Entitlement Will Cost You

, , , , , , , , | Right | November 22, 2019

I work in a pretty gigantic grocery store. It’s self-service, like 99.9% of all grocery stores. We are also, sadly, located in a very wealthy area.

A woman walks up to the service desk where I work — lucky me — hands me a gigantic list of groceries, and says, “I need these.”

I’m a bit shocked, but I collect myself and hand her list back along with a pre-printed store directory, and tell her that the directory will help her find things. 

She says, “No, I need you to get these for me. I’m in a hurry.”

I try to kindly explain that we are a self-service grocery store and that we don’t have a shopping service and that, furthermore, it would probably take me longer to do her shopping because I wouldn’t know specifically what she wants.

She refuses to accept this and soon my service desk manager is involved, trying to tell her that we can’t do her shopping for her.

She continues to make a big deal about it and insists that we call the front end manager — above the service desk manager. So, our front end manager comes up. She listens to the woman spin a sob story about how her mother is in the hospital, before asking to see the list.

The list is as lazy and generic as anyone can expect. Instead of specific items and brands, she has such things listed as “spaghetti sauce,” “bread,” and, “snacks.” 

We’re now about a half-hour into this lady’s stay in our store.

The manager scans the list, and then turns to me and speaks in a clear, commanding tone, “[My Name], we pride ourselves on customer service here.” Then, her voice drops to a whisper, and she says, “Therefore, in the spirit of customer service, get the best of everything on this list.”

I am normally completely against giving in to the customer, but I catch the front end manager’s drift and decide that I’ll gladly make an exception!

I begin to shop, selecting the most expensive items offered in each category. So, instead of cheaper, store-brand spaghetti sauce, simple white sandwich bread, and store-brand potato chips, I select two jars of very expensive, imported pasta sauce, a loaf of fresh-baked, organic, whole-wheat bread, and gourmet cookies. I fill the entire cart in this manner.

Oh, yeah, and I go really slow — about an hour and a half of shopping. It is a long list after all, and I am making sure to get her the best of everything!

I bring it back up to the desk, where she is just standing there with a bored look on her face, getting in the way of other customers, because she refuses to budge. I give her the cart and tell her she can get in the lines and cash out. 

She scoffs at this and demands to be taken care of at the service desk. 

Normally, we can cash out short orders, but not big ones like this. We don’t have a moving belt and we only have a tiny bag stand. She complains until we finally give in and take her order. Because we are not properly equipped, it takes me about a half-hour to ring in her order.

If you’re keeping track, we’re at over two and a half hours for this lady who was supposedly in a hurry. By this point, I think she’s forgotten about her hurry, and is simply stubbornly sticking to being “right.”

Now, if this were my shopping, the same list would have cost maybe $150 dollars. But due to my… quality… shopping style, this cart of groceries comes to about $1,400.

She starts to argue with me but I cut her off and say, “Have a great day, ma’am. You’d better rush along to get to your mother in the hospital; I’m sure she really needs you now!”

The lady doesn’t seem to know what to say after that, so she just pays and leaves, albeit not very happily. We print up a second copy of the receipt and hang it in the break room on our “Hall of Fame” corkboard.

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