Author Topic: In line at the grocery store  (Read 5265 times)

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baglady

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2013, 09:10:26 PM »
I've never been in that situation, because 99 percent of the time my "oh, crap, I forgot something" moments come before I've unloaded my groceries onto the belt. So I just leave the line, gesture the person behind me to go ahead, go get forgotten item and rejoin the line at the back.

On those rare occasions where I have already unloaded, I'll check out, then either go back for forgotten item or pick it up at a different store/on a different day.

In OP's situation, though, I wouldn't consider the guy rude if the previous customer's transaction was done, OP wasn't back yet, and the guy had only a couple of things.
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rose red

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2013, 09:22:31 PM »
The OP said there was no belt, just a counter.  I would have done the same as the man because there are things on counters getting in my way all the time.  And I agree if you leave the line, you lose your place. 

m2kbug

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2013, 09:39:39 PM »
You really think putting cans on the conveyer and noticing you accidentally grabbed the wrong almost-identical item counts as "getting into line without being done"? I wish I was the kind of person this type of mistake never, ever happened to so that I was unable to put myself into the OP's shoes and see it to be an honest mistake, but sadly I am all too human!

The only thing I'd suggest doing next time, OP is to tell the cashier quickly that I'd be right back.

This is really the best solution, I think, for future reference.  I don't think the other shopper was wrong or rude in any way.  By strict letter of the law, the OP lost her place in line by leaving.  I, personally, would recognize and assume the unattended groceries belonged to someone who was going back and getting something, and largely because I have done this very same thing a few times over.  I would be inclined to hold the OP's spot as long as the OP returned quickly and in time to deal with her purchase and not leave people (me) waiting. 

As an "oops, forgot something," shopper, I typically tell the cashier what I'm doing and ask if I can leave my items behind.  We're talking about just a few things, a recognized situation where it's very clear I will not be inconveniencing other shoppers, and full expectation I will be back in time to deal with my purchase as if I never left.  I think that's reasonable and I think what the OP did was reasonable. 

The OP stated this is a very small store with NO conveyor belts.  Running to grab a new can of something is really fast.

magician5

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2013, 10:47:54 PM »
Sorry, but IMO you're either in the line (and actually present) or you're out of the line, in which case anyone can proceed. A bottle of milk cannot "hold your place in line".
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Library Dragon

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2013, 11:12:40 PM »
Add my voice to he should have waited and if you weren't back when the lady was finished he could move to the front. 

Small town, large town, if he had done that my local Publix he would get some sideway looks from other shoppers.  It's possible his wife would know before he got home that he cut in line  :o

I was checking out at a big box store that I really dislike, but the drugstore was closed.  I was checking out and the person behind me was trying to hand her things to the cashier in the middle of my transaction. I never had to say a word, the folks behind her asked why she was rushing me. 

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LifeOnPluto

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2013, 11:21:29 PM »
I posted a similar thread a few months ago, where I stepped "out" of the queue for a few seconds to grab a newspaper from a nearby stand. The consensus on that thread was that I'd lost my place in the queue.  :(

I think the guy in this thread acted way too hastily, and didn't use any common sense. Yes, there is the possibility that the groceries were deserted. But there's an equal (and probably greater, IMO) possibility that the shopper who'd left those items had gone back to grab something else, and had every intention of returning. He should have at least waited for a minute or so, to make sure.

I also suspect the OP didn't tell the cashier that she was stepping out to get the right item, because the cashier was occupied with ringing up (and bagging) the other customer's transactions. It's possible the OP feared she'd be rudely interrupting (I know I'd be worrying about that).

sparksals

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2013, 01:13:13 AM »
As a former grocery store Cashier, I can't tell you how many times people stepped out of the line to get one more thing and wound up taking forever.   The cashier had no idea when the OP would be back, nor did the guy.  He did nothing wrong.  Once you step out of line and leave the actual queue, that leaves room for others to step in front of you.  That is how I would have handled it.

perpetua

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2013, 01:53:40 AM »
Can I point out something that seems to have been missed over and over again that I mentioned in my first post on this thread: when the man arrived at the checkout *the OP was already gone*. He wasn't *there* when she stepped out of line and so had absolutely no way of knowing that there was anyone *in* line (which technically she wasn't anyway). He arrived to checkout with one person ahead of him - not the OP - and as far as he was concerned he *was* the next in line, because the OP hadn't been there when he arrived.

The OP states she left a 'few items on the counter' in a small neighbourhood store with no conveyorbelt. I have seen items on the counter in small grocery stores for any number of reasons. It could have been stock that the staff hadn't put out yet, it could have been stuff that someone had returned, it could have been stuff that someone may have just left there, stuff that someone decided they didn't want at the last minute - perhaps someone who when the total is rung up didn't have enough cash on them for all of it and asked for x y and z item to be taken off. Stuff on the counter in this type of store doesn't automatically say 'Someone is in front of me and they are someone's groceries'. The man had no way of knowing what it was.

He wasn't rude, he did absolutely nothing wrong in this particular scenario. As far as he was concerned, he *was* the next in line.

Now, if this was a big supermarket and the OP's stuff was all laid out on the conveyorbelt ready to be checked out with a divider between her stuff and the people in front/behind, it would be obvious that someone was ahead of him in line to check out and his actions would have seemed more impatient.

But in this particular scenario I can not see how he did a thing wrong.

MariaE

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2013, 02:35:48 AM »
I posted a similar thread a few months ago, where I stepped "out" of the queue for a few seconds to grab a newspaper from a nearby stand. The consensus on that thread was that I'd lost my place in the queue.  :(

Actually I remember the consensus on that thread as being pretty much the same as here - about 50-50 either way.
 
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Miss Unleaded

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2013, 03:41:29 AM »
Sorry, but IMO you're either in the line (and actually present) or you're out of the line, in which case anyone can proceed. A bottle of milk cannot "hold your place in line".

I agree with this.  I also grew up in a town where this kind of thing is pretty common and it always bothered me.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if the groceries are from a customer who just rushed off the get that one thing they forgot, or if they were left by a previous customer who decided not to buy them after all.  So you end up waiting in vain for a phantom shopper to return, or run the risk of an irate customer coming back to the queue and yelling 'didn't you see I was in line first? What is wrong with you?'  Sometimes the previous customer would leave their place, and the cashier would just start ringing their stuff up only to sit around and wait for the customer to come back with the tin of beetroot they wanted, unable to finish the transaction or serve any other customers.  In my opinion, you're either in the queue or out of it, so I don't see that the guy did something rude.

Jones

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2013, 08:13:49 AM »
For all he knew they belonged to the lady in front who was paying in two transactions. I've done that before when shopping for work or a friend so I get the exact total on a separate reciept.

This was my first thought, as I often purchase items broken into multiple transactions. If the previous purchaser was still being served, how did he know the lot wasn't her second purchase? I suppose he might have asked, we don't know, but if he just assumed then I'd have found it odd for someone to put their items in front of my work-related items on the counter while I paid for personal stuff.


TootsNYC

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2013, 09:13:44 AM »
I agree with Snowdragon. Also, he had no way of knowing if and when you were returning.

So he should have waited until the cashier was done with the first transaction.  I don't think it takes a lot of common sense to see a pile of groceries on the belt and assume they belong to someone. He could have at least ASKED.  Instead, he just cut the line.

That's what I do, when I'm the guy.

I see that the stuff is there but not person; I assume that the person ran to get something else. If they're back before the cashier is ready for them, it's their spot. I'd never move their stuff.

If, however, they're not visible to me (if I even know who they are) by the time the cashier is ready for someone, I go ahead. Again, I don't really move their stuff, I just give mine directly to the cashier, using whatever space is available ahead of us.

I'm not going to wait for any *extra* time (i.e., I signed up for time for the lady who's currently being checked out and time for you to be checked out--but I didn't sign up to wait for you to get back from wherever you went), but I will not declare myself until it's clear that there would be a gap in the cashier's workflow.

And I don't move until the cashier is ready for me. I don't consider you to have abandoned your place in line until that point.

Not everybody "got that memo." And he may have a stronger sense of "you need to hold your place in line."

lowspark

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2013, 09:39:27 AM »
I don't think he did anything wrong.

I think OP was wrong to get in line when she wasn't done shopping.

It's not true that she wasn't done shopping.  She was!  She had her groceries unloaded and ready to be checked out when she noticed that she got one wrong item.

Do you think she should have loaded all her groceries back into her cart just to go replace that one item?

To answer the bolded question, I think she should have just gone ahead and paid for the groceries she did want and then gone back for the missed item.

And yes, I've been in that situation many times. I realize I've forgotten something or gotten the wrong thing after I've put my groceries on the belt or counter. And if I'm alone (which is usually) I will just complete the transaction as is and either go back for the item I need or just add it to the list for the next time I go shopping. I think it's fine to send someone back to retreive the item if you have a companion with you, as long as they can get back quickly enough to not cause delay in paying, but if you're alone, I don't think it's cool to leave your groceries unattended.

I agree with Snowdragon. Also, he had no way of knowing if and when you were returning.

So he should have waited until the cashier was done with the first transaction.  I don't think it takes a lot of common sense to see a pile of groceries on the belt and assume they belong to someone. He could have at least ASKED.  Instead, he just cut the line.

That's what I do, when I'm the guy.

I see that the stuff is there but not person; I assume that the person ran to get something else. If they're back before the cashier is ready for them, it's their spot. I'd never move their stuff.


If, however, they're not visible to me (if I even know who they are) by the time the cashier is ready for someone, I go ahead. Again, I don't really move their stuff, I just give mine directly to the cashier, using whatever space is available ahead of us.

I'm not going to wait for any *extra* time (i.e., I signed up for time for the lady who's currently being checked out and time for you to be checked out--but I didn't sign up to wait for you to get back from wherever you went), but I will not declare myself until it's clear that there would be a gap in the cashier's workflow.

And I don't move until the cashier is ready for me. I don't consider you to have abandoned your place in line until that point.

Not everybody "got that memo." And he may have a stronger sense of "you need to hold your place in line."

As for the guy, I agree with the bolded. Again, I've been in that situation multiple times. Groceries on the belt in front of me with no person attending them. 99% of the time, the person returns before their turn comes up and I just wait behind them as I would have had they been there the whole time. The other 1%, the cashier and I look at each other, figure out the other person has not returned yet, and mutually agree that it's now my turn.

But again, as I said early on in this thread, although I disagree with what both the OP and the guy did, I don't think either thing was particularly egregious. Both were mildly in the wrong but nothing to get in a twist about. Both were the sort of thing that, had I been involved, I would have forgotten about the whole thing about the time I was setting foot outside the store.