There is a trend that I have noticed in my grocery store. The aim of this trend is to make the customer feel like each and every employee is there to help you, to make you feel welcomed, to kiss your ass. I’ve noticed that the people running the registers have now been trained to say “Hi! Did you find everything you needed today?” I don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate customer service and this new found attention, but am I to believe that the sixteen year-old working this lane on a Friday night actually cares if I found my brand of toothpaste? Or that the way-past-retirement cash register jockey will be concerned with my inability to find my favorite type of orange.
I don’t think I have ever answered the question with a “no”. What happens when you respond in that fashion? Will they drop everything and help you retrieve the long lost over-looked item? I think next time I’ll just bring my grocery list and go directly to the check-out. When they ask the question, I’ll say, “Nope, I couldn’t find anything on this list right here.” I’ll hand over the list and they will have to do my shopping for me.
Although their training is probably a good thing, I think the further training lesson of don’t-be-a-robot needs to be taught as well. For instance, if I walk up to the register with only one item in my hand and my wallet in the other hand, it’s a fairly safe bet that I came into the store looking for only this one item. You need not serve up the question.
I place a single bottle of pop on the check-out belt and I have a five dollar bill in the other.
“Did you find everything you needed?”
“Oh no! It’s a good thing you spoke up! I was actually here to shop for Thanksgiving dinner! Good thing you caught me in time. My family would have been so disappointed with only this bottle of pop to serve.”