"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Shopping

Christmas has come and gone, New Year greetings have been exchanged and for some, New Year resolutions have been made and possibly broken already. But although things have quietened down in the world of supermarkets, it seems that not everyone is happy. In fact, some checkout staff are living proof that 'Kevin' is still around and is not necessarily male.

My 'Here to help you' person was female; no, not a sulky teenager but a (very) mature woman who was obviously not having a good day. When it came to my turn, she completely ignored me and let me get on with packing my shopping unaided.
(Sign above our head: "Happy to help with your packing!")
"Could you give me a hand with packing, please?" I said politely, noticing the queue building up behind me.
She looked at me for the first time and made a sort of hrrumphing noise, just like Kevin. Very reluctantly, she picked up one of my bags and carelessly stuffed a few items into it. And that was the full extent of her packing. Having finished scanning, that was her part of the procedure done and she turned round to exchange a few words with a customer at the neighbouring checkout who was obviously a friend.
I had picked up an unexpected bargain on my tour round the store, a 30 litre stainless steel kitchen bin, but as I only had a small trolley, I was going to need some help.
(Sign overhead: "Happy to carry your shopping to the car for you.")
I did toy with the idea of asking her to do it, just to see her reaction, but instead,
"Could someone help me carry this out to the car, please?" I asked politely.
She looked at me incredulously, hrrumphed again and finally turned to the male employee behind her to make the request.
He, on the other hand, was very friendly and helpful.
Afterwards, I sat in the car and wondered why on earth I had put up with such bad service...


Daphne said...

I hate it when they say "Are you all right packing?" with the clear assumption that the answer is YES. My answer to this is invariably NO, I'd like some help please. I know that working on a supermarket checkout must be a very dull job but on the other hand so is shopping in a supermarket. Sighhh.

Jennyta said...

You are so right, Daphne.

Railwayman 39 said...

Sometime in the 1980's My wife and i were at Weston Super Mare
looking at the shops and went into one shoe shop to see if they had any thing which Delia might like.
There were two female asistants talking to each other about customers and how rude some were. We wandered all around the shop, the assistants took no notice of us so we didn't buy anything.
On leaving I did say to the two "Thank you for your assistance with our purchase"
I wonderd what their conversation was after that.
On the other hand I always say thank you for help and have been known to tell the manager how helpful some particular assistant has been.

cheshire wife said...

At the check out, I always ask them to wait until I have everything on the conveyor belt before they start to ring up my shopping. That way it gives me a fighting chance of keeping up with them. If I get a checkout person who is insolent I avoid going through their till in future.

Jennyta said...

Sounds like a good idea, CW but it is still a lot quicker if the assistant helps with the packing.


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