Gransnet forums


Why do they do it?

(103 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Mon 11-Sep-23 12:32:26

I had to go to M and S first thing and it seems so did a lot of other old grans. I queued behind a nice lady of a similar age who only had a small shopping. What a mistake. She let it all pile up before searching for bags and slowly packing as she chatted to the lad on the till.Then she produced some papers and found money in an envelope which he dealt with. Next she wanted to pay by card for the rest but seemed unable to scan it. The boy did it for her after 3 tries.Then she had to rearrange the things in her handbag and finally put her shopping back in the trolley.
Why can't people be ready to pack as you go and have your card ready?Rant over.

Poppyred Mon 11-Sep-23 12:35:23

Oh I know! I always end up at the wrong checkout! I do try and be patient….but when it’s a good 5 minutes down the line…..😡

Aldom Mon 11-Sep-23 12:41:44

This lady sounds like my friend who has dementia. She still goes shopping but it's a slow process round the supermarket and at the till. Life is so very difficult and confusing for her.
The patience of fellow customers and helpful shop assistants are enabling her to carry on being independent, for the time being.

Baggs Mon 11-Sep-23 12:48:54

This lady sounds like my friend who has dementia.

This ⬆️

Granmarderby10 Mon 11-Sep-23 12:57:00

Indeed kircubbin2000, humans are apt to be imperfect🤗
I never rush customers as there is certainly nothing to rush for on my part.
Do unto others etc ….
I’m sure “the boy” has encountered worse, or will do if he remains employed in retail.

Theexwife Mon 11-Sep-23 13:05:23

I know that I am not a patient person therefore use the self-scan tills.

I recognise that this is a fault of mine and understand that some need to take extra time but I know that I would probably start tutting loudly which would be unfair. When it comes that I need extra time I think all tills will be self serve.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 11-Sep-23 13:07:54

I always strive to be patient with those in front of me at the supermarket checkouts or any other situation which involves payment.

My reasoning is I have no idea of the persons personal circumstances, how they are feeling etc., it could be me one day.

wildswan16 Mon 11-Sep-23 13:14:10

I just try and remember that somebody might be going home and not interacting with another human for the rest of the week. (and that I may very well be that person in a few more years).

I only get annoyed with the "young" people who wait until they are on the bus to find their bus pass or correct screen on their phone with which to pay. They've only stood at the stop for 10 minutes with nothing to do.

Georgesgran Mon 11-Sep-23 13:18:51

If they made picking the wrong queue an Olympic event, I’d get a gold medal.
However, I agree with GG13
There but for the grace of God?

M0nica Mon 11-Sep-23 13:25:53

Why is the age group of this woman relevant? There are slow disirganised shoppers in every age group - and superfast well rogaanised ones as well.

twiglet77 Mon 11-Sep-23 13:28:16

Self scan every time if it’s just a few bits, or certainly for a big shop, use a handset to scan as you shop (if possible - not all stores have the facility) and pack into your own bags on the way round. It’s such a waste of time to drop groceries into a basket or trolley, unload them onto a checkout, and then pack them. Why handle everything three times in store when once will do?

For those arguing that self-scan costs jobs - I disagree. I worked in Waitrose and all staff are till trained, just as all staff are trained on replenishing shelves. On a busy weekend morning all 14 checkouts would be manned and have queues, on a quiet evening only one till might be open and if necessary extra staff would be recalled from the shop floor. Nobody is employed just as a checkout operator.

kircubbin2000 Mon 11-Sep-23 13:29:50

It's not relevant Monica. It adds a little colour to the post.

M0nica Mon 11-Sep-23 13:34:49

I appreciate your point, kircubbin2000, but it sounds uncomfortably ageist.

Mamasperspective Mon 11-Sep-23 17:42:24

For some people this may be their only interaction with someone else all week. If it's an issue for you, just go through self scan.

CanadianGran Mon 11-Sep-23 17:49:32

I always seem to pick the wrong line as well. My last check-out young lady was so slow. I was trying to be patient, but Lordy, she could use management to give her a bit of training. My patience was tested this time for sure!

One of our grocery stores started one queue during covid for all the tills, then they would flash their light when they were available. I wish they would have kept this system.

Baggs Mon 11-Sep-23 17:51:31


I appreciate your point, kircubbin2000, but it sounds uncomfortably ageist.

Dementia is pretty ageist.

M0nica Mon 11-Sep-23 21:06:25

BaggsThe OP did not say that this lady had dementia. That was a suggestion by another poster.

Dementia isn't limited to the aged. Alastair Stewart's clearly developed while he was still in his 60s, and I have known people to be diagnosed with early onset dementia in their late 40s and early 50s. Others even younger have been diagnosed with it

DamaskRose Tue 12-Sep-23 12:34:55

I always used to try to be patient with older people in queues because it might be my mother. Now I’m patient because it might be me …

knspol Tue 12-Sep-23 12:48:21

I try to be patient because I think it could be me causing the delay in the near future.
The opposite side of delay happened to me a few weeks ago in M&S. I'd scanned Sparks card had payment card ready to pay, packed all my shopping when the very kind assistant told me I had a free gift available through the Sparks app. She told me it was a bar of chocolate, I said it's OK not a worry, I wasn't bothered but she insisted on going to fetch it for me even though there were 4 or 5 people waiting behind me. It was very good of her but I was very uncomfortable and could feel eyes boring into me while she wandered off and came back with my free chocolate - mind you I did enjoy it!

Zoe65 Tue 12-Sep-23 13:10:19

I know we should all have patience with very elderly people at checkouts but surely everyone knows roughly how much it will come to and should either have cash or a card ready .I cannot understand why people pack all their shopping,young and old then rifle about for their card whilst several people stand in the queue waiting .Therescnothing else to do whilst queuing so why can’t you be ready .Lidl and m and s are the worse!

Treacletoffee Tue 12-Sep-23 13:14:26

This could have been my late Mum.
Registered Blind, hearing impaired and lonely- desperately trying to hold on to some sort of normal routine.
This post has made me sad.

Baggs Tue 12-Sep-23 13:24:06

cannot understand why people pack all their shopping,young and old then rifle about for their card whilst several people stand in the queue waiting

Try harder.

I can understand it very easily. If anyone else is waiting at the checkout I have always felt rushed and stressed about packing and paying. Even when I was young I felt this. As a result, I now use self-checkouts whenever possible. This is not because I don't want to engage with people on checkouts; it's because I don't want to engage with or feel the bile of impatient people behind me.

If you pack all your shopping before paying (and why shouldn't someone do that if there's nowhere to take it to pack carefully away from the checkout, which there usually isn't), then you don't have to worry about crushing your eggs or soft fruit and veg, etc. Only people who don't care about squashed food will just chuck it in any old how. Furthermore, checkout workers have to wait until one customer is finished before they start scanning the next person's stuff.

Cultivate some patience, people.

Oh yeah, and getting your bags sorted to receive your shopping takes time too.

Bah to impatience, I say.

Baggs Tue 12-Sep-23 13:26:46

PS I'm nowhere near dithery and doddery yet and I feel this stress. Some of yous are really unimaginative as well as impatient.

Mouse Tue 12-Sep-23 13:30:08

I’m in my 60’s , walk with the aid of a crutch and have arthritis in my thumbs. I know I’m slow at the checkout and slways apologise in advance. I have to say I mostly find other customers and staff very understanding. My daughter is in her early thirties and has psoriatic arthritis which also slows her down. She has her shopping delivered because people make her feel embarrassed at the till if she is slow. I think that’s sad. I think we should all show a little patience and understanding. We don’t and can’t know what problems people have.

SueDonim Tue 12-Sep-23 13:33:21

How can you have your card/cash ready while packing your bags, unless you pack with one hand only? I’ve never fathomed that one out. And tbh, I never watch people that closely anyway.