Mar 13, 2007


Okay, I need your help, folks.

Last night, I was in the supermarket. There was only one checker, moving terribly slow and everyone in line seemed to be irritated. I softened about it probably because everyone else was pissed off about it, thinking maybe the guy is new, or developmentally disabled, or maybe he's had a rotten day, I'm not going to worry about it. I have plenty of time.

Then, it was my turn to pay. I handed him my litle keychain barcode preferred card thingy and he scanned it unsuccessfully. I told him that it's gotten a little worn, so maybe he'd have to type the number in manually. He looked at me and kept trying to scan it. Oookay. So, this goes on at least two or three minutes, which feels like forever when you have twelve people in line behind you. I tried to tell him to not worry about it, but he just looked at me and kept trying to scan it. Oooookay. Finally, the guy in line behind me offers up his scan card, it gets scanned, we move forward, but not before the cashier hands my keys back to me with a surly, "Your problem is that you have too much stuff on your keychain!" (I have a car key, a housekey, a building key-- what gives?)

Anyway, he scans my items, pausing at each to wrinkle his face at each. Matzah, beep, wrinkle, veggie sushi rolls, beep, wrinkle, edamame, beep, wrinkle and scoff, curry powder, scoff, pause, scoff, wrinkle, ginger root, scoff, wrinkle, scoff, wrinkle... everything in my basket got at least a wrinkle, but as it went on, things got scoffs and wrinkles.

Whatever. I'm letting it go. I don't care. Maybe he's not into ethnic cuisine like I am, so I don't care if he amuses himself with my groceries this way.

Then, as I am swiping my debit card, he throws my groceries into the paper bag. Throws! Ginger root atop delicately rolled veggei sushi! Juice atop seaweed salad! I said, "Thanks, have a great night." and what did he said? Yeah, as he thrust the register tape into my hand. Sigh.

So, here's the rub. I am a person who writes letters for positive customer service experiences because I've worked in thankless customer services jobs before and I know it sucks to be cheery all day. And, because of those experiences, I think I am terribly tolerant of the various behaviors that arise from persons working in customer service positions. But, in the spirit of fairness, I have written a complaint letter or two when experiences are terribly shitty.

But never without much consideration. Which is where I am today.

Do I write/call the store manager? The casher might be fired? What if he doesn't have much of a financial cushion and being fired destroys him financially? What if he can't find another job easily because he can't get a strong referral from this job? But, if I don't rat him out, I'm saying it's okay to throw groceries and not give a shit. Do I have a moral obligation to say something... if for no other reason than there are undoubetly shoppers who can't speak English or who can't write a letter who this guy has treated poorly? I can let it go, so should I? I had supervisory jobs before. I'd want to know if my employee was a douchbag. I'd want to know because he represents my store. Or, what if ratting on him, he gets fired and then realizes he's been a shit and gets inspired to make some needed-positive change in his life and becomes employee of the month at his next job?

What do I do here, folks?

I await your insight.


Jason said...

It seems like cashier is not up to par with his customer service skills. As the boss would tell Bukowski and his fellow employees in "Post Office"...."maybe this line of work is not your calling, maybe being the general manager of GM is what you're meant to do"(summarized)....So, tell the cashier's boss that he might be better suited for other things that don't put him in contact with the public...preferably way in the back...

"jew" "girl" said...

I would send the letter. for exceptional and poor service, I write letters. I always preface poor service letters with, I would hate to see this person lose his/her job over this.

in my twisted little mind, I release any liability I might feel if the end result is that he/she does get fired.

I always think of the elderly in situations like that. they live on a fixed income and they are reliant on a decent clerk to package their groceries lightly, in multiple bags so they're easy to carry. Plus, hi, if a pineapple is on top of a dozen eggs there go the eggs.

Go for it, girl! speak for those who cannot or won’t do it!

Leen said...

As a previous employee, specifically a checker, of the old grocery store (Food Lion - for those of you in SE part of our continent) and know, too that being cheery all day is a gift that a select few possess. Someone needs to explain to him that if one wants to get paid, one should be a little more tolerant of the clientel they be servin'. Rat him out, if only for the quality of the bagging. The nasty register huffing can be dismissed, but the bagging violence can not be tolerated because it costs money. Not his money, your money, no matter the total or type of food you be buyin'.

Anonymous said...

You are exaggerating. You are ALWAYS exaggerating. Calm down and shop elsewhere.

Amy Guth said...

I swear on my life, every word of that story is entirely true. I am not "always" exaggerating.

I have deleted a comment or two of yours, Anon, because rudeness just for the sake of being rude is pretty unproductive.

Oh wait, I just checked my stat meter. I know exactly who you are.

Spare me this.

ben the post-it junkie said...

Wow, big set of balls you have there, anonymous, you pussy. Man, I hate it when people do that shit to me on my blog. Like if you're going to be a fucking dick, leave your fucking name at least. But, usually the most irrational peopleare also the most spineless of the crowd.

Ames, whoever this douchebag is, this comment drips with jealousy. Is s/he trying to make you look bad because s/he is threatened by how sweet, smart and successful you are? Guess so.

Well, you either have one petty, insecure bitch on your hands or a dude with the smallest penis on earth.

the lit prof said...

She is a good storyteller, which is not the same as exaggerating. You are filled with negativity and rudeness, whoever you are. Pick on someone your own size. Amy Guth is my friend and a woman of utmost integrity.

diane said...

*horns sound as Diane joins the Amy Guth calvary*
FOAD Anonymous. Let Amy tell her stories however she wants. It's her blog, and if you don't like what she has to say (which is sounds like, since she has deleted comments from you before) take your own advice and read elsewhere.

Leah said...

I agree with Jew Girl about the letter writing, I don't agree with anonymous about Amy's exaggerating.

If you keep returning, then at least leave your damn name next time so we don't get you confused with a nice Anonymous. (Such a common name in these parts.)

NaipulScholar said...

None such luck Leah. Someone as sad and pathetic as that Anon thrives on attempting to be destructve and negative, in a misguided attempt to make others just as sad and pathetic as she or he is. If she/he was happy with the world and life, they would spend their time spreading light and happiness rather than trying (futiley) to put down those who bring beauty and wonder to this world

Eric Spitznagel said...

Oh man, this gave me such a laugh. Seriously, you've decided to flame Amy's blog? What are you, a teenager from 1998? If you're going to be an asshole, at least be original about it.

I don't know if Amy exaggerates anything in her stories, but that's hardly the point. She's not giving court testimony. Nobody gives two shits if David Sedaris is getting his facts straight. All that matters is if it's an entertaining read. That's why I keep coming back.

But defending Amy almost seems like a moot point, especially from the accusations of an anonymous poster who isn't even creative enough to be annoying. Does it matter to you that nobody really cares? Or is it just enough to know that you've gotten the attention of somebody, at least for a few seconds, that isn't your mom asking you to move out of the basement and get a damn job?

Best of luck, pal. Keep plugging away at community college and maybe you can grow up to be like Amy someday, and write something that isn't notable solely because it's not written entirely in ALL CAPS. Isn't there a Trent Reznor message board somewhere that could use somebody with your obvious talents?

Amy's Mom said...

I understand your dilemma with the letter. However, the only way a manager will ever know if an employee has a problem is if someone tells them. So mail the letter or better yet, tell the manager in person. Address the bagging methods first then the bad attitude.
And now on to anonymous...whoever you are. Did no one ever tell you that if you can't say something nice about someone, to shut up! Well, maybe it doesn't go quite like that. I don't know who pissed in your cereal this morning, but Amy doesn't deserve what you have dished out. If you can't think of anything else to say, go blog somewhere else!

Wings - john k said...

Wow ... Pissed in your cereal! Vicki, is he an example of a "Rat Fucker"?

Touché ... oops ... I mean Douché