How much do you expect your grocery cashier to know?

I teach ‘em! I don’t expect them to know it the first or even second time. But grocery checkers are customer service workers, not just computers with nimbler hands. They should (and largely do) learn their regulars’ quirks. This one doesn’t care if meat goes in a separate bag but just wants the fewest bags possible. That one wants everything double bagged, even if it only weighs a little bit. The other one can’t see the total on the keypad and needs it read to him before he signs. And yes, that weirdo over there wants his bags filled vertically, not horizontally.

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The cashiers at most of the supermarkets where I shop are all paid just above minimum wage. I don’t expect them to care.
My scooter has a very wide but shallow carrier on the back. I can get a lot in there but I can’t stack anything or it will go flying out. I re-pack all my groceries.

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Sounds like you live in a pretty small town

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Are your panniers oddly shaped or do you tuck things inside your jacket?

I shop with my motorcycle sometimes, I have overbought and had to be creative stuffing my saddlebags to make sure things don’t fall out.

Should the checkout person know a ruttebager (sp? sorry I call it a swede where I came from) from a turnip? They usually don’t know. Should they know flat parsley from cilantro? Is it my job to teach them? Probably not, but it’s annoying when the barcode has fallen off and you have to wait for a manager to sort it out.

With the produce stickers, knowing what it is is usually not much of an issue. A recent observation as a cashier rang up 2 kinds of peaches and nectarines.

Hee! The former. They’re very thin but kind of deep and long, so if I tilt the bag just right I can fit a lot of stuff in there as long as it’s narrow enough to slide in.

The best is motorcycle shopping at Costco. They don’t even bag so the total load is somewhat self-limiting. But sometimes I’ve come back from there with things attached to the two-up seat beyond what’s probably recommended by Guzzi and whoever made the bunji cords.

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If you ever want to see the limits of how much stuff can fit on a motorcycle, visit SE Asia.

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I’m always amazed at my local H-Marts (Korean grocers.) Their cashiers are really sharp. Today my cashier correctly identified Gai choy (looked like two other mustard greens there), baby octopus, and the right type of clam (from three types). She didn’t even hesitate.

I wonder what the punishment is for ringing up the wrong item.

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Last week I had cashews rung up as oatmeal.

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score!

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Pretty much. I even mentioned it, cashier didn’t care.

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Mostly like because she eats it. :slight_smile:
In all honesty, I think it has to do with experience. In many ethnic supermarkets, the cashiers and clerks work there a long time. I have visited a supermarket at Philly Chinatown. I shopped there 7 years ago, and I still shop there. Most of the cashiers are still there from 7 years ago.

You don’t tend to see that a long in regular supermarkets.

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Ha!
I want to buy my “oatmeal” where you shop!
(I figure out it all evens up in the end somehow, although seems it’s rare they ring up anything wrong and cheaper for me…)

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I definitely wasn’t going to argue. It was a $10 price difference, that was a happy skip out of the store.

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I think if they don’t know the produce code, they should at least be able to look it up. Some actually make you go back, look and tell them.

Wow, I’ve never seen that. And I don’t think I’d actually go back; I’d be more likely to just skip that item and make them return it to produce.

Last week I was at the store (the same one with the cashier who couldn’t identify grapefruit) and got an obviously new cashier. Her trainer (an older guy who has been there for years) was standing where a bagger usually does, which is how I knew she was new. She could identify every piece of produce and he knows every code by heart but made her look up several just to ensure she knew how. She was pretty good at it, so I was surprised when he told me it was her first day.

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If you told her and she shrugged it off, there’s not much you can do. At least you get the good feeling of being honest.

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I don’t have any problem with produce or coupons.

My local market even has portable scanners so I can scan as I load my reusable bags. I scan at the register, drop my coupons in the scanner and I’m out.

Sorry it doesn’t work for you. It’s brilliant for me, saving me 15 to 20 minutes on most shops.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr