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Be Kind to Supermarket Staff at Christmas - Please

(24 Posts)
dorsetpennt Sat 22-Dec-12 11:07:47

I work on the Home Delivery section of a well known, high end supermarket - we're known for the quality of our goods and the politeness and helpfulness of our staff. Most staff in retail hate this time of year as far as their job is concerned. Shoppers in their rush to complete their Xmas shopping, anxious in case they've forgotten something or worse still wont be able to find it, seem to lose all sense of proportion. The supermarket staff receive the brunt of this with quite outstanding rude shoppers. A few tips: the girl on the till is dealing with hundreds of people this weekend and is doing her best, but do you really need to be on your mobile during the transaction. The staff on the shop floor are doing their best to fill the shelves, but it isn't their fault that things like Hestons Figgy pudding is no longer available due to some people buying dozens at a time. Please be patient when having to queue, there are others having to wait too - after all having to queue nowadays for any length of time is rare. As most supermarkets will open more tills as soon as they can. The Delivery Staff are doing their upmost to get your Home Delivery shop completed and delivered on time. They have hundreds of shops to deliver in a week and you choose to order something in bulk the day before you need it. We may not have a hundred of something on hand but may have to order it which takes a few days. So bear that in mind.
In my supermarket members of staff are putting in 12 hour days, day after day so by now they are pretty tired and thoroughly fed up - so a smile from you might help.
I'm sure there will be plenty of remarks from Gransnetters all saying what a dreadful time they have had in various supermarkets. There are always two sides of a story and in my position I can see both sides. As I too am a shopper. smile

Anne58 Sat 22-Dec-12 11:14:44

I was in my local Waitrose yesterday (still a reasonable quantity of Fggy Puddings, by the way) I use the self scan doo dah and pack as I go round. When I got to pay, the couple in front of me were being a bit off hand with Justine, who was on that till. Her face seemed to light up when she saw me, I was commiserating with her and asking how she was planning to spend Christmas Eve (which is her next day off) when we were interrupted by some querulous old bat demanding to know when the next delivery of brandy cream would be!

dorset I think it still comes back to basic manners! I can appreciate how busy they are and do try to show it.

crimson Sat 22-Dec-12 11:49:13

I was feeling sorry for myself because I only have Christmas Day and Boxing Day [which is my day off anyway] off this year and a friend pointed out that she only has Christmas Day off [works for Homebase; sale starts Wednesday so she has to be in early]. I've always felt sorry for supermarket staff at this time of year [well, any time of year really because I know I couldn't work under that sort of pressure]. I sometimes wish that everything closed down for several days the way it used to. Had some amazing bargains at a supermarket one year on Christmas eve, but this was a long, long time ago. I mean, it's all for just one day. As a family we're just having simple meals on Christmas Day and just chilling out, and I can't help but feel it will continue in future Christmas's. I do wonder what happened to pleases and thank you's these days, and a smile doesn't cost anybody anything, does it smile.

jO5 Sat 22-Dec-12 11:50:17

On a similar subject, does anyone know if it's "proper" to tip an Ocado delivery man at Xmas? They charge a tenner Xmas week, but I don't suppose the bloke gets to see much of that. Would a fiver be about right?

Movedalot Sat 22-Dec-12 11:51:07

dorset how sad that you needed to post this sad I was in our local supermarket yesterday and saw none of the things you mentioned. I backed into someone and of course apologised and she was lovely to me. We all humoured/helped the men who clearly were not used to trolleying around and coudn't find stuff. I had a laugh with the staff when I coudn't find the icing sugar because it was not on the shelf but in a huge display right in front of me! grin. At the checkout we all chatted with each other while we waited and nobody moaned. The assistant and I had a chat as she scanned my things and she said she liked it busy as it made the day go quicker. In the car park another chat as someone waited for me to empty my trolley into the car. They were giving me their £1 and taking my trolley to save me pushing it back to the store. I have been in this same supermarket and watched the assistant taking time to help an old lady with her packing and no one minded waiting one little bit.

I suppose it depends where you live but I won't be moving. smile

Riverwalk Sat 22-Dec-12 12:01:04

JO5 from past experience, they are not allowed to accept tips smile

By the way, Waitrose (as opposed to Ocado) have free delivery.

Barrow Sat 22-Dec-12 12:07:28

I was in Sainsburys yesterday and it was very busy, the only complaining I heard was from a couple who had "parked" their trolley while they went to look for something and when they got back someone had walked off with it - cue numerous announcements asking everyone to check they had the right trolley! (I did wonder why, as it was a couple, one of them didn't stay with the trolley).

Used the self checkout and had nice chat with the assistant

soop Sat 22-Dec-12 12:07:57

jings A kind thought. I would pop it inside a sealed Xmas card. Good will to all men...grin

jO5 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:23:40

Yes! That's how I'll do it. Good idea soop. Thanks. smile phew! Why do such little things get to you?! hmm

jO5 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:24:32

Oh sugar! Just seen Riverwalks's post! Help!!!!

jO5 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:26:17

I can't get on with Waitrose's website Riverwalk. Ocado practically does it all for me. smile

Riverwalk Sat 22-Dec-12 12:31:41

Yes JO5 Waitrose's website is rubbish!

I go between the two websites to see who has the delivery date I want, or I have a 20% off voucher, etc. I tend to order at short notice.

I've gone with Waitrose over the past year, in the main, because of the free delivery.

Ella46 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:33:39

Good will and good manners to all, and can I just mention some others who have to work long hours and Christmas Day, Boxing day etc.....police, fire paramedics, bank clerks and bar staff, most of whom don't get fantastic pay!

A cheery smile and a thanks goes a long way smile

kittylester Sat 22-Dec-12 12:38:58

Yesterday, I stood behind a woman at the till in Sainsbury's - on her phone the WHOLE time.

Then I went to the kiosky bit to buy a lottery ticket (well, one can hope!!) and stood behind a woman buying an enormous amount of cigarettes who was on her phone the whole time! It happened again while I was paying for my petrol!

Then I went to the bank and stood next to a man aged around my age, on the phone for the whole transaction. I've been using the same bank for 30 years so the staff know me quite well but two of them said they didn't know I could get as quite nasty as I did to that man as he turned to leave. [fblush[angry

Of course, he could see nothing wrong and told me to mind my own f*****g business (I don't think the 'f' was for festive!) The cashier told me that they are not supposed to serve people who are on the phone but they then get abuse from the person on the phone and from the others waiting.

Sook Sat 22-Dec-12 13:10:49

The staff at our local branch of Sainsbury's are excellent, nothing is too much trouble for them. They are especially helpful when Mr sook goes on walk about with the trolley and to save Mrs sook from too much gnashing of teeth they kindly summon him back to customer services over their intercom smile

I can't say the same for our local Morrison's staff who are often rude and off hand.

Retail staff do have a lot to put up with re Joe Public. As for people with mobiles attached to their ear lugs I would like to shove the mobile up a place where the sun doesn't shine.

kitty I remarked to DH the other day I seemed to remember that saying and being caught using the F word in public used to result in a fine. Does anyone else remember that?

dorsetpennt Sat 22-Dec-12 13:12:51

FYI Ocado and Waitrose Delivery people are NOT allowed a tip - even if they have trekked several flights of stairs to get to you - sad really as people like to tip this time of year.

jO5 Sat 22-Dec-12 13:29:54

Thank you dorsetpent.

grannyactivist Sat 22-Dec-12 14:55:58

This is a timely thread dorsetpennt - well done for raising the matter. I have been in several shops during the last two days and I will confess that I really don't like shopping and so I have to psyche myself up and make a decision to just go with the flow. I made a point of chatting to the staff and other customers as I was waiting to be served (wasn't in a hurry - I can't do shopping under time pressure or I end up walking away from the trolley and out of the shop) and most staff were quite charming, but received a variable response from customers. I have to say the most pleasant staff, in spite of several irascible customers, were the ones in Poundland. They remained cheerful and pleasant in the face of some pretty grumpy customers. They had nine tills open and every one seemed to be attended by a deliberately unruffled staff member. In fact, I just interrupted myself to send an email to their head office to say thank you. smile

granjura Sat 22-Dec-12 15:06:20

I always try extra hard to be friendly to sales staff at this time of year - and am ashamed to witness how rude some people can be. This phone thing drives me mad too.

Mind you- a young woman on the expat Forum where I live recently complained and asked how to make an official complaint about her GP here. He told her off for texting whilst her daughter was being examined by him at the surgery, and she thought HE was out of order sad

Granny23 Sat 22-Dec-12 15:12:44

JO5 what about some of your famous baking as a present (not a tip) for delivery man? I tend to 'tip' with HM jam or chutney - always appreciated.

Mishap Sat 22-Dec-12 15:19:08

The staff at our local Waitrose were wonderful yesterday - my DD was stuck there as, when she had unloaded her shopping and gone to take her trolley back, the car locked itself with her handbag and car keys in it!!!!!! She was there for about 6 hours, waiting for AA man etc, and the staff took great care of her, providing cups of tea to keep her warm and letting her use their phone to let us know what was happening. Long story, but they have only just got the car back this morning!!! They are planning to serve us the smoked salmon that has been sitting in there at Christmas - I think I will try and find an excuse not to eat it!

Needless to say OH and I were looking after 2 boys (14 months and 4) for the whole of this time, having signed up for an "hour or so" of childcare! We were both done for.

So, yes, let's spare a thought for the supermarket staff - a busy time for them, and most of them are really kind and helpful.

york46 Sat 22-Dec-12 16:07:12

Our Waitrose staff are brilliant! However, one year whilst shopping on Christmas Eve in different supermarket I joined the (very) long basket queue. When it was my turn to be served a surly young woman pointed to a small notice stuck behind her till which read "5 items only". I had six!!! I pointed out to her that this notice could only be seen when you reached the head of the queue but she still wasn't happy. Rather tongue in cheek I said that if felt it necessary she should could always remove one item from my basket so that I had only five. And she did! Needless to say, I have to be pretty desperate to use that particular supermarket. I stick to Waitrose.

dorsetpennt Sat 22-Dec-12 17:21:12

I think Gransnetters must be really nice shoppers judging by all this. 'Our' staff are great and although this is my retirement job [I'm very part time]I am proud to be working there .
I'm off to for three days to spent Xmas with my family so have a wonderful Christmas everyone - hopefully you in the West Country and Wales a drier one. smile

Ariadne Sat 22-Dec-12 17:39:13

Having had a big Sainsbury's delivery and a lovely morning pottering round our eclectic town centre with my daughter, we then found we'd both forgotten enough for one of us to have to shop a little today. I won, and was at Asda at 7.00 - still operating by North Kent shopping rules, where the car park would have been full by 7.15! How nice to arrive, in the pelting rain, to see about 30 cars. Had a lovely wander round, got everything we needed, and was home by 8.00. Brilliant. smile And the staff were just lovely, but then, they usually are. Not my favourite shop, but so handy...