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Coping in shops - You WILL talk to me

(16 Posts)
citiesofbismuth Sat 27-Oct-18 13:50:32

I was in Sainsbury's the other day and have been feeling depressed and shut down recently. I have aspergers.

I went through the checkout with dh and the operator said something to me, but I couldn't hear properly due to background noise. I didn't respond and I could see her looking hmm at me. She then said something else and I said "sorry I can't hear very well". She then tried to engage me in conversation. I felt like crying. I felt as though I was being forced to engage with her.

Why do people always seem to have to drag attention out of you? People talk AT me at the best of times and I've given up trying to make my voice heard.

A couple of weeks ago I was gently rubbing the side of my face by my jawline and an operator kept asking me if I was okay and what was wrong with my face. She made me feel like an idiot.

staffiegirl Wed 31-Oct-18 16:16:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PickAChew Wed 31-Oct-18 16:24:35

The self service checkouts are so bossy, though! And, unless you're in waitrose, where they don't weigh everything you've bought, go into a flap when you put a bag of salad, or something else light, through.

SmilingButClueless Wed 31-Oct-18 16:31:42

I don’t know whether supermarkets don’t realise how overwhelming they are or whether they just don’t care. I don’t have anyone to go with me, so have got into a routine of doing a monthly big shop online and just topping up with fresh stuff at a small supermarket when it’s quiet.

Hate people trying to talk to me or push their loyalty cards. Or, worse, commenting on what I am buying. Headphones help...

PerkingFaintly Wed 31-Oct-18 16:43:17

I'm not always good at doing this in practice (and don't leave the house much anyway), but I'm trying to develop a repertoire of reassuring, polite Fuck Offs for similar purposes.

Your "Sorry I can't hear very well" was perfect.

Followed by, for the hard of thinking those who still try to chat, with:
<big smile> "Sorry, won't try to chat over this noise." <turn away and stare at interesting bogey on child at next till, don't respond to further chatter. If really necessary, repeat smile>

I know it feels rude. But they're clearly not respecting what you said, and the smile takes the sting out of it.

toffee1000 Sat 03-Nov-18 20:45:49

I’d say they (supermarkets) just don’t realise how overwhelming they are, as most of the population aren’t affected by sensory problems etc.
People who work in retail are also told by their management to chat to customers, even though a lot of people dislike it. (Not necessarily due to ASD or similar just that they want to get on with their shopping). Either tell them politely that you’re fine, or just ignore them. Rude it may seem, but if they keep trying to talk to you when you clearly don’t want to, they’re the one being rude.
Online shopping can be useful if the sensory issues are the main problem, plus you won’t have to talk to a checkout person.

Rockbird Tue 06-Nov-18 14:17:23

I wear headphones every second I'm out of the house on my own. Not always listening to anything (although having something familiar playing really helps me) but people don't try to talk to you if they see you're plugged in. I can't bear talking to anyone unless absolutely necessary.

citiesofbismuth Thu 08-Nov-18 08:55:25

It happened again yesterday and ended up with me and dh falling out over my inability to cope with going through the checkout. The checkout person was over exited and kept talking and talking to the customers in front. Then, they swapped operators and the next one was trying to talk to me and dh. These people were as high as kites, what the hell are Sainsbury's putting in the staff coffee machines?

I went home and went into bed for an hour then went into shutdown for the rest of the day.

citiesofbismuth Thu 08-Nov-18 09:00:21

I'll order some headphones I think.

Can you take a trolley full through the self service?

Rockbird Thu 08-Nov-18 09:21:05

Depends on the supermarket. My local Asda and Sainsbury's have trolley self checkouts. Tesco doesn't although all three of them now have the scanners that you use as you walk round so I mostly use those. Think I've been to an actual person checkout about three times in the last five years.

nuttyknitter Thu 08-Nov-18 09:24:45

I think it's sometimes the case that the very chatty checkout operators have some special needs themselves and aren't always able to pick up the cues that customers don't want to talk.

StandardPoodle Mon 19-Nov-18 15:07:56

The staff at the building society have also obviously been told to "engage" with the customer and usually ask cheerfully "have you got anything planned for the rest of the day/over the weekend?"
I find that so difficult even though I should be able to prepare for it. Can't really say I just want to get back home to peace and quiet.
I feel your pain OP.

HardAsSnails Mon 19-Nov-18 15:16:02

This is one reason why I do online grocery shopping. I couldn't stand the chatter. I also carry some stickman communications cards with me for just in case.

citiesofbismuth Thu 06-Dec-18 00:27:25

I now go through the self service checkout. I've been okay for two weeks and feel better. No small talk. Packing can be tricky, but I just take my time. I'm going to do a main online shop for xmas, then just top up quickly at a quiet store.

BlackeyedGruesome Fri 07-Dec-18 17:22:46

would dh fall out with you if you could not get out af a wheelchair to go through checkout?

or if you were blind and could not read the prices on the shelves.

etc, etc, etc,

he is being a twat.

OComeAllYeFaithful Thu 13-Dec-18 23:07:43

After years of struggling with supermarkets, I have started doing my shopping online using a subscribe and save. It’s made a huge difference to my ability to cope. I have a list of my regular items, DH and I meal plan together, I get him to remind me of anything I might have forgotten. So, so much better. Staff are trained to make conversation. In some shops they fail their mystery customer assessments if they don’t. But if you’re in a store, you can always say like you did ‘I can’t hear very well’ but I’d add in ‘So forgive me but I can’t chat, I’d just like to pack my shopping quietly thank you’. It’s not offensive but it makes it clear that you won’t engage with the chatter.

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