Author Topic: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos  (Read 10406 times)

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goldilocks

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2014, 09:51:23 AM »
I'd like to point out that just because someone only has one item does NOT mean they are going to be a quick transaction.   I inevitably get stuck behind someone with one item, but they need a price check, they've decided to apply for a credit card, their coupon won't ring up correctly - you name it.  I'd call the manager at this point and discuss it with him/her.

Yvaine

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2014, 10:07:05 AM »
I'd like to point out that just because someone only has one item does NOT mean they are going to be a quick transaction.   I inevitably get stuck behind someone with one item, but they need a price check, they've decided to apply for a credit card, their coupon won't ring up correctly - you name it.  I'd call the manager at this point and discuss it with him/her.

Heh. This happened to me last week. I strategically got behind the customer who only had a few items. And whose credit cards kept getting declined.  ::) ;D

acicularis

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2014, 10:45:05 AM »
My kids were always able to wiggle out of the "safety" straps on the grocery cart, but were usually content to sit quietly if i didn't buckle them in.

Same with my kids. I quickly discovered that with one of them,  buckling her in was more dangerous because of how she'd struggle and try to stand up. Unbuckled, shed usually stay put, or just need a gentle hand reminding her to sit. And I did get people scolding me for not buckling her in. The most explanation I ever offered was "The straps don't work that well, actually," or "We're fine, thanks." It got tiresome, because I really hate being criticized when people don't really understand the situation, but I did my best to be polite. No one ever tried to buckle my kids in, thank goodness. If that does ever happen to you again, you have every right to tell them firmly to stop.

As far as the cashier wanting to let someone in front of you, I know it's hard to think of this in the moment (I have a really hard time with this, and have sometimes found myself saying "Uh, OK" even when it's not OK), but there's nothing wrong with saying no. I like the suggestion a previous poster made of saying "Not today."

TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2014, 10:54:51 AM »
Quote
i should have found a better way to convey how i felt in each of these situations (it's amazing how sensibility can fly so quickly out of one's head).


Yeah, right? Hard to think on your feet. And hard to think when your head is buzzing w/ all that blood that just rushed there.

I will say, I don't think you needed to worry a whole lot about finding such a terribly polite way to say it. As long as you don't yell, swear, or hit someone, I think you could completely say, "Leave us alone!"

Or interrupt the cashier even as he's saying something to the woman, and say, "No, wait, I'm not happy with her going ahead of me, let me go first now, is there a manager?"

It's OK to sound angry when you are, irritated when you are. (Of course, it's also easy to not realize exactly how angry you -do- sound; I have the instinct to not say anything bcs I don't really trust myself not to be over the top, bcs my filters are flooded with all the blood in my head.)

I just want to say, both of those people were out of line.

Sometimes maybe buy time? Hold out your hand and say, "Wait--give me a minute," and then a deep breath.

Also, I think that you could have said to the cashier, while he was checking you out, "I think you should know--I'm not happy. You made me wait 10 minutes while you checked her out, my ice cream is melting, my kids are fidgeting and *I* was in line first. That was really inappropriate; I'm spending more money, for one, and there are other lines for people with just one item. Is your manager around?"

It's OK to tell someone in a business setting that you are unhappy with the service they are providing. It's feedback. It's useful to them. Again, don't yell, swear or hit anybody. But it's ok to sound upset.

TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2014, 10:55:20 AM »
Padua I'd have asked the cashier to get someone to switch the melting ice cream for a new container, politely of course.

Definitely!

m2kbug

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2014, 10:56:54 AM »
Not sure about the seatbelt guy.  "She's fine."  "The strap doesn't work/snap shut, just leave it alone."  "Don't do that."  "Thank you for your concern, please don't."  "She gets out of the straps, just leave it alone." 

Or just walk away.  I hardly ever used those.  they were always too short, hard to maneuver to fit, and my daughter would wiggle out of them if she was that determined to get out, so they weren't necessarily much of a safety feature.  I think about the only thing you can do is leave her home when dad is home until she phases out of this, if that is even an option at all.   :)  Just wait until they get to the phase of opening up the candy in the checkout section.  :)

For the checkout guy, I would have said, "No, I have been waiting.  It's my turn now."  "She got in line behind me knowing full well I had all this stuff.  You guys need to create a 'fewer item' lane if you're that concerned about single item shoppers."  This might be something I would make a phone call for.  There is no mystery that you're going to be stuck behind mountains of things when you go there.  The people behind you could have gone to the other lines where other people only had one or two items.  I will often offer the person behind me to go first if I have a lot more things, but how many times are you expected to let single item shoppers go first?  It has to be your turn eventually.  You already waited a considerable amount of time and I don't think it would have been wrong to refuse. 

I actually said "it's my turn now" once with the tomato paste lady.  She took an exceptionally long time futzing over prices and things weren't ringing up right.  This is when you wonder if you should pack up your cart and find another line, knowing full well it's just going to be another, longer little nightmare in doing so, so it's better to just wait.  :)  She came back because she found another error, and I said I have waited awhile and now it's my turn.  The cashier got customer service to help her.  Just say, "No, it's my turn now" if this happens again.  I'm sure they can get someone to open a register if they want to manage lines and cater to the single item shoppers that were in line behind you.   
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 11:03:34 AM by m2kbug »

mime

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2014, 11:00:46 AM »
If someone points out an impending danger ("your kid is going to fall!") they're helpful.

If they point out a danger that you yourself already resolved ("your kid almost fell!") can be a bit irritating, but probably not rude.

For a stranger to physically interact with your toddler without permission is out of line. That's not socially acceptable anymore and you're well within reason to tell him *not* to touch your child.

I find the child straps in carts to be worthless-- broken, not-adjustable, not effective. I don't use them either, and I do keep an eye on my kids.

The customers with one item who were behind you in line chose their position. They should wait their turn. That's what lines are for, and when you (general "you") choose a line, you look at how full the carts are in front of you. Snapping at the cashier was clearly not your best moment. We've all been there. The cashier was out of line, though, and a call or note to management is a good idea.

When I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to the store without my kids in tow, I will sometimes let a customer with kids go ahead of me (as a kindness, not as a requirement). Taking little ones to the grocery store is frustrating for both parent and child and getting out of that line as soon as possible means so much!

Thipu1

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2014, 11:08:46 AM »
There's one thing I don't understand about padua's OP.

She has a big order, the children are restless and the check-out lines are long.  Why did padua decide to get in line behind another shopper with a large order?  To me, it would have made sense to join a line behind people who only had an item or two.  People behind me could see that I had a bulging cart and choose their check-out lines accordingly. 




TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2014, 11:32:31 AM »
There's one thing I don't understand about padua's OP.

She has a big order, the children are restless and the check-out lines are long.  Why did padua decide to get in line behind another shopper with a large order?  To me, it would have made sense to join a line behind people who only had an item or two.  People behind me could see that I had a bulging cart and choose their check-out lines accordingly.

She was trying to be fair to the people with fewer items. She thought she'd leave them all in their own little accidental "express lane" so that people like the lady behind -her- could all collect in a single fast-paced line.

That's why it's particularly galling that the cashier bumped a lady with only one item in front of her.

tinkytinky

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2014, 11:53:45 AM »
If you had your hand on your child, there really isn't any reason for him to have even said anything about her almost falling. It wasn't rude for him to say something, but he should have dropped it. You were right there. Not using the straps, that was a criticizism of parenting, and that's not ok. 

Now the register line, I think (correct me if I'm wrong) you qued up so that the faster lines/less people/less items would continue to go quicker and be available for people with one or two items. It isn't your fault that people with fewer items lined up behind you. It might be nice to let one or two people go ahead, but there certainly isn't anything rude about not letting them. And it should be your choice. Only in extenuating circumstances would it be ok for the cashier to even mention it. maybe if they were buying bandages because they were bleeding profusely. Even then it should still be up to you to agree.

If I were you, I'd call the store and speak with a manager (with receipt in hand, for the register number, time, and/or person who checked you through). Explain the situation, and ask if they have considered an express line (if they don't already have one. if they have them, it is on the people behind you to utilize it if they want.). At the very least, the cashier should be made aware what he should have/could have done.

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padua

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2014, 12:02:51 PM »
In the first case, I do think you were wrong to have your child unbuckled in the seat. She may not have wanted the straps but it was obviously dangerous not to do so. The man was not out of line in pointing this out but he shouldn't have gone on to do it himself.

In the second case, I am not sure why you chose the slowest line. Unless there was a sign saying the other lanes were for single items, why not use them? I think you added to your own frustration here. But you had no obligation to let the shopper in front of you, specially when others in the same situation were waiting. "No, she may not go ahead of me". Place yourself so you are physically blocking the access to the cashier and don't budge.

as someone else mentioned, i got behind someone else with several items because i had several items. every other line had people with one or two items. i wasn't particularly looking for a longer wait, but i was trying to not impede the flow of traffic. now that i write it, it's not as brilliant an idea as i thought it was. but i was aware of who i was standing behind. i would think the woman behind me did as well.

padua

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2014, 12:05:07 PM »
My kids were always able to wiggle out of the "safety" straps on the grocery cart, but were usually content to sit quietly if i didn't buckle them in.  I think it was fine (if a little nosy) for the other shopper to point out the straps, but it's not ok for him to have tried to buckle them himself.  I'm sure he meant well, but nowadays you just don't touch other people's children.

ditto. and as OhJoy said, they aren't comfortable. the safety strap at costco is just a little strip of material that goes across the chest- more like a restraint than a safety belt. my kids go nuts when i try to use them and they're always getting stuck. i can usually time my visits so by the time they're getting fussy we're checking out.

TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2014, 12:07:47 PM »
Also, your child didn't almost fall. She almost stood up. It's conceivably possible that she wouldn't have fallen even if she had succeeded in standing up (not that it's safe, which is why you stopped her).

padua

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2014, 12:10:53 PM »
Quote
i should have found a better way to convey how i felt in each of these situations (it's amazing how sensibility can fly so quickly out of one's head).


Yeah, right? Hard to think on your feet. And hard to think when your head is buzzing w/ all that blood that just rushed there.

I will say, I don't think you needed to worry a whole lot about finding such a terribly polite way to say it. As long as you don't yell, swear, or hit someone, I think you could completely say, "Leave us alone!"

Or interrupt the cashier even as he's saying something to the woman, and say, "No, wait, I'm not happy with her going ahead of me, let me go first now, is there a manager?"

It's OK to sound angry when you are, irritated when you are. (Of course, it's also easy to not realize exactly how angry you -do- sound; I have the instinct to not say anything bcs I don't really trust myself not to be over the top, bcs my filters are flooded with all the blood in my head.)

I just want to say, both of those people were out of line.

Sometimes maybe buy time? Hold out your hand and say, "Wait--give me a minute," and then a deep breath.

Also, I think that you could have said to the cashier, while he was checking you out, "I think you should know--I'm not happy. You made me wait 10 minutes while you checked her out, my ice cream is melting, my kids are fidgeting and *I* was in line first. That was really inappropriate; I'm spending more money, for one, and there are other lines for people with just one item. Is your manager around?"

It's OK to tell someone in a business setting that you are unhappy with the service they are providing. It's feedback. It's useful to them. Again, don't yell, swear or hit anybody. But it's ok to sound upset.

thanks for the suggestions, everyone. there's a lot of good advice here.

some of my anger was being put on the spot in the first place. i felt like a real heel being presented with what might seem a very reasonable request. but that's the kind of thing that if i wanted to do it, i would have suggested it in the first place. i put it on par with a cashier asking me for a donation. i feel bad when they ask: "will you contribute a dollar to fight cancer?" and i have to say no because it feels stingy. and there's this battle waging inside where the voice of my mom says 'be nice, don't be stingy' and another says 'be assertive. you don't need to be a doormat.'

i did like what you suggested, toots. it's good to have a line or two ready for when i'm in the situation again.

turnip

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2014, 12:19:22 PM »
I've become a firm "No, you can't get ahead of me" shopper.  It's particularly funny in my case because at a store I frequent I often have a full cart - but I'm buying in bulk so there's no more than 5-6 items in it.  Still I think people have gotten to _expect_ that I'll let them in if they're carrying a couple of items in their arms, and ( I believe ) they get behind me deliberately, ignoring the longer 'express lane' lines.

So I practice my friendly, happy, polite, smiling, "No, I'm sorry", and go ahead with my purchase.

And I also agree that the two item purchasers are inevitably the 'credit card won't work/club card won't work/can't remember which phone number I used/oh let me give you exact change/darn I know there's a dime in here somewhere' purchasers.