@the supermarket #PetPeeveStories

You know that those little kiosks that are right outside the area of a supermarket? Yes. Those food stalls outside the perimeter of the cashier in all the supermarkets? There’s one at a Robinson’s Supermarket near our home. After buying my grocery, I noticed that there were some food at the kiosk that I wanted to try – fried vegetable lumpia and turon! I asked the attendant for 3 pieces each. He turned to me and nonchalantly looked at me and asked for the receipt. I was baffled and he said, pay first at the cashier and come back. I turned my head to the cashiers, the queues were already long (there were only 3 registers open) and when I turned back to him, he was busy texting on his phone with his back to me. Really?!? There’s no sign that said that you needed to pay first before you could order. Besides the food stall is AFTER the cashier! It didn’t make sense that I’d enter the food stalls, then go inside the supermarket later and then pay for what I want to order! What if after my grocery, what I wanted to buy at the food stall had ran out and I’d already paid for it?!? I’d queue again to get a refund? It didn’t make any sense at all. So the food stall is owned by Robinson’s Supermarket but that wasn’t the point. The point was that it was not a very bright idea to make people have to queue back to the cashier AFTER they have already left the area. Other people in line will not appreciate it. Second, the logic didn’t make sense. Why will I even pay for something I’ve not even seen, more specifically food? While I understand that this supermarket branch may not have resources for adding another “cashier” just for the food stall (which I doubt), it’s a really dumb idea to make the customer go back to the queue once they’re out of the grocery perimeter already. I guess the reason for doing this was that not a lot of people buy from the food stalls for them to place additional manpower. When I was attempting to purchase food, I and one old lady were the only customers. What the attendant should have done was get our money, go to the cashier, paid for what we wanted to buy and come back with our receipt and change. Or, if that wasn’t his “role” (some employees are just not really proactive. They want to get paid but don’t like to exert more effort at work.), then he should inform the customer way ahead or even proposed to management to make a sign for those who don’t know Robinson Supermarket’s rules “PAY FIRST BEFORE ORDERING”!

I went up to the customer service, ask for the manager and told her that it was not a good idea to make customer queue again AFTER leaving the counters. Her reaction? She started berating all the cashiers and attendant. Like, duh?!?, it’s now their fault?!? I just walked away.

And after that quite long introduction to a scene the other day at Robinson’s Supermarket, here are other pet peeves I have in a supermarket.

1. Children shouldn’t be inside the pushcarts.

There’s a part near the handle of the pushcart that allows you to place your bag or a small child (1-3 years old, well maybe even up to 10 if your child is a dwarf) when you need to go to the supermarket with your (smaller) kid(s). That’s where the child should be. The idea is to keep watch over the child and restrain the child. The pushcart trolley IS NOT a baby stroller. Children who can walk should not be inside the stroller. You don’t know the last place where their feet landed on and you place them inside the pushcart and they’re there prancing and dancing! Then you pass by the fresh meat and fish and you’ve just mixed the turd your kid stepped on with all the food. It’s not hygienic to mix the child inside the pushcart. No supermarket cleans its trolleys! Be considerate of other people who still need to use that trolley. If your child is able to walk (and run) without supervision, make him/walk the whole time or bring a separate trolley for the purpose of lugging him/her around. Don’t use the supermarket pushcart.

2. The list and paying attention

There are distractions everywhere. Which means that it’s always a good idea before you go to the supermarket, to list down what you need to buy! That way, you can figure more or less which alley to begin and where to end. And you’ll end up spending less than what you should.

Many of those who go to supermarket don’t have a check list. What they do is make the trip to the supermarket like a trip to the mall. They go from alley to alley checking out what’s new and take a stroll like the supermarket is a park. And that’s a very bad practice.

Unsupervised children running and screaming around, people who park their pushcarts to chitchat (or text while pushing their pushcarts) and not mindful of other people around them, rowdy people who tag too close to you and run you over with their pushcarts – are common examples of why paying attention to a single task at hand is important.

3. Don’t block the aisles

It’s not the the aisles in a supermarket are the size of your streets. Which means that you shouldn’t leave your carts lying around while you’re off dashing to another alley. Bring the cart with you or park it in a designated area where carts can be left unattended unobstructing to others.

4. Place the merchandise back where it belongs

So you’ve decided not to buy the item. Thank you for leaving it where you picked it up. It’s a bad practice that we just leave a box of cereals jammed in between soap bars. It’s not just about, “that’s the supermarket employees job to put it back where it belongs” attitude. Sometimes this attitude ends up ruining the produce! Some of the items we put in the grocery cart actually get spoiled like when you grab a bag of fresh vegetables and leave them in the canned-goods section. If you decide you don’t want to buy that product, it is good etiquette to put it back where you originally found it.

5. Be considerate at the register

You’ve finally finished shopping. Hurray for you! As you plan to queue at the check out counter, please don’t forget to read the signs.

There’s an express lane for cash payment, less than 10 items only, senior citizens and PWD, and so on and so forth. Please be mindful of the signs! And queue properly. There’s no need to be angry when the place is packed to the brim. After all, you’re not the only customer there.

Speaking of which, if you have a full cart and the person behind you has just an item or two, you may want to make him go ahead of you and help make someone’s day.

6. Don’t park the cart anywhere

As you push your trolley out the supermarket, make sure that you bring back the cart after you’ve loaded what you purchased into your car. Never leave those empty carts in the middle of the parking lot. I see a lot of people who leave the carts behind. This practice predisposes untoward accidents to cars that are parked or are just plain road hazards.

Repetitively I will remind everyone that etiquette is being mindful of other people’s needs. It is being considerate. We can only be a better society if even in the smallest ways we care for others. Otherwise, we deserve where we are today.