Things You Should Not Say To Me While Ringing Up My Purchases

There are so many instances where I’ve nearly left a pile of drool at the checkout line because my mouth was gaping open, shocked at the audacity of people and the things they say. So much so, that I felt compelled to share the list of what customer service people should never say to me (or anyone else) at the register.

1. Do not tell me how to parent my child. If I wanted your advice, I would ask for it. And if I’m asking for advice, I’m probably not going to solicit someone who I don’t know, doesn’t know my kids, or someone who may not even have kids of their own. Seriously – I’m sure you are just the “best auntie ever”, but if you don’t have kids of your own – you really shouldn’t be handing out parental advice. (The only exception to this would be if you are a teacher.)

1.b. Don’t parent my child for me. This has happened to me only twice. Both times a person attempted to tell my son what not to do. (He was eyeing the candy and the clerk told him no.) I laughed. (And no, I didn’t buy the candy.)

2. Unless you are 1000% sure – do not comment on what a “big boy” my baby is (when she is in fact a girl in head-to-toe pink!) Just say how beautiful my baby is and move on.

3. Do not comment on the price of an item. As in, “Whoa! You’re gonna pay how much for that?!” No lie. This actually happened to me, over a pair of $40 jeans. Umm. You work here. At the place that sells the jeans at the price you are balking at. Why the shock?

4. Do not make judgments out loud about anything I am buying. Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion. I just don’t need to hear yours when you feel critical or morally superior.

5. Don’t ask weird questions. Questions like, “Wow. you have a lot of vegetables here. And all organic. You some kind of health nut?” How the heck am I supposed to answer that? “Why yes, I try to be a super-wacko!” Good grief!

6. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not tell me your life’s story. I am sure you are a very sweet person and working retail is VERY hard, I know. But these two minions in my cart have a limited attention span. If we don’t speed it up, I’m seriously going to have an aneurism.

7. Yes, 15-year-old customer service rep, they are feminine products. No I’m not really embarrassed, but I can clearly see that you are. I’m sorry. It’s part of life. You’ll get over it.

8.  Please don’t tell me to do your job for you. At the Navy Exchange there are a few customer service reps that sit while ringing up customers. I don’t have a problem with that. I used to be a bank teller, I know long days on your feet are rough. But there is one rep, (the one I avoid like the plague) who is rude and actually said, “I’m too tired to get up and reach your stuff. Put  your stuff closer to the scanner.” It was literally inches from her hand. I almost laughed. Then I realized she was dead serious.

9. Please don’t check your phone in the middle of our transaction. I think it is very rude for customers to talk on cell phones while simultaneously treating the person behind the counter as if they are a robot. It’s obnoxious and demeaning. I keep my phone off and I expect you to do the same.

1o. Do not act as if I don’t exist. I am a person, too. Please don’t have a conversation with a co-worker and ignore me entirely.

I won’t be rude to you, you don’t be rude to me, mmmkay?

What crazy things have you heard while being waited on at the checkout line?


6 thoughts on “Things You Should Not Say To Me While Ringing Up My Purchases”

  1. Mine is similar to your #1. My 4 year old still needs to wear nighttime pull-ups. My husband and I were also trying to conceive a few months ago (I’m 27 weeks along now 🙂 ). So I had a package of pull-ups and a box of pregnancy tests. The lady behind the counter asked me how old was my daughter. I told her 4 and she felt compelled to say that she should not be wetting at night anymore. I would have lost my mind if she had said something directly to my daughter. Lucky for her she chose not to do that. Then she saw the pregnancy tests and to my horror commented on that too. “Hopefully the next one will do better at night.” O_o


    1. Oh my word. I cannot believe the audacity of some people. Wow. I would have had a hard time biting my tongue. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me from saying something (and then regretting it later) is the fact that my littles are always listening!


  2. Hi There Curly Mama of 2,

    Number 8 is a common pet peev of my girlfriend and I. The best way to counter it is leave everything to be rung up in the shop and walk out. I was close to doing that in the Old Navy in New York. They’ll soon get the message. Having to reach for our own receipt was the biggest no-no.

    I don’t mind number 4 as long as it isn’t too leftfield. You don’t want to feel guilty about what you are purchasing.

    Number 7 just made me laugh. 🙂 Number 10 occured to me in the New Yorker hotel. The comment was “Deal with this customer” at the travel desk. Class.


    1. I’m always amazed by what customer service reps consider acceptable behavior! I love the “leave it all at the counter and walk out” idea. I just may have to use that! Thanks for reading 😉


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