Author Topic: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?  (Read 4713 times)

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jpcher

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2012, 09:04:18 PM »
I was Christmas shopping today.  I found my items and went toward the cashiers.  There was one register open and the clerk wasn't checking anyone out.  There was a woman standing about ten feet away from the register (basically all the way across the wide lane designated for register foot traffic) talking on her cell phone. 

I stepped around the woman and approached the register, putting my items on the counter, only to hear, "Excuse me!  There's a LINE and it starts behind me!"  The woman still had her cell phone to her ear, but seemed pretty incensed that I'd "skipped" her.  Apparently, I was supposed to wait behind her until she finished her phone conversation and moved toward the register.  All of my ehell training went out of my brain and I blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which was, "I'm sure that the clerk would be happy to help you, once you've finished your phone conversation."

By this time, there were people lining up behind her and the clerk had started my transaction.  The woman called me "rude" and a few other names.   She was the next customer the clerk waited on. I ignored her as she continued to call me names, thanked the clerk and walked out of the store.

I got in my car and had that, "OMGosh, I can't BELIEVE I said that!!" moment and got really embarrassed.  So I throw myself on the mercy of the ehell court.

Was what I said rude?

Would it have been better if I'd said something else?

Would it have been better if I'd said, "OK," and moved back behind the woman until she was ready to check out?   



Maybe I'm missing something . . . How can you "step around" someone that is standing 10 feet away? I mean 10 feet away is a long way from where the register is. I wouldn't thing twice about someone standing that far away from the register as actually being in line.

Did the woman have stuff on the counter being checked out and a transaction was taking place when she stepped away to take a phone call? Where was she in proximity to her cart?


OP -- I think that you did fine. Your comment was quite polite.

I meant I walked past her.  But I did change my course to give her a few feet of space, so technically, I did have to step around her. No, she didn't have any items on the counter.  She was holding one item.  No cart.  I think that was what was so bewildering.  She was no where near the counter.


She was soooo NOT in line and very rude with her comments.



O'Dell

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2012, 09:15:51 PM »
Oops sorry Weeble I didn't see that it was you replying to Sharnita a few posts ago.

Did you really think she was lying that she was in line? I honestly think in this situation it was a misunderstanding and you should have let her go first. People sometimes step from line to grab a candy bar a few feet away or get distracted and let a large gap grow in front of them. So what if it's not clear? Was it worth the moment or 2 you got out of the store faster worth being called names and feeling the way you do now?

I'm not justifying her actions. She was rude to call you names. But I do think you should have just believed her that she was in line and not made a fuss about the cell phone or that she wasn't satisfactorily close in line. Even if you couldn't bring yourself to let her go before you, you could have explained why you didn't think she had the right to and done so politely.

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Sharnita

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2012, 09:32:50 PM »
IN general I would say that somebody 10 feet away wasn't in line but since everybody else lined up behind her it seems like there might be something else they saw that we can't visualize.

Dindrane

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2012, 10:01:29 PM »
IN general I would say that somebody 10 feet away wasn't in line but since everybody else lined up behind her it seems like there might be something else they saw that we can't visualize.

There wasn't anyone else in line when weeble walked up to the counter. The line formed behind the woman after weeble was already being checked out. At that point, one person at the counter and one person vaguely in the line area but kind of far away probably looked like a line.

But one person vaguely in the line area but kind of far away doesn't look like a line when there isn't anyone at the only open register.

So to respond to the topic in general, I don't think it is at all reasonable for weeble to have given up her place in line because she did not intuit that some completely self-centered boor was going to insist that she was next, but only when she was good and ready. Weeble had already put her items on the counter, so while she certainly could have ignored the woman while finishing her transaction, her transaction was already in progress.

If it were me, and I were really quick-witted, I might have responded with something more like, "You were in line? I didn't see you at the counter." Depending upon what I thought would get me out of the situation faster, I might have let her go ahead of me. But honestly, if I'm already halfway through my transaction, I'm going to just ignore her and finish it because there is no way you can argue with that level of rude entitlement.


LeveeWoman

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2012, 10:42:28 PM »
Oops sorry Weeble I didn't see that it was you replying to Sharnita a few posts ago.

Did you really think she was lying that she was in line? I honestly think in this situation it was a misunderstanding and you should have let her go first. People sometimes step from line to grab a candy bar a few feet away or get distracted and let a large gap grow in front of them. So what if it's not clear? Was it worth the moment or 2 you got out of the store faster worth being called names and feeling the way you do now?

I'm not justifying her actions. She was rude to call you names. But I do think you should have just believed her that she was in line and not made a fuss about the cell phone or that she wasn't satisfactorily close in line. Even if you couldn't bring yourself to let her go before you, you could have explained why you didn't think she had the right to and done so politely.

There was one register open and the clerk wasn't checking anyone out.  There was a woman standing about ten feet away from the register (basically all the way across the wide lane designated for register foot traffic) talking on her cell phone. 

I stepped around the woman and approached the register, putting my items on the counter, only to hear, "Excuse me!  There's a LINE and it starts behind me!"  The woman still had her cell phone to her ear, but seemed pretty incensed that I'd "skipped" her.  Apparently, I was supposed to wait behind her until she finished her phone conversation and moved toward the register. 

Lynnv

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2012, 11:00:11 PM »
I think stepping around her to go to the sole open register that she wasn't moving towards was just fine.   It sounds like she wasn't acting like she was in line and you had no reason to believe she was.  If you had any question about it, then asking if she was in line (even if it interrupted her phone call) would have been the best thing.  But it sounds like she wasn't really in line.  She just wanted to be next once she got done on the phone and expected you to wait for her.  Or she was so involved with her call that she wasn't moving towards the open register because she didn't notice it, in which case she effectively (IMO) took herself out of the line.

All of my ehell training went out of my brain and I blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which was, "I'm sure that the clerk would be happy to help you, once you've finished your phone conversation."

Here, I do think you were a bit rude.  If that isn't the store policy, then it isn't your place to lecture her about cell phone use.  However, in the face of someone who was being rude, I find it understandable that the wording you used was not the best.  If you felt the need to say anything, I think you would have been better with something like, "The register was empty and you were busy on the phone and not moving forward so you forfeited your place in line," or something like that. 

On the scale of offenses, I think this one merits 5 lashes with a wet noodle and a mild "tsk, tsk" in your general direction.  It is not a harshly worded reprimand and a sentence to listen to the worst earworm that you have ever heard offense. 
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Isisnin

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2012, 12:10:18 AM »
Perhaps the woman was on her way to the counter when she got a phone call and stopped to answer it.  So she intended to be next in line - which isn't next in line.

Years back, I entered a store with something to return.  There was no one in line.  Clerk just standing there waiting for someone to show up.  No one even leaving the counter. There were two women standing well back from the counter, about 12 feet away.  They are talking and looking at some merchandise.  Seriously, my bedroom could have more than fit between the counter and those women. 

So I go up to the counter, put my bag down and one of the woman yells at me that I had cut in front of them.  I looked at her and said something like "No, I didn't cut.  You are having a conversation back there.  You are not standing in line up here."  The clerk didn't miss a beat.  just did my return. 

Some people seem to think that politeness means other people read their minds and accommodate what they intend to do in the near future.   ???

You were fine OP.

Talley

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2012, 07:09:52 AM »
If someone is standing ten feet away from the register, talking on the phone, it would not even occur to me that that person was queuing for a register, especially if there was no one actually at the register and the cashier was just sitting there, waiting for the next customer. Had she been standing directly at the conveyor belt, for example, then I would have considered her to be first in line and waited behind her.

I was actually the woman with the phone just the other day. I was at the supermarket and heading for the check-out when my phone rang - DH wanted me to get something for him, so I moved back a bit from the registers, maybe a bit less than ten feet (without blocking anyone), and let him explain what he needed. In meantime, someone else went to the register I had been heading for. That's not cutting in line, to me - I obviously wasn't ready to check out yet, but they were, so they went to the register before me.


Kiwichick

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2012, 12:48:53 PM »
Oops sorry Weeble I didn't see that it was you replying to Sharnita a few posts ago.

Did you really think she was lying that she was in line? I honestly think in this situation it was a misunderstanding and you should have let her go first. People sometimes step from line to grab a candy bar a few feet away or get distracted and let a large gap grow in front of them. So what if it's not clear? Was it worth the moment or 2 you got out of the store faster worth being called names and feeling the way you do now?

I'm not justifying her actions. She was rude to call you names. But I do think you should have just believed her that she was in line and not made a fuss about the cell phone or that she wasn't satisfactorily close in line. Even if you couldn't bring yourself to let her go before you, you could have explained why you didn't think she had the right to and done so politely.

There was one register open and the clerk wasn't checking anyone out.  There was a woman standing about ten feet away from the register (basically all the way across the wide lane designated for register foot traffic) talking on her cell phone. 

I stepped around the woman and approached the register, putting my items on the counter, only to hear, "Excuse me!  There's a LINE and it starts behind me!"  The woman still had her cell phone to her ear, but seemed pretty incensed that I'd "skipped" her.  Apparently, I was supposed to wait behind her until she finished her phone conversation and moved toward the register.

I'm confused, I thought Weeblewobble's the opener.

O'Dell

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2012, 01:01:34 PM »
Oops sorry Weeble I didn't see that it was you replying to Sharnita a few posts ago.

Did you really think she was lying that she was in line? I honestly think in this situation it was a misunderstanding and you should have let her go first. People sometimes step from line to grab a candy bar a few feet away or get distracted and let a large gap grow in front of them. So what if it's not clear? Was it worth the moment or 2 you got out of the store faster worth being called names and feeling the way you do now?

I'm not justifying her actions. She was rude to call you names. But I do think you should have just believed her that she was in line and not made a fuss about the cell phone or that she wasn't satisfactorily close in line. Even if you couldn't bring yourself to let her go before you, you could have explained why you didn't think she had the right to and done so politely.

There was one register open and the clerk wasn't checking anyone out.  There was a woman standing about ten feet away from the register (basically all the way across the wide lane designated for register foot traffic) talking on her cell phone. 

I stepped around the woman and approached the register, putting my items on the counter, only to hear, "Excuse me!  There's a LINE and it starts behind me!"  The woman still had her cell phone to her ear, but seemed pretty incensed that I'd "skipped" her.  Apparently, I was supposed to wait behind her until she finished her phone conversation and moved toward the register.

I'm confused, I thought Weeblewobble's the opener.

I was confused too but I think LeveeWoman was quoting WeebleWobble's OP to debate me. My answer still stands though. In a situation like this, you can choose to let the other person go first or you can insist on going first. Either way, do it politely.
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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2012, 03:24:14 PM »
Oops sorry Weeble I didn't see that it was you replying to Sharnita a few posts ago.

Did you really think she was lying that she was in line? I honestly think in this situation it was a misunderstanding and you should have let her go first. People sometimes step from line to grab a candy bar a few feet away or get distracted and let a large gap grow in front of them. So what if it's not clear? Was it worth the moment or 2 you got out of the store faster worth being called names and feeling the way you do now?

I'm not justifying her actions. She was rude to call you names. But I do think you should have just believed her that she was in line and not made a fuss about the cell phone or that she wasn't satisfactorily close in line. Even if you couldn't bring yourself to let her go before you, you could have explained why you didn't think she had the right to and done so politely.

Based on my reading of the OP, this is my interpretation: These things happen so fast in real life, sometimes it is difficult to change our assumptions about what is actually happening quickly enough to change our course of action or make a better/different decision.

If I were OP, based on what I had observed up to the point of deciding whether or not to go ahead with my transaction, I would be working off of the assumption that Cell Phone Lady would not proceed to the register as long as she was on the phone – because that’s what she had been doing up until that point. Working with that assumption, I would have gone ahead with my purchase since I would have no way of knowing how much longer that phone conversation was going to take. I certainly wouldn’t stand out in the middle of the main aisle for even another 15 seconds while the checkout stand remained unused. Especially since, according to the OP, by the time she was able to verbally respond to Cell Phone Lady, the cashier has already begun ringing up her items.

wendelenn

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2012, 07:39:58 PM »
Oops sorry Weeble I didn't see that it was you replying to Sharnita a few posts ago.

Did you really think she was lying that she was in line? I honestly think in this situation it was a misunderstanding and you should have let her go first. People sometimes step from line to grab a candy bar a few feet away or get distracted and let a large gap grow in front of them. So what if it's not clear? Was it worth the moment or 2 you got out of the store faster worth being called names and feeling the way you do now?

I'm not justifying her actions. She was rude to call you names. But I do think you should have just believed her that she was in line and not made a fuss about the cell phone or that she wasn't satisfactorily close in line. Even if you couldn't bring yourself to let her go before you, you could have explained why you didn't think she had the right to and done so politely.

Ten feet away from the register, talking on the phone, is *not* "in line", not in any way, shape, or form.
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artk2002

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2012, 07:44:19 PM »
Ten feet away from the register, talking on the phone, is *not* "in line", not in any way, shape, or form.

That's my feeling, too. I don't thing OP was wrong in the slightest. Not in moving to the register and not in responding to the person who chastised her.
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Bijou

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Re: Store Lines and Cell Phones: Did I do wrong?
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2012, 08:21:30 PM »
I know they already have signs at some places saying to complete your phone call prior to coming to the checkout, but people don't seem to read those. 
I wish the stores would put up signs saying, "This is a checkout line, not a telephone booth!"

ETA  I wonder if anyone would even know what a telephone booth is, anymore!  :P
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 08:24:05 PM by Bijou »
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