Grocery Shopping for Dummies

Chaos in Print

Author’s Note: As part of my intricate revenge fantasy for quitting Extra Foods, I hope to publish this as a full-page ad in Drayton Valley’s local paper, the Western Review, the week after I give my two weeks notice. Consider this, then, a rough draft, and a peek at the future.

An Open Letter to the Consumers of Drayton Valley and Area

Hello! You probably don’t know me, as most of you often neglect to look at my name tag. I am a cashier at one of Drayton Valley’s grocery stores. I won’t say which one specifically, so as to minimize my chances of getting sued. I should also say that I was a cashier, as I finally got accepted to a newer, better job that will take me out of town. Since I am no longer affiliated with any of Drayton Valley’s grocery stores, I thought I would take this opportunity to speak with you. Throughout the many years that I have been a cashier, I have noticed one thing. Many of you out there just don’t know any grocery store etiquette. Let me take you through some of the finer points of grocery shopping.

– Use the little rubber sticks to separate your order from the order in front of you. Don’t rely on three microns of space.
– When purchasing bulk foods, always be sure to write down the bin number. Do not write down the price or the finely printed inventory code. The bin number is the large, bold, code labeled “Bin Number.”
– If an item does not register on the cash register, do not simply stand there and repeat the price over and over and over. Because of how the system is set up, the cashier cannot simply type in the price.
– The bagger is not an idiot. You don’t have to say things like, “Don’t squish the bread.”
– If your total is under $5, don’t pay with a $100 bill.
– If your total is greater than $80, don’t pay with Ziploc bags full of pennies.
– If you want to cash a cheque, you need a cheque cashing card. We are not a bank.
– I’m saying this for the last time. You can only use the express lane if you have less than 12 items. And yes, there is a sign saying that.
– The pharmacy closes at 6. Deal with it.
– If something about the store displeases you, do not yell at the cashier. The cashier is not responsible for how the store is run. If you want results, ask to speak to the store manager. Even better, ask to speak to the visiting management from head office, should they be in. If you want results, head straight to the top.

And finally, perhaps the most important piece of knowledge you should know:

– If something about the store displeases you, don’t tell the cashier how much better the other store is. Before you do that, ask yourself this question. If the other store is so much better, why didn’t you go there in the first place?

And finally, I would like to respond to one customer personally. When an answer I gave her was not to her satisfaction, she went on a rant about how the store had “no respect for the customer.” Well, ma’am, let me tell you this. We are not uneducated slobs. Some of us are quite well educated, and were finally forced to take this job out of desperation. We are as poorly paid as you. We are just as repressed by an non-understanding boss as you are. The last thing we need is someone yelling at us because there are no Cheezy Poofs. Respect is a two way street. If you want respect for the customer, show a little respect for the employee.

That’s all I have to say. So, until next we meet, remember: it’s the dawn of the 21st Century. The customer is not always right.

A cashier.

[And maybe I’ll stick my self-portrait scarecrow happy face down here.]

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