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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...

TooManyAprilShowers Tue 16-Apr-19 16:54:30

Several months ago I had a punnet of strawberries and doubole cream in my basket, the young girl said "Oohh in for a fun evening?" and just carried on. I was flabbergasted

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Tue 16-Apr-19 16:47:39

"You are NICE are you? Is that because you were brought up that way, to be NICE? Why? Because you're a girl?"

Maybe some of us are "nice" to retail staff because they're human beings doing their job and deal with arseholes on an hourly basis? 🙄

WalkAwaySugarbear Tue 16-Apr-19 14:36:16

I hate it too although I shop at Aldi & Lidl now so I'm too busy catching the speed shopping to chat. It always throws me when I go into a normal supermarket and they are so relaxed and slow and chatty.

I hated working on the tills too as I don't do meaningless chit chat.

dustarr73 Tue 16-Apr-19 13:57:32

You are NICE are you? Is that because you were brought up that way, to be NICE? Why? Because you're a girl? hmm

No because i worked on a checkout and i know all it takes 1 person to ruin your day.So if i am nice to someone who has to face them kinds of customers.Then so be it.Why be a dick when you dont have to be.

hanahsaunt Tue 16-Apr-19 13:56:32

Ds works at the checkout in a supermarket. He doesn't like engaging in conversation and would rather not chat. One customer complained to the manager that he hadn't chatted and was, therefore, rude ... can't win!

lallyk Tue 16-Apr-19 13:37:50

Today's lesson: some folk will make it their mission to take offence at ANYTHING.

Chocolatecoffeeaddict Tue 16-Apr-19 12:30:15

I was buying baby jars from Asda once and the checkout woman told me they were a waste of money and to just give him noodles and chips from the chippy. She spoke to me as though I was an idiot with no clue.He was my 4th child and I'll feed him what I want thanks!

peachgreen Tue 16-Apr-19 12:26:36

Happened to me once as an older teen when a security guard had to search my bags as I'd set the alarm off. Found some fancy lingerie the checkout guy had forgotten to take the tags off (because he was embarrassed, having made conversation about all my previous items before encountering the underwear). As he was repacking the bag, the security guard turned to the guy I was with and said with a wink "they were supposed to be a surprise for you later, mate..."

At which point my horrified dad drew himself to his full height and boomed "she's my DAUGHTER!"

Poor old dad grin

Reallyevilmuffin Tue 16-Apr-19 11:48:50

This is why I like the discount stores. I don't want to talk to the operator. I want them to scan the shopping as fast as possible so I can get home. The fake friendliness of the big brand supermarkets actively discourages me from going there.

CharlyAngelic Tue 16-Apr-19 11:26:51

To answer OP ; YABU ; usually the comments are not negative ....along the lines of that looks nice ..have you tried ?

Sparklingbrook Tue 16-Apr-19 11:17:29

A lot of supermarkets have staff now that have to do everything. I think the days of people sitting on a till all day are over.
More cost effective to have multi trained staff that can go on a till but also do other jobs in the store.

justilou1 Tue 16-Apr-19 11:05:43

I actually worry about self-service checkouts taking away these jobs for my kids. I learned so much about life and people and how to actually talk to strangers (I was so very, very introverted!) from doing these kinds of jobs! I learned not to judge a book by it’s cover, I learned to be patient, I learned how bloody funny and crude the old ducks can be and how rude and selfish sexy young blokes are. These kinds of jobs are bloody invaluable life lessons for young people!!!

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Tue 16-Apr-19 10:56:01

I'm quite happy for people to comment on what I'm buying in a that looks nice sort of way, or to ask if I've tried something before.

Then there was the checkout operator in Sainsburys who commented that the body-warmer I was buying looked good, not that she'd buy anything "from here". grin I may have given her a hard stare.

standardaccount Tue 16-Apr-19 10:41:06

@damnthatoneistakenagain I don't care what other people have said. I was responding to the OP that yes she is being unreasonable. I don't care what others have said.

Brefugee Tue 16-Apr-19 09:21:14

@StillMedusa - I'd love to meet your son at the checkout. I love to see people who love their work, whatever it is.

damnthatoneistakenagain Tue 16-Apr-19 09:12:21


I imagine they have to deal with fairly unpleasant customers so I am nice.

You are NICE are you? Is that because you were brought up that way, to be NICE? Why? Because you're a girl? hmm


Supermarket supervisor here.

I have a rule - don't comment on purchases. A kind greeting, may I help you pack, a cheery weather comment, wish them all the best as they leave and a smile. That's all that's needed really. 😊

Well I would definitely be coming to YOUR shop if I knew what/where it was!

And as for your rule... there is obviously a reason you made it. Right? smile People don't want people commenting on their items, and I am willing to bet most customers don't want a full blown conversation.

You can still be NICE without having to accept stupid, ignorant, and intrusive comments about your purchases, as many people have outlined on this thread.

damnthatoneistakenagain Tue 16-Apr-19 09:12:11


How is it rude? How bizarre!
Unless they are commenting things like, "oh those biscuits won't do any good for the waistline" or "TWO bottles of wine!?

Unless they are commenting things like, "oh those biscuits won't do any good for the waistline" or "TWO bottles of wine!?"

Read the full thread! Many posters have said that they are OK with simple courtesy from checkout operators, and that they are polite with them, and some people don't mind a bit of general chitchat.

What people object to is checkout operators commenting on how much booze, sweets, and junk food they have, and commenting on pregnancy tests, and condoms, and IBS and hemorrhoids remedies, and on an item of clothing they are buying, (implying it may not fit, or not suit them!) And commenting on hair dye, and bad skin remedies, and other personal items. In addition, nosing at, and poking at the products the customer is buying.


I bought a pregnancy test at my local the other day. She looked me straight in the face while scanning it and said "good luck" with the biggest grin.

It was negative, I cried. I think she jinxed me and now how will i show my face their again, I'm terrified she will ask me how it went.

Just scan my items and ask me about the god damn weather.

FFS. Some people just don't have a filter do they? And I am sick of people making excuses for them too, like 'they probably have additional needs.' No they don't - not in the vast majority of cases! I'm not daft, and most other people aren't either, and we can tell someone who has additional, (or special needs,) from someone who is just nosey and intrusive.

DIZZYTIGGER87 Tue 16-Apr-19 08:56:05

I used to enjoy chatting while I worked in supermarkets on checkouts, however there are some customers you know not to talk too... however I used to get people come through my till every week to talk about their week, and even now, 12 years on in one town, people still recognise me (I only moved back recently) and have a chat with me.

The only really bad occasion was in a LIDLs where my DS was grizzly (not crying/screaming) bored and teething. I was also having a bad day, struggling with depression and anxiety and it had been a battle to get out of the house, but we had no food in. I had just unloaded the bulk of a months shop onto the till, and the checkout guy said, clearly loud enough for me to hear, "can't she shut that fucking bastard up". I was mortified... I apologised to the older man behind, grabbed my son and fled to the carpark before I (and him) burst into tears. 10 minutes later there was a knock on the car window, and the same customer from behind me gave me some chocolate, wine and the nappies from my shop and apologised that he couldn't cover my whole shopping...he also apparently made a huge fuss and complained on my behalf. (I did pay him back for the nappies, but the fact he cared meant more than anything).

I've also had comments on pregnancy tests, including one lady in a local shop saying how much she loves babies and I'll have to come back in 9 months so she can have a cuddle.

I will always try and engage with staff, although most the time now they speak to my 20mo which is fine by me as means he's distracted while I pack.

formerbabe Tue 16-Apr-19 08:21:05

Don't worry op

Soon everything will be automated and we won't need to have any human interaction at all.

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Tue 16-Apr-19 08:18:50

Agree so much with the above. Some people are also better at interpreting the cues from customers.

Wearing black, and looking distracted - don’t ask.
Buying a load of party poppers, buffet food and drink - fine to ask if people are planning a party grin

gamerwidow Tue 16-Apr-19 08:13:25

Someone with a weeks training in retail psychology or whatever will decide that all their staff should provide this experience for every transaction to increase custom/loyalty/whatever. But it doesn't come naturally to all staff and not all transactions will have a natural opening for it. So what you actually get are staff feeling awkward having to try and customers feeling awkward or irritated.
You can always tell whether the chat is real or forced and it's just uncomfortable when the checkout person is going through the motions. The people who manage the stores should realise all customers really want is efficient and polite. I've worked as a checkout girl myself so I'm never rude but it does make some transactions hard work.

Ragwort Tue 16-Apr-19 08:12:30

I quite like it, unless it is particularly rude or nosey, I work in retail and do think that customer service is very, very important. But increasingly I find, and it is usually younger people, who are just glued to their phones all the time and struggle to make ‘small talk’.

The one expression I hate, and my local Building Society staff say it so often that they must have had it as part of their training is, ‘What are your plans for today?’, I always want to say something like ‘Just off to rob a Bank’ or ‘meeting my lover’ but of course am too polite and say something like ‘just off to work’ or equally dull. grin.

CharlyAngelic Tue 16-Apr-19 08:09:21

I am going to visit my favourite check out operator at lunchtime.
He cheers me up .
He brings joy to a lot of people....all ages and all genders !

PregnantSea Tue 16-Apr-19 08:06:01

I emigrated a few years ago. 3 weeks in I was very homesick and felt so isolated - obviously we hadn't made any friends yet as we'd only just arrived and had spent all of our time house hunting and filling in forms. I was feeling very low so decided to make a cake. I went to the supermarket for the ingredients, and also had to get a cake pan, and the lady behind the counter asked what sort of cake I was making. Had a nice little chat with her about it, ended up talking to her about how we'd just arrived in the country. It made me feel a million times better than I did when I arrived at the shop.

I know it's annoying sometimes, and a few years on I now have lots of friends here so am not really bothered about talking to a cashier, but for some people it might be the only conversation they've had all week.

lallyk Tue 16-Apr-19 08:03:01


Yes!!! A wee chat about the mundane, not a nosey at my stuff!

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