Stressed Out At The Check Out

So when I was growing up, there was a pretty standard exchange that would happen when Mama or Daddy would buy something. It went a little something like this.

1. Mama or Daddy would make their selections, ask questions if they had them, and then place whatever they were buying on the counter.
2. The cashier would ring up everything, then say, “That’ll be $9.42” – or whatever the amount happened to be.
3. Mama or Daddy would give the cashier some money.
4. The cashier would give them change and a receipt.
5. The cashier would say, “Thanks so much for your business – y’all come back soon.”
6. Mama or Daddy would say, “You’re welcome. We will.”
7. The end.

It was so simple. Seven steps. Sure, there were some exceptions every once in a while, but by and large, any trip to the store was a clean and orderly process. Easy breezy.


This past Saturday I went to a store where I shop a pretty good bit (enough that I know the cashiers and the cashiers know me). I needed a few hair care products and some make-up – plus I needed to pick up a prescription. Here’s what happened.

1. I grabbed a buggy and started walking down the make-up aisle.
2. I’d made it about three steps before someone said, “Ma’am, is there anything we can help you with today?”
3. “No – I think I’m good,” I answered. “Just need to pick up a few things on my list.” I waved my list and grinned.
4. “Well, if you don’t mind, when you check out, check out here in cosmetics. It helps us a lot if you do that.”
5. “Oh?” I replied.
6. “Yes ma’am. It really helps us if you’ll check out in cosmetics. So when you get ready, just look for me or the other lady who works in this area.”
7. “Okay – but I have to get a prescription…”
8. “That’s fine! We’ll be here to check you out after you get your prescription.”

Two minutes later.

9. “Ma’am? Are you ready to check out yet?”
10. “Nope – I still haven’t dropped off my prescription.”
11. “Well, be sure to find me or the other lady when you’re ready.”

Ten minutes later. Prescription filled.

12. “Ma’am? Can we help you check out in cosmetics?”
13. “Well, I’m still looking. Just headed over to look at the nail polish.”
14. “Okay – just find me when you get ready.”

Five minutes later, checking out at cosmetics because I’m a pleaser and I didn’t have the courage to go to the regular check-out at the front of the store because I had sort of agreed to check out in cosmetics and oh my word I am a noodle of a human being.

15. “Ma’am, do you have a discount card with us?”
16. “I do, but nothing I’m buying is on sale.”
17. “Well, fortunately I can still offer you a dollar off of all our Sally Hansen nail products today.”
18. “No, thank you.”
19. “Well, I’m going to put a free sample of this moisturizer in your bag. It really does wonders for fine lines, and after about three or four days of use it really resurfaces the skin and gets rid of all those problem areas.”
20. “No, thank you.”
21. “Well, how about a coupon for a discount on this product just in case you’d like to try it?”
22. “No, thank you.”
23. “I don’t know if you noticed up front, but we’re also featuring Buy One, Get One Half Off on some of our Revlon products right now.”
24. “No, thank you.”
25. “All righty. Your total is $36.17.”
26. [swipe debit card, press “not today” when asked if I’d like to donate to charity, then press “no” when asked if I’d like cash back, then finally accept purchase amount]
27. “We hope you’ll shop with us again soon.”
28. Me, in my head: “Oh, ma’am. I don’t think I have the strength.”
29. The end.

I recognize that it’s a tough economy and businesses are looking for new ways to make money – which means that they’re coming up with all sorts of customer programs and discount cards and baskets of candy at the cash register and whatnot. But I would love it – LOVE IT – if I could make it through most purchases without someone asking me if I’d like to sign up for a credit card or receive three free magazines or purchase the deal of the day or join their exclusive member club for the low cost of $20 a year.

Maybe I’m just getting old and crochety. And these are some first world issues, I know (I am so mindful of that, in fact, that I almost didn’t write this post. I totally get that in the grand scheme of life, my frustration with retail selling practices is hardly a blip on the radar of inconvenience). But it just occurred to me over the weekend that I’m increasingly willing to go out of my way to shop at local stores with no discount programs, no up sells, and no incentives at the register – because I find more and more that those stores offer excellent customer service and consistently thank me for my business. Those are little things, I know. But I’m so tired of feeling like my day-to-day purchases just aren’t cutting it unless I earn enough points for the gold level or spin a wheel three times so that I can buy Kleenex for a dollar a box or return to the store in four days with my bonus bucks that will save me upwards of two dollars on something that I don’t even need.

Is it just me? Or does anybody else feel like the up sells / hard sells are a little out of control? I know that it’s not the cashiers’ fault – they’re only doing what their managers ask – but I want to tell those managers (and their managers’ managers, and their managers’ managers) that I’d be a lot more loyal with my business if I weren’t so stinkin’ tired of the fact that when I try to give them my money, it doesn’t seem like that’s enough for them.

And I just needed to vent about that a little bit.

Hope y’all have a lovely Tuesday. And I hope somebody thanks you for your business today. Because that’s a kind and lovely thing for stores to do.

Old & Crochety in Alabama
(who doesn’t want another discount card for the rest of her whole life ever)

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  1. I know. I keep feeling old and crotchety, too. What is the deal? I thought it was just me! Oh, well!

  2. Deanne Robertson says:

    Preach it, sistah!!!!

  3. You are not alone! The upsells are out of control. Leave me alone! See? Crotchety!

  4. Okay, so I totally agree with you. I am sick and tired of being asked at Target if I want to get their card where I can save an extra 5%, and don’t worry it comes straight out of your bank account. Second, I love that you called it a buggy. When I lived in Indiana for four years (bless my heart) my mama, grandma, and I were in Hobby Lobby, and we said “buggy” and the cashier looked at us as if we were from another planet and said, “what did you call it?’ Um, “a buggy” I sweetly replied…… Finally, I just read on your sidebar that you’ll be in Little Rock this weekend, and I just had to let you know that Little Rock is where I grew up! In fact, only about 15 minutes from Ferncliff camp, which i just want to prepare you is in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Little Rock just hasn’t grown in that direction; it’s like a little piece of country, and I still have so many old friends that live out that way. I just gasped out loud, and my husband said, “what?” and I said, “Boo Mama, a blog that I read, you know, the book that I bought? Is going to be in Little Rock THIS weekend!” And he looked at me as if I lost my mind because we have a football game this weekend and there’s no way that I can drop everything and hightail it to my parents house and come listen to you speak. But, I just want you to know that if I could. I totally would!!! Travel safe, enjoy my old stomping grounds. #jealous #wishIwasthere

  5. I loved the olden days. I do not want “the card!”

  6. I totally agree. I have started shopping at as many locally owned places as possible. I want to be left alone during my retail therapy :) and the Lord knows I don’t need another credit card.
    Ps I had an incredibly boring work week and I started listening to all your old podcasts with bigmama. You made my week bearable :) I laughed and laughed at my desk. Reminds me of conversations with my sisters…so much about nothing.

  7. If I put one my store card on my key ring, my purse strap is going to break!

  8. I need some help with all the cards. I have my Capital One card that we pay off every month but we use for the airline miles. I have cards I get punched at the shave ice places so I can eventually get a free shave ice. I have loyalty cards for three different pharmacies, and three grocery stores. I have membership cards to a couple of warehouse stores and a debit card to use there because they don’t take my Capital One card. I have discount cards at a couple of bookstores, a couple of makeup stores, and various other stores of various other types. I have a credit card that I only use at one gas station because it gives me 5 cents off the gallon and another one that I use at another gas station to get 8 cents off the gallon. I have my library card and my kids’ library cards. I even have a card that’s good for a free ear of corn if I buy a half dozen more ears. I can’t even close my wallet anymore and I busted the zipper. I need to have fewer cards in my life.

  9. Let me guess: Walgreen’s.


    and I will buy my nail polish back here if you will just GO AWAY AND LET ME LOOK.

    It’s just that sometimes we want to be left alone to shop in peace.

  10. 3 guesses you were at Walgreens! Ugh!!! I would actually drive another mile out of my way to go to another drug store because of the hassle from the cosmetics counter lady. She actually kept trying to make me change my purchases to a different brand because “she had a coupon” for this other brand!! No … I just want my stuff…& I don’t want to justify WHY!
    Signed, Crochety too!!

  11. I know it is Walgreens! Irks me to no end, but here in Helena it is easier to get I’m and out of.

  12. I immediately said Walgreens when I read this. What is going on with them?

  13. Agree! I’m tired of feeling guilty every time I say “not today” at the Publix check out to that extra dollar or five. Last week, Arby’s asked me if I wanted to donate a dollar to feeding hungry children at the drive thru! I’m all about donating to worthy causes, but not at every cash register where I don’t have a clue where the money truly goes! And those pushy salespeople that follow me around? That’s God’s way of continuing to try & teach me patience & kindness. Most often, I fail, even if it’s in my mind. You are not alone!

  14. Yes, yes, yes. And will somebody please BRING BACK THE PEOPLE to the phones?! These automated systems of “push this… then this… then this.. and keep pushing buttons until you forget the whole reason you called in the first place and want to lose your religion just for trying to make a simple phone call and get some help for crying out loud.” Old & Crochety in Texas.

  15. I think I know the store, location and clerk! (I now avoid that store if at all possible.)

  16. And have you noticed that if you answer “no” when they ask if you were able to find everything? that they just stop. They have not clue what to say or do.

    • You are SO right! That happened to me recently at the grocery store. The cashier asked the dreaded question about finding everything I needed and when I replied that I did not as they were out of 1% milk, she just said, “sorry” and kept scanning. No offer to find out if there was any more milk to be put on the shelf. Proof positive that they don’t REALLY care….

  17. I completly agree. I especially hate it when the cashier asks for a phone number or email address. I bought shoes for my kids this weekend, and when the cashier asked for my number I told her no and she HUFFED at me. Well, I never!

  18. YES!!! Can we PLEASE bring back real people on the phone? I find myself coming home from shopping or getting off the phone with the endless button pushing more and more angry these days! It is exhausting! I believe the store executives believe this is excellent customer service, but it’s not. It’s customer harassment. Where’s a focus group when you need one?!

  19. Oh, I am enjoying such a good laugh!! Reminds me of a shirt my (29-yr-old) son has:
    I told him I thought it was distasteful, until while shopping in a children’s store and being accosted by a sing–song-y sales associate four separate times, I wanted to WEAR IT!!

  20. I agree 100%. I must be getting old and crotchety as well. And I am SO tired of being told about the Target Debit Card. We track our purchases through cash (Dave Ramsey) and they won’t take no for an answer. I feel like I want to wear a sign everywhere that says “Leave me alone and you will get more of my money. I know where to find you if I have a question.” I think that is too long to put on a t-shirt ;)

    • I’m a Dave girl too! I always break into his monologue about how people spend more money when they use cards, yada yada yada whenever the Target checkers won’t drop the issue. Since many of the checkers at my Target are college or high school aged kids, I then take the opportunity to give them tips for accumulating wealth, one of which is to decline store debit/credit cards. Hey, if they are going to give me their speech then they have to listen to mine too!

    • Oh that Target card! I had one through my husband’s card. They sent him the renewal card but not the second one for me. so now when they ask, I tell them exactly why I’m not using the card. they suggest going over to customer service. ummmm, no.

  21. This why I never shop at Walgreen’s. I am a CVS girl, through and through. And I always swipe my card there because you get points that eventually convert into Extra Care bucks. I also am a huge fan of the self-checkout, if that is an option. Unfortunately, my favorite two grocery stores do not have self-checkouts, and neither does Target.

    I also agree with those who said they get annoyed about being asked all the time about the Target debit card. I don’t want to get one of those cards, but I don’t want to admit to the fine people who work at Target that the reason I don’t want that card is because my lack of confidence in my impulse control abilities leaves me in fear that I will inadvertently drain my checking account if I link one of those cards to it. I will just keep paying with cash, thank you very much!

    • Just be careful at CVS. They now include Rxs in their rewards program and will offer to “update” your account but when you sign off on that update, you are waiving your HIPAA privacy rights. Not sure why other pharmacies can offer rewards without giving up your personal health information…really makes you wonder what they truly want to do with the info later on.

      • Interesting…I didn’t know about this. However, I work for a hospital and use the hospital’s retail pharmacy for anything I need (well, and mail-order), so this won’t be a problem for me. Thanks, though!

  22. No doubt this is Walgreens! I quit shopping there and now go to CVS. I like to get a deal as much as the next guy, but I do not want to be harassed when I get a few moments alone to shop! But, once again, you made me laugh which is always a day lifter!

  23. I am ‘old and crotchety’ also. I’m really old and just crotchety at the check outs. Besides being asked all the questions (I still write checks or do cash) what about all the coupons for extra percents off in the newspaper? Why can’t the stores have the same percents off for all shoppers whether they
    have a coupon or not?

  24. Carol S in Florida says:

    THE MALL has been ruined for me for this very reason. I have to go up the stairs down a different aisle and back down stairs just to avoid people who want to straighten my hair, soften my skin, or just ask me a question, give me a free sample, etc. And I LOVE the mall. In my mall the skin people’s kiosk is right in front of Francsca’s. Its an issue.

    • Yes!! It absolutely drives me crazy!!! Do you REALLY think the harried woman with 3 kids has time to stop and get her hair straightened at the mall– really??? Leave me the heck alone! I have contemplated calling Simon and letting him know how it makes me want to avoid the mall at all costs. But sure he would care though ;).

    • We live in an area that gets lots of tourists and I always tell visiting friends, “You must avoid eye contact.” It’s not our normal way because we’re from the South and say hi to everyone who crosses our path, but if your eyes even meet at an angle, you’re going to get moisturized, straightened, or shown 1,343 ways you can wear a piece of material. “It’s a swimsuit coverup! But wait! Twist it this way and you can wear it a wedding!” Just look away. Avert your eyes or they’ll get you.

      • I do the “on the important call” thing and hold my cell to my ear even in no one is on it!

      • We use the “I am on the phone” thing to avoid the annoying person in the office. I know you know her.I don’t care if she feels better….STOP breathing in my space. If I get sick because you came to work sick…………..ALSO. I don’t care how much weight you have lost(Cause who announces that to the entire office?) but you should not be wearing shorts. Trust me on this.
        Climbing off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.

    • Karen Ward says:

      Amen, Carol….

  25. Oh, preach it Sophie! Preach on sister!
    Old and crotchety in N.H.

  26. Oh, Honey, you’re talking my story! I have been known to set my items on the counter and before the cashier can say anything, I will tell him/her that I’m not interested in the store’s credit card. I know….rude…and that’s not my usual style but I just can’t stand them bugging me all the time. Phew! I feel better.

  27. I used to only avoid CVS because I resented THEIR card. Now Walgreens. Now I avoid it as much as possible.

  28. Amen. Worse is the chatty cashier who takes for-sweet-ever to scan each item and has a running commentary about each item. Sometime I’m going to get tampons and condoms and intentionally go through that particular cashier. Bet it would be the fastest check out he’d do all day!

  29. I don’t care for a particular make-up store “S” that you feel like they are stalking you from the moment you walk inside! Also, customer loyalty cards are taking over my wallet!

  30. You are not old and crotchety! Well, if you are, I am too! We just moved out in the country and (get this) we now have to use the big red pharmacy. But when we lived closer to a city, I had a precious, wonderful, family-owned pharmacy that NEVER bothered me. In fact, they knew me and picked up my prescription out of the little basket before I even got to the register. *Sigh*

  31. Sallie Baker says:

    Knew the store as soon as you described. You need to send this post to headquarters, because according to the comments, it is universal!
    In ours, a lady likes to talk to you and ” help” you in the card section! Uh, NO!

  32. Jennifer S says:

    I’m totally with you. Sometimes you just want to get in and get out, without a sales pitch, even without superfluous conversation! Just ring me up please!

  33. Amen.

    Signed, Old and Crotchety in Houston

  34. I’m with you!!! :)

    Old and Crotchety in Bay Minette, Alabama

  35. oh you must have been at my Walgreens. They drive me bonkers. Specifically one cashier and so much so that I now do NOT check out with her. I have worked in sales much of my life and so I get the sales rewards push–but good gravy! Books a Million is by far the worst for me and I don’t shop there very often as a result. I totally feel your pain!

  36. Seriously. Cannot go without all that nonsense!! And it’s frustrating and a time suck. I do not think you are crotchety, I think you are normal!

  37. Yes yes yes. i thought the same thing recently. i went to purchase a $40 Beth Moore cd set at the Christian bookstore and they asked if i would give $5 for a bible for college students. well of course you have to do the Christian thing bc you’re in that store and people are watching you!just like you i wish we could just make a purchase and be on our way.

  38. AMEN!!! and AMEN! I do *love* to save a buck as much–or more–than the next body, but for Pete’s sake, if I haven’t asked you, PLEASE leave me to be and just take my money! And allll the many questions when you swipe your debit….GAH!

  39. Oy, you are so right!

    And even if you HAVE their card….I do have the Target Credit (not debit) card, because 5% off furnishing a house right after our wedding was actually worth it. And it’s probably the place we shop the most after the grocery store. But they don’t even bother to see if I have the card before trying to sell me on opening one. I always have to interrupt the speech with “already have one” and they just look at me like I’m being rude.

  40. Upside Brown says:

    With you, sister. Grieves me to no end. I had a girl at Tar-szjay ask me in 5 different ways if I was SURE I didn’t want the Target debit card … “even if it’s tied directly to your bank account and you can save 5% every time you use it????” To which I replied, “…it’s specifically because it’s tied directly to my bank account that I’m walking away now…”
    Clever tricksters, maybe…but I’m smarter than the average bear.

  41. Amen. I refuse to put those little swipe cards on my keyring.

  42. Amen Sophie! And someone please post if they feel the same way I do about the waiters and waitresses wanting to clear the plates off our table when I’m only halfway through with my meal. I’ve been known to ‘playfully’ swat a hand or two. Just let me finish my entire meal and maybe even have a little bit of time to visit with my hubby before you approach our table, ‘may i clear off some of these plates for you?’ No! Go away and let me enjoy my dinner. Ugh!
    ~Old and Crochety in Kansas

  43. I 100% agree. In fact, I just canceled our lawn service (they only come every 2 months to help with our weed invasion) but they called me EVERY DAY for 13 days to see if I wanted them to “come overseed because it’s fall and it’s the best time and oh while we’re there we can do a free insulation inspection and even check your gutters even thought we really only do grass but then we can convince you to use our sister companies to get more insulation and to clean out your gutters so how do you feel about that grass seed”? and OH MY WORD. It took my 25 minutes to cancel because the lady on the phone just wouldn’t stop talking. I finally told her “Look, I’m not trying to argue. I just don’t want the lawn service anymore. Done. End of story. Goodbye” and had to hang up!

  44. Bettye Edwards says:

    Thank you! You just described my recent visit to Walgreens! Now I know I’m not alone in the irritation I feel!

  45. Argh! I feel the same. I had to shop this weekend and was frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t purchase anything without giving them my zipcode, address, email address, etc. before the actual ringing up of item. hello? I just want to buy this one thing really fast. I am not part of your programs nor do I want to be. This was several different stores! Like I need more coupons cluttering up my mail/email box!? If I like you that much, trust me. I will come back and I will use your loyalty programs but until I make the move, please just let me shop. Please.

  46. Go On Sista!…Don’t they know that we just want to shop?????

  47. YES! YES! YES! I will check out where I want too. And its either overbearingly helpful or you can find no one to help you. Maybe I just looked confused all the time.

  48. Becky in 'Bama says:

    My pain is with my bank (starts with an ‘R’ and ends with an ‘s’). Pull up to the drive through, “Hello, my name is John Doe and I’m going to help you with your transaction today.” Really? Last I checked I drop my check and deposit slip in the box (or tube) and you hand me back a receipt. I don’t need your name; we are not BFF’s and I will be gone in 5 minutes or less and I will never recall your name. Good grief. The bank in our building has a HUGE open reception area. The minute the door swings open (before every whispering closed) the tellers are all “Hello. May I help you?” Seriously? (me) “Why yes, I’m here to rob you…” Not really, but why do they have to holler half way across a football field-size lobby? And if that’s not enough one day I’m walking in and a voice behind me “hello. Welcome to R****s” it was a managerial person. I guess since all the tellers were busy assisting customers, she was the designated greeter. GIVE.ME.A.BREAK. Grouchy in ‘Ham. p.s. – I refuse all offers for cards, rebates, freebies, etc…

  49. LOL! It is all too true. And clearly not a life or death issue I agree but still annoying. What I find just as annoying is the young-ins who check you out at the cashier and don’t even bother to talk to you or it is all overly rehearsed. I consistently go to Trader Joe’s now because those cashiers are wonderful! They are fully engaging and a real treat to shop with. Saturday I went to get an oil change and it was like walking into an altered universe. First of all the tv was set on a Viagra like infomercial (I thought it was a joke at first) and then the guy who checked me out at the cashier had his lines so well rehearsed he sounded like a robot and said them in a mash up of nonsense… I left shaking my head trying to get my reality back in check. Thanks for helping to make sense and humor out of all these ridiculous little annoyances here in the Spoiled World where such things do hit our radar.
    God help us to remember their place in our lives and to help spread cheer in their wake!!

    • Love Trader Joes! My daughter thinks they must have special training to bag the groceries- they can fit a cart-ful into one paper bag! Amazing!

  50. I absolutely agree with you….. but I wonder if the cosmetics lady gets commissions? Because if she does, she probably isn’t even making minimum wage, kind of like some states don’t have minimum wage for people who get tips, so waiters/waitresses make very little hourly wage.

    The waitresses at my little hole-in-the-wall breakfast place deep in rural Arkansas make $2.50 an hour, $3 if they have been their a year. Yes ma’am, in 2013, they make less than what I made as a YMCA summer camp counselor in 1984.

    I just try to be polite as I decline the offers. The only one that really upsets me is the credit card push, but it takes all of half a second to pin that smile to my face as I firmly decline.

  51. I totally agree with all your complaints. I’m a very spry 81 year old lady. I hate walking into Bank Of America and someone almost knocks me down wanting to help me. I don’t want someone hovering as I’m writing out my deposit slip. I’m perfectly capable of handling my own banking business. If I needed help, I’d be sure to ask. My daughter works for Lowes and they are required to push the Lowes card, but she doesn’t do it. She finds it very offensive to nag customers into something they don’t want or need. So far I haven’t been hounded at JoAnn’s Fabric stores. Lots of us use our shopping time as therapy. It gives me pleasure to look at different products. I may, or I may not purchase anything. Just leave me alone and stop pushing your dumb, useless cards down my neck. Don’t mess with prissy old ladies!

  52. Mary in Idaho says:

    Amen and amen. We try like crazy to keep our money locally with the local, small business owner….well, except Pier One. Is there any substitute for Pier One????? My husband calls it the “Chinese Store”. :)

  53. My key chain is ridiculous because I have a discount scan card for about every retail store in Birmingham. The only ones I use with any regularity are my gym check-in card and my library card – but somehow I am afraid to take the other ones off – I am sure there is some satellite somewhere monitoring my key chain’s every move.

  54. Becky in 'Bama says:

    okay, my last rant (for the day any way :) )… the people who ask “do you want a paper receipt or do you want just an email receipt.” WHAT-THE. I want to say, “no way I’m giving you jokers my email address! I’d never get any peace.”

    • When I was first asked this question, I immediately thought I was being set up by security as shoplifting, lol

  55. Andi Hunter says:

    When asked if I want to sign up for a card or give them my email I always say “My husband and I have an agreement about those. I agree not to & he agrees to keep supporting me.” They don’t know what to say to that and it’s (mostly) true. ;) & a pushy salesperson/customer service/sales associate is as bad as a hovering waitress, please just let me enjoy my shopping or dining experience without all the unnecessary/unwanted attention. Crotchety must be in the air!

  56. About 3 years ago I got an iPod for Christmas. I hated the standard ear-buds that came with it and decided to head to a Big Box Store with the Big Yellow Tag (*cough*) to find a new pair of ear phones. I am not kidding….within 3 minutes I was asked 4 different times, by 4 different employees if I needed assistance. At the 4th request I finally said in my most professional-respectful-voice, “OK. Enough. I’ve been asked by 4 different people if I needed help. While I appreciate being asked, this is EXCESSIVE.” I bought my $9.99 ear phones, walked out, contacted their corporate office.

  57. Beth Wilson says:


  58. I knew it was Walgreens on the first question…

  59. Amen! ….and I do not want to log on and take a survey.

  60. Ha! Apparently, you have struck a chord with your readers. I will turn on a dime and walk out of a store if someone does that to me. I’m just looking means, I’m just looking. Also, what happened to the cashier thanking you for shopping in their store? I hardly ever get thanked anymore and when I say thank you, they say, you’re welcome, like I’m doing them a service shopping with them.

  61. Mary Beth says:

    Amen & Amen!

  62. Amen Sister! My goodness retail people…it is just none of your business what zip code I live in or what my e-mail is! I had a clerk get snippy with me when I refused to give her my info. She told me “It is for your benefit that we do this”…sure it is…

  63. gah!!! My husband and I wer

    • Stupid buttons… We were just talking about that the other day. Our CVS drives us BONKERS over that stinking CVS card if we don’t have it!!! I just want my sinus medicine people!

  64. Your singin my song sister!

  65. So, I wonder why we’re all so polite and smile and say nothing when we get so very annoyed by these salespeople? The stores need feedback and maybe if more of us would complain, they would change their policies. I’m one of those who says nothing, but I think that daggum it, I will speak up next time. or at least fill out a store survey or something.

  66. Amen, Sister!

  67. YES. The grocery store closest to my house (so the one I shop at the most because I am forgetful and lazy and always running late to something) has recently started offering a gas card at their gas stations. Well, I already have a gas card to another gas station chain, so I’m not interested in their deal. But every single time I check out, they ask if I have a HyVee Gas Card and I have to say no and THEN I FEEL GUILTY. Why? Why do I feel the need to explain that it’s just that I got a QuikTrip card before they introduced the HyVee card and if I’d only known maybe I’d waited but I didn’t know AND NOW I’M PRACTICALLY SINGING A REBA SONG TO MY GROCERY STORE.

  68. Were you in my town?? Haha, I thought it was just our Walgreens that acted like that. Kind of happy to hear everyone else has to deal with it as well.

  69. Anonymous for the moment says:

    I have been a long-time reader and immediately recognized the chain you are describing.

    As someone who works for said chain, I would ABSOLUTELY say to send in your comments, either to the store manager or to the district manager. The cashier should only approach one time, 2 at most, about making your purchases in cosmetics. You should never be badgered or continuously harangued by a member of the store’s staff.

    I would heartily encourage you to send in your comments! A problem can only get fixed when those involved become aware of frustrations. If you would like additional information about where to send your comments, please feel free to email me directly.

  70. I won’t go to Lifeway anymore because of their hard sell at the counter!
    My friendly Sonic guy annoys me sometime too! I always say “A large sweet tea please and THAT IS ALL!” They always reply with asking if I want some tater tots/cheese sticks!
    Doesn’t keep me from going everyday at 2:00 though!

  71. Sam’s Club. (with fists clenched) SAM’S CLUB!!! Every time I check out, “Would you like to upgrade to a Plus Membership?” Once a young man said, “It will only be $12. C’mon. What’s $12 dollars???” I looked at him and blurted, “It’s 3 gallons of milk, 4 gallons of gas, 5 cartons of eggs….A LOT OF MONEY to someone like me. That’s what $12 is.” I was so ticked as the attitude with which that was delivered, especially at a store where I already pay to shop. (And don’t get me started on that.) I fired off a “leave me alone, for goodness sake” email and got upgraded to a Plus membership for my trouble. And guess what? It’s not worth the upgrade. :) I’m glad I kept my $12.

  72. I agree! It drives me crazy and makes my blood pressure go up. I literally yelled at the lady at Kohls who asked me 20 different times after I already said “no thank you” if I wanted to get a credit card. I yelled as I went out the door ” I said NO and you should not ask me any more after I say NO!!!!”. I went to the car with my hands shaking. It really seems like checking out after purchasing things at a store should not be made into a stressful situation. Drug stores and Kohls….listen up!!!

    • Yes!! I will wait in the line of the one person at kohls that doesn’t badger me over and over for a credit card! And if another line comes open I will say, ” no thanks, this girl is the only one who doesn’t harass me as I’m checking out for your credit card!”

  73. A to the MEN, sophie.
    my daughter worked at walgreens for several years. in defense of the cashiers, they are required to ask but my goodness – some take this task WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. in honor of those that really HATE asking but are trying to please their boss, i just smile & say no thanks. :) and listen – if you just really want to be pushed to your limits, try a furniture store. HAVE MERCY – that’s a whole new level of annoying. :)

  74. AMEN AMEN and AMEN!! I’m pregnant with my second child and can only find pants that fit at Motherhood. Oh, how I LOATHE the check-out process. It truly takes close to 10 minutes to check-out and pay for 1 item. “what is your due date? would you like a free subscription to Parents magazine? what is your email address? will you take this brief survey? on and on and on…” All for a store that won’t give you a RETURN! I try to be mindful that I’m blessed with a healthy pregnancy and child and funds to buy clothes but MY WORD at the upsells! Drives me crazy!

    • Christiana M. says:

      I was WAITING for someone to say something about Motherhood Maternity! So, so true. And at least at the store near me, it’s not just the check out, but the moment I walk in the store. It gets me so flustered to have a clerk follow me through the store commenting on each item I glance at. *shivers* I try to go to that store with my husband so he can fend them off, and I can shop in peace. =P

  75. I was just about to comment about how we always get asked for our phone numbers, too … when I noticed you had 92+ comments! Mercy me! “I have two comments on my blog; oh, and one is mother.” Ha! You make me smile!

  76. I started telling them at checkout when they start asking for my phone number or email – “you can skip all that” – when I saw someone else do it – sometimes the check out person will seem upset or bothered but most seem relieved and just carry on and check me out. I only use card at a kroger or when needed for discount.

  77. You are not alone! I’m so sick of store loyalty cards. Why can’t we all just get the best prices – without the cards?!

  78. I felt that way the last time I went to fill up my car. Paying at the pump used to be a time saver – now I have to answer 101 questions before I can even start the pump. Drives me crazy!

  79. I agree with all said above. But I have also encountered it in health care situations. Every year when I faithfully went for my mammograms, they would ask me to sit at a little table and press buttons to answer questions about the care I had received. Fine. Good. I’ll sit in my little pink poncho and press 1…2..a..c.. whatever. But then…THEN I ended up on the diagnostic side of things and had a biopsy etc and was asked multiple times to do the ‘quick little survey’ after I was done with my ‘procedure’. I kept saying ‘no thanks’ until finally I just said “I don’t want to do your dumb survey..I just want to get out of here!”. It wasn’t a moment I’m very proud of, but gee whiz, it seems like those ladies would realize us girls are going through some stuff and give us breathing room. I am not thankful that I ended up needing surgery, but I’m glad I will never have to set foot in that place again.

    • Wow, that takes the cake. trying to get info from women already under stress. I’ve not encountered that. I believe I would have thrown a real live temper tantrum.

    • I am appalled on your behalf and am personally glad that you put your foot down. How insensitive! Sorry you had to deal with during a stressful time.

  80. I’ve stopped going into Chico’s because of the assault when I go in the door. Twice was enough for me. I do understand the pressure on sales people, but punishing the customer is not the solution.
    And then – there are the “courtesy” calls, like those from my termite company that began two months before my contract expired.
    And I, too, knew you were talking about Walgreen’s. Perhaps someone will send them a link to your post. Actually, they should find it themselves if they are on the ball.

  81. Holy cow, I am so with you on this, sister! I just want to do my shopping without being pestered, make it through checkout in a reasonable amount of time, and have ONLY pleasant, chit-chat in the process. I don’t want to be asked about my weekend plans (these people are strangers to me, and so it just feels invasive). I do not want to be asked to get a credit card, join a frequent buyer program, to supply my phone number or my email address. They have enough dang information about me already! Yes, you did hit a hot topic on this one. Glad you got past the First World fact of our little inconveniences because I feel completely validated in my own annoyance with the pestering.

  82. Saw a link to this post on Springs Bargains and got such a kick out of it. Was trying to guess what store you were at, but am not sure. Anyways, your entire shopping trip sounded so frustrating and I am sure I would have been outright annoyed had I ever encountered such a ridiculous string of interactions. And, what is the deal about how checking out in cosmetics helps them? Do they need to meet some type of quota in that department to keep their jobs??? Thanks for the laugh.

  83. PS: Just read through some comments, and my guess was the same as others – Walgreens! I haven’t ever had an interaction like that there, but I have noticed that if there is a long line at the regular check out, I can go to Cosmetics and get checked out immediately.

  84. I had the SAME THOUGHT this weekend when my father-in-law took our family out to breakfast. He spent upwards of $80 or so on our meal and then the server asked if he’s like to donate $5 or $10 to some charity. My father-in-law is quite possibly the most generous and kind-hearted man on the planet, and gives to plenty of charities/people in need so my husband piped up and said no. It made me mad that my sweet FIL felt the need to explain his decision to the server. Can we not just eat?
    I completely agree with all you said! It can be downright annoying to shop some places!

  85. Amen, sister!

  86. Funny you mentioned this. I ran into Walgreens yesterday to grab a few items. Initially I thought, “Well, this must be a Texas thing.” (Since moving here, that’s an assumption I tend to make.) But then, as the cashier continuously reminded me I could check out in cosmetics & that she would be happy to help me if needed (no less than four times), I thought, “She’s worried about job retention. It’s time for annual review, and bless her, things aren’t looking good.” I was feeling pressured to make quick purchases and almost felt she was following me through the store. Finally, I just casually pushed my buggy around the store’s outside isles and headed to the front check-out. Because I’m a rebel like that. Ha!

  87. It is quota thing. I used to work for said store way back when — oh man, almost 10 years ago now, and it was a thing then too though they have gotten way more aggressive about it in recent years. I always worked the front register or in photo, and those cosmetic ladies would be hassling people to check out there and getting on the intercom saying “There is no waiting in cosmetics.” One time a customer at my register said “Well, there’s not waiting up here either!” When I would cover breaks in cosmetics, they would tell me “Make sure you get people to check out over here!”
    They really do check the stats on it and are trying to have them reach a quota but I have no earthly idea why — they get the money from the sale no matter what so why does the company care where you check out? I even did an assistant manager internship there and still never figured out this quirk:)

  88. Hallelujah and amen. That stresses me out so much. I love shopping at locally-owned businesses with no gimmicks and no pressure.

  89. Sheryl Turner says:

    And now I’ve resorted to using the self checkout lines at our local Walmart (which I do not enter unless necessary). That way at least no one can talk me into something. And amen to everything you said. Just amen.

  90. Christine Taylor says:

    I understand the pain but did you really get a prescription in 10 minutes? WOW I might endue the hassle for prescription service that quick.

  91. Alexa Cacibauda says:

    If that makes you old and crochety, then I’m in trouble since I’m only 20 and feel the same way. Can I just say that I also HATE that they ask, “Are you sure I can’t help you find anything?” FIFTY HUNDRED TIMES? I love helpful people (even though you can’t find one of them when you ACTUALLY need help), but after I say, “No, thank you!” I would love it if they would just walk away. I feel pressured when sales people follow me around! So keep on preaching, sister, because I feel ya.


  1. […] This post by Boo Mama was so right on. I hate being asked if I want to upgrade or donate at the checkout. I donate privately, to places that I’ve selected myself, thank you. I’m here to buy groceries, not save the world. If I really thought the plus membership or special credit card was advantageous, I would already have it. Please just let me check out. […]

  2. […] This post by Boo Mama was so right on. I hate being asked if I want to upgrade or donate at the checkout.  I donate privately, to places that I’ve selected myself, thank you.  I’m here to buy groceries, not save the world.  If I really thought the plus membership or special credit card was advantageous, I would already have it.  Please just let me check out. […]

  3. […] Stressed Out at the Checkout :: BooMama […]