Monday, May 14, 2012

Wal-Mart Checkouts

The other day I made a trip to Wal-Mart, which by no means is unusual in any way, but this trip really irked me.

Well, not the trip, but just the checkout.

You see, I went in, got everything I needed, then I proceeded to the self-checkout.  {The self-checkouts usually do not have anyone waiting, and the other registers have long lines, so it only makes sense that I can get out of the store quicker by scanning my own purchases!}

Nothing unusual has happened to this point.  This trip to Wal-Mart seems to be going just as all the others go.

So, I start to scan all my purchases and the Wal-Mart sales associate/cashier {you know, the one that usually stands in front of the self-checkout registers, at the main register, in case the customers have problems}, she is standing about 3 to 4 feet behind me to the right.  I glance over my shoulder to see if she needs something, but she just smiles, or half-smiles I should say.  So, I go back to scanning my purchases, but the sales associate does not move.  She just stands there staring at me, the whole time.  {I can feel the holes that she is burning into my back.  I know you all know that feeling!}

 Since the sales associate is intent to stare at me, I am clumsily scanning the items in my shopping cart, which is slowing me down.  The self-checkout decides it wants to mess up, as it so often does, and I now need the sales associate to log-in, so that I can finish.  Well, wouldn't you know, it only takes her about 2 seconds to get to me, log-in, and I am back on my way.  It ends up taking me about 7 minutes {which doesn't seem like a long time, but if you are being stared at the whole time, it feels like forever!} to complete the scanning process, pay for my items, get my receipt, and leave.

As I am grabbing my bags and receipt, I turn around one more time, and sure enough the sales associate is still standing there, staring at me!  I say my typical "Have a nice day," turn around as quickly as possible, and speed walk all the way out of the store!

Main problems with this situation:
  1. Personal space invasion - There was no reason for this sales associate to be standing so close to me.  There were no other customers around at the self-checkout, so there was plenty of room for her to stand elsewhere {at least 6 feet away is a good distance, unless we are talking}.
  2. No assistance needed, yet - For the first 5 minutes or so, I was not in need of any help from the sales associate.  She could have easily stood at her main register and still been able to see me clearly!
  3. I'm not a shoplifter! - During this brief time at the self-checkout register, I felt like a common criminal.  I seriously felt as if I was doing something wrong, when I knew that I was not.  I felt as if this sales associate had seen my picture on a "Wal-Mart Wanted" poster, and she was making sure that I scanned every item and paid for it all!
If you have never seen the "Wal-Mart Wanted" posters, this is my version of what they look like:
 I am not sure if your local Wal-Mart has these or not, but they are for real!  In my local store, if a person is caught shoplifting or otherwise breaking the law, there photo is taken from the security footage {or a copy of their license or ID}, then posted in the customer service area, so that the associates know who to keep an eye on or who is not allowed in the store!
They even have different degrees of punishment/reprimand for these individuals!  Some of them are just watched while they are in the store, some are followed around, and some are immediately asked to leave because they are not allowed in the store at all.


Gossip_Grl said...

Great Story and yeah I agree on clerks who invade a space. The Walmart here used to have the self check outs. They took them out. Ppl were running out the door with TV's anyway.

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