Author Topic: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?  (Read 6495 times)

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WestAussieGirl

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Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« on: February 01, 2013, 06:31:07 PM »
A few weeks ago, I had a strange experience at the checkout of my local supermarket (grocery store).  It's one of the big chain stores.  When I lined up the cashier was having a very chatty conversation with the person in front of me.  I assumed they knew each other.  No biggie.  I wasn't in a hurry. 

Then when it was my turn she started the same thing with me.  What am I doing in the weekend? What am I making for dinner? Then she told me about her family etc etc.  at the end she grabbed my arm and wished me a great night.  It was strange.  I'm an Aussie.  We aren't big on social touching.  I shrugged it off and thought she was just an unusually friendly, slightly-strange individual.

The next week I went shopping again - same chain, different store.  Again the cashier was super-chatty.  Had I seen the cricket score? What sports do I watch? What sports do I play? Oooookkayyyy.  Virtually a repeat of the first visit but without the touching.

Yesterday I went back and noticed a list of "suggested questions" posted at a checkout.  It had a list of questions to ask customers, exactly like those I had been asked.  So now I know it's a "thing" not just some unusual individuals. 

I've now decided to stop going to that chain because I don't like forced conversations.  I'm happy to have a chat if its natural or they are genuinely interested in something I'm buying/wearing/saying but otherwise no.  Let's just discuss the transaction.

I'm wondering if others have experienced this?  Is it a new trend and should I start expecting it everywhere I go?  I'm assuming it's to try and make it feel more like a local mum-and-dad/we're all friends feel.  To me it just feels fake.

Sharnita

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 06:35:02 PM »
I can't say that I've run into it over here in Michigan.

oceanus

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 06:39:45 PM »
I haven't seen or heard or experienced such a thing here in the USA.  While some cashiers are friendly, most are busy and just try to get the customer thru.  The exceptions are thoe I have an acquaintance with, and they remember me.  But no questions such as you mentioned.  Just a "How ya been?"  Many ask if I found everything okay.  (If I have trouble finding something, I get help prior to getting in line.)

Auntie Mame

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 06:45:18 PM »
I'm super chatty with the cashiers at my favorite grocery, but I've also been going in there several times a week for the past 3 years.  Only in that situation am I comfortable with the scenario you listed above.

I would find it very annoying (I wouldn't take it out on the cashier, I know it's not their fault, some moron in corporate who has never worked a day in their life probably thought it up  ::))

I would probably avid the chain as well.
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kherbert05

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 06:55:01 PM »
I haven't seen this in here. My grocery store is friendly but I've been in a couple times a week for 8 years.


I don't think you should just leave. I think you should send a letter to the manager and corporate letting them know why they are losing your business.
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Iris

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 07:09:13 PM »
I haven't run into this at all, thank goodness. What chain is this, may I ask?

Interestingly my local Big Grocery Store (Woolworths) has one cashier who is like this - incredibly friendly and chatty to every customer. However she's worked there for years and is clearly genuinely chatty and enjoying her job and it is a pleasure to go through her checkout as she is efficient at the same time. The idea of this being forced onto every cashier as a corporate policy makes me shudder though.
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WestAussieGirl

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 07:35:30 PM »
It is Woolies. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 07:37:40 PM »
well, I don't know about grocery shopping, but a few years ago I was freaked out in the Bed Bath & Beyond here in Manhattan when suddenly the clerks were saying "Hi!" to me as I walked past them. I kept thinking, "Do I *know* her? That was an awfully familiarity-sounding greeting!"As if she was so extra-pleased to see me.

They also would walk up and say, "are you finding everything?" and "Let me get you a cart," which was nice, but when they first put their "extra friendly" strategy in place, it creeped me out.

Iris

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 07:54:28 PM »
It is Woolies. 

Thank heavens my local one doesn't seem to have instituted this policy then. Bleaugh. Maybe yours is a test case or it's just a local manager being foolish. I would definitely contact corporate because either way they need to know and put a stop to it (before it reaches my side of the country  :)). As I said I do enjoy being served by the 'cheerful checker' so it's not like I'm a curmudgeon in general but fake friendliness is NOT what I want at the end of the day.
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blue2000

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 08:29:27 PM »
I'd guess it is a new corporate 'trend'.

There were signs at my local grocery store a few weeks ago, admonishing people for not talking to the cashiers or being friendly enough. They have been changed now to something else. I have to wonder how well that worked for them - the cashiers are actually not much for chatting, even if I wanted to.
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Sharnita

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 08:42:11 PM »
I'd guess it is a new corporate 'trend'.

There were signs at my local grocery store a few weeks ago, admonishing people for not talking to the cashiers or being friendly enough. They have been changed now to something else. I have to wonder how well that worked for them - the cashiers are actually not much for chatting, even if I wanted to.

There were signs scolding customers for not being friendly enough to the cashiers?

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 08:45:13 PM »
I did start noticing a few months ago that the staff at my local Krogers always speaks when you pass them. Not so much a change in the cashiers but people stocking the shelves.  They always says hello and ask if I need help finding anything.


Sharnita

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 08:51:14 PM »
That doesn't actually sound bad.  Now if they asked me about my sports interestsas I walked by I would find it really odd.

Calypso

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 09:28:12 PM »
This is the kind of thing that makes me glad I never worked retail for a corporation. This kind of mandate from some "educated" exec on high would give me nightmares to have to follow. I feel for the poor cashiers, and I would absolutely HATE it as a customer. Ugh.  >:(

Friendly cheerful service is one thing, that's nice. But this is just stupid.

oceanus

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Re: Is this the new thing in grocery shopping?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 10:04:26 PM »
I'd guess it is a new corporate 'trend'.

There were signs at my local grocery store a few weeks ago, admonishing people for not talking to the cashiers or being friendly enough. They have been changed now to something else. I have to wonder how well that worked for them - the cashiers are actually not much for chatting, even if I wanted to.

There were signs scolding customers for not being friendly enough to the cashiers?

Really?  If I saw such a sign it would really tick me off.
At my local Kroger I used to get irritated because the cashiers would be enmeshed in chitchat with the bagger and/or another cashier practically ignoring the customers.  I even complained about it once, and maybe other customers did, too, because Ive noticed an improvement. 

But the chitchat and questions such as described by OP is a bit much, imo.