How to be a Decent Grocery Shopper Part 1

So now that I’m working at Safeway again for the summer, I have remembered a lot of things that frustrated me last summer. Be it having to push carts in 100 degree heat, having to take out gross bakery garbage, or even ending up covered in flour and other ingredients and having to clean your apron and clothes more often than you should. But one thing that makes or breaks your shift are the customers you encounter.

For the most part, the customers are awesome. I like talking to them as they pass through my check stand. However, there are things that even the best customers do that, if they avoided, would make all of our jobs easier.

  1. Where you leave your cart once you’re done shopping:

You may not realize, but some kid is going to have to go out in the summer heat and push your cart that you were too lazy to put away. And it sucks. Honestly, it is so frustrating to see carts scattered all over the parking lot. I get not wanting to walk them back to the front of the store. It’s perfectly okay if you leave them in the corrals. That’s what they are there for, and it makes it easy to gather carts if they’re the same place. However, leaving them in parking spots makes it inconvenient for us having to pick them up, and those trying to park. Leaving them in walkways and in other random spots is just as difficult. Please, just leave them in the corrals. It doesn’t hurt to take those few extra steps.

  1. Don’t want something you picked up? Put it back!:

A lot of things people do is decide they don’t want something after they’ve already grabbed it. However, instead of putting it back where it belongs, people place items in random spots all over the store. This is frustrating because we have to take time out of helping customers or doing or jobs to put these things back. Especially when the items are cold, and people place them in a non-refrigerated spot. This spoils the item and makes it unsellable! I once found a carton of milk up by a check stand, sitting with the magazines. Please, just put things back, especially cold items.

  1. Where you leave your cart while shopping:

One of the easiest things you can do as a customer is realize that you’re not the only person shopping here. Leaving your cart in the middle of the walkway makes the isle impossible for others to walk down. If you’re looking at an item on the shelf, please move your cart off to one side so it’s out of the way. Trust me, this makes things so much easier for everyone, including you.

  1. Don’t ask for free things:

If you have a problem with something you bought, we will try to make it right. Please, bring your receipt, and be polite to those trying to help you. But, if you have an item you want to buy that is, say, damaged a little, like a box a little dented, and you ask if you can have it for free since it’s damaged, please don’t. Cashiers can’t make that decision. We can get in trouble for doing something wrong for trying to please you. Yes, we want to help you, but it has to be reasonable.

  1. Don’t get angry at Cashiers if they mess up:

Being a cashier is really stressful. Your job is really fast paced, there is a lot to remember, and technology doesn’t always work like it should. It is very easy to accidently give the wrong amount of change, miss bagging something, etc. But getting angry at us will only make us, or at least me, more flustered and probably cause me to make more mistakes. I, like many others, respond much better to a friendly person. I am willing to own up to my mistakes, but please just be nice about it. I promise it will make things go quicker when I’m trying to fix it.

  1. When you’re at the checkout line:

If you have one of the little baskets, please take the items out of the basket and put them on the belt. It goes a lot quicker if you do this, trust me.

This is only going to be part 1, since I know once I work more, more things that frustrate me are going to appear. If you have never worked a job like this, you may not realize how hard it is. But it really is hard, physically and emotionally. We really do want to help you. If you’re pleasant and friendly, things are going to be a lot easier for us, and thus much easier for you.

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