Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Don't Want The Extended Warranty Either

Note to grocery store executives: stop making your cashiers ask me if I found everything I was looking for. If I didn't, it's too late by the time I reach the checkout.

I asked a friend, who works at a grocery store with this pointless practice, what happens if a customer answers yes. They confirmed my worst-case-scenario suspicion: the checkout line grinds to a halt while the cashier calls a floor employee to go look for whatever the customer wanted. Everyone gets to stand there twiddling their thumbs while Joey from the stockroom wanders the store looking for precooked bacon.

Unacceptable. Once you're in the checkout line, you're committed. If you realize you forgot something, holding up the line while you send one of your kids to look for it - or worse, leaving your stuff on the conveyor belt and wandering off for a while yourself - is a crime that will merit severe corporal punishment when I am king. Put it this way: you'll probably wind up going with mittens in cold weather, rather than gloves, because you won't have the common number of fingers anymore.

If while in the checkout line you realize you forgot something, leave the line, taking your cartful of goods with you, find it, and come back. When you return, go to the back of the line. If you've already started loading the items from your cart onto the conveyor belt, then you're too late. Finish cashing out, go load your stuff into your car, and come back in for the Monistat that somehow slipped your mind.

If it's unacceptable for a customer to hold up the line, it's even worse for the cashier to bring it about because they know better. It's only the store managers and executives, who rarely set foot on the floor or talk (or more accurately, listen) to an actual customer, who think this last-minute "did you find everything" nonsense is a good idea. If I haven't found it by the time I get to the checkout, I'm going somewhere else to buy it.

That being said, there is a time and place for staff to help customers find items: anytime before the customer reaches the checkout. It's fine for Joey from the stockroom to ask the lost-looking guy who keeps glancing from the list in his hand to the shelf he's been standing in front of for the last seven minutes if there's anything he needs help finding. (That's probably me.) It's also fine to just have a few staff accessible somewhere on the floor. If I need them, I'll find them.

Enough rambling. Here's a picture of some other concrete. Jimmy Hoffa is of course not visible in this batch. How could he be, since he was already in the last one?

(Ooooh, right. The dismemberment.)

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