Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Check-Out Inquisition

Have you ever been subjected to the 'Check-Out Inquisition'? For some reason, I get questioned all the time! If it's not about the kids not being in school during the the normal hours (we home school), it's about what we are buying. Or, not buying!

We have one grocery store check-out girl completely convinced that we are vegetarians, just because I go there mainly for the produce and don't ever buy meat there. She asks me about it every time. I have considered lining up in other lines, but she is super efficient and knows a cabbage from a carrot so we stick with her.

The other day, the inquisition centered around my choice of laundry soap - admittedly, a guilt pleasure. Perhaps I was too sensitive, but in my defense, I was at the store early before the Historian went to work, and I was without children since they were still nestled in their beds. My daily orange juice had not 'kicked in' and my morning meds were rolling dangerously in my tummy.

Clerk: "Oh, you're buying that Mrs. Meyers laundry soap. Did you see that All was on sale for $3.69 - that's less than half the price of this stuff."

Me: "I really like this product, thank you. It's so fragrant and really, a little goes a long way."

Clerk: "There are new scents in the All products too, and they are on sale."

Me: "Thanks but I really like this and I know it agrees with our daughter's sensitive skin."

Clerk: "For $3.69 you could give the All a try, you know - it comes in scent free too."

Me: "No, thank you - I like this product. I know I am spending a bit too much on laundry soap and that I could economize more in this area, but I know it is environmentally safe, it is wonderfully fragrant, and it really works well in my HE machine."

Clerk: "So, you think this is economical?"

Me: "YES!!! For me, it is economical, because I REALLY like it! I don't waste money on beer, cigarettes, junk food, coffee or bingo. I don't buy lotto tickets or gamble, I buy everything I can on sale and get many of our clothes second hand. I sew our curtains, make gifts from scratch, and I try to be frugal, but I really like this soap!!!!

Clerk: "OH! Will that be paper or plastic?"

I didn't loose my temper, but almost! I did apologise as I handed her my money, but what's a girl to do? Since I found another coupon from Mrs.Meyers in my purse that was also expiring, I went back again to get another bottle for the pantry and a different clerk, very friendly, asked if I liked the soap and found it economical!!! I thought, 'Oh no, here we go again.' Thankfully she accepted my 'yes' and moved on!

I think I'm going to have to start praying for patience before I go grocery shopping!

So, what I really need to know is, what is your most interesting 'Check-Out Inquisition'? Or, is it just me?


  1. One time the check-out clerk asked our boys why they weren't in school. When they answered that we homeschooled she asked the little one to spell "school." I held my breath as my 5 year old spelled "school" correctly. Why was I so scared?!?!?

    Terrye in FL

  2. Yes, we used to always get the "why aren't you in school" questions. I'd always say..."but we ARE". :)

    I'm learning so much more about the "real" cost of what we use. In the long run, I not only enjoy the aroma of using Mrs. Meyers products but it is so much better for my family than the chemicals in things...just because they are "cheaper".

  3. I HATE, HATE, HATE being asked for my zip code when I check out. You don't need my zip code to take my cash. I finally decided I'm going to start telling them (in the Midwest) that my zip code is 90210. Since I decided that, I haven't been asked.

  4. Oh dear! LOL Really now, I think you should try ALL. It is quite nice! ;-)

    At my local Meijer, there is a check-out clerk who talks non-stop. You don't have to listen, or even act like you're listening. Nothing discourages him from talking! You don't have to respond to what he's talking about. He will keep on talking. Once I was in line and he started talking about origami to the lady in front of me. After she was through with her order, she walked away while he was still talking. He then directed his one-way conversation to me.

    Another time I was in a different line, and the customer in front of me remarked at the non-stop chatter of her co-worker. She sighed and said that he never stops! I didn't enjoy being in his line, but I didn't think about his co-workers having to hear him as he prattled on all day long!

    (He is NOT efficient, and if I see that he is the checker, I do not go to his line!)

    LOL @ Prairie Princess!

  5. I guess as Canadians we are generally too "polite" to talk to each other in lines or whatever. Usually the most one gets from a checkout person is "will this be all?" "did you find everything you were looking for?" or my favourite "do you have a charge account with us? would you like one?"

    I'm totally with prairie princess on the whole zip/postal code thing. My postal code is not necessary in any transaction and while I know it is supposed to be used for marketing purposes too much of personal information is out there. Perhaps I am being paranoid, perhaps not.

    I have to say though your restraint was pretty good Heather. I am afraid I would have said something rather sarcastic along the lines of "usually we don't bother with laundry or bathing and this will last us a very long time probably a year or so which would be quite economical, don't you think?" or asked her if she had shares in All. Admittedly sarcasm is an area of my life I have made great strides in in overcoming but it does pop out at inopportune times sometimes ....

    Anyway the point of this ramble is that I think you showed great restraint in the face of rude inquisitiveness.

  6. That is really rude! What business is it of hers what soap you buy! I think next time you could try changing the subject rather than trying to defend your choice.

  7. Thank you all for your comments - I will try to remember to change the subject next time - she was just like a dog with a bone though, so I'm not sure I could have made any inroads into another topic!

    I don't think well on my feet, and as I drove home I had a few other answers rolling about in my head, but of course I didn't want to go back in! I decided it wasn't worth the effort!

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gets these questions!

    I hate the phone number or zip code question too - and I hate that the stores that offer specials only with their Plus Card know everything that we have bought - I blame it on having to read '1984' in school! Big Brother and all that! I know they are tracking my purchases, but I can't give up the savings - last week it was $26 on one small order!

  8. I went to a certain store once because their cereal and eggs were on sale. I walked up to the register with 7 boxes of cereal and 2 cartons of eggs. The girl rung up all my items and then turned to me and stared as if waiting for something. I held up my bills a little higher thinking maybe she didn't see my money in my hand. She looked at it and then back at me and asked if I was on WIC. I told her no, sort of looking around for some stray child that might have looked as if it was with me. She said that since I was pregnant and buying things that WIC pays for she just assumed I was receiving the assistance. The issue here is that I wasn't pregnant. But, rather than embarrass this clueless girl further I just kept quiet.

  9. Oh Bethanie - how awful! Especially when you are waiting on the Lord to bless you with children. You were kind not to point out her mistake, but I'm sure it took great restraint.

    I do hope the young clerk has learned to think before she speaks.

  10. Oh goodnes!!! I am so sorry that this lady was so rude!!! We've been through several "inquisitions", too. Why were our children not in school, what in the world do you do with "this" vegetable (referring to TONS of different kinds of produce that you would THINK they would know since they do work in a grocery store), your daughter looks Chinese, why didn't you adopt from America? we have lots of children here that need families, too..... and on and on and on....


    I would LOVE to try Mrs. Meyers. There is nowhere around me that I'm aware of that sells it. I'm going to have to keep an eye out!!

    Mrs. U


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