Author Topic: Please stop pawing my keys.  (Read 6893 times)

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Possum

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Please stop pawing my keys.
« on: September 19, 2013, 03:32:32 PM »
Last week, I stopped at a chain drugstore to pick up a soda.  While I checked out, I put my keys on the edge of the counter in front of me, so I could dig out my money.  The store is one that has shopper reward cards, and when the clerk asked if I had one, I just replied, honestly and without thinking, "Yes, but I don't have it on me." 

So she motioned to my keys, which have a bunch of store tags, and asked if I had one of their tags.  I said no, but it's not worth it for a soda, she smiled and rung me out and I was on my way.

Wait, no, that's not what happened.  Instead, she started going through my keys.  (To note, in her favor, she did not pick them up; they stayed on the counter.)  She was stopping to check each one, despite me saying not to worry about it.  I kept trying to deter her ("It's not worth it for a soda," "Look, it's okay, really") rather than pulling the keys out of her reach, but she wasn't listening.  It took me three tries and she made it halfway through my key tags before I made it very clear (in a polite but firm way) that I didn't have the time or desire to use my shopper card for a $1.50 soda.

I have never had a clerk assume they could go through my personal belongings--including keys--before.  I mean, it's one thing if I offer the keys up for the tag to be scanned, and I have the wrong tag up and she sees the right one.  But this wasn't that.  My tags weren't even on top, she just presumed to sort through my key ring! 

I hate having people strangers handling my stuff, and I found that to be quite rude--especially since she was basically checking out where else I shopped.

Is it just me?  Am I overreacting? Would it have been rude to remove them from her reach the moment she started?

EllenS

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 03:36:57 PM »
It absolutely would not have been rude to take them back, any more than it would be rude to pick up your purse off the floor if someone started rifling through it.

You needn't say anything nasty, or as we say down here, "pitch a fit about it", but a firm "No, thank you." while retrieving your keys would be perfectly correct.

There is no rule of etiquette that says you must allow your belongs or your person to be pawed at will.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 03:37:35 PM »
She should not have handled your personal property unless and until you handed it to her.  Would she have rifled through your wallet if you'd had the discount card in there?

MrTango

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 03:39:47 PM »
It would not be rude to take them back right away.

When I'm not either home or at my desk at work, my keys stay in my pocket unless they're in my hand being used.  At work, they're locked in my desk (and the key for my desk is attached to my ID card, which I wear on my belt), and at home, they're in their spot so I never have to go searching for them.  No one touches my keys without my permission unless they want to have my keys forcefully ripped from their hand.

barefoot_girl

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 03:43:35 PM »
I don't really understand why you didn't just pick up the keys and put them back in your handbag or pocket. Its none of her business what you have on your keyring! it certainly isnt rude to pick up your keys in simialr circumstances. I work in a high-security environment, and NO-ONE is allowed to touch my keys at work, so it has made me terribly careful of my personal keys even when I am not at work.

Possum

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2013, 03:48:21 PM »
barefoot_girl, it was 5:10 in the morning and I was still going slow.  I was on the ball enough to verbally intervene, at least.  If she'd refused my refusal a third time, though, I think I would've taken the keys, put down the soda, and walked out.  (That's maybe the other reason I didn't take them: I can, on rare occasions, stumble into being all-or-nothing when I'm tired, and I didn't want to nuke the woman over it.)

lowspark

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2013, 03:58:54 PM »
To me, this is just like the "looking through someone's sketchbook" thread.
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=129619.0

You simply don't touch other people's stuff unless specifically given permission to.
I agree. Possum, you would have been perfeclty ok to just grab the keys away from her. But yeah, 5 am, I can get why you were slow to react. Your response was fine.

It's funny about those discount cards. Some of those cashiers are really insistent that you use them and sometimes I just don't feel like messing with it! One "no" should be sufficient.

gollymolly2

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2013, 04:06:48 PM »
I think you would have been fine to be more insistent and take your keys back. But I also don't really see what she did as a big deal - keys usually aren't that personal, and they were laying on the counter, not tucked away in your purse or pocket or somewhere similarly private.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2013, 04:23:38 PM »
I think you would have been fine to be more insistent and take your keys back. But I also don't really see what she did as a big deal - keys usually aren't that personal, and they were laying on the counter, not tucked away in your purse or pocket or somewhere similarly private.

The keys did not belong to the clerk. People who don't own objects should keep their hands off of them.

DavidH

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2013, 04:46:31 PM »
I can see why it bothered you, but to me, it would have been a minor annoyance at most.  Keys don't seem that personal if they are on the counter and yes, the clerk was wrong, but I wouldn't waste much thought on it.

shhh its me

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2013, 04:48:42 PM »
   Only because I have myself and have seen probable 100s of people hand their keys/put their keys on the counter for clerks to scan the store discount fob. I would try to not be offended , she was wrong to not hear you but I think it could have been a momentary lack of "processing information" rather then completely disregard for private property.  I don;t think you would have been rude to take them back and say " I don't have a card "

blueberry.muffin

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 05:11:09 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't care. Even if I did, though, it seems an unusual thing to get that upset over. Minor inconveniences happen to me all the time - if I got as upset as you appear to have over this issue, I would be a never-ending storm of perpetual cloudy unhappiness!

EllenS

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 05:14:13 PM »
OP, I just wanted to reiterate that the clerk was in the wrong and it would be perfectly OK to take your keys back.  Just because some people would not mind, does not make it a polite or proper thing for the clerk to do.

I think sometimes feeling stuck or not knowing how to stop an intrusion, makes it more bothersome than if you felt free to nip it in the bud.  So feel free.

Possum

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2013, 05:14:56 PM »
I can see why it bothered you, but to me, it would have been a minor annoyance at most.  Keys don't seem that personal if they are on the counter and yes, the clerk was wrong, but I wouldn't waste much thought on it.
I should note they were also laying on the edge of the counter not six inches in front of my belly.  They were in my personal space, and not in the middle of the counter.

doodlemor

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Re: Please stop pawing my keys.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 08:28:34 PM »
The clerk was rather rude, IMHO, and infringed on your personal space.  And yes, it is a lot like the sketchbook thread.  We are supposed to learn in kindergarten to keep our hands to ourselves.