Shopper ignoring express checkout limit

| 15/10/2017

On Saturday night I was at the supermarket and was only buying five things so went to one of the “seven items or less” queues. However, the person in front of me had a full basket and there were lots of people waiting behind me. The checkout person just kept scanning, even though it was clear the shopper was way over the limit. I stood there quietly stewing not really knowing what to do without starting an argument. In the end I waited, said nothing and eventually got through. What would you recommend I do the next time this happens?

Auntie’s answer: For one thing (and please don’t take this the wrong way), I would suggest that, unless you have a food emergency, you never attempt to go to the supermarket on a Saturday night. Between the full car park and the packed aisles, it is what I consider a nightmare shopping experience to be avoided at all costs.

Therefore, I am not surprised that you encountered that selfish person clearly ignoring the whole point of an express checkout because that was more convenient for him or her.

Since the shopper is not breaking any law, I think this is a tough problem to solve. Making clucking sounds and shooting annoyed glances from the full basket to the shopper and the clerk might make you feel better, but won’t change anything. I suspect this wasn’t the first time that shopper exhibited such inconsiderate behaviour and he or she is mostly likely immune to disapproving stares.

The next time this happens, you could, in your most polite voice, enquire if the person realised that was an express checkout limited to only seven items. Other people in the queue might then be emboldened to chime in, which could lead to public shaming and the possibility they would think twice before doing it again. But, then again, it might not.

I think your only recourse is to complain to management. After all, the store did put up those checkout signs. If you have the time and are upset enough you should ask to speak to the manager. I have approached managers on occasion if I had what I considered a legitimate complaint and found most to be very receptive. It is certainly in the store’s interest to keep customers happy.

I also have spoken to managers to praise an employee, because it should go both ways, and I found most workers in the supermarkets polite and helpful and deserving of a good word.

So, my advice is if you don’t want to confront the person directly or aim your annoyance at the checkout clerk, who is most likely feeling caught in a difficult position, find the manager. When and if you do that, I would be very curious to hear what they have to say. I mean, why have an express queue with a very clear sign of the rules, if these aren’t enforced somehow?


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (35)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    How about the stores program the checkout machines to freeze at the limit. Anything not scanned has to be left behind….

  2. Frustrated shopper says:

    As to supermarkets, I don’t know what’s more annoying, the overlimit express shopper you describe or the everyday annoyance at the “express lane” where people pay for their $4.52 worth of lunch with a credit card, and you get to watch the clerk fumble around, swipe the card, key in some numbers even though it’s swiped, pass the slip to the customer for signing, write some numbers down on her credit card sheet, put the signed receipt in a little plastic baggie neatly clipped to the other receipts and then move on to the next person who does the same thing. A low value credit card transaction in the u.s.a. takes like 2 seconds and is faster than cash. Here it’s a painful eternity. The clown is actually a pretty good mascot, run by clowns.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So l should believe that only expats and so clearly inferred Jamaicans are the sole culprits of such behaviours. What a joke! And Caymanians are so docile, loving, peaceful, law abiding ?. So l wonder who killing each other in East end, West Bay and throughout the country. Who disrespecting and causing trouble in schools. Stay there always blaming others and specifically Jamaicans for infractions of a socially broken society. Turn a blind eye to the deep rooted social ills of your own people. Reaping day coming, let’s see who you going to blame for your problems when you building more jails for the generations to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to have a big chip on your shoulder. I must say that the way in which Cayman has changed its Natives has to feel really bad. The few of us that there is cant even open our mouths. I was just today saying that we need no less than the Hon Jim Bodden to straighten this place out.

  4. frustratedshopper says:

    What about the “trick” of placing your partial shopping on the checkout, then running off to finish your shopping and then coming back to claim your space!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This goes a bit deeper than what you think. People here on this island often point fingers at specific nationalities but rarely declare the basis of their thoughts. here are my two cents. I often experience the same disregard for rules in the supermarket, poor etiquette in cashier line formation. It is correct to say that it is only a minor irritation, not really deserving of a public confrontation, but its just the tip of the ice-burg. Caymanians have been blessed to exist in a comfort zone a degree above a lot of our visitors, that is the major reason why they are here. We Caymanians are typically not aggressive go getters, but in contrast, visitors from Jamaican, Cuba, the Phiillipines, Honduras, Santo Domingo to name a few, are aggressive. They don’t come here because they were bored, they come here with an agenda, to obtain, accomplish what was difficult due to their financial limitations back home. Unfortunately a number of them don’t incorporate scruples in the process. The selfish disregards displayed on express lanes is just one of many self centered acts that we endure. Take a look the next time you come to a traffic junction, the lack of regards to the yellow light, and note what nationality decided that our laws were unnecessary. To be fair, I had notice a particular nationality that had zero respect, even for emergency vehicles, but that was 7-10 years ago, now just about any nationality will show some disregard. This is evidence of the social decay, and indicates what quality of society we will have in the years to come. This problems is actually also present in work place discord, inter-cultural relationships, petty crimes, even in pre-teen friendships, in our schools. I have had the opportunity to experience living abroad, and to notice, even in cultural “melting pots”, a much more well behaved pattern of interactions. What is the deciding factor? The policing. Unfortunately the government body, most importantly, RCIP, is also multi-cultured, and often show biased behavior, especially when combinations of cultures are involved. The rat, misbehaves, because of the sluggish cat. This lack of due diligence trickles down to the express lane problem, and many other “insignificant” policies we have in place. It creates a general decrease in the nice way of life we once enjoyed. These small issues are often disregarded as unimportant but have a tremendous impact of the complete net value of the bigger picture.

  6. A says:

    Publicly Chastise them. Take their picture and upload it to FB and then share, share, share. Then you can join the wieners club.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Remember how Walter White dealt with the obnoxious, loud-mouthed customer at the bank? I truly enjoyed that scene.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i can imagine the nationality involved…….#kissteeth

  9. Anonymous says:

    Say nothing, the people who do this are normally very ignorant and you saying something will probably only frustrate you more due to the attitude you will get in response. These are the same people that park right outside or in the disabled spots. If it is something you can’t control, don’t bother trying to.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      I would have leaned over and said are your cheques still bouncing. I used that to good effect many years ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        Although it would be slander unless you knew it to be true. Just calling them a selfish spoilt xxxx would not be slander, as it would be true.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The inconsiderate shopper hi-jacked the express checkout because they were too impatient to wait in line behind people with over-stuffed carts at the general checkout registers. Go figure!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Point at them and shout “This person is evil they have more than 10 items” repeatedly while they process their shop. Try putting on a quasi-robotic accent for added effect.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I disagree with Auntie – say nothing! The level of ignorance is astounding, and I predict that you would get a verbal lesson from the perpetrator of being wrong and strong. Peacefully wait out the extra 3 minutes in line and drop some cash at the charity bin when exiting the store. You will feel much better for having taken this option.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Try Xanax. Both of you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Happened to me recently, some lady from Trisha’s Roses has a trolley fall of fruit & veg (30 items @ least), says she’s putting it through as 3 transactions but then tells the checkout girl just to keep putting it on one bill.

  15. Anonymous says:

    speaking of supermarkets, another thing that annoys me are people eating fruit right out of the bags inside the store.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Deportation orders are in order for this sort of thing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Stores generally are not allowed to tell a customer no one they have begun to put items on the belt, that is what we are told. Is it really that big a deal, for God’s sake? Will you die if you have to wait a few extra minutes? Go to another line. First world problems make me sick.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it is a big deal. It is that sort of selfishness and rule breaking that is the cutting edge of the break-down of civilisation.

      • Anonymous says:

        agreed. To poster who says big deal about the extra minutes. Okay, then why doesn’t the person who has the over stuffed basket go to the regular line. ARE THEY thinking its’ a big deal to wait a few extra minutes?

        See how that works. Rules are to be followed. But there are a certain “group” of people. Who do not see the logic in rules. Because they care about no one but themselves. Remember pirates of the Caribbean. “take what you can get, and give nothing back” does that sound familiar about this group?

      • annonymous says:

        the clerk should have the authority to direct the shopper to go to another queue if they have more than the limit. The short lines are in place to keep the flow moving for those with lesser items.
        Caymanians have to learn that rules and regulations are in place for good reasons….not there to be an annoyance.

        • Anonymous says:


          • Anonymous says:

            Yes Caymanians…..and others from an island not a thousand miles from here.

            • Anonymous says:

              Cayman Brac?

              • Anonymous says:

                Cayman Brac is one thousand miles away from Grand Cayman? You need to brush up on your geography.

                • Anonymous says:

                  It is not a thousand miles away, which is what the poster said. You need to brush up on your primary school English comprehension.

            • Anonymous says:

              Pretty much all Caribbean islands are not 1000miles from us…

          • Anonymous says:

            I think we are not talking about Caymanians, but another island people.

            • Anonymous says:

              I’ll bet we are…

            • Anonymous says:

              Caymanians too, bobo, but the land of Anancy is the worst for ignoring rules and regulations. Their culture is steeped in how to get around them or just plain pay them no mind.