I work for the popular Texas grocery store HEB. I take care of the returns and checkout departments. We are the store famous for the "Buy Ben and Jerry's, get cookie dough free" coupon and the crustless bread that buzzfeed made fun of.

I have been there for almost a year, and I am a college freshman. I work in a city that is affected by a plastic bag ban, meaning we do not offer plastic or paper bags at all. Every customer must bring reusable bags. Ask me Anything!

Proof: http://imgur.com/hVA6cEx

Comments: 138 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

Christyx31 karma

I work at HEB in Austin too. Why is there an AMA about it, did I miss something?

ParkieDude2 karma

No one told you about Walmart buying out HEB? I'm probably two days late with that news, should have posted it on April 1st.

bruinsatthegahden-1 karma

lol we sell more baby food than walmart. WE would be the ones to buy out the Austin Walmarts, no the other way around.

bruinsatthegahden-1 karma

You didn't miss anything! I just got bored and made this.

Honestly though, I made this because I have seen a lot of people from mcdonalds do these, and I wanted to try this. I have done a completely different AMA before, but this one is a lot more popular and more fun.

captainchaosofthesea28 karma

HEB is one of the best things about Texas. I just wish they had one out in El Paso. I guess I'm supposed to ask a question soooo: What's your major and what's the best part about working for HEB?

bruinsatthegahden13 karma

My major for school is Sports Management. I am a big hockey nerd, and my second job is actually working for a local hockey team. I currently go to community college, but I hope to transfer to UMass or UTSA in the spring.

My favorite part about working for HEB is the flexibility they have for my busy schedule. I am a very busy person, I work 2 jobs and go to school full time. Luckily, they give me the right amount of hours for me to buy everything I need without me being to overwhelming. I also have arthritis in my feet, and it is hard for me to work 8 hour shifts, and they ae nice about it and typically schedule me 6 hour ones.

I also love the fact that I work with a great group of people. I have met so many awesome people that make my work day a great one. I gets boring standing at a check stand for so long, but the people make it better!

BaneOfTK4219 karma

Well this is kinda weird. I also work for the Stars and I have arthritis (although I have it everywhere but my elbows). So uhh, go arthritic part-time stars employees!

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

HIGH FIVE

Joltfire952 karma

Current UTSA student here. If you can, do it. It's a decent school with some pretty good professors. Plus, we're getting an IHOP ON THE GODDAMN CAMPUS SOON HOLY SHIT!!!

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

That sounds AWESOME! I love breakfast food.

Ezili12 karma

Why does every HEB I go to have 3 of every section.

You're looking for Bacon? Sorry, it's not in this meat section, it's in the other meat section.

You want cheese? We have 3 different places in the store with cheese. I moved to Austin from the UK and expected learning my way around a new supermarket to be hard - no brands you recognise, the layout is confusing etc. But I feel like HEB makes it especially hard!

bruinsatthegahden12 karma

Fellow Austinite right here!

The main reason we have many sections for everything is due to the use of the product. We have a specialty section for cheese, due to parties and wine. Also, the meat market bacon is guarenteed to be fresher than the one you find in the section with the dairy products. Basically, everything is separated in sections of "okay" products and "superior" products. As a returns employee, it drives me bananas.

The layout of the stores depends on the area you are in. I live close to three different stores. One has the WORST layout ever, and the one I work at actually has a layout that makes sense.

Dollaz1 karma

Used to live right off Slaughter and would go to the one off Willam Cannon at least twice a week.

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

I hate the layout of that store. It's random and their parking lot sucks.

SmugSceptic6 karma

Do people confuse HEB with being Jewish?

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

not that I have seen or heard.

Xanaxdo6 karma

Is it heresy to say I actually prefer Dr. B to Dr. Pepper?

bruinsatthegahden7 karma

nope! I actually think the same way. It's basically the same product, but loads cheaper and more Texan.

And yes, I know Dr. Pepper is Texan too.

SenorAnonymous7 karma

And yes, I know Dr. Pepper is Texan too.

I'm disappointed how they screwed Dublin out of the rights to make Dublin Dr. Pepper.

bruinsatthegahden5 karma

DUBLIN SODAS ARE DA BOMB

Joejoejoemoe2 karma

Secret tip, Dublin DP may or may not still be around. Try black cherry.

Ugget3 karma

Whaaaaaaat!? If this is true I'm going to be so happy.

AspektUSA2 karma

You can buy it within a 6 county radius of Dublin, TX.

Usually $3.50/12pk of cans.

It is genuinely elixer vitae

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

We sell Dublin soda at my HEB as well.

AspektUSA2 karma

Not "Dublin Dr Pepper" bottled in Temple, TX. You might have the little 8oz 4pks marketed by Cadbury-Schweppes

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

We actually sell individual bottles in a cooler by the registers. SO GOOD

ShinAkuma1355 karma

Is there a time you guys have the deli cheese on sale? Or is it random? I want like 3lbs of that boars head American.

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

I would't know that, because I don't work in deli, but I see it at random times of the day.

gunsforthehomeless5 karma

hooray for Howard Butts. HEB is my favertist grocery store ever, and i miss it so. is there a central market in your town and is there any classism between central marketeers and regular HEBbies? are you aware that you sell the best vinegar in the world? i mentioned that to someone stocking vinegar once and she told me that a lot of people say that and some buy it by the case.

bruinsatthegahden4 karma

Nope! I go to my local central market all the time. I got there for my special cereal, fruits, and yogurt. Their bulk section is far superior than the typical HEB, and they always have more free samples haha. The only problem with Central Market is that they are not as available as a regular HEB, but if you ever have a chance to go to one, I highly recommend it. It is quite the experience.

Also, I did not know about the vinegar. Which one is it? I might have to try it haha

gunsforthehomeless2 karma

i worked at the second central market in austin, central market south. i did bulk foods. if you think the customers get lots of free samples, it's nothing compared to the employees.

i haven't been in a few years, but HEB has/had 9% acidity vinegar in a store brand. everywhere else only has 5% in any brand. highly acidic vinegar is great for general household cleaning.

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

dude! that's the central market I frequent! The one over in Westgate, right?

gunsforthehomeless1 karma

yah. i haven't worked there in many years, but at one time i was the guy keeping the bulk bins full and running into the back to get your jamaican blue out of the freezer.

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

that bulk section is amazing, they have everything.

including GUMMY COLA CANDY

litsax1 karma

Just piggybacking to comment that the original one off lamar is a whole other thing compared to the others. Go to the one in central austin for the best selection and most knowledgeable staff. They cater towards the nice restaurants around austin, so they tend to have available more niche items, like all proper cheese I use for greek food or a kind of fish or other meat.

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

that one is also competing with the huge flagship whole foods downtown. It's a great store and cheaper than whole foods.

litsax1 karma

Yeah that whole foods is only good for the ice rink that opens up on top during the winter for ~2 weeks. Gf got talked into a wheatgrass lemon juice smoothie... never again

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

Oddly enough, they have great BBQ pork sandwiches there. But otherwise, it's not worth the price if I can go to central market and pay half the price AND use my employee discount.

Invictus504 karma

[deleted]

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

nope!

WebPollution3 karma

Dude! Do they still make those awesome frozen burgers with the bacon and cheese in them? Those were great, but I haven't lived in Texas in like 12 years.

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

I haven't seen them! We do sell frozen burgers though. During our Hatch Chile month, we sell frozen burgers with Hatch Chile and they are super good.

l3orecl2 karma

What is your favorite Spurs HEB commercial?

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

haha! I have actually never seen them, maybe it's because I don't live in SA, but I also don't watch a lot of TV. I'm either always on reddit, working on of my two jobs, or working on something for school.

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

haha! I love it. Plus, those burgers are super good.

Snatch_Pastry2 karma

The ones they show in Houston mostly feature JJ Watt. I don't think I've seen any commercials with Spurs players.

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

It depends on the area I guess. We don't have sports teams in Austin of any significance, so we don't get these cool commercials lol

KeriRussellBrand2 karma

When are y'all going to open stores in Dallas and Fort Worth?

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

I have no idea, but I know HEB is expanding all the time (they are adding a new store in Austin). I hope they do, it would add more profit for their company, because that area really wants an HEB.

KeriRussellBrand1 karma

Yep. I went to high school and college in towns that had HEB stores, and I would much rather shop there than at Kroger, or Walmart, or anyone else. I know there are a fair number of central Texas transplants here in DFW, and we would all love a store close by.

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

I know someone who worked at the Waco store, and they used to get a bunch of people that would travel from DFW just to get HEB haha

bloodpotato1 karma

does the constant fame and attention ever get overwhelming? Would you recommend your path of life for anyone else?

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

Haha I'm not famous by any means, but I will reccomend heb as a job for high school and college students. Great benefits, pay, and flexibility. We have a varsity football player I work with, and they work around his crazy practice and school schedule, and give him enough hours that he wants.

scottymtp1 karma

I like to buy Visa gift cards to get airline miles on my credit card. What is your store's policy?

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

You can buy them with cash or credit card. No checks.

battlecreekintx1 karma

Alrighty sooooo

What is your funniest/worst customer stories?

and what is your biggest pet peeve

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

Funniest: The other day I had a 400 dollar order, and they woman paid me 200 dollars of that in just ones. I laughed as I counted all of them, and they didn't fit into my register. I ended up having to call the bookkeeping and they laughed and said, "are you serious?" as I said I had 200 dollars in ones. Luckily I needed 10 bills anyway, so it was an even exchange. The customer was a bartender working Texas Relays weekend.

Worst: I never really had any major problems, but I once had a customer yell at me for the small minor cigarette ads we have on the back of every register. She said that her small child was the same length off the ground as the ad,meaning it was apparently against the law. She then said "MY kid can see the e cig ads and you need to take them down!!!!!" I told her I couldn't do anything about it, since it wasn't a part of my job, and she then ran to the customer service center and complained about the ads, and also about me. My manager later told me she was nuts, and that he knows I didn't do anything wrong. She also stored an open pack of Raisinettes in the frozen lunch box she was buying and said that it was "damaged" and she needed a new one.

I have a bunch of pet peeves. First, I hate when people overload the produce bag of too many artichokes. Artichokes (and pineapples) are both pointy as hell, and the artichokes have given my friends and I "splinters". It really hurts and I have started bleeding a few times because of this. If you are buying a bunch of artichokes, separate the artichokes in more than one bag, or double bag them. It's for our safety and yours. I also hate when people stare at me when I am ringing up their food, and their things are piling up where the bags are. Must of the time, we do not have enough baggers during a rush. This causes a lot of registers to be without a bagger, causing that cashier or customer to bag themselves. Most of the time, customers just stand there as the items pile up, and then proceed to get mad when their box of stupid knock-off crackers gets crushed, and then they yell at me like it's my fault. I can't do two things at once.

thefueley1 karma

[deleted]

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

what?

lcwii1 karma

Who is the idiot who decided to remove the HEB 4% small curd cottage cheese from the store shelves?

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

not me.

snerhasnerha1 karma

HEB knock off cheez its are the fucking BOMB. Way better than cheez its, I could eat a whole box in one sitting! Unfortunately I moved to alaska and the HEB site doesn't ship up here, know any other way I could get some!?!

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

Cz2, right? HEB and their new shipping service is a little odd, but you can look there, or even try amazon. I don't know if this will work, but call a store and see if they will ship some directly to you, it wouldn't hurt to try! :)

michihunt1 karma

How can I get a product that is not offered at HEB? Specifically McCormick's perfect pinch garlic pepper?

bruinsatthegahden4 karma

I always tell people to either go to a manager at the Checkout area and/or Customer Service Center. They will probably give you a card, which they will hand to the grocery or general merch manager, and they will order the item for you as soon as possible. I had this done for gooseberries once.

Another solution is to see if you have another store nearby. Central Markets and Super HEB stores typically have more specialty products than others. HEB's tend to stock their items based on the area that it is located. For richer areas, you will see more organic and healthier items than ones located on a lower class area.

State_tha_obvious1 karma

I once walked out of a H.E.B grocery store without paying for two cases of beer because the checker just put them in my basket without scanning them. When I got home I saw the mistake after looking at the receipt. I took the 15 min drive back and offered to pay the extra 40 bucks because I didn't want to get the high school kid they employed in trouble and I simply love my H.E.B. When I told the two managers I saw when walking in what happened they said don't worry about it with a smile and said drink one for us....If it was a Walmart I would have stayed home drank to their stupidity.

I just wanted to tell the story but I guess my question is as far as pay/work/home life what is the best department to work for?

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

I would say central checkout is the best. If you need to call in for another department, it makes everyone else screwed, and they aren't as flexible for hours. I'm not bias, but the pay is good, makes my life easier, and I like the people.

I_have_no_username1 karma

Do you have any opinions about grackles?

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

Nope.

GRVrush21121 karma

How's the craft beer selection at your location? When I lived in Austin the selection was terrific, but since I've moved to Houston the availability has been less than stellar at the stores I've shopped... The only good HEB in terms of craft beer I've seen here is the location at 249/Louetta.

On that same note, (other than the downtown location) Spec's in Houston kind of suck compared to those in Austin.

bruinsatthegahden1 karma

We have a great selection at my store! Whenever I cashier people out, I see all these cool cans and bottles, and see all types of different brands. I'm underage, but I am jealous of people who buy all these cool beers.

We sold the famous "Oklahoma Sucks" beer at my store for a while haha

GundhamTanaka1 karma

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

fallentree1 karma

Hi there. What's the deal with people walking down the middle of the isles? I moved to Austin from the northwest a couple years ago. In all my traveling I've never experienced such a lack of skill in sharing space. Furthermore it seems like saying "excuse me" to get around someone is considered where everywhere else I've ever been meandering about with your fat family in the middle of the isle is considered rude.

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

Honestly, I don't know. I drive a big clunky returns cart throughout the whole store and it drives me bananas when I have to basically yell at people to move their cart so I can do my job.

400cc1 karma

I love HEB and shop at my small town store all the time, but your in-store coupons give me fits. They are usually great deals, but deciphering them is unusually hard at times. I seem to have a 20% rate of failure using them since I seem to be grabbing the wrong things. I have worked for many years as a technical writer and somehow I can understand engineering documents but I can't grab the right salsa at the store. Is there some kind of trick to getting the right thing?

It seems like my success is related to the cashier. There is one at my store that will never give me the benefit of the doubt and just seems sick of the job and people trying to use coupons. I have begun to avoid that line when I can. How much control do cashiers have over whether the coupon goes through?

I know this seems silly, but I have social anxiety that manifests itself when I have to buy something. When I was young, I couldn't think about interacting with someone at a store without crying. I'm pretty much over it, but these coupons give me fits. I want to get the discounts, but I spend too much time reading and rereading them and then scouring the store to try to make sure that I am getting the right thing. In the end, I still feel really foolish as some bitchy cashier just stares at me after telling me I grabbed the wrong bag of dog treats that seems to be covered by the language on the coupon. It is almost enough to make me drive an hour to use the self checkouts at a big HEB plus (awesome btw).

One last thing, do you go for HEB or hill country fare?

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

I don't really have a trick to the coupons to give you, just be sure to read the size and brand of the product on the coupon before you tear it off and give it to your checker.

I honestly think it depends on the store and the checker you have. The store I work at has some people be really specific about them, and others are not. For me, as long as you buy the product type it specifies, but if you buy a bigger size, I will still give you the coupon. I will not let the coupon go through for smaller/travel sizes, because it will make a product basically free, and I can get in trouble for that.

If you get the coupons to work well, they make for great discounts. If a majority of the coupons in your store are in the wrong place, the Shelf Edge department is not doing their job, and you can make a complaint directly to the store itself.

And, I prefer either HEB or Central Market products, but I buy pretty much anything, I'm not picky.

Kashmoney01290 karma

Are you voting for Trump?

bruinsatthegahden5 karma

EWWWW Nope! I voted for Bernie!

Kashmoney0129-4 karma

Do you like how much is taken out of your paychecks currently?

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

Just SS tax and Medicare tax. The typical amount that is taken out of a paycheck in the state of Texas. I don't know the exact number at the top of my head though. I am currently alright with it.

And the one thing I don't like about Bernie is the whole free college thing. It's unrealistic and is going to make our country broke. These are my political views here, and if you don't like them, go home.

ZXander_makes_noise-1 karma

Do you work at the one on Red River? If so, how can I identify myself so I can use your employee discount?

bruinsatthegahden2 karma

Nope!

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bruinsatthegahden6 karma

stupid bot.

Azrane-7 karma

Not quite HEB related, but since they have Texas plastered everywhere in the store, it kinda fits. Why is there so much pride for a state with so much ego with seemingly very little substance?

For example, "Don't mess with Texas" is taken (and given) as a veiled threat of retribution when it was just the motto for the state's anti-littering campaign.

I just don't get it. Honestly, I think HEB is the best part of Texas as a whole.

Edit: I've made my point.

Edit 2: I really didn't mean for my question to sound like an asshole. I grew up in a state where the unofficial motto was "At least we're not (this other state)!" in the time of Bush making the US look like a war mongering country. There wasn't a lot to be proud of either way. So that kind of home pride is very alien to me.

bruinsatthegahden3 karma

For someone who has lived all over the country, I have no idea, but we do take our pride in being Texas quite seriously around here. It's quite interesting. However, we don't sell a bunch of Texas shaped products than others might think. I have only seen the Texas shaped cheese and the Tortilla Chips. There might be others, but I have no idea.

I think the fact that Texas has it's own culture and atmosphere explains it best.