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To be fed up of checkout assistants commenting on the products i buy?!

(105 Posts)
MsBrown Tue 29-Jan-13 10:44:20

It doesn't happen every time i go to the supermarket, but happens enough to be making me annoyed.

Today i have a day off from work. After dropping dd at school, i nipped to the local Tesco for a magazine and big bar of chocolate. As the lady scanned them through, she said "Oh, you'll regret this tomorrow!" and then laughed as if expecting me to join in.

Last time i was in, a different checkout lady was scanning my things and then stopped after she'd scanned my packet of wraps. She was reading the back for about a minute, i shit you not, and when i asked what was wrong (i thought maybe she'd noticed they were out of date or something), she said, "Do you know how many calories are in these? I'm doing WW and it's really made me look at calorie content. You'd think these would be healthy since they're wholemeal". I said they are healthy and me and dd loves them (might have gotten a bit snappy, don't like calories etc being discussed like that in front of impressionable dd).

Around Christmas time, i was in buying wine for pressies (i don't drink) and the checkout lady said something about wishing she was young again to be able to drink as much as me (again laughed, as if expecting me to join in).

I was buying towels and tampons one other time, and i went to self scan with them, but the queue-buster lady directed me to a till instead. The checkout lady made a big deal after scanning them, leaned forward and whispered, "I'll double bag these for you, sweetheart." I showed no hint before that of being the slightest bit embarrased by buying them.

It's not just Tesco. it's other supermarkets in other areas i've visited too.

I was buying a range of exotic fruits one time at Asda (for a tasting session in class) and the checkout lady stopped and scrutinised each one before scanning (i realise she had to do this so she'd know what buttons to press on her screen), but then she started asking "Why are you getting all this?" and invited her colleague over for a look too! Again, acting as if i'd be okay with this, and i should join in with their giggles.

It feels like a total invasion of privacy.

I realise they're just trying to make small talk, but i doubt very much they'd like it if i went rooting round their shopping trolley/cupboards commenting on every little thing i saw there.

AIBU/over-sensitive eejit?

YorkshireDeb Tue 29-Jan-13 10:50:27

That does sound annoying. Weird that it happens to you such a lot - I tend to get fairly silent checkout ladies. Except when, like you I'm buying supplies for work & often have to explain myself. Was worst when I was in charge of buying staffroom biscuits - got some right comments when I went through the till with 20 packets! X

SpicyPear Tue 29-Jan-13 10:52:05

YANBU. Also happens at the bank e.g. commenting on cheques paid in. Invasive and rude. Tampon double bag lady would have been told that menstrual products are nothing to be ashamed of or hide. What an idiot.

Bluestocking Tue 29-Jan-13 10:53:37

Are you in Birmingham, by any chance? I find checkout staff there very keen to comment on one's shopping.

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 29-Jan-13 10:54:11


atthewelles Tue 29-Jan-13 10:55:04

YABU. They are just being friendly and you are being a bit precious and hoity toity.

Schnarkle Tue 29-Jan-13 10:55:08

The staff are being assessed on how they make small talk with the customers. I can't imagine they actually give 2 shiny hoots what you're buying, but they will get reprimanded in the bigger supermarkets if they don't "interact" enough.

It's ridiculous I think.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 29-Jan-13 10:57:11

There's another long thread about this somewhere from a checkout operator who is being criticised by management for not chatting enough.
It is expected now for the poor sods to make idle chat to the customers.
The majority of the customers on the thread don't want it, the checkout don't either but they could lose their jobs if they don't.
I am quite happy with a friendly hello.

FruOla Tue 29-Jan-13 10:57:21

Have you seen the recent thread where the OP is on her probationary period with a large supermarket chain and she's not scoring enough points on her 'checkout chatting technique'? These poor souls are forced to do it by management. I used to think it was rather odd to begin with, but now I just join in in case they are being watched by a supervisor.

Although I draw the line at comments being made in the bank - and tampon-double-bag-lady; the latter is just ridiculous these days.

SpicyPear Tue 29-Jan-13 10:57:28

But they could chat about the weather or something rather than making value judgements on your shopping!

theplodder Tue 29-Jan-13 10:57:43

" i nipped to the local Tesco for a magazine and big bar of chocolate. As the lady scanned them through, she said "Oh, you'll regret this tomorrow!" and then laughed as if expecting me to join in. "

she obviously touched a nerve!

Pilfette Tue 29-Jan-13 10:58:00

Wasn't there a thread yesterday about someone who worked at a supermarket checkout being told that she needed to engage with the customers more as part of her appraisal. I've noticed this happening more recently too, presumably it's some new customer service strategy?

Fakebook Tue 29-Jan-13 10:58:05

The only time anyone ever comments on the things I buy at checkout is when I buy my children's clothes from M&S. I always get a "ooh that's lovely, what a good price" or a "ooh he'll/she'll look very handsome/pretty in that" or a "ooh, can't believe what a good price that is". And it's not just in my local M&S, I've been shopping to three different stores around the UK since December and I've had the same comments and actions in EVERY store. They pick up the clothes and hold them in the air and look at them and comment. I think it must be in their training.

Pilfette Tue 29-Jan-13 10:58:21

Oh, massive x posts blush

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 29-Jan-13 10:58:50

Get a grip OP. They're just being friendly. Next you'll be insisting on no eye contact hmm

bringbacksideburns Tue 29-Jan-13 10:59:49


Maybe they should just know their place eh? Sit there silently and miserably and wait till they are spoken to. God forbid they reveal their personalities in friendly chit chat.

If you'd ever worked with the public you would know it's the little interractions like this that help keep people sane.

redbobblehat Tue 29-Jan-13 11:01:49

feel so sorrry for checkout operators

MsBrown Tue 29-Jan-13 11:02:12

I understand they need to make small talk, and appear chatty etc, but why can't they discuss the weather or something instead? I get really uncomfortable when they stop and properly look at my prodcuts they're scanning (eg, reading the back/ingredients).

Another favourite is commenting on the Quorn stuff i buy (i usually bulk buy once a month). It then invites questions, "what exactly is Quorn? Why are you a veggie etc?"

It doesn't happen every time, like i said in my OP.

But it does happen often enough for me to be getting annoyed.

Paiviaso Tue 29-Jan-13 11:03:33

YAB a bit U. They are just people making small chat. I do think it is a tad invasive to look up and comment on the caloric quantity of the purchases though!

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 29-Jan-13 11:04:02

Why shouldn't they ask you what Quorn is confused

FruOla Tue 29-Jan-13 11:04:08

Oh, and by I draw the line at comments being made in the bank, I meant I'm quite happy to chat to the bank staff - just not to have to make any justification for any of my transactions!

MsBrown Tue 29-Jan-13 11:04:52

she obviously touched a nerve!

Yes, she did (not because of the chocolate/planned lazy day) because imo she shouldn't be commenting so vividly on what i'm buying.

Why not ask, "What's your plans for today, then" instead?

She is just making small talk....why is it annoying?? If they just sat there and put through the items with no communication etc people would moan that they are miserable....will they ever win?

Just smile and nod, hardly an effort is it.....

Personally I would hate to work with the public, the miserable fuckers hmm

LifeofPo Tue 29-Jan-13 11:05:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redbobblehat Tue 29-Jan-13 11:06:00

here op look at it for the checkout staff side sad

perhaps we should all email the big supermarkets and ask them to stop doing this to thier staff and customers

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