If you have worked in the customer service industry, there’s a huge possibility that you have encountered something similar to these situations, whether you worked at a grocery store, such as Kroger or Tom Thumb, a store for all of your needs, such as Target or Walmart, or various other stores such as JCPenny, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Barnes and Noble. The list of Customer No-no’s is huge, and believe it or not, these five things have happened to me in the store I work at within the past week.
1. Leave items you’ve changed your mind about in random places throughout the store. The employees will take care of it, right?
Of course the employees will take care of it! It’s our job! Doesn’t mean you should do it though. I’m absolutely sure that any employee that finds something in the completely wrong spot will still feel a bit annoyed and wonder what stupid customer left it there. Myself as a customer, I do the extra work and put what I’ve changed my mind about back where I got it from.
There was a point in time this past year where I was shopping with a friend for chips and she picked up one bag of chips thinking she might buy that one. She wandered down the chip aisle some more and discovered a different bag of chips she wanted and so she picked those up and put the original bag she had picked up in a random place on the shelf. In my mind, I wanted to scream, “What are you doing?! You can’t walk 20 feet back to where you got those to put them back?!” Ashamedly, I did not pick up that bag of chips and put it back myself.
Please, please, PLEASE, do not put your unwanted items down on a random shelf in the store. Either put it back or give it to the cashier when you go to check out.
2. By all means, let your child scream and yell throughout the store. No one is going to care.
Now, with this particular instance that I encountered this week, the child in question did not start screaming until he and his mom got to the register to check out. They had come back from a trip to a foreign country the day before and this child just had way too much energy bottled up at that point.
If your child is screaming throughout the store, please find a way to quiet them. If you’re there with your significant other, maybe take your child outside for a bit while your s.o. continues shopping. Bribes can work sometimes, too. The store I work at has stickers at the registers for kids if they want one. The child I encountered did quiet down a bit after we mentioned that we had stickers for him if he was quiet, which he did become quite interested in. Of course, I’m not saying that you should always bribe your child, but sometimes it works.
3. Your phone call is much more important than anything when you’re checking out. Please, continue your conversation.
I’m not sure how other cashiers feel when they’re checking someone out who is talking on their phone, but I personally feel quite awkward. There’s no telling if they’ll actually pay attention to you when you tell them their total or ask if they have a rewards card.
In general, it seems quite rude to talk on the phone as you’re checking out. The most respectful thing to do would be to tell the person on the other end that you’re checking out at the store and you’ll call them back in a few minutes.
4. Got to the register and realize you don’t want that item anymore? Go ahead and leave it with the candy and drinks at the front of the registers. You don’t need to give it to the cashier who will make sure it’s taken care of.
Yes, Fun Fact: cashiers will make sure the item you don’t want will be put back in its proper place. Please give us the items you have changed your mind about.
Of course, not every store has some sort of display with candy or drinks at the front of their registers, but the store I work at does, and my favorite game to play whenever I have no customers in line is “What Did Customers Hide With the Candy For Me to Find This Time?” Sometimes there’s nothing. Sometimes I’ll find five different items. It’s not that hard to tell the cashier you changed your mind about something when you finally get to the front of the line.
5. I’m sure the employees won’t care that this gift card my small child has bent up, licked, and chewed on is damaged. It kept my child quiet, so it’ll be fine.
A gift card? Why did you let your child hang onto a gift card while you shopped with them? I wasn’t quite sure what was going through the parent’s mind when they decided it was okay. Of course, they didn’t actually want to buy it and so I had to take it away from the child when I was finished checking them out, and so the gift card that had been bent and chewed on was put in damaged.
If you’re going to give your child something to keep them quiet while you’re shopping with them, please consider buying whatever it is. If it winds up being a drink or a snack that they’ve been busy with during the shopping experience, that’s at least better than a gift card, though it’s still not encouraged to eat or drink anything you haven’t bought yet.
Every day that I’m at work, I’m just perplexed at what customers will do. Most customers are absolutely wonderful and respectful, but there’s just a small handful that don’t quite know what the Customer No-no’s are.