View Full Version : What would you have said/done... if anything?

16th Oct 2004, 16:56
OK... q for you my fellow prooners. A little while ago after walking hound I remembered I needed milk so decided to stop by my local Sainsburys (don't often shop there). Picked up basket, got milk, got impulse-buy gift for friend and headed to tills. Lines were long but one of the basket-only tills had a young guy at the till slowly scanning and packing bags and no customer in sight.

I asked if he was open and he smiled and said he was but the customer had forgotten something. I weighed the potential wait in this line vs joining one of the other long queues and decided to wait. He continued to scan and pack slowly. After a few moments a woman rushed up, thrust a pizza at the guy with a "here you are" .. then said, "actually I have to get some other things" and rushed off, leaving the guy with nothing to do.

By now someone had joined the queue behind me and I suggested he might not like to join the queue from hell but he laughed and said it was still the shortest there! OK .. we wait, probably about four minutes? Woman rushes up, hands some bottles of Coke at the guy and is just about to head off for yet something else and I say to her "I don't think you should consider keeping us waiting any longer, do you?" at which point she marches up to me, swears at me, pokes me in the chest and tells me to "get a life" and says that her teenager has brought friends home unexpectedly and she has nothing to give them to eat or drink. She is not poorly dressed or distressed.. just someone who thinks the world revolves around her and extremely belligerent.

Needless to say I am amazed, manage to reply with a "well would you mind paying now so we can all get on" and then she starts fumbling in her bag for her purse as if she is surprised about having to pay!!

Guy behind me taps me on shoulder and asks if I am OK as he has never seen anyone treated so rudely and I thank him and laugh at my own stupidity for saying something. I also apologise to the young weekend-worker on the till for having created the situation! He was fine and thanked me for saying something as he hadn't known what to do when she walked off!!

So folks... in that situation would you have said or done anything or, as I thought afterwards, should I have just waited patiently (in the meantime if if another queue had shortened I would have gone to it, but none did!) :ok:

16th Oct 2004, 17:08
Absolutely not!

Even if you felt self-concious, without shadow of a doubt something had to be said.

Maybe, just maybe (although probably not in this case by the sounds of this lady!) it will make her think twice before trying this kind of thing again.

I have been in (vaguely) similar situations before, and while some may feel it is confrontational, something deep down somewhere inside me gets on it's high horse and decides people shouldnt get away with being rude/inconsiderate/plain stupid.

Well done for sticking your neck out!


16th Oct 2004, 17:17
Why not drop a line to the manager of the store, explaining what happened, and asking what the company policy is for this sort of thing.
Maybe if he/she hears how you were treated by the other customer, the-check out staff might be briefed on how to handle it next time it happens.


16th Oct 2004, 17:35
Pick up goods (hers), place in basket, put on floor at back of queue, continue ....... problem solved.

16th Oct 2004, 17:46
Thanks jollypilot, 419 that's a good idea - I wouldn't want to draw attention to the young guy at the till but the checkout staff should know how to deal with something like this. TimS if the guy hadn't scanned all the items then yes, your idea would work .. I don't know how easy it is to void an entry but that could also have been an option if the checkout guy had felt confident enough to do that :ok:

16th Oct 2004, 18:54
Well she's no doubt read this and feels a right spanker by now. :rolleyes:

Boss Raptor
16th Oct 2004, 19:21
Saw the most incredible thing today at my local Tesco - lady in a disabled 'buggy' electric cart (whatever u call it) was in front of mine at the sort of wide baskets only type checkout - after she was done bags packed etc. she asked the guy at the opposite checkout on the right side i.e. using the same gang way to move in a bit with his trolley so she could get through and leave - he turned round and said 'you can get through there cant u' and didnt budge...

Anyway after couple of seconds of shock at this response I looked at checkout girl and she said 'I dont believe this', I responded and said very loudly 'there is an ahole born every minute' - sadly disabled lady was very embarrassed and turned round to everybody in the queue and apologised for delaying them...not her fault...

I was by then after the initial shock a bit more with it and a lot more angry was about to go past her and deal with this guy (twice my size with tattoos...) in front of everybody but she grabbed my arm and told me just to leave it - she/we sat for a further 2 minutes for this guy to finish his checkout and move his trolley/backside so she could pass...

I/we were stunned...and I tell myself I will never become as ignorant as this...pls refrain from the personal comments ;)

16th Oct 2004, 19:26
Well done, Brocky! :ok: I think you did absolutely the correct thing, and I applaud your ability to come up with a sensible response after her attack on you as well.

Her behaviour was extremely unfair (inconsiderate, unkind, ad infinitum....) to those in the queue, and you were right to get her attention.

(BTW for Brocky only -- I forgot: Is BLUE better than PURPLE, or is it the other way 'round?) :E

Rwy in Sight
16th Oct 2004, 19:33

I hope she does not read it because I hope that people in PPRuNE tend to be better than her. It seems a racing driver journo very down to earth and pragmatic guy explained that even road safety (or lack of it may be due to rude unconsiderate people).

Now my question regarding etiquette (what should I have done?)
Last Sunday we went for a drink with friends and the waiter managed to spill half a glass of white wine on my pair of trousers. He did not replace the wine, nor he offered any excuse or recompensation. I was with some friends and for operational reasons I felt raising an argument would not be ok. Additionally white wine can be easily washed so I remained mute and I even left 2 Euros tip (on a 80 Euro bill). The manager of the place was also pushy.

What should I have done? Should I have straighted out the waiter (watch out stupid bas$|#%rd) talk to the manager or ingore the subject.

Yours truly

Rwy in Sight

16th Oct 2004, 19:49
I would have politely asked to see the manager and equally politely explained to him what had happened and that I required the wine replaced and that they would recieve the dry cleaning bill for the trousers.

I would certainly NOT tip.

I have had a similar situation in a UK restaurant. The manager refused to do anything as the waiter stood there and said it wasn't his fault:confused:

When the bill came, I wrote my name and address on it and left £1 in payment. I explained to the waiter that I had left my name and address and the restaurant could sue me for the rest. This is perfectly legal in Engalnd & Wales as long as you pay something - otherwise the police may be called and you are in the wrong.

I have also, after a lousy meal with lousy service deliberately paid by cheque. " Pay xyz for the worst meal I have ever had the sum of......." They can choose to accept it or not....and pay it in or not!

surely not
16th Oct 2004, 19:54
Brocks, you did everything correctly, as we'd expect from you :D
Having had a little time to think about it I would like to think I'd have said something similar to 'You haven't quite got the hang of shopping have you? You're supposed to take the basket round the store with you to fill it up, not leave it at the check-out' Then ensured that she paid up and if necessary started again!!

Rwy in Sight, the very least you should have got was an apology, plus an offer equal to the amount you could expect to pay for dry cleaning. They should have been offered without need for you to ask, but with nothing forthcoming I'd not have kept quiet.

16th Oct 2004, 19:56
Dear Crótalo you should know by now that blue rocks and purple sux !!! :E

and thanks for confirming that I was OK in what I did. I was so stunned that after getting back to the car I genuinely wondered if I was off the plot!! :ok:

16th Oct 2004, 20:53
I once made the terrible mistake of going into the wrong checkout aisle. I was suffering from bad sinusitis and not at my best that day, I didn't see the unlit sign above the conveyor belt, so I didn't realise I was in a "cash only" aisle. The assistant pointed it out to me after all the bags were packed and I got out my cheque book. I could only apologise as I had insufficient cash with me, she said no problem, a cheque would be fine.

The middle aged, well dressed chap behind me immediately took extreme exception to this and began berating the assistant rather than me. While this foul mouthed idiot demanded the manager was called, I went on writing out my cheque as quickly as I could. I handed it to the assistant, in a few seconds who was obviously very upset by the aggressive attitude of this other man, rather than the situation.

I handed the cheque to her and apologised again.

I turned to the other man and said:"When your heart attack comes, I hope it's a big one. If you want to continue the argument with ME in the car park, I'll be waiting for you".

Ten minutes later, he was still lurking inside the shop exit and didn't come out! :rolleyes:

16th Oct 2004, 21:31
brockenspectre, far too mild in your reproach. The instant the potentially lethal finger touched my chest, it would have been bent backwards until the lady concerned said "Sorry" very loudly for all to hear!! :E

One over the fast checkout limit (http://www.davesdaily.com/strangenews/shopperrage_04-04.htm) :uhoh:

From Australia: And now there’s Checkout Rage!

Some 5.5% of consumers reported being subjected to supermarket checkout rage – that is, aggressive, sometime abusive comments by other consumers, says a recent report by Marketing Focus, a Perth-based grocery industry consultancy. The primary causes of checkout rage are:

1. 79%. Exceeding the nominated number of items in Express lanes. A total 21% of consumers stated that inaction on the part of staff members in policing the number of items in express lanes was a contributing factor to checkout rage instances.

2. 13%. Excessive time taken to process sales. That may include credit card transactions, withdrawal of cash, loyalty programme points, recording and shareholder discounts.

Checkout rage seems to be mainly a supermarket- related phenomenon, according to Marketing Focus principal Barry Urquhart. “Significantly, only 0.4% of respondents reported experiencing or witnessing checkout rage at corner-store or franchised convenience retail outlets. This implies that the signs and innate Checkout Rage! promise of express lanes does establish expectation among consumers,” he told GR.

And finally:Rage is everywhere. It is part of our society. It is on television. It is in your neighborhood. It is in the workplace. Don't be afraid of it, enjoy it. Why read about it? Be part of it, feel the rage. The next time someone p*sses you off, let them know. Then we'll read about you in the paper.Discuss!!

16th Oct 2004, 21:35
'Tis better to be pi$$ed off than pi$$ed on, methinks....

16th Oct 2004, 22:25
I'm getting really fired up reading this stuff! In fact, I think I'm suffering from.......Pprune Rage!!!

16th Oct 2004, 22:31
Have you ever pulled up behind the empty car at the fuel pumps, waited ages for the driver (female) to return with children and shopping and then proceed to arrange and re-arrange children and shopping all over car whilst leaving it blocking the pump. If I remember correctly, there was a certain amount of de-littering the interior into the litter bin as well. A request for her to clear the pump so that other people could carry on with their working day did not produce a satisfactory response.

Mike W

17th Oct 2004, 02:13
Brocks, at my local supermarket the cash register can have a customer's unpaid bill put on hold, allowing the attendant to serve the next person. It's great because if the person who has continued their shopping returns before the next one has paid, they have to wait.

I've been in the embarrassing situation where I lined up in the lane next to a "15 items only" lane which was empty. The attendant beckoned me to come (I probably had twice that number of items). I pointed out that I had more, but she said it wasn't a problem, so I changed lanes.

While I was being served, a customer rocked up with just a couple of items, and was clearly angry with me, huffing and puffing but without saying anything to me directly. I expected the attendant to say something, but no, she just kept scanning my shopping. I felt very embarrassed and ended up explaining to the annoyed customer that the attendant had called me into that line. It was not comfortable. Would you have tried to explain?

Finally a question re multiple identical items. In limited item queues, what do you think about regarding multiples of an item as one item, eg 10 cans of coke as one, because the attendant can scan one and hit the "x 10" button. I've seen some interesting situations where that's been tested. It seems to be accepted unless the attendant is not aware of the "x 10" type of function and scans them all separately anyway.

Mike (Skylark) your question seemed like it was going to be a general one, starting with "have you ever" but then went sexist and specific. Frustrating examples of being delayed are not limited to females being inconsiderate, so why did you include that reference?

17th Oct 2004, 02:16

I once stayed at a hotel somewhere in Birmingham. Sad but true.

The car park consisted of lots of narrow spaces nose (or tail) in against a brick wall.

In the morning I emerged from said dump, bag in hand, to find a car parked right up against mine (its nose to my tail).

I trundled back into the coffee shop, asked around, no dice. Enquired at reception; nobody registered with that number.

Oh well. Sometimes it's a Very Good Thing to drive a huge ugly Land Rover with a towbar at the back and a V8 under the front. Low range, engage reverse. No problem. Offending car (now with modified front bumper) ended up at an angle across pavement and a bit of road.

The owner then appeared. Trainee or assistant manager or something. Not too happy. I handed him my business card and invited further correspondence. Never did hear anything.

But, bugger me, there was a scratch on the cover over the tow ball. Took me nearly a minute to polish it away.

Take yer land rover shopping with you.

17th Oct 2004, 02:57
Returning from Royal Show with Young Niece and Small Nephew in tow, we shared the train carriage with two other adults, three more small children, and five loud and foul-mouthed teenagers who were obviously mates and were under the "leadership" of the oldest of their number. He would have been all of fifteen but was well over the 6' mark, decorated with multiple piercings and with chains accessorising his ripped jeans.

After a couple of minutes of the teenagers' cursing and swearing, and realising that nobody else was going to have a go, I decided to tackle them about it. Heart in mouth I explained to them that while the adults present had heard it all before, there were young children present who should not have to listen to their offensive language.

There was a stunned silence throughout the carriage as all eyes turned in my direction.

"Sorry." Muttered their Fearless Leader ... leaving me somewhat gobsmacked.

I was still shaking when we got off the train but have been elevated to the status of "legend" in the eyes of Young Niece and Small Nephew.

Would I do it again? Errrr ... prolly not. :(

Solid Rust Twotter
17th Oct 2004, 09:26

With a sly wink and a bit of collusion from the checkout bloke you should have scanned your items onto the bill of the problem child, packed and left them with the bill. Only problem is if they're bright enough to check but that's doubtful from what you've related.....

.....Or shake all her cans/bottles of soda before leaving....:E

17th Oct 2004, 09:55
It was specific because that is exactly as it happened.
Another, slightly lower in the scale is the person, usually but definitely not exclusively female who must file their receipts, record the mileage and fuel used in their notebook, make themselves completely comfortable and put on their seatbelt before starting the car,(after searching all pockets for the keys), before moving off the pump. Personally I come back to the car, keys in hand, start, move off and then stop to set myself up to continue.

Mike W

17th Oct 2004, 11:23
Mike, you missed the point.


17th Oct 2004, 16:11
Sorry, you are correct. The first part of my post was a rhetorical question. I just input as the memories formed in my head and didn't do an editorial afterwards.

Mike W

simon brown
17th Oct 2004, 17:58
I would have told her what an arrogant selfcentred disorganised cow she was and it is SHE who should get a life and what the f**k does she think this is "Supermarket Sweep" or something......its amazing how people cower away when you reposte with a verbally nuclear tongue lashing on them when they think they can try to bully you verbally. Its always better if you can add in some wit as well if you can.

17th Oct 2004, 18:08
Finally a question re multiple identical items. In limited item queues, what do you think about regarding multiples of an item as one item, eg 10 cans of coke as one, because the attendant can scan one and hit the "x 10" button. I've seen some interesting situations where that's been tested. It seems to be accepted unless the attendant is not aware of the "x 10" type of function and scans them all separately anyway.

Many years ago I did my time in Tescos as a part time job. It was a brand new store with brand new checkouts, upon which was indeed a multiple items button. Two weeks after the store opened, all checkout staff were forbidden to make any further use of the multiple items button as apparently, some of the staff couldn't count.... Go figure.... :rolleyes:

17th Oct 2004, 18:10
What did you espect at Perth's Fabulous "Royal Show". I can't believe people still go to that feral event.....

In fact, I can't believe it's still being held.


17th Oct 2004, 18:45
Thank you all for your comments and insights - glad to know that I seem to have done the right thing. Unfortunately simon brown I am a very non-confrontational person and having spent a long number of years as a negotiator (of all sorts of things!) I do tend to expect that people will respond to issues in a mature fashion. I clearly completely mis-read this woman as she presented as a neat, efficient, middle-class upper middle income kind of person and in fact despite the language she used to me and her feral attitude (good word that, feral!) her accent and diction were clear and pretty close to "received pronunciation" - she was no street mom!!! I was so taken aback by her vulgar response that I had no chance to marshal half way as good a riposte as you suggest!! :ok:

17th Oct 2004, 20:14
Brocks When you decked that waitress in the Japanese restaurant that night, I KNEW you were a troublemaker.!!
Why don't you just take the reasonable approach and use the Aussie King Hit technique.....works every time :cool: :D :D