General Question

mrtomservo's avatar

At Ralphs supermarket, there are items marked with a sticker that reads "Have you seen B.O.B.?" What does this sticker mean?

Asked by mrtomservo (87points) October 7th, 2007

Here’s a picture (and apologies for the poor quality):

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3 Answers

christybird's avatar

I worked at a huge grocery store when I was in high school, and they taught us to use the term “B.O.B” as a weird code word to alert our fellow employees when we thought customers might walk out with some stuff on the bottom of their shopping cart that they hadn’t paid for. (I think it stood for “Bottom Of the Basket” or something like that.) It was supposed to work like this: I notice a customer going through someone else’s line with a huge bag of charcoal and some cases of soda at the bottom of their cart. They don’t seem to be alerting Joanne, their cashier, about said items. From where she is standing, she can’t see these things very well. So I, as a good little minion of the company but not wanting to offend the customer by yelling, “Hey, don’t let that guy out without paying for that stuff,” instead significantly say, “Joanne, have you seen B.O.B.?”

This sounds so stupid you probably think I’m making this up. But I swear it’s true. It’s one of those corporate lingo/employee-speak terms that is strangely degrading. Like the “flair” in Office Space…

It’s possible this is referring to something different, but the fact that it’s a grocery store, and it’s clearly an acronym (B.O.B. instead of BOB) makes me think it’s the same thing.

mrtomservo's avatar

This makes sense, because the item marked was a case of water bottles, which easily could go at the bottom of the basket. I guess it’s more for the employees’ benefit, and not so much the customer. Thanks for the answer!

Poser's avatar

Don’t forget about L.I.S.A. (look inside always), for those items that might be able to hide other items like suitcases and shoe boxes. Not that most grocery stores sell many shoes or luggage, but I worked at a Super Kmart…

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