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Love_my_doggie's avatar

Do you get (mildly) annoyed when a cashier asks, "Did you find everything you need"?

Asked by Love_my_doggie (10977points) September 4th, 2015

In recent years, there’s been a trend at stores, especially grocery markets. When a customer’s checking-out, with wallet open and ready to pay, and with car keys in hand and ready to leave, the cashier asks, “Did you find everything ok?,” or “Did you find what you’d wanted?”

This seems to be a pointless question. If I’d wanted help, I would have asked a store employee. Am I really going to say, before my exit, “No! I wanted pink kidney beans, but I didn’t see them and had to settle for red kidney beans. Let’s hold-up this entire line of busy people behind me and go searching!”

Of course I don’t get angry at the cashier. He/she’s simply following the employer’s instructions. But, the question seems so hackneyed and meaningless; it has all the veracity of “Have a nice day!” said by rote at 9:30 pm.

Am I the only person who’d prefer to get my change and a polite “thank you,” without this question?

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35 Answers

kevbo's avatar

I get annoyed when five people behind the counter yell, “Welcome to Burgerzone!”

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@kevbo Hilarious! And they yell with such sincerity, don’t they, as if they’re welcoming a dear friend…

There’s just something “off” about feeling processed and subjected to a prescribed formula.

zenvelo's avatar

I do get a bit annoyed, especially if “no, I could not.” And I will say so, and if they offer help, I will reply, “it’s a bit late now, I just paid you.”

longgone's avatar

Not at all. It’s what they have to say.

The words don’t matter much, the flat tone is what saddens me. It makes me feel sorry for them, though, rather than annoyed. Spending much of your waking hours at a mind-numbing, cold and dull place must be horrible.

Buttonstc's avatar

What I find the most frustrating about that useless phrase is that even if there were something I could not find it’s usually an ordering problem. Thus, even if I were to tell the cashier, what on earth could she possibly do about it?

Usually, it’s an item the store normally carries and they’re short on it AGAIN. This happens with amazing regularity week after week.

But cashiers have nothing to do with placing orders and keeping track of things to prevent shortages. So about the only use served by the Q is if someone needs to vent.

But I’m the type who wants to vent to someone who has the power to effect change, namely a manager. So, if I’ve already done that, it’s useless to say anything to the cashier.

They have the wrong people asking the question. Have a manager asking people the same question while they’re bored stiff waiting in line. That makes far more sense.

JLeslie's avatar

A little. I’m not fond of the trend, and I think it was rather pointless too. When I lived in TN two of the supermarkets always asked it, and consistently I had not found everything I needed, so I sometimes answered, “no I didn’t.” It was more than sometimes that I hadn’t, but I didn’t say it every time. It was the most frustrating city for groceries I have ever lived in.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes it is stating the obvious that I would not be in the check out lane if I did not have in my cart what I came to get.

What I do find annoying is them asking if I need help taking my groceries out to the car! I would understand them asking that if I was on crutches or towing an oxygen tank.

For both of these questions I would be interested to find out just how many people reply….no I was too stupid to ask a clerk where something I needed was while I was shopping thanks for asking. Or I had no idea how I was going to manage getting this over loaded cart out to my car until you asked.

Pachy's avatar

Yes, but it’s not so much the question itself that annoys me as the glassy-eyed, robotic way it’s often asked. I never thought about this before now, but it seems to me that I hear these kind of straight-out-of-the-manual employee manual questions more often (or possibly only) at chain stores like HEB and Walgreen’s, and yet I have really pleasant interactions with cashiers at even the biggest retailers, too.

kevbo's avatar

Ha! If it’s a cute girl behind the counter, I’m going to start saying that I haven’t found true love.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I figure that is my chance to vote for a product they don’t carry. Just by saying: “I couldn’t find Limburger Cheese spread in the glass jar. ” I am sending a message up the food chain. It tells upper management they either need to start ordering it, they need to stock it, or, they need additional employees to help customers.

And it cost me nothing.

“Have a nice day.”

jca's avatar

No. I figure they’re made to do it so I can’t be mad at them.

ibstubro's avatar

It’s especially annoying if you didn’t find everything you wanted and you know that telling the cashier is going to make no difference whatsoever.

On a related note, I find it particularly annoying when I walk into a fast-food joint and politely step back from the counter so I can look at the menu before ordering and the order taker insists on screaming at me, “May I take your order?”

chyna's avatar

It doesn’t annoy me when they ask, but what does annoy me is that when I say I didn’t find such and such they either keep checking out my groceries and totally ignore that I said anything, or say that they must be out. I think they were trained to say “did you find everything”, but not trained on how to follow up when a customer says no.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy I’d say not one of the cashiers in my store in TN would know that cheese, and it would fly right out of their head. I gave two stores in my area a list of things I wanted. About 20 items on the list and the majority were brands already carried by the store, they just didn’t have the specific item I wanted. They couldn’t or didn’t get me any of them. Actually, to back track, before I wrote up that list (which was complete with sku numbers and I wrote it about year 3 when I lived there) one item I had verbally asked about came into the store, and the woman I had talked to about it, a woman who does the price changes in the aisles, remembered one day when I was just shopping in the store and told me. She was not a cashier, she was someone who all day long worked finding products on the shelves. It was just dumb luck the buyer started buying the item, it had nothing to do with me.

By contrast, more than one Publix store here in FL has brought in items for me. My new one now that I moved doesn’t have freezer floor space for one of my special order items so they keep it in a back freezer for me.

jaytkay's avatar

If I have any impulse purchases, I say, “Yes, plus I found things I wasn’t looking for. I have skills!”

Anything to change the script. I know they must get bored with the usual patter.

JLeslie's avatar

One last thing. Kroger and Schnuck’s the two grocery stores that always asked me this, didn’t have the capability to suspend a transaction. Even if they had something I couldn’t find, I would have to pay for what I already had in my cart or hold up the line to get the item. In Publix, a store that doesn’t usually pester me with that question, can actually hold my transaction, let other people in line do their purchase, and then go back to mine to complete it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It is a canned line, but if delivered sincerely, the gesture is appreciated.

There are two grocery stores that I frequent. One is a mid-size chain (the one around the corner from where you used to work out @JLeslie) and a smaller store. At the larger one, only the clerks at the counters with a bag person ask this. The express lane and self checkout clerks don’t. At the smaller shop, the clerks do ask and either point me in the right direction, or if no one is behind me, help me locate it. Most of the time though, I’d ask before getting in line.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

No, I don’t find it annoying. At my local grocery store, it is usually the second thing they say (right after “hello” or “I can take you at this register”), and I always tell them if there was something I couldn’t find (or if I just found out that they no longer carry something I buy regularly). I don’t necessarily expect them to hold up the line helping me find it, though. Usually, they just ask whether I’d like to check out and get it next time or if I would like them to call someone up to help me find it (which would involve me getting out of line so that the next customer can check out).

marinelife's avatar

No, I use it as an opportunity to tell them things I wanted and couldn’t find.

jca's avatar

One time, I was at the A&P (which has now filed for bankruptcy and is up in the at to what will happen with the brand and the employees). There were about 5 self serve check out lines open and only one line with a cashier (which I find is a tactic to save labor and simultaneously push you to use self serve). I went to the customer service woman and asked if she could ring me up (I had about 3 items none which had to be weighed). She said “Is there a reason why you didn’t want to wait on line?” I found that a somewhat rude and unnecessary thing for her to say.

Another time, another A&P, I asked the customer service woman “Can you please tell me which ice cream is on sale this week?” She said “You have to look at the flyer.” I felt like saying “Then what are you here for?” but of course, I refrained.

rojo's avatar

As you say, a minor annoyance. More irritating is the machine that totals up the prices in a long string of items then asks you to verify that it is correct. As if I have any idea whether or not it is correct. If I could tally up a string of figures that quick and that accurately I would not be working in the profession I am now, I would be in Vegas making a living at the gambling tables.
Probably just legal mumbo-jumbo required by corporate lawyers.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I never noticed they don’t ask in the express lane. Interesting. I don’t use that line often. That does show some thought. Everyone was always very nice and customer oriented in that Kroger, they all always seemed to sincerely want to help. I shopped there and the one in 64 inbetween I40 and Canada Rd. that eventually moved into the Schnuck’s location across the street.

Coloma's avatar

No, it’s just part of the workers social protocol and most do tend to seem relatively genuine IMO. I think it all depends on your own mindset. If you’re looking for reasons to feel annoyed you will certainly find them. I am a friendly and playful type and often take up the offer for ” help” out to my car at the grocery store for no other reason than to get the bagger out for a few minutes. Infact I joke and tell them that it was my intent to rescue them from the check out counter for a few minutes. haha

It’s all about the energy we project and I always have fun encounters with others. Just yesterday I cracked up a women who was cleaning the restroom in a store as I was waiting to use it.
She came out and said ” Oh, I’m all done now, just wanted to give it a quick 1,2,3. ”
I retorted with ” I just want to give it a quick 1.” lol

She cracked up and said ” You are funny!” It’s my mission in life, to get a laugh out of others and I almost always do. It is never contrived I am just a naturally humorous and quick witted type of personality. Remember, ask not what others can do for you but what you can do for others. Take it upon yourself to make someones elses day not waiting for someone to make yours.

longgone's avatar

Welcome to Fluther, @Love_my_doggie!

kritiper's avatar

Not at all. Besides, the cashier is helping to serve you and generate more sales along the way. A win-win!!!

Berserker's avatar

Would you like fries with that?

Uh…did I ask for fries, dumbass?

sahID's avatar

My local Fred Meyer’s cashiers tend to ask that more or less routinely. I don’t mind because it gives me a feeling of being seen as a live human being.

Most of the time, when a cashier (or whoever) says “have a nice day”, I respond with “hey—have a nice week!”

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@longgone Thank you for your warm and kind welcome.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Nah. One time I gave some ridiculous answer which left the cashier laughing, but I don’t remember what it was.

At our local Goodwill, however, when you walk in the door, the ONE employee they have on the floor screams, “HI! WELCOME TO GOODWILL!” from where ever she is in the store. It’s kind of weird, actually.


Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, I certainly did. I found you.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I need to emphasize that I don’t get annoyed, even the least bit, by the cashier who’s following store policy and doing his/her job. I’m irked that employers force their workers to ask me this meaningless question.

I most often experience this at Trader Joe’s. Just yesterday, I was there. The cashier asked me if I’d found everything I’d wanted. I said, “No,” so she and her neighboring cashier concurrently asked what I hadn’t found. I answered, “K-Y Jelly, diamond jewelry, and the meaning of life.” Fortunately, both ladies had good senses of humor and burst out laughing.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, @Love_my_doggie, I don’t take it out on the cashier, even if I blame the manner in which they asked for annoying me.
If the checker appears to be dumb as a stump, I just say “Yup.”
If the question appears to have sincerity, I’ll say, “I did, thanks.”
If the employee asking the question is chipper or sparkly, I’ll likely comment on the fact that I came in there for X number of items, and bought X, Y, and Z.

Perhaps “Was the store so understaffed that you couldn’t find an employee to help you find something you needed?” would be a more honest question.
“Was there something you needed that you were too stupid to ask someone for before now?” seems kind of, you know, rude, and that’s the way I take the question most of the time.

In reality, the question is probably a throw-back to the Mom-and-Pop days, when selection was limited and Mom could say, “Oh, honey, they forgot the baking powder on the last order and I just sold the last one yesterday. It should be here on Tuesday.” Or the like.

Welcome @Love_my_doggie. Are you acquainted with @heartmypuppy?

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@ibstubro “Are you acquainted with @heartmypuppy?”

No, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting @heartmypuppy. I’d love to be introduced.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ll see what I can do! lol

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