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Braybuddy
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Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:08 pm

Interesting incident at a London Sainsbury's:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...e-mobile.html?ICO=most_read_module

Since when do staff dictate policy? I don't see the checkout assistant's problem here: the woman was making a call and not hindering her in any way. Yet when I checked the poll, 84 per cent say that the assistant was right not to serve her.

Your thoughts?
 
desertjets
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:17 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
Since when do staff dictate policy? I don't see the checkout assistant's problem here: the woman was making a call and not hindering her in any way. Yet when I checked the poll, 84 per cent say that the assistant was right not to serve her.

Your thoughts?

It's rude. If you are interacting with a person who is right in front of you.... even if it is checking out at a grocery store, you should put your call on hold. Same thing for bank tellers, fast food counters, wait staff at restaurants, etc.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:23 pm

Quoting desertjets (Reply 1):
It's rude. If you are interacting with a person who is right in front of you.... even if it is checking out at a grocery store, you should put your call on hold. Same thing for bank tellers, fast food counters, wait staff at restaurants, etc.

Absolutely. Ditto for people who walk around with those stupid headphones and won't take them off when talking/interacting with you.

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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:27 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
I don't see the checkout assistant's problem here: the woman was making a call and not hindering her in any way.

Neither do I, just get on with the job you are paid to do. High maintenence checkout staff. If i'm having a conversation with my wife when we are shopping is that considered rude aswell.

[Edited 2013-07-03 12:29:02]
 
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ER757
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:17 pm

Quoting ncfc99 (Reply 3):
Neither do I, just get on with the job you are paid to do. High maintenence checkout staff. If i'm having a conversation with my wife when we are shopping is that considered rude aswell.

Guess I'm just old school - can't understand why people need to be on their phones talking, texting, tweeting 24x7x365. That call to your wife can't wait three minutes while you're checking out at the store? What if the cashier wants to question something about your purchase? Should everyone behind you just wait there patiently while you finish up?
Sorry - I agree with the others who say it's rude. Yeah, I know, I'm probably going to be out on my porch screaming "get off my lawn" to the neighborhood kids soon.   
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
Your thoughts?

To be on the phone at the check out is very rude and its more worrying that people don't think its rude. As for the check out assistant its not their job to decide so they were both in the wrong IMHO. When you are interacting with someone you afford them the respect by giving them your full attention. I think people forget their manners sometimes and think just because the person is working at a check out they don't deserve being interacted with.

If it is an emergency phone call thats different. You say to the check out staff member or whoever it is ''Im really sorry I need to take this call its urgent''. When I say emergency it doesnt mean chatting to a mate about a football game but a real emergency. If its not then tell the person you will call back. The check out takes around 5-7 mins at max so it doesnt kill people to set this time aside to be nice and show respect. If tables were turned it would be another story Im sure.!
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Quoting ER757 (Reply 4):
Guess I'm just old school - can't understand why people need to be on their phones talking, texting, tweeting 24x7x365.

I'm with you on the 24x7x365 thing, sometimes its too much. But on the flip side, is it such an issue. Why is it ok for the employee to decide that that call can wait and she needs the customers full atention to scan a few items, its taking it too the other extreme. A happy medium is what is called for. From the article, the customer comes across as reasonable, not doing anything overtly outrageous, certainly not enough to warrant a 'telling off' by the store emplyee. Again, just do your job and let me be on my way.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 4):
That call to your wife can't wait three minutes while you're checking out at the store?

I actually meant if she was in the shop with me. I'm talking to my wife, paying no attention to the checkout worker, are they going to stop and ask us to be quiet whilst they scan, I think not. Again it isn't up to the checkout worker to decide if that call is justified, its still a conversation between two people weather both are in the shop or only one person on a phone. There could be many reason to make a call at that time. Maybe it could wait, but is it really such an issue for the emplyee(obviously it was). If I behaved like this at work towards a customer, my boss would hang me from the yard arm.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 4):
What if the cashier wants to question something about your purchase?

Then the cashier can polietly say' excuse me sir/madam, bla bla bla'. My boss at work drills into us to 'treat the customer like gold', there are ways to talk to customers in awkward situations whilst reaming polite and professional.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 4):
Should everyone behind you just wait there patiently while you finish up?

The customer was waiting to bag her shopping with no-one in the que behind her, it may have slowed her down a bit but inconvenience no-one, except the cashier, who is getting paid anyway.

So yes there may be times when using a phone can be rude, reading the article, I can't see that this was one of them.
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Quoting ER757 (Reply 4):
Guess I'm just old school - can't understand why people need to be on their phones talking, texting, tweeting 24x7x365. That call to your wife can't wait three minutes while you're checking out at the store? What if the cashier wants to question something about your purchase? Should everyone behind you just wait there patiently while you finish up?
Sorry - I agree with the others who say it's rude. Yeah, I know, I'm probably going to be out on my porch screaming "get off my lawn" to the neighborhood kids soon.

You can't be that old school if you don't prescribe to the old adage "the customer is always right". Sure, the customer was being rude, but the cashier isn't the etiquette police. A rude customer is still a paying customer. If I were the manager, I'd seriously consider firing this employee.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 5):
As for the check out assistant its not their job to decide so they were both in the wrong IMHO.

This! It is incredibly rude to continue to chat on the phone while interacting with someone else, BUT the cashier is in no position to refuse service based on those grounds.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:58 pm

I used to work for another large supermarket chain in the UK and we had a sign behind the counter that we would not serve customers until they had finished their mobile phone conversation, Common courtesy in my book.
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Braybuddy
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:59 pm

Maybe I'm still missing something here: I don't even see the woman using her phone as being rude. I go to the supermarket, do my shopping, go to the checkout and put my purchases on the belt. If the checkout assistant wants to start a conversation I'll chat, otherwise I'll just say "Hi" and let them get on with their job. Most don't want to converse anyway, and certainly not beyond the usual pleasantries.

I think the problem here is "customer service". Most businesses want to attract and retain customers, and never was it more important than in the current economic climate. So, unless the customer is actually interfering with the assistant's ability to do the job, it's not the assistant's role to tell the customer what -- or what not -- to do. As I see it, the ASSISTANT is the one who is being rude here -- she didn't even attempt to be polite when addressing the woman -- and should be disciplined.

As a result of her behaviour, the customer is now switching to Waitrose. If I was the store manager, I'd be furious, AND offering the woman a grovelling apology, as well as a substantial voucher.
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 7):
It is incredibly rude to continue to chat on the phone while interacting with someone else, BUT the cashier is in no position to refuse service based on those grounds.

Ok, there seems to be alot of people that consider a supermarket checkout interaction more interactive than I. When I go to the checkout it usually goes like this

Cashier :- "Good morning, do you have your own bags/would you like me to pack for you?(or some other question they have to ask)
Me :- Hi, no I do not (I never remember my old bags or ask them to pack)

Beep
Bag
Beep
Bag
and so on until

Cashier :- Thats £100 please (I pay)
Me :- Thankyou, goodbye
Cashier :- Goodbye

The interaction is very limited and I wouldn't have a problem continuing my phone conversation with a pause for the first bit and last bit of interaction. I can't see how a phone conversation is rude during the majority of this interaction if no other customers are being inconveinienced by my slightly slower packing speeds.
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:10 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 7):
It is incredibly rude to continue to chat on the phone while interacting with someone else, BUT the cashier is in no position to refuse service based on those grounds.

This sums up how I feel about the situation. Both were in the wrong.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:13 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 9):
If the checkout assistant wants to start a conversation I'll chat, otherwise I'll just say "Hi" and let them get on with their job. Most don't want to converse anyway, and certainly not beyond the usual pleasantries.

I shop at M&S and Sainsburys on a regular basis. I have to say in fairness I find Sainsburys better than M&S check out staff. Sainsburys staff are quite chatty and more so in Northern Irish stores than English stores. Just a perception but its a cultural thing too. I treat people the way I wish to be treated and it creates a nicer enviroment. I do find it rude to be on the phone at check out or whilst buying a ticket at the train station for instance. This has become more of an issue with the boom in mobile phone usage where people have lost their senses on where and when its appropriate to use them. Ive heard them going off in funerals in recent times and they still dont think its something to be ashamed of.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 9):
As a result of her behaviour, the customer is now switching to Waitrose. If I was the store manager, I'd be furious, AND offering the woman a grovelling apology, as well as a substantial voucher.

I agree there and purely because it was not the staff members job to make that ruling. They are paid to do a job and they should get on with it. The fact that the person they were serving didnt have the manners to end her call whilst being served is not a reason to refuse service.
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:19 pm

I will not enter the checkout line if I am talking on the phone. I personally feel it is rude to chat away on your phone while going through the line. Not to mention it takes longer to unload your cart. Maybe I just over think it, but I feel that the check out workers receive enough crap throughout the day. I can be polite for a couple of minutes while they process my order.
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BMI727
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:13 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
Your thoughts?

Not rude. It would be rude if the person on the phone were slowing down the line, but I'm not going to drop what I'm doing to have a pointless ten second conversation that I don't need to have when I have something better to do.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:27 pm

I don't think the cell phone will interfere with the electronics of the cash machine 
I have been to stores where the staff have to help you out and they were on the phone and ignore you for 10 minutes, that is what is rude. Customer service now appears to be reversed.
Any demeaning verbal comments or gesture towards a staff by the customer is what I consider rude. In this case the customer didn't have the intent to be rude.
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:29 pm

There's another way of looking at this: IF there had been other customers waiting, then the ASSISTANT would be the one holding them up, not the customer. While it is also the assistant's job to bag the purchases (unless there is someone there to do it) most people lend a hand, or even do it themselves (as I usually do), but it is not compulsory.
 
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:39 pm

I usually put the phone in my pocket, but sometimes I'll be on it. I make sure I don't delay the cashier or the people behind me. If that is rude, eh, we all have our opinions, I don't think it is.

Then again, I go through self checkouts 95% of the time. I try my best to be nice to workers, but I also believe in the notion that the customer is (almost) always right. You're gonna deal with some jerk customers, that is in the job description
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:50 pm

I used to work at Sainsbury's when I was a student as a checkout operator and this was one of the things that would really annoy me. I was brought up to believe that it is rude to interrupt someone, so when a customer came to my till on their phone I would wait until they had finished their call until I took their transaction. It was not about being uppity but there is nothing more ignorant than talking on the phone when you are face to face with someone else - you wouldn't answer the phone when you are ordering in a restaurant, would you? Of course most people would apologise and gesture that they were sorry for being so rude and in that case, I would oblige, it's just a question of being polite. I would get reprimanded if I decided to turn around and talk to a colleague in the middle of a transaction!

I like the fact that in France, the customer is not always right. I have seen people being sent to the back of the queue for being on their phone when they are being served, or they would step aside and finish their call. Although (thankfully!!!) I no longer have to work in the service industry, I hate the culture that they are there to serve you and that anything goes - every job serves a purpose so you should treat everyone with respect!

Oh that, and people putting their loyalty cards or banknotes in their mouth before handing it to you... urgh!
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:03 am

A resounding 'no'. I had to take a call yesterday while being served at a bank (my wife had just had a doctor apt) but I felt bad about it and made a point of holding the phone away from my ear to thank the teller. If you can't spend a few mins without the phone to your ear, you have issues. As for blue tooth headsets - boy, do they look stupid.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:15 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
It would be rude if the person on the phone were slowing down the line

As a former cashier at a grocery store, that's my biggest issue. You may as well build a wall between you and them. They always are yacking and then digging around their purse/wallet distracted, and thus unable to locate a credit card/cash. Pain for me and everyone else too.

Because of that I always hang up in such a situation, which admittedly is rare. I never have figured out what's so damn important that you have to be on the phone 24/7.
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RussianJet
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:28 am

It's bad form to talk on the phone during such interactions, but at the same time it's not such an outrageous affront that the cashier should then be dictating that the person hang up. The supermarket sector here in the UK is highly competitive, and it's not acceptable for an employee to risk losing custom by imposing their personal views on shoppers. If there's no policy on it, no signage and so on, then it's not her place to start up about it. Like I say though, I personally don't find it acceptable.
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WestJet747
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:05 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
Then again, I go through self checkouts 95% of the time.

Same here. So much more convenient.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
but I also believe in the notion that the customer is (almost) always right.

I guess you haven't worked your way through school as a server, eh?  
Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 18):
I used to work at Sainsbury's when I was a student as a checkout operator and this was one of the things that would really annoy me. I was brought up to believe that it is rude to interrupt someone, so when a customer came to my till on their phone I would wait until they had finished their call until I took their transaction. It was not about being uppity but there is nothing more ignorant than talking on the phone when you are face to face with someone else - you wouldn't answer the phone when you are ordering in a restaurant, would you? Of course most people would apologise and gesture that they were sorry for being so rude and in that case, I would oblige, it's just a question of being polite. I would get reprimanded if I decided to turn around and talk to a colleague in the middle of a transaction!

Remind me...is it you or the customer that is paid to serve the other?

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 19):
As for blue tooth headsets - boy, do they look stupid.

I don't like them either, but where I live it's illegal to use handheld devices when driving, so it's the only real option for taking calls while driving (without installing one of those expensive speaker systems in your vehicle).

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 19):
If you can't spend a few mins without the phone to your ear, you have issues.

...or you run a business.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 21):
It's bad form to talk on the phone during such interactions, but at the same time it's not such an outrageous affront that the cashier should then be dictating that the person hang up. The supermarket sector here in the UK is highly competitive, and it's not acceptable for an employee to risk losing custom by imposing their personal views on shoppers. If there's no policy on it, no signage and so on, then it's not her place to start up about it.

Very well said, RussianJet.
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Ken777
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:47 am

Horrid manners - the broad was obviously born in a barn.

Maybe the clerks need an out of sight button they can press - resulting in THEIR phone ringing. Then they can talk gibberish while sloppily scanning the broads basket. Let the customer get concerned about how rude and problematic using a phone glued to an ear can be.

Irritates me more than normal as I twice had a car come close to hitting me today - both little women driving a BIG SUV with a phone to their ear and turning a corner - almost into me.

Me? I spent enough years in retailing to know it's intelligent to be focused & polite to the staff. I'll even ask if their company offers discounts to Veterans. Lots, including Lowe's and Home Depot give 10% discounts o more - just show a Military ID or V card. It can pay to show good manners when checking out.  
 
RussianJet
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:10 am

Quoting ken777 (Reply 23):
Irritates me more than normal as I twice had a car come close to hitting me today - both little women driving a BIG SUV with a phone to their ear and turning a corner - almost into me.

That's a slightly different kettle of fish really. Don't know about your local laws, but using a mobile without a hands-free kit is most certainly illegal in the UK. Using a mobile at the checkout isn't, and neither is it in any way dangerous. It's just rather rude, that's all.

Quoting ken777 (Reply 23):
Then they can talk gibberish while sloppily scanning the broads basket. Let the customer get concerned about how rude and problematic using a phone glued to an ear can be.

If I was their boss I'd sack them on the spot for doing that. I know you're joking, but still....
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WestJet747
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:31 am

Quoting ken777 (Reply 23):
the broad

Speaking of poor manners...

Quoting ken777 (Reply 23):
Maybe the clerks need an out of sight button they can press - resulting in THEIR phone ringing. Then they can talk gibberish while sloppily scanning the broads basket.

I'll ask you the same question I asked another poster: Is it the cashier or the customer that is paid to serve the other?
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:40 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 25):
I'll ask you the same question I asked another poster: Is it the cashier or the customer that is paid to serve the other?

I know this quote wasn't directed at me, but I feel like it shouldn't matter. Yes the cashier is providing a service and is being paid for it. But it doesn't automatically mean you can be rude. Always be respectful no matter what is what I believe in.
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WestJet747
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:01 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 26):
Yes the cashier is providing a service and is being paid for it. But it doesn't automatically mean you can be rude. Always be respectful no matter what is what I believe in.

Again, if you're being paid to be the etiquette police, then fine. But the thing is, you are paid to scan items, maybe bag them, and to accept coupons/cash in exchange for said items, and nothing more. Refusing service because of what you perceive to be rude is outside the scope of your job as a cashier.

I'll reiterate that I do find it rude to have a phone conversation during a transaction with someone you're standing in front of. But the cashier doesn't get to decide what is and isn't rude, and that they get to refuse service based on grounds that aren't directly affecting their job or the safety of other customers.

I've worked in customer service before, as a server in a restaurant to be more specific, and I can tell you I've had hundreds of customers be rude to me in various ways for no apparent reason. I can assure you I shut my mouth every single time and went upon my duties as a server, because it was in no way my place to lecture the person paying my wage on how to conduct themselves.

Now if I'm there as another customer and someone is being overtly rude, then it's another story...
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RussianJet
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:04 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 26):
But it doesn't automatically mean you can be rude. Always be respectful no matter what is what I believe in.

Indeed not. However, this is more of an etiquette matter than one of overt, severe rudeness. There are of course limits to what such employees should tolerate, but it's not like the woman was hurling foul language at her or something. Whether we like it or not, mobile phones are a huge part of modern life. When you work in somewhere like a supermarket, you're going to come across an awful lot of people whose behaviour you disagree with, but are required to tolerate in the interests of the business, This is precisely one such example. It's not illegal to neglect to thank the person that serves you either, and you might not like it, but that will also happen sometimes when you deal with large volumes of customers every day.

If you're going to get uppity every time you encounter any such perceived rudeness, you're probably not best suited to the service industry. It's always a pity to encounter people lacking in manners, but they're out there en masse and tolerating a portion of it is part and parcel of serving the public for a living. Of course in an ideal world it would all be daisies and rainbows, but in reality it's just not like that. I worked in supermarkets in my younger days and it was my job to be helpful and polite in all circumstances, and could only hope that my attitude would be responded to in kind. No matter how hard you try though, there is always a small proportion who for whatever reason will not, and that's just something you have to live with.

Some people are having a terrible day, some are high or drunk, others are just bastards, some might even be ill. That's just the way it is. You never know what's going on in someone's life beyond the short interaction you have with the customer in a shop, and it's not your place to dictate morals to people as a cashier. Doesn't make their behaviour right necessarily, but it's the reality of the situation.
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:12 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 27):
Again, if you're being paid to be the etiquette police, then fine. But the thing is, you are paid to scan items, maybe bag them, and to accept coupons/cash in exchange for said items, and nothing more. Refusing service because of what you perceive to be rude is outside the scope of your job as a cashier.

I'm not speaking necessarily from the cashier's point of view, but rather my own personal. I think what she did was wrong, and there is no place for it. But I as a customer always make sure I am off my phone before I get in line.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 28):
Indeed not. However, this is more of an etiquette matter than one of overt, severe rudeness

That is for sure a better way to put it.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 28):
I worked in supermarkets in my younger days and it was my job to be helpful and polite in all circumstances, and could only hope that my attitude would be responded to in kind. No matter how hard you try though, there is always a small proportion who for whatever reason will not, and that's just something you have to live with.

I completely understand this. I work at UPS. The only interaction I have with customers is when I have to call them to correct their address. Some people are thankful and nice. Others lose their minds because the shipper put the wrong address on there. Hey not my fault. I'm just trying to help! Can't win!
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WestJet747
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:27 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 29):
I'm not speaking necessarily from the cashier's point of view, but rather my own personal. I think what she did was wrong, and there is no place for it. But I as a customer always make sure I am off my phone before I get in line.

Well obviously! I was speaking to those here who think the cashier was in the right for creating her own store policy. Could you imagine if you were at your job at UPS and you told a rude customer that you wouldn't correct their shipment until they said "please"?

I also try to always be as polite as possible to those serving me ("you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" as it were) but there would be hell to pay if a cashier or customer service rep ever refused me service because they took exception to whatever shortcomings I may have.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 29):
I'm just trying to help!

Too often there are people who have already decided they hate you before you even try to help them. It goes for just about any customer-facing job I think.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:30 am

From the article:

Quote:
She said: ‘I was standing at the foot of the till waiting to bag my shopping up, yet the lady on the checkout was just staring at me.

‘When I stopped my conversation and said “Is everything okay?” she said: “I will not check your shopping out until you get off your mobile phone”.

Miss Clarke added: ‘There was no one behind me in the queue, it was quite quiet and I just phoned my brother to quickly tell him I was about to leave. He was waiting, so I just gave him a quick call. I couldn’t believe how rude she was.’

So the customer made a quick call to tell her waiting brother that she was on her way while the cashier was scanning/ringing up her items.

But the cashier wouldn't hit the total button until the customer hung up from her call, presumably so that the customer would be phone-free while paying for her items.

Both of them could have handled it better. The customer presumed that the cashier wouldn't mind her not giving the transaction her full attention since there was no one else in line, and talking on the phone wasn't holding anyone else up.

The cashier was a bit snooty for not hitting the total button and just blowing off the customer's rudeness. I don't believe it's the place of the cashier to teach her customers manners unless the customer was causing a disturbance or holding up the line for others.
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BMI727
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:50 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 27):
But the thing is, you are paid to scan items, maybe bag them, and to accept coupons/cash in exchange for said items, and nothing more.

Exactly. Do your job. I know they don't care how my day was, and I don't care that they don't care. Just take care of business.
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hoons90
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:14 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 30):
I also try to always be as polite as possible to those serving me ("you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" as it were) but there would be hell to pay if a cashier or customer service rep ever refused me service because they took exception to whatever shortcomings I may have.

Hypothetically, what if the customer is being abusive or intimidating? What if they're being racist?

Not talking about you specifically. However, I believe that everyone, including customer service folks have the right to remove themselves from a situation where they are the target of aggression, even if it means refusing to serve them. The person behind the counter is also a human being and never agreed to give up their dignity when they signed up for the job.
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:43 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 30):
Could you imagine if you were at your job at UPS and you told a rude customer that you wouldn't correct their shipment until they said "please"?

I can picture it now "Mrs Smith, if you do not say 'Pat can you please correct my address' I will return your hand crafted tea pot to Long Beach!" (Just to be clear I would never do that! It's evil!!!)

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 31):
The cashier was a bit snooty for not hitting the total button and just blowing off the customer's rudeness. I don't believe it's the place of the cashier to teach her customers manners unless the customer was causing a disturbance or holding up the line for others.

Absolutely agree, the cashier was on a high horse at that moment. It's one thing if she was jabbering away and taking her dear sweet time with 25 people behind her. But if the checkout line was empty there is no reason for it.
Pat
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:52 am

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 33):
The person behind the counter is also a human being and never agreed to give up their dignity when they signed up for the job.

  

There appears to be an attitude that a shop worker is of such a low status compared to the valued customer, that they have to accept the situation in front of them. Everyone deserves to be shown a degree of respect.

In my experience people who say "I don't need to be told" are precisely the ones who do.

Politeness and courtesy is a two way process, none of us expect to be served by a checkout operator who is more content in holding a conversation with a fellow member of staff, or even chatting to their family on their phone. (happened to me at an ice cream cart as Downtown Disney, served by lady busy holding a conversation with her daughter).

I'm sure in this instance if the checkout lady had been on her phone whilst serving, the customer would have been deeply offended as she appears to be one to take offence easily and would have made a complaint, yet its ok for her to be holding what by her own admission was an unimportant conversation.

If there had been an error in the transaction which initially went unnoticed due to the customer beign distracted, whose fault would that have been ?

Gordon Ramsay had the right idea when he used to confiscate mobile phones in his resutaurant and return them deep fried.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:11 pm

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
I'm sure in this instance if the checkout lady had been on her phone whilst serving, the customer would have been deeply offended as she appears to be one to take offence easily and would have made a complaint, yet its ok for her to be holding what by her own admission was an unimportant conversation.

I have no doubt that it would be against company policy for the employee to be on the phone at the checkout, whereas the customer is PAYING for the service and is free to do what they like, regardless of whether we think it's rude to talk on the phone at that particular point (which I do). Poor comparison I'm afraid. The two things are not the same at all.

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
Politeness and courtesy is a two way process

Ideally yes. However, there are currently no rules or laws against failing to show manners in a supermarket, whereas the employees are required to be polite and courteous as they are being paid to do so.
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offloaded
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:34 pm

You generallly need two hands to either pack your bags or get your purse / walet out, so having one of them glued to your ear IS going to slow things down, so finish your conversation as you approach the checkout, or if it rings, how about doing the utterly novel thing of ignoring it? You'll be done in 5 minutes, and then you can carry one your conversation. That way you show courtesy to the cashier, and to your fellow shoppers.

However, I live in Portugal and customer service is still somewhat, err, different. It's very common for example for shop assistants to be on their phones and make me, the customer, stand there whilst they finish their conversation. Another favorite here is one checkout open and 20 people waiting.....
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
ltbewr
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:36 pm

Remember the golden rule of retail - the customer is always right even if they are wrong.

Beyond the use of cell phones, there are a lot of other issues that drive me or the clerks crazy in the supermarket check out line. People trying to improperly use coupons or the 'coupon queens' who present a handful of coupons that need to be processed. Those with WIC/SNAP and the need to do certain procedures, including getting the ok from the supervisor to process the sale. People who argue that they can buy 12 of an item at a big discount when the limit is like 4. Those that don't have enough money on them or buy an item they realize that can't afford it or chose the wrong size/version of an item of a like one on sale and it has to be processed. When an item isn't in the system or the bar code if wrong.

To me mobile/cell phone use has caused a new range of rudeness in public. From people dropping the F-word and worse, shouting/screaming into their phones in anger, talking loudly about very private, offensive or eye-rolling issues, using them while driving or even walking down the street causing accidents.
 
WestJet747
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:17 pm

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 32):
That old line of "I'll never shop in that store again....." I'm willing to bet she'll be back in no time, especially to cash in on those vouchers.

How could you be so sure? The grocery store market is one of the most competitive. This customer has many other options.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 32):
I would have done the same thing and if you were my manager and "disciplined" me I'd show you a bit of rudeness by flipping you off and if if meant looking for another job so be it.

You must have serious unresolved anger issues if that would be your response...

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
I know they don't care how my day was, and I don't care that they don't care.

Exactly...although I was called something along the lines of a "disgusting person" for suggesting as such in another thread a few weeks ago. I'll never understand why people think all the people serving them actually care about their day  
Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 33):
Hypothetically, what if the customer is being abusive or intimidating? What if they're being racist?

I did touch on that a bit in reply 27. To elaborate, the only time a cashier should reserve the right to refuse service is if a customer is conducting themselves in a way that is hindering the cashier from doing their job, or if the customer is acting in a threatening manner (which would include intimidation and racism).

I'm not saying that cashiers should have no recourse, because there are definitely limits to what they should have to deal with...but this case is not one such scenario where the cashier had the right to refuse service.

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
I'm sure in this instance if the checkout lady had been on her phone whilst serving, the customer would have been deeply offended as she appears to be one to take offence easily and would have made a complaint, yet its ok for her to be holding what by her own admission was an unimportant conversation.

Absolutely. The PAID employee should be doing what she is PAID to do. For the nth time: her refusal of service was outside the scope of her duties. The customer, although rude, has a certain expectation of service, and in this particular case it was not met, and she rightfully complained.

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
If there had been an error in the transaction which initially went unnoticed due to the customer beign distracted, whose fault would that have been ?

The cashier.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:23 pm

Oh about 10 years ago I was in a grocery store and the woman ahead of me in line was on the phone. When the cashier started to check out her goods the woman continued talking on the phone. Finally the checker said "That'll be $60.34, ma'm" The woman kept talking on the phone. The cashier repeated herself, the woman just kept talking on the phone. After about 5 minutes of this the woman on the phone screamed at the cashier "Can't you see I am on the phone? Don't bother me when I am on the phone!".

What were we supposed to do, wait until she finishes her phone conversation before we get our turn to check out?

Her actions were beyond rude. I almost said "Move your ass, lady!". But my senses got the better of me. But I suspect the woman with the cell phone was a new user of those things and simply didn't know any better.

My verdict? Tell the person on the phone you are going to check out now and you'll call them back when you have finished.

[Edited 2013-07-04 11:24:56]
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WarRI1
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:56 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 40):
Her actions were beyond rude. I almost said "Move your ass, lady!". But my senses got the better of me. But I suspect the woman with the cell phone was a new user of those things and simply didn't know any better.

Ignorance is bliss as they say, I would have told her to get her or his ass moving.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:05 pm

I have a simple set of rules for my cell phone.

When I am in a meeting, in the theater, dining out or in a check out line, I turn it off. There is nothing that could be so important that it couldn't wait until I am available again. When interacting with others in person you need to be there mentally at all times, not carrying on a conversation with others on the phone.

Another thing that drive me more nuts that going out with a number of people to have dinner and one or more of them are continuously on the phone chatting with others. It's another beyond rude situation.
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BMI727
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:59 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 39):
Exactly...although I was called something along the lines of a "disgusting person" for suggesting as such in another thread a few weeks ago. I'll never understand why people think all the people serving them actually care about their day

If they really cared about me they'd not waste time and do what I need them to do. I don't want them to slow down for the sake of making small talk. And if I have someone on the phone, I almost certainly want to talk to them more than I want to talk to the cashier.
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Ken777
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:11 am

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 24):
If I was their boss I'd sack them on the spot for doing that

It would probably be the manager who called after the button was pushed.   

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 25):
Is it the cashier or the customer that is paid to serve the other?

The cashier is paid to get the products into the register - customer service is on the floor where people help customers with questions, finding product, etc.

If a customer needs to take a call when working with a customer service employee then the employee should walk away to give the customer privacy and maybe even help other customers while the call was going on.

When the customer is ready to take the merchandise to checkout they should put their phone away, be prepared to answer questions, look for errors on the part of the cashier (which happen), and be prepared to pay for the merchandise in one manner or another. Talking on the phone during check out is not only rude to the cashier but also to those in line behind her who have to wait longer than is necessary.
 
DNDTUF
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:32 am

I think it's a question of respect, a lot of people see that if people work in the service sector, they have the right to treat them like a slave. I choose a supermarket based on the selection of products and the ambience of the store. When I worked in Sainsbury's I was only paid £6.95 an hour and I definitely didn't see it as though the customers were paying my wage, they chose to shop there, if they didn't like my service, they could freely shop elsewhere. The majority of customers (i.e. those who were on their phone, those who turned up to my till topless in summer, those who insisted I bag their groceries tended to be people who bought the discount products and who generated the least revenue for the company). I like the fact that in France, when you shop in a store, you are seen as a guest in that person's place of work and have to treat them with respect. In a lot of cases, the customer should feel lucky that they are allowed to shop in a certain store !
 
bohica
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:36 am

I'm glad I don't talk on the phone at the checkout. I would really hate to have the self-service checkout machine turn itself off on me.  
 
WestJet747
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 40):
Her actions were beyond rude. I almost said "Move your ass, lady!". But my senses got the better of me. But I suspect the woman with the cell phone was a new user of those things and simply didn't know any better.

I wouldn't have been so kind. If she was holding me up, I would have been fairly vocal.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 42):
There is nothing that could be so important that it couldn't wait until I am available again.

A family emergency?

Quoting type-rated (Reply 42):
Another thing that drive me more nuts that going out with a number of people to have dinner and one or more of them are continuously on the phone chatting with others. It's another beyond rude situation.

There's a fun solution to that (as long as everyone agrees): Everyone stacks their phone in the middle of the table where everyone can see them (doesn't matter if they're on or off, but preferably off to avoid disruptions). The first person to check their phone before dinner is finished has to pay the bill of the entire table.

Quoting ken777 (Reply 44):
Talking on the phone during check out is not only rude to the cashier but also to those in line behind her who have to wait longer than is necessary.

In the OP's story, there was nobody in line behind the woman.

But assuming there was, the only way they're being held up is if the woman stops everything she's doing in order to chat. Any competent, able-bodied person should be able to pull out their wallet (one hand required), place it on the counter (one hand required), pull out the cash or card (one hand required), and punch in the PIN if need be (one hand required).

Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 45):
I definitely didn't see it as though the customers were paying my wage

Well I hate to break it to you, but they were. Grocery stores have a single source of revenue, and that's from the people your taking payment from at the check-out line.

Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 45):
In a lot of cases, the customer should feel lucky that they are allowed to shop in a certain store !

That's how about 75% of Ponzi schemes work: "We usually only offer this investment opportunity to high net-worth individuals, but we'll make an exception for you this one time. You're lucky to be able to invest with us!"

The fact of the matter is that the grocery store market is hyper-competitive and the power is in the hands of the buyer. Ask any GM at a grocery store and they'll tell you they're lucky to have the customers...especially given average margins of 1-2% in that industry.
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:59 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 47):
Quoting type-rated (Reply 42):
There is nothing that could be so important that it couldn't wait until I am available again.

A family emergency?

Nope, my family is on the other side of the country from where I live. They can take care of themselves without any intervention from me.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 47):

Quoting type-rated (Reply 42):
Another thing that drive me more nuts that going out with a number of people to have dinner and one or more of them are continuously on the phone chatting with others. It's another beyond rude situation.

There's a fun solution to that (as long as everyone agrees): Everyone stacks their phone in the middle of the table where everyone can see them (doesn't matter if they're on or off, but preferably off to avoid disruptions). The first person to check their phone before dinner is finished has to pay the bill of the entire table.

Now I REALLY like this idea! Good one.
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RussianJet
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RE: Checkout Etiquette: Yes Or No To Mobile Phones?

Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:17 am

Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 45):
When I worked in Sainsbury's I was only paid £6.95 an hour and I definitely didn't see it as though the customers were paying my wage, they chose to shop there

But they certainly were, whether you like them or not.

Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 45):
if they didn't like my service, they could freely shop elsewhere

And if I, as your boss, saw you behaving in any manner towards customers that encouraged them to go elsewhere, excepting in the most unacceptable levels of provocation, you'd be hauled up on it for losing us custom.
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