28 February 2017

TIP TUESDAY: Dealing with Grocery Line Huffers

If you use coupons with any regularity, I’m sure you’ve had run-ins with people I like to call “Coupon Huffers.”

These are the people who get behind you in the checkout lane and then huff, tap their feet, and practically climb over you in their impatience to check out. Huffers may mutter things under their breath like, “Come on, you’re not saving anything,” or, “This is just ridiculous.” If you’re like me and you have a lot of coupons, it only makes things worse.
Here's my experience at Michael's from a few days ago:
I had only two scrapbook items during check out when a lady gets in line behind me. An older cashier rang up one of my items full price but I informed her the item is 'As-Is' (aka: discounted item) so she would have to manually input the sticker price. She was having trouble voiding the item and then inputting in the new price. By this time 3 minutes had already passed and the huffer was already tapping her feet.
Continuing on with the situation: payment. I had a gift card, but it would not go through due to "Card Reader Error". The pin pad wouldn't take it and the cashier's pin pad wouldn't work either (both manually and electronically). The cashier stated she couldn't take my card since it wasn't working. I informed her that she would need to call the manager because it was a gift card that they issued; the huffer rude-fully threw down her items on the checkout and stated she will pay for my items because she needed to get to work at 9:30 am (the time was 9:25 am - I noticed on the checkout screen). By this time, 5 more huffers were standing behind her and one yelled out loud, "This always happens when I'm at Michael's".
I had several thoughts going through my head.
1) If you're going to be late to work, DO NOT come to Michael's and shop around until literally 5 minutes before you have to get to work. If it was work-related items, than it's her problem she waited until last minute to get them.
2) I'm sorry you're getting angry because I'm using coupons and using a gift card to pay and you have to pay out of pocket.
3) Learn some patience because if you were in my shoes, you would want to do the same thing as well. So CALM the fudge DOWN!
4) Do not get huffy with me - the cashier needs to know to call for back up in situations in this.
The manager ended up coming over and ringing up my transaction smoothly. The older cashier, no offense, didn't know what she was doing. Any couponer would tell you to stay away from the "older cashiers", and go for the younger ones.
I used to get intensely uncomfortable when a huffer got behind me. I’d think that maybe I was somehow really inconveniencing them. I’d get nervous and flustered and think that maybe I should stop using coupons to be more fair to those in line. Many years later I realize that was a stupid way to feel. Coupons are put out there for us to use. Stores accept coupons. Therefore, I’m within my rights to use them. Other people have the same opportunity. That they choose to huff instead of clip isn’t something I can do anything about. Sometimes I just want to get in the face and ... well, you know. However, if huffers bother you, I’ve got a few strategies for dealing with them, politely.
Let them go ahead.
If the cashier hasn’t started ringing me up yet and a potential huffer with just a few things gets in line behind me, I’ll ask if they want to go ahead. I’ll wave my stack of coupons to show them that if they decline, they’d better be prepared to wait. Most accept and say thank you. If they decline, well, I warned them.
Direct them to a self check or open lane.
Sometimes when a huffer is showing signs of being really impatient or rude, I’ll casually mention that there is a self-checkout stand open, if they’d like to use it, instead. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in huffing, they honestly don’t realize that other lanes are open. If I point out an open lane and they continue to huff, they’re got no one to blame for the wait but themselves.
Mention your savings.
If I have a huffer behind me, particularly one muttering about how ridiculous this is or how little I’m saving, I’ll make sure to turn and smile sweetly and say, “Wow, I just saved $93 on that order. That’s great.” At some stores, the cashier will announce this for you. I enjoy watching the huffers’ jaws drop. Most huffers truly do not understand the savings to be had; they think they’re being held up for twenty-five cents. I’ve had more than one huffer reform after learning my savings. Some even apologize and congratulate me.
Apologize.
You are certainly within your rights to use coupons, so no apology is ever necessary. However, sometimes a huffer can be diffused with a quick, “I’m sorry this is taking so long. The computer must be slow today,” or some other bit of polite nonsense. The huffer may still be mad but at least they may quiet down, or they may smile and say, “It’s okay.”
I don’t think that most huffers are bad people. Maybe they’re in a hurry or having a bad day. Maybe they just don’t understand how much money can be saved and why it’s worth it to us to use coupons. Whatever the reason, most huffers can be discouraged with a bit of kindness or a polite acknowledgement of their situation. Those that can’t are best left alone or turned over to management. You aren’t obligated to placate a huffer, but it can make the checkout experience a lot less stressful for you if you can get them to calm down.

Dealing With Rude Cashiers When you Have Coupons
Rude cashiers are about as annoying as it gets. Nothing ruins a good coupon hauls like a snarky rude cashier rolling her eyes and copping an attitude. Unfortunately, it sometimes seems like using coupons just brings out the rude cashiers. I am definitely starting to get more of them at Target. I'm sorry... but after the security breach back in November, Target does not need to lose any more customers. Study shows that Target sales have decreased by 40% since the incident in November.

Although it can be tempting, the best way to deal with rude cashiers is not to fight fire with fire. This usually only makes the situation worse and could possibly make you look bad as well. Instead, try these tips for dealing with rude cashiers.

Start By Being Friendly.Some rude cashiers are not normally rude and may just be having an off day. Try starting your interaction with all cashiers on a friendly note. Smile and say hello. Ask them how there day is going or if it has been busy that day. If you have a bundle of coupons, you may also want to give them a heads up. Most cashiers will respond positively to people who make an effort to be friendly.

Be Polite and Stay Calm.I know it can be pretty tempting to go off on rude cashiers, but for your own sake don’t. This is no way to deal with anyone, rude or not, and it probably won’t get you what you want in the end. Even if it does, you’ll end up making yourself look bad. Instead, stay as calm as possible and continue being polite. People are generally more willing to help you when you’re polite and calm.

Call Them Out.Some rude cashiers may not even be aware that they’re being rude or offensive. It doesn’t hurt to bring this to their attention. Instead of being snippy and snide, though, ask them if everything is okay and if you’ve upset them for some reason. And be sure to do it with a smile. I’ve found that this is the best way to calm rude cashiers. I usually end up having a much more pleasant time with the ones who aren’t meaning to be rude, and this also gives the truly rude cashiers a quick attitude adjustment.

Know Your Stuff.Before you head into a store armed with a stack of coupons, you should also arm yourself with something just as important – the store coupon policy. Make sure you read it as well, though, so you know what’s allowed and what isn’t, and don’t try to sneak in a coupon or scenario that isn’t allowed. You can show any rude cashiers the copy of the store’s coupon policy when they argue with you about a coupon that you know is allowed. Having something written out in black and white right in front of your face is a little hard to argue with.

Ask For Assistance.When all else fails, it may be time to to ask for a little assistance. If you run into a very rude cashier, ask politely to speak to a manager. When the manager arrives, calmly explain the problem you’re having. If you question why a coupon is being rejected, ask the manager why, for instance. Managers are usually better equipped to help you, and they may even reprimand rude cashiers, if necessary.