grocery stores mandatory "courtesy"

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by cathy, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. cathy

    cathy Guest

    I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.

    I shop at Vons in the Los Angeles area (owned and run by Safeway).
    They have two store policies that I find irritating and hypocritical.
    The first is, the checker always asks you "do you need help out to
    your car", no matter what the size of your order. I've had them ask me
    that when all I bought was a half gallon of milk, or a single bag of
    potato chips.

    Apparently it's store policy that they =have= to ask that question, no
    matter what the size of the customer's order. Aside from the
    ludicrousness of the question, I feel it's an insult to me - do I look
    so decrepit that they genuinely think I =need= help? And it's an
    insult to the checker - why can't the store trust their employees to
    use common sense - ask the question if there's a =large= order, or the
    customer is elderly and might need the help. Let the employee assess
    the situation. Its not rocket science. I've complained several times
    and have been told "it's company policy".

    The second thing that Vons does that ticks me off is this: when you
    pay by debit or credit card, the checker is required to call you by
    name when they hand you the receipt. So you have to wait while they
    stare at the receipt, and try and figure out how to pronounce your
    name. I find this fake "personalization" worse than just a generic
    "ma'am" or "sir". They don't know me from Adam, they are forced to do
    this, and the whole thing is so phony it makes me crazy. Again, I find
    it insulting, and I'm sure there are other people who genuinely don't
    want the checker announcing their name to everyone within earshot.
    Just imagine the reaction if you heard "Thank you, Ms. Longoria" or
    "Thank you, Mr, Laurie".

    None of the other markets I shop at do this. Anyone else have this
    kind of experience? (I think it's a policy for all Safeway stores).

    Like I said, I know in the greater scheme of things it's pretty minor,
    but I just can't help being irritated nearly every time I shop there.

    And yes, I =could= stop shopping there, but they carry things the
    other markets don't, and they occasionally have great sales on meat
    and poultry. Plus, they're they only market near me that carries milk
    in half-gallon wax paper containers, instead of the plastic jugs
    everyone else seems to have gone to. I find that my milk spoils a
    whole lot sooner in the plastic jugs.

    Cathy
     
    Tags:


  2. nancree

    nancree Guest

    Cathy complained:
    The first is, the checker always asks you "do you need help out to
    your car", no matter what the size of your order. I've had them ask me
    that when all I bought was a half gallon of milk, or a single bag of
    potato chips.


    Apparently it's store policy that they =have= to ask that question, no
    matter what the size of the customer's order. Aside from the
    ludicrousness of the question, I feel it's an insult to me - do I look
    so decrepit that they genuinely think I =need= help.
    ----------------------------
    Why be such a complainer, when they are being courteous? How many
    times have you/we said "How do you do?" , or "Nice to meet you", when
    it is actually just a social form. You've posted this complaint before,
    I think.
     
  3. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    Agreed. It sounds fake. Keep talking about it here until someone from Vons
    notices. Do not, under any circumstances write to the company.
     
  4. aem

    aem Guest

    cathy wrote:
    > I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.
    >
    > I shop at Vons in the Los Angeles area (owned and run by Safeway).
    > They have two store policies that I find irritating and hypocritical.
    > The first is, the checker always asks you "do you need help out to
    > your car",


    and no matter what your apparent age or infirmity.
    >
    > Apparently it's store policy that they =have= to ask that question, no
    > matter what the size of the customer's order.


    Clearly.

    > Aside from the
    > ludicrousness of the question, I feel it's an insult to me - do I look
    > so decrepit that they genuinely think I =need= help? And it's an
    > insult to the checker - why can't the store trust their employees to
    > use common sense - [snip]


    Good point. They pay checkers a good wage but they don't trust their
    judgment.

    > The second thing that Vons does that ticks me off is this: when you
    > pay by debit or credit card, the checker is required to call you by
    > name when they hand you the receipt.


    Even when you use their mandatory "club card" to avoid being
    overcharged.

    So you have to wait while they
    > stare at the receipt, and try and figure out how to pronounce your
    > name. I find this fake "personalization" worse than just a generic
    > "ma'am" or "sir".


    Yes. I can abide the rest of it but I hate this fake familiarity.

    > None of the other markets I shop at do this.


    TJ, Ralphs, the Mexican market, the Asian markets -- all let me be
    anonymous and able to carry my own bags.

    > Like I said, I know in the greater scheme of things it's pretty minor,
    > but I just can't help being irritated nearly every time I shop there.


    But minor things like this pile up. They are also the worst as far as
    missing price tags on produce and on the shelves.
    >
    > And yes, I =could= stop shopping there,


    And I nearly have. They are the closest to my house but I regularly
    choose to go farther. Most of that is for better meat and wider
    variety of things I'm looking for, but some of it is precisely because
    of these minor annoyances. The question is, how do you get them to
    wise up? -aem
     
  5. KevinS

    KevinS Guest

    cathy wrote on 2/11/2006:

    > I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.


    <snip comments about Von's/Safeway's courtesy procedures>

    I find it more amusing than insulting. I spend most of my time either
    around San Jose, CA or Portland, OR. I often shop at Safeway and go
    throught the same drill. I see the same clerks and cashiers all the
    time. Some pull this off with more panache than others. I especially
    like it when I walk by the same clerk 3 or 4 times, he says "hello, can
    I help you find anything" (sort of like he wants to be my best friend).
    Then I see the same guy outside having a smoke break on my way out and
    he doesn't say a word.

    This is as opposed to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's which strike me as
    courtesy neutral, at least for the most part.
     
  6. D.Currie

    D.Currie Guest

    "cathy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.
    >
    > I shop at Vons in the Los Angeles area (owned and run by Safeway).
    > They have two store policies that I find irritating and hypocritical.
    > The first is, the checker always asks you "do you need help out to
    > your car", no matter what the size of your order. I've had them ask me
    > that when all I bought was a half gallon of milk, or a single bag of
    > potato chips.
    >
    > Apparently it's store policy that they =have= to ask that question, no
    > matter what the size of the customer's order. Aside from the
    > ludicrousness of the question, I feel it's an insult to me - do I look
    > so decrepit that they genuinely think I =need= help? And it's an
    > insult to the checker - why can't the store trust their employees to
    > use common sense - ask the question if there's a =large= order, or the
    > customer is elderly and might need the help. Let the employee assess
    > the situation. Its not rocket science. I've complained several times
    > and have been told "it's company policy".
    >


    All three of the chain groceries here do that. I don't find it annoying at
    all. Some people who look otherwise fine might want help, but not want to
    ask. Like a mom with small kids -- it might be useful to have someone else
    load the groceries in the trunk while mom gets the kids settled in the car.
    And then, having someone else remove the cart means that Mom doesn't have to
    leave the kids alone, even for a few seconds.

    I do think it's amusing when I've got so few items I haven't used a cart,
    but you never know. What if I just wanted someone to walk me out to the car?
    Maybe there's some creepy-looking guy lurking in the parking lot. People
    might have a lot of non-obvious reasons why they'd like someone to walk to
    the car with them.

    Funny thing is, I was on crutches, then on a cane, then limping for a while
    due to an injury, and when I was limping and gimping and hopping, and that's
    the only time in recent memory that I didn't get asked if I needed help.
    Several times. I wouldn't have wanted help, anyway, because hanging on to
    the cart was actually helpful. But I thought it was funny that those were
    the times I didn't get asked.
     
  7. Cathy wrote:

    > The second thing that Vons does that ticks me off is this: when you
    > pay by debit or credit card, the checker is required to call you by
    > name when they hand you the receipt. So you have to wait while they
    > stare at the receipt, and try and figure out how to pronounce your
    > name. I find this fake "personalization" worse than just a generic
    > "ma'am" or "sir". They don't know me from Adam, they are forced to do
    > this, and the whole thing is so phony it makes me crazy. Again, I find
    > it insulting, and I'm sure there are other people who genuinely don't
    > want the checker announcing their name to everyone within earshot.
    > Just imagine the reaction if you heard "Thank you, Ms. Longoria" or
    > "Thank you, Mr, Laurie".


    If it really bothers you, simply get a card under a different name.

    Same thing with restaurant reservations. I'm quite happy with opentable.com,
    but why do they need my real name to reserve a table for me? So all my
    opentable.com reservations are made for "James Bond."

    Bob
     
  8. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    "aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > The question is, how do you get them to
    > wise up? -aem


    The secret is to write about them in places where they will never notice
    your comments. Don't tell the manager that his/her employees sound like
    little robots. Their behavior might be his idea, and you wouldn't want him
    to know it was a dismal failure.

    Above all, be sure NOT to write to the CEO at this address. If enough people
    DID write to him, something might improve. Bad idea.

    Stephen Burd
    Vons
    8060 S. Kyrene Rd.
    Tempe, AZ 85284
     
  9. On Sat 11 Feb 2006 06:56:13p, Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it cathy?

    > I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.
    >


    I'm much too busy and have far too much on my mind to give a whit about what
    they do or don't say unless it was obviously something rude. Once I've done
    my shopping, whether at leisure or in a hurry, all I care about is getting
    through the checkout and getting home.

    --
    Wayne Boatwright o¿o
    ____________________

    BIOYA
     
  10. aem

    aem Guest

    Doug Kanter wrote:
    > "aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    > > The question is, how do you get them to
    > > wise up? -aem

    >
    > The secret is to write about them in places where they will never notice
    > your comments. Don't tell the manager that his/her employees sound like
    > little robots. Their behavior might be his idea, and you wouldn't want him
    > to know it was a dismal failure.


    I have told the manager more than once about the 'calling by name'
    issue, as well as about their failure to mark prices completely. I
    agree with your implied point that talking to them is better than
    talking here about it. You're wrong, though, if you think we'll get
    noticeable response either way. -aem
     
  11. On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 02:38:24 GMT, "Doug Kanter"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >
    >> The question is, how do you get them to
    >> wise up? -aem

    >
    >The secret is to write about them in places where they will never notice
    >your comments. Don't tell the manager that his/her employees sound like
    >little robots. Their behavior might be his idea, and you wouldn't want him
    >to know it was a dismal failure.
    >
    >Above all, be sure NOT to write to the CEO at this address. If enough people
    >DID write to him, something might improve. Bad idea.


    You don't do snide sarcasm very well. You might want to try a
    different tack.
     
  12. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    "aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Doug Kanter wrote:
    >> "aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]
    >>
    >> > The question is, how do you get them to
    >> > wise up? -aem

    >>
    >> The secret is to write about them in places where they will never notice
    >> your comments. Don't tell the manager that his/her employees sound like
    >> little robots. Their behavior might be his idea, and you wouldn't want
    >> him
    >> to know it was a dismal failure.

    >
    > I have told the manager more than once about the 'calling by name'
    > issue, as well as about their failure to mark prices completely. I
    > agree with your implied point that talking to them is better than
    > talking here about it. You're wrong, though, if you think we'll get
    > noticeable response either way. -aem
    >


    Bullshit. Go beyond the manager. The only reason to speak to it is so when
    the home office asks if you spoke to it (the manager), you can honestly say
    yes. Write to the home office. Follow up your letter a week later with a
    phonecall. Better yet, don't. The results might be satisfying and amazing.

    I recently got a 50% refund from a Radisson hotel because the price of the
    room was totally out of line with the description given by the employee at
    the hotel ("bridal suite" with a jacuzzi big enough for just one person???).
    I got the refund because they read my mind. I didn't write or call anyone.
    They just sort of knew.
     
  13. aem

    aem Guest

    Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    >
    > Same thing with restaurant reservations. I'm quite happy with opentable.com,
    > but why do they need my real name to reserve a table for me? So all my
    > opentable.com reservations are made for "James Bond."
    >

    I usually pick a name that's been in the news and add "doctor." I've
    been Doctor Bryant and Doctor Jackson in honor of the Lakers and Doctor
    Woods for Tiger. I was Doctor Huxtable for our best local restaurant
    once and the hostess did a double take when I arrived with that name (I
    look nothing like Bill Cosby). Next time we went there I called and
    said, this is Doctor Huxtable but tonight call me Doctor Bunker. When
    we got there it was wasted, as it was a different hostess. -aem
     
  14. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    "J. Eric Durbin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 02:38:24 GMT, "Doug Kanter"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>"aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>news:[email protected]
    >>
    >>> The question is, how do you get them to
    >>> wise up? -aem

    >>
    >>The secret is to write about them in places where they will never notice
    >>your comments. Don't tell the manager that his/her employees sound like
    >>little robots. Their behavior might be his idea, and you wouldn't want him
    >>to know it was a dismal failure.
    >>
    >>Above all, be sure NOT to write to the CEO at this address. If enough
    >>people
    >>DID write to him, something might improve. Bad idea.

    >
    > You don't do snide sarcasm very well. You might want to try a
    > different tack.
    >


    Nah....why? This is my standard reaction when people seem to think they'll
    get somewhere posting a complaint here. If they really want something to
    change, they'd write to the source of the problem. Since they don't, they
    must want things to remain the same. They'll shop elsewhere. That'll show
    'em. Except that it really won't.
     
  15. uz051235198

    uz051235198 Guest

    "cathy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.


    Tell the manager.


    _________________________________________
    Usenet Zone Free Binaries Usenet Server
    More than 140,000 groups
    Unlimited download
    http://www.usenetzone.com to open account
     
  16. aem wrote about making restaurant reservations:

    > I usually pick a name that's been in the news and add "doctor." I've
    > been Doctor Bryant and Doctor Jackson in honor of the Lakers and Doctor
    > Woods for Tiger. I was Doctor Huxtable for our best local restaurant
    > once and the hostess did a double take when I arrived with that name (I
    > look nothing like Bill Cosby). Next time we went there I called and
    > said, this is Doctor Huxtable but tonight call me Doctor Bunker. When
    > we got there it was wasted, as it was a different hostess. -aem



    I've never appended "doctor," but once I made a reservation as "Senator
    Marcus Bibulus." (It was for a wine-tasting dinner, so I thought "bibulus"
    was appropriate.) I've also made reservations for the "Dunwich Group" (an
    allusion to H. P. Lovecraft) and "Captain James Walker" (from the rock opera
    "Tommy.")

    Anybody else do this?

    Bob
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>,
    cathy <[email protected]> wrote:

    > ludicrousness of the question, I feel it's an insult to me - do I look
    > so decrepit that they genuinely think I =need= help?


    Well, shoot! Take 'em up on it! Let them carry that half gallon of
    milk to your car for you. Call their bluff and see what happens.

    > And it's an insult to the checker - why can't the store trust their
    > employees to use common sense


    Because common sense is no longer a common commodity. I'm guessing they
    don't pay the employee to think; they pay the employee to follow
    established procedures.

    > - ask the question if there's a =large= order,


    But that would require some discernment on the part of the cashier --
    they would have to wrestle with the notion of what constitutes a large
    order: number of items or size of the bill. More than one bag? More
    than 7 items? The employee would have to think - and they're not paid
    to think. More's the pity.

    > or the customer is elderly and might need the help. Let the employee
    > assess the situation. Its not rocket science. I've complained several
    > times and have been told "it's company policy".


    Then that's the answer. It's their policy. If it is so vexing shop
    elsewhere. Trade convenience for peace. Change what you can. Accept
    what you cannot change. Be serene. "-)
    --
    http://www.jamlady.eboard.com, updated 2-11-2006, Sausage Roll Ups
     
  18. Reg

    Reg Guest

    Bob Terwilliger wrote:

    > I've never appended "doctor," but once I made a reservation as "Senator
    > Marcus Bibulus." (It was for a wine-tasting dinner, so I thought "bibulus"
    > was appropriate.) I've also made reservations for the "Dunwich Group" (an
    > allusion to H. P. Lovecraft) and "Captain James Walker" (from the rock opera
    > "Tommy.")
    >
    > Anybody else do this?
    >
    > Bob


    One night in Mexico City after a fine dinner my Father, ever
    the jokester, decided to sign the credit card receipt "Napolean
    Bonaparte" just to see if they'd notice. They didn't.

    We laughed, and I remember the Oysters Rockafeller to
    this day. Best ever.

    --
    Reg
     
  19. I'm Marge Simpson on my Safeway shopper card. The cashiers are usually
    on autopilot and don't even notice when they say "Thank you Mrs
    Simpson"

    melanie
     
  20. cathy wrote:
    > I suppose this is a pretty minor pet peeve, but it still ticks me off.
    >
    > I shop at Vons in the Los Angeles area (owned and run by Safeway).
    > They have two store policies that I find irritating
    >
    > The second thing that Vons does that ticks me off is this: when you
    > pay by debit or credit card, the checker is required to call you by
    > name when they hand you the receipt.


    That almost offended me once, but i was abel to restrain myself from
    making a sharp retort to the checker as i realized i had used a
    'discount card' from a store i only shop at once a year and my name was
    displayed on their digital read out screen thingy on the cash register.
    But i found it overly familiar. If i shopped there more often i might
    say something.

    What ever happened to a tug o the forelock? or at least a simple bow?

    Have you been asked if you want the senior discount Cathy? I felt like
    i was cheating the first time it was offered me and i contemplated
    taking it.

    So you have to wait while they
    > stare at the receipt, and try and figure out how to pronounce your
    > name. I find this fake "personalization" worse than just a generic
    > "ma'am" or "sir". They don't know me from Adam, they are forced to do
    > this, and the whole thing is so phony it makes me crazy. Again, I find
    > it insulting, and I'm sure there are other people who genuinely don't
    > want the checker announcing their name to everyone within earshot.
    > Just imagine the reaction if you heard "Thank you, Ms. Longoria" or
    > "Thank you, Mr, Laurie".
    >
    > None of the other markets I shop at do this. Anyone else have this
    > kind of experience? (I think it's a policy for all Safeway stores).


    That's where it happened to me at. A posh place i also rarely shop at
    acknowledges my presence because i have occasionally been shopping there
    for years, an upscale 'Andronicos' and i know some of their names cause
    they wear name tags.
    >
    > Like I said, I know in the greater scheme of things it's pretty minor,
    > but I just can't help being irritated nearly every time I shop there.
    >
    > And yes, I =could= stop shopping there, but they carry things the
    > other markets don't, and they occasionally have great sales on meat
    > and poultry. Plus, they're they only market near me that carries milk
    > in half-gallon wax paper containers, instead of the plastic jugs
    > everyone else seems to have gone to. I find that my milk spoils a
    > whole lot sooner in the plastic jugs.


    Nice when all one can complain about are petty annoyances.
    ---
    JL
    >
    > Cathy
     
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