

LoveIsHope Mon 15-Apr-19 18:20:45

I think there should be special queues in the supermarket:
1. The slow lane - for people who are there to pass the time and don’t mind how long it takes.
2. The fast lane - obviously for people in a rush
3. The chatty lane - for people who want some conversation. They could even talk to other people in the queue.
4. The silent lane - no unnecessary speaking required.
5. The helping lane - people with young children or anyone requiring help with packing.

I would use the silent lane every time.

katseyes7 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:24:19

l worked (briefly, on a Christmas contract) on the checkouts in an M & S Food Hall.
Most people were lovely, but we did get the odd one who treated us like some kind of Victorian kitchen maid.
The worst one was a couple, the woman spent the entire time on her phone, and both of them completely ignored me while l scanned their things. l asked if they wanted a bag, got no response, so l packed their items as they had quite a lot of stuff. When l totalled it up, she looked really pissed off, and said "l suppose you're going to charge me 5p for the bag, too?"
l shouldn't really have said it, but l replied "l did ask if you would like a bag, but you didn't reply. l thought you'd rather have your shopping in a bag."
l really wanted to say "l don't get the 5p as a bonus, you know. And if l hadn't packed it in a bag, you'd have been even more snotty and asked if l wanted you to drop it all over the car park."

winbinin Mon 15-Apr-19 18:27:00

I used to work in Tesco and remember chatting to a customer who was very rude to me, something along the lines of ‘what would you know about it, you’re just a checkout girl’. It turned out she was a new neighbour of ours and was most put out when she realised that a mere supermarket assistant lived in the big detatched house not one of the HA flats. Our kids were at the same school and she asked a friend of mine how we could afford it!

I also worked in Safeway when I was in 6th form and one customer was amazed when I passed an intelligent comment about stoicism (had been reading about the Stoics in A level Latin class that week). She was a classics lecturer and after that she always came to my till and asked about my studies. I actually failed A Level Latin but I’d left the job by then so I didn’t have to confess.

IntoValhalla Mon 15-Apr-19 18:27:41

I had this in Tesco pharmacy once.
I had the DCs with me (just turned 3, and 18 months old at the time), and was buying a pregnancy test. He commented “you’d best hope that’s negative or else you’ll have your hands full!” hmm
Yeah cheers for that nugget of wisdom mate.
I had an early miscarriage 3 weeks later sad

katseyes7 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:28:07

We have a little Asda about a mile from me. There's no option not to use the self checkouts, as the 'proper' checkouts are very rarely staffed. The couple of staff who do supervise the self checkouts end up being run ragged. l went in there this morning, the place was packed. One of the checkout supervisors had to leave what he was doing to chase a woman round the aisles because the 4 pint carton of milk she was carrying round the store was leaking.
l wouldn't have their jobs for a pension. lt must be so stressful.

Sandsnake Mon 15-Apr-19 18:28:32

I still remember popping to a supermarket near my parents’ house where all I bought was a bottle of Calpol, two bottles of Champagne and a cucumber. The youngish guy on the checkout didn’t say much, except to cock an eyebrow towards the end and dryly comment ‘looks like you’re planning a hell of a party’. I thought it was hilarious, though could see how it could have backfired with the wrong customer!

MrsSiriusBlack1 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:29:05

I’m a supermarket worker and some of the people on this thread are the reason I hate my job sometimes angry rude entitled and unpleasant, I couldn’t care less what you’re buying, I just want you to buy your stuff and go! grin

Figmentofmyimagination Mon 15-Apr-19 18:30:02

Smiths is very bad too for not providing a person. Shop assistants actually point out the automated check out when they come off the floor to serve you. I ask the assistant to use the automated check out for me.

AlaskanOilBaron Mon 15-Apr-19 18:30:25

I think it's pretty mean to not entertain chit-chat from the people who serve you throughout the day. Practically uncivilised, really.

Leeds2 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:30:29

I once bought a pregnancy test kit in Asda. The cashier said to me that she hoped I got the result I wanted. I don't really think cashiers should comment on pregnancy tests, but I did think that was quite a tactful thing to say!
I usually talk about the weather, children etc, occasionally get asked if I have tried a ready meal before, and if it was nice. It doesn't really bother me. The thing that makes me see red is when the cashier won't scan anything through the checkout until I have emptied my trolley completely, meaning I have to balance things three or four high before s/he will make any space on the conveyor.

lallyk Mon 15-Apr-19 18:30:56

Oh jeezo, I always forget how seriously these threads can be taken 🙄. To be clear, I was just making a wee light hearted observation at something that I find irritating. Yes, I was a checkout girl too, and a waitress, and a la senza shop assistant (I didn't find any of these jobs shit or mundane though, just jobs) yes, I know some people like to make small talk (so do I, about the weather etc) and yes, I always engage back (would never, ever ignore someone or be rude) but, like previous posters, I want to be able to go to the shop, buy a bottle of wine, a family bag if crisps and a gigantic bar of chocolate and not feel like I need to explain myself! Is that too much to ask??😂)

IntoValhalla Mon 15-Apr-19 18:31:26

On the contrary, I had the most lovely lady in Tesco put my shopping through the checkout today!
She was really friendly and chatty, but not in that awkward, slightly annoying way - in a genuinely friendly way. She made a real fuss of both my DCs when she realised I was buying bits and bobs to make DC1’s birthday cake at the weekend.
She genuinely brightened my day grin I think some people just have that air about them and are absolutely perfect in customer facing roles. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people blush I’ve done lots of bar work before, and my unintentional resting bitch face didn’t really go hand in hand with the job blush

Babdoc Mon 15-Apr-19 18:31:50

I’m actually quite shocked at the number of PPs who seem to think
checkout staff are beneath them and not worthy of conversation.
I’ve had some lovely chats with the staff in my local Tesco.
One was a medical student, doing some shifts to help fund her studies, so I was reminiscing about my own days as a junior doctor, 38 years ago, and laughing with her about the conditions.
One was a struggling artist, and we had an interesting chat about her paintings and craft work.
One had lost both her parents and been off with depression, so I did a bit of counselling and offered to pray for her.
The time my cat had just died, I ended up in tears all over a staff member who gave me a hug and was lovely and supportive.
What I’m trying to say is - they are all human beings, and all are valuable and interesting in their own way, if you bother to engage with them. Please see them as people, not checkout machines!

Chickenwing Mon 15-Apr-19 18:39:13

Yes I worked in Morrisons and they literally told us to try make a conversation by looking at the customers shopping products. If they buy tissues ask if they have a cold. I hated it too and only done so if manager was near.

OhDiddums Mon 15-Apr-19 18:39:20

I was buying ovulation tests once and the lady said 'trying for a baby are we?' I felt like replying 'no, I've plan on using them as contraception actually'. I'm fine with a chit chat but personal purchases should be left out of it.

MitziK Mon 15-Apr-19 18:39:52

The operator who commented upon DP's purchase of a nice writing pad, pen, three birthday cards, two packets of paracetamol and a bottle of scotch will always have my gratitude.

FenellaVelour Mon 15-Apr-19 18:40:37

I did once buy condoms, KY jelly and a Polaroid film.
They never said a word.

shitpark Mon 15-Apr-19 18:41:09

I have a hyperactive thyroid, and for a while last year the medication was wrong and I lost a lot of weight, and generally looked very ill. Checkout woman kept saying " ooh this is how you're so slim" with every single item. I just ignored

gamerwidow Mon 15-Apr-19 18:42:11

I don't like people talking about my shopping it feels judgy and intrusive. I'd rather they focus on other inanities like the weather if they have to chat with me. I feel sorry for the checkout staff though because they are made to do this silly chat and i'm never rude even though it's annoying.

sweeneytoddsrazor Mon 15-Apr-19 18:42:12

Plenty of threads appear on MN putting down retail workers. The vast majority of retail works are polite and hard working, still manage to keep calm despite condescending bastards looking down their noses at them. They manage to laugh politely even though its the 100 time that day somebody has said oh not scanning must be free. They put up with people being abusive without being able to retaliate. And they will be working Friday and Monday whilst you are all enjoying your bank holiday by taking your family shopping.

ChocolateChipMuffin2016 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:49:08

I brought a pregnancy test in Tesco once (with a load of other shopping), it was after I’d had a miscarriage and had to have a negative test to confirm. The checkout lady asked me if I was hoping for a positive or negative, I just said positive and didn’t go into the whole sorry tale. I’m happy to make conversation with anyone, but I do think there are some questions they probably shouldn’t ask.

PlatypusLeague Mon 15-Apr-19 18:49:55

> I’m actually quite shocked at the number of PPs who seem to think checkout staff are beneath them and not worthy of conversation.

I don't see that in what posters have said. By all means talk about the weather, the traffic or something mundane. Many on here will have worked on a checkout at some time and managed the brief smiles and chit-chat without making guesses about the reason for people's purchases.

bananafish Mon 15-Apr-19 19:07:23

I'm wondering if it's a regional thing?

In London, I can honestly count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times a supermarket checkout person has tried to initiate a conversation about anything. It's all business mate - get your shopping through and out.

Maybe I've just got a miserable face smile

LuvSmallDogs Mon 15-Apr-19 19:09:05

Oh dear, this may have been me on tills.blush. If someone was buying loads of sweets/choc I would say “now that’s a good lunch/tea!” I’d also do stuff like insist on giving a man a pink lighter “you’re macho enough to pull it off!” Or ask about people’s pets when they were buying pet food etc.

One of my coworkers (in her 60s) sold a bloke in late teens/early 20s some Valentine chocs, wine and johnnies and said “looks like you’re in for a good night ;)”. He looked like he wanted to die!grin

jpclarke Mon 15-Apr-19 19:16:30

A little bit of small talk is fine. I can't stand shopping in two very big German supermarkets where the staff just grunt at you and give dirty looks of you haven't loaded your shopping quick enough off their checkout.

FiveLittlePigs Mon 15-Apr-19 19:18:17

I was buying a scented candle and the woman on the checkout peeled back the film to smell it. Thus opening what was meant to be a present. She then declared, "that's vile, I hate the smell of Strawberry"

So why OPEN something to smell that a customer is buying that is clearly marked STRAWBERRY? hmm

Then after she had got someone to get me a new one, she nodded at the opened one and said, "chuck that, that one's been opened" without turning a hair.

Sparklingbrook Mon 15-Apr-19 19:21:18

Scan as You Shop. You can do your whole shop and not speak to a soul. No conveyor, no checkout person. In and out.

SneakyGremlins Mon 15-Apr-19 19:23:42

There you go again Sparkling grin

Brilliantidiot Mon 15-Apr-19 19:25:30

think some people just have that air about them and are absolutely perfect in customer facing roles. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people blush I’ve done lots of bar work before, and my unintentional resting bitch face didn’t really go hand in hand with the job blush

This is why I now work nights as far away from people as is possible in hospitality and didn't last long in retail. I have zero filter now. Rude to me? Condescending? Treat me like shit? Not getting fuck all mate.
Treat me like a human being? I'll bend over backwards to help you in any way I can.

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