Hi Reddit!

Feel free to ask any question you might have of the "exotic" life of retail. Want to know the worst customers I have witnessed? Or the ridiculous sales my store has put up? AMA!

Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/iEHps

Edit: will take a break front the AMA for a bit, might answer a few questions while I’m off. I will be back to answering more at 4est. Thank you for all of your questions!

Edit 2: I’m back! Fire away!

Edit 3: Thank you for everyone who asked questions or contributed to the discussion! Fell free to leave more questions down below, I will continue to answer as many as I can but I cannot guarantee I will answer all of them. Thank you all!

Comments: 192 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

janga733 karma

What's the most satisfying way of dealing with shitty customers?

someones_dad84 karma

"I hope your day is as pleasant as you are."

Source: 10 years as a front end/service manager

Cappuccino_C20 karma

Damn, I need to memorize that, holy crap that’s good

Cappuccino_C63 karma

The most satisfying way to deal with a shitty customer probably has to go with the fake customer service smile. If a customers words seem like they aren’t getting through to you, then they will get upset or even taken back that you are “that nice”, especially if they are the type of customers who like to stomp all over employees and put them down. Usually they will just forgot what they were complaining about or will leave off with less of an ego they had earlier, which is always nice.

blueboxdriver29 karma

Did you ever catch someone shoplift or do any illegal activity?

Cappuccino_C40 karma

Personally I haven’t seen someone shoplift, but I heard of a story that happened a couple of weeks ago. There apparently was a homeless lady who was just taking items and dropping them off outside for her to take home (edit) wherever she lives later. A couple of clerks notice and inform the store manager. The store manager tells two guys to stand around the entrance to watch her. They see her and grab her, the next part I’m about to say might have been said as a joke. People say she pissed the floor in surprise and slipped out of their grasp. She escaped ( I honestly have no clue how ), and we lost a fair amount of money from that.

Edit: homeless ladies can’t bring food home...

HerrBerg33 karma

You haven't seen someone shoplift, you are a front end assistant manager? How long have you been working there, a week?

Cappuccino_C20 karma

I work weekends for the last (almost) 2 years. It’s more common during the week than the weekend (which I don’t understand since it’s super busy during the weekends). There are also cases where something happens in the afternoon when I work in the morning and vice versa. I’m just “unlucky” when it comes to witnessing this

HerrBerg22 karma

Maybe you're just really naive when it comes to theft, too. There's a LOT of theft in grocery stores. Ever find makeup or battery packages just on that shelf? Somebody stole that shit.

Cappuccino_C6 karma

I haven’t really seen anything like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people smuggled things out. The worst thing I have witnessed was someone forgetting they had something under the cart and walk out, but then walk on because they realized it’s not paid for yet

Foxehh34 karma

There apparently was a homeless lady who was just taking items and dropping them off outside for her to take home later.

wut

Cappuccino_C5 karma

Probably should of worded that better

“For her to take to wherever she lives later”

Oops

conquestofbread19 karma

Why are Market Basket customers the worst?

How come they make their employees wear smocks and ties? And put a band aid over tattoos and nose rings, which looks much sillier than having a nose ring or tattoo.

Why do the stores all look 30-40 years outdated, even locations built recently?

Cappuccino_C5 karma

I agree that the dress code is pretty strict and I’m not entirely sure why, but I think that it’s because of just appearing more uniform with everyone else. The reason why certain people wear smocks or coats is to identify who is upper management and who is just a regular employee (red coats are managers, maroon coats are female front end, blue smocks male front end, etc.).

The company looks lien it is focusing more on building more stores rather than refurbishing old ones. My store was built early this decade and hasn’t changed a bit. We also opened a new store in Fall River a few weeks ago. I feel like we won’t updating anything until it’s absolutely necessary. For example, we had a terrible scale. It would go very slow and would always need to be reset. Even though there were complaints about it, we only replaced after it completely broke down.

Edit: forgot to talk about customers

I think that the customers who are shitty go there because, for one, the prices are already low. Two, they think since the prices are so low they think that they could probably get away with small things, like asking for a discount, the. They get triggered when they don’t get it and voila, shitty customer

Shankbucket14 karma

I know this probably isn't your area of expertise but do you have any tips for people in grocery store meat departments? I just started working in one a few days ago and it takes an absurd amount of time to clean everything in the kitchen in addition to helping customers at the counter. I've ended up staying late every single day to finish cleaning and I can't keep this up

Cappuccino_C1 karma

I do not have any expertise in that area unfortunately. Sorry

StarshipSentinel7 karma

How do you deal with people who go nuts over gluten free stuff?

Cappuccino_C5 karma

I try my best to help them out but I tell them I can’t promise we have everything gluten free.

SoldadoTrifaldon7 karma

The inevitable question: who is the worst customer you have ever dealt with and what did he/she do?

Cappuccino_C27 karma

I have two great stories for this

Story #1

One time I was ringing up a couple and the man forgot his coupons in his car. He goes to grab the coupons while I finish ringing up the order, except, he takes a long time. His wife tells me it’s ok to finish the order and money exchanges hands. Right when I’m giving her her change, the man walks up and says here you go, handing me the coupons. I told him that the transaction was complete, and I can’t ring up the coupons, but I informed them that they can head to the customer service desk to cash the coupons in. He did not have this. He asked me why the fuck I would finish the order if he told me not to, while his wife is frantically trying to calm him down. He starts leaning in on the counter to get close to me while I try to back away (he probably had a foot and +100 pounds on me), but luckily, the manager (who is equally as big) asks what the hell is going on, I explain what happened and he takes them over to cash in his 2, 1$ coupons. The wife did come back though and apologized for everything, she was very sweet.

TL;DR Customer freaks out over me not scanning his coupon after wife said it was fine

Story #2

I was bagging for a cashier who just started out and I was making sure that they were doing everything right. At this time though, I was authorized to leave the register to help people out, especially the cashier. One lady came in with a voucher for the Salvation Army and I haven’t seen one of those before. So I left my cashier alone with customer while I went to the customer service desk to ask what is should do. What I didn’t mention though, was that the customer had a dog. Dogs, as in most stores are not allowed, but we can’t kick then out because if they are service animals without tags, we get sued, hard. So I start heading back and hear shouting, that’s not good. I find out that the lady behind our customer began complaining about the the dog, but dog lady does not take it. They flip out, screaming fuck you to each other and how unsanitary it is to have a dog in a store and how it’s none of someones business to butt into something like that. I put on my customer service smile and try to get her out of the store as fast as possible, while my manager is trying to stop them from arguing with each other. I finish her order and she says “thank you for being so kind and fast with my order, I don’t know how you deal with bitches like her”, and she left. Meanwhile the lady complaining about talks to my manager about why we didn’t do anything about the dog, and he just said “legal reasons”. That was an interesting day. Looking back on it though, it was hilarious.

TL;DR leave lady with a dog for a minute, find out she and another lady are having a screaming match about animals in stores

Edit: (added tl;dr)

TurtlesWillFly7 karma

So I'm planning on taking another job that is a grocery store,any advice?Also how often do you get a migraine?

Cappuccino_C19 karma

The best advice I can give you is to get to know people from day one. Having someone to talk to through the day really helps make the day go by faster and less stressful. Depending on which store you work at, you will see one of two things. Either a madhouse every day, or dead silence. A busy day means it goes faster, but usually results in a headache. A dead day is stress free, but it usually goes slower. And a huge thing to keep in mind, is that the customers WILL make or break your day! A customer can bring you down on your happiest day by being a piece of sh*t, or a customer will make you happy on your worst day.

deeper1823 karma

as a customer, how can I make your day better?

Cappuccino_C3 karma

The best thing you could is to be considerate and kind. Customers need to remember that we are not machines. We get tired and make mistakes, especially new employees. We also stand in the same spot for hours on end, usually with minimal interaction with other people (besides greeting, payment, goodbye). Having a conversation with someone can cheer them up and make their day better.

emacked1 karma

What shoes do you recommend for standing around for 8+ hours in one spot?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

Really anything comfortable. Push the dress code around a little bit. I bought Skechers that had memory foam on them and I’m pretty sure they were against dress code, but no one seemed to care. Things like boat shoes or dress shoes are good looking but are not good for your back or feet for several hours

coryrenton7 karma

which perfectly good items get dumpstered the most?

Cappuccino_C17 karma

It would definitely have to be eggs. If a whole carton has just one tiny cracked egg that is still usable, we have to throw it out.

votedean8 karma

Why? I worked in the dairy department of a couple different grocery stores for approximately 5 years, eventually as the manager. It was never our practice to throw out the whole carton when only an egg or two was broken. We would save the good eggs from that carton to replace broken eggs in other cartons from the same batch. What's the reasoning behind throwing away a bunch of good eggs?

Cappuccino_C3 karma

I’m not entirely sure to be honest

votedean-5 karma

well knock it off. It's wasteful and unnecessary. Unless there's some stupid local/corporate statue that mandates this, do the substitution. Just be sure they're from the same master box (ie, don't mix dates or manufacturors).

Cappuccino_C3 karma

I agree, it is stupid, and a waste of money. I think it’s because we don’t keep extra cartons on hand. Int eh past almost two years of working there I have never stumbled upon empty egg cartons.

votedean7 karma

no, no, don't save empty cartons. Let's say you have a carton where one of the eggs cracked (very common, not usually smashed). Put that carton with eggs aside, and wait until you find another carton from that box with a broken egg. Take a non-broken egg from the first carton, replace the broken egg in the second carton, etc. If the egg is smashed and there's raw egg over everything, obviously that's probably a candidate to be thrown away. Talk to your dairy manager--I bet you he's already doing this. The eggs you've seen them throwing away were probably from a badly damaged case, or old, or something.

Cappuccino_C3 karma

Ah. I see. I haven’t though about that. That’s probably the most sensible response. Thank you!

StarshipSentinel2 karma

Store regs or state regs?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

Probably just store.

AncientWyvernShield5 karma

How do you feel about stockers getting called up to bag / check out? I get that it's part of being a team, but damn my biggest pet peeve as a stocker was getting called up all the time. I signed up for stocking for a reason.

Cappuccino_C4 karma

I think that they shouldn’t be called up on a daily basis but if it was absurdly busy then that would be another story. If there are registers that need to open because the lines are getting too big that’s ok with me but the second we can get them out we get them back to the aisles

r2d2emc24 karma

From across the pond: what's a front end assistant manager?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

Essentially I am responsible for making sure people are doing their jobs, dealing with unruly clients, telling people where to go, bagging and ringing when necessary, cleaning, and a whole bunch of other things

WhiteKoala__4 karma

How much do you make?

Cappuccino_C4 karma

Minimum wage (part time) which is $11 an hour. I also make 16.50 on sundays

DumbConsistency1 karma

11? Find something better. Trust me, it's out there.

Cappuccino_C3 karma

Well I am working part time, and I have school to balance. I am trying to look for better paying jobs though

Dakkonfire3 karma

What's the worst mess you've had to clean up?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

There really hasn’t been a worst mess except for a jar of tomato sauce and grape jelly crashed simultaneously. The most expensive and timely mess was something that didn’t even need cleaning. Some guy outside had a large pack of coke cans underneath his cart. He decided to go fast and get on top of it to entertain his daughter but the the case flew out in front somehow and he ran over it. He ended up destroying a bunch of the cans and I had to empty any of the contents that were left. Took me 20-30 minutes to do so.

Cappuccino_C3 karma

It’s in MA

turnip_ron83 karma

What was one of your worst cases of a mom with her crazy kids?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

The worst case I’ve had is probably a mom who didn’t care about what her kids did. They’re ended up breaking a curtain because they were tugging on the cord, and mom gave no fucks

iaco11173 karma

Do baggers find customers’ reusable bag annoying?

When there’s no bagger, is the cashier supposed to bag? Sometimes it’s awkward where it doesn’t seem like they’re going to at all, and there’s a stand-off. Usually I start thought.

Cappuccino_C2 karma

There are many varieties of reusable bags with their pros and cons. The two ones that I like the most and prefer over plastic bags are ones that fold into a box, and ones that clip onto the cart. I can deal with the other ones but I prefer plastic bags. Usually a cashier is responsible to bag if the bagger is not there, but they usually come back quick. have never seen a regular register without a bagger for more than 10 minutes before

liveitloud43 karma

Do self check outs cause employees to lose jobs?

Cappuccino_C14 karma

My store, surprisingly, does not have a self checkout in any location. I believe that the company does this so customers can always checkout face to face with another person, instead of a machine (which unfortunately can be more harmful than helpful sometimes). From my personal understanding self checkouts do take away jobs. The managers will see a decline in people heading towards regular registers and, as a result, will start paying people off because they aren’t needed as much.

theflamingskull7 karma

Are your baggers properly trained, or do they pack meat on top of vegetables, and/or milk on top of bread?

Cappuccino_C7 karma

We do properly train them, but unfortunately some don’t care. We show them how to properly bag and have someone watch them for their first few hours. If we notice that the bags they pack are terrible or if customers complain, we try and retrain, otherwise we have them do something else like maintenance or carts

CptnTightPants2 karma

Why is it chaotic if it has a manager?

Cappuccino_C6 karma

The reason why this store is chaotic is because of the sheer amount of people that shop here. Holidays are absolutely ridiculous, with up to 10-20 people waiting in line for ONE register! We legitimately don’t have enough registers or man power to deal with these huge amounts of customers that storm in. Even if we have 2 baggers a register, or taking 50+ orders on express lanes, it takes the whole day to clear people out.

DaveIsMyDrummer-32 karma

Then your Market Basket sucks. Mine whips people through.

Cappuccino_C7 karma

How many registers do you have?

MoaXing2 karma

Not a question, but a relative of mine works at Market Basket preparing the pre-prepared meals. Are you in MA?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

Yes

MoaXing1 karma

Southern?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

Northern :(

Lord_Ewok1 karma

Western or Eastern?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

Eastern

username046822 karma

Why are the backend managers always total dicks?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

In my store they haven’t really been that mean. One of them is pretty kind, the other one is more in he middle, but they aren’t complete assholes

Face_Craters1 karma

what's the strangest thing you've ever found an empty box for? (stolen)

Cappuccino_C1 karma

I’m not too sure. I don’t remember seeing any missing merchandise with the box left behind. If I find anything out from colleagues I can let you know

Face_Craters2 karma

alright.

well then what's the strangest thing that you've stolen?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

I haven’t stolen anything but I know that someone would always mooch off free smoothies from one of the cafe workers every day. That is, until he got fired

Face_Craters2 karma

great, thanks for your time.

so then, what's the strangest thing you'e thought about stealing?

Cappuccino_C3 karma

Since I buy lunch from in the store, I always thought “how much would it hurt to just eat this cheap food for free?”, then I pussy out and pay for it because I guilt trip myself

klousGT1 karma

You need to open more registers, why is there 20 registers and only one ever open?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

It really depends on how many workplaces are working that day, and what time of the day it is. Usually we only have one register open from open to 7:30. Then we open several more and get most registers open around 12:00. Around 5:00 we begin to shut people down.

s3trios1 karma

How long do you plan to stay at Market Basket? I see a lot of high schoolers and even college kids are working at the Waltham one that opened about a year ago. I started working the retail gig when I was 14 at the Star Market @ the Prudential location, well it used to be there before it got all changed. Nowadays, seeing how customers are I would just quit on the spot.

Cappuccino_C1 karma

I’m planning on resigning either when I finish high school or college, it depends where I attend university

kodiak0_1 karma

What percent of customers would you say you remember until next time they come, if any?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

Due to the sheer amount of people, I don’t remember a lot. Two I can name off the top of my head is this Irish woman with two kids, and an old couple who like their bananas packed in paper

TommaClock1 karma

What's the difference between a chaotic grocery store and a lawful one?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

Really the chaos is because of the amount of people that come in. We barely handle the lines and there is a lot of disorganization and unpreparedness. It has partly to due with the fact that we only have so many registers and so many people

av8ress471 karma

Were you there during the management boycott? Or whatever that was.

Cappuccino_C1 karma

No I wasn’t, but I would have definitely supported the cause.

shreakingmenace1 karma

So what was the strike MB had a few years all about?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

Essentially, the current CEO at the time was voted to get kicked out by the committee. He was known for being very nice to his employees and cared about the customers more than the company. The person replacing him was the exact opposite of him. No one would have this, so they revolted. The company lost millions of dollars per day and eventually caved in. Many stores still have posters and buttons from the strike tucked away.

shithawksatthediner1 karma

Wassup! So you say your store does ridiculous sales? How much does your store make weekly (on average)?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

I’m not entirely sure. The best thing I can tell you is that a single drawer rings roughly 12,000$ a day. Take 35 drawers Times 80+ stores and you get roughly 30 million in sales. Obviously this isn’t profit because of spending but it is, give or take, the amount of money the stores generate

MrSarcasm241 karma

Oh my god I haven't been to a Market Basket in years since it in in the Northeast, are you in NH?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

No, MA

I_like_code1 karma

Did you go on strike a while back?

Edit: 3 years ago.

Cappuccino_C1 karma

I wasn’t employed at the time for the company but I would have definitely gone on strike with everyone else. I heard the new CEO would have increased prices., reduced wages, and make the company into a more profitable but less appealing place to shop. The current CEO and the one who would have been terminated is very kind and thoughtful to his employees. I even had the pleasure of meeting him in person

es_price1 karma

At my Market Basket I see no one with more a year service badge on except for the managers (who by the way usually have 20 - 35 years on their badges). Does no one make it more than a year or do they never update their service anniversaries?

Cappuccino_C2 karma

It is rare to see people with higher than 1 year. Most people work their for school (as i am) or in between jobs, which results in less time. Usually people lie ave writhing a year or two of working here, especially kids who think that this job will be “fun” when they apply and get disappointed 5 days in and quit

snickles191 karma

which maggot bucket you work at?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

The location I work at is in MA

SirScarless1 karma

Do you prefer the store to be busy or almost dead?

I work as a produce clerk and is say about 75% of the time id rather be busy, because when I'm doing nothing I just want to go home, but when I'm busy time goes much faster.

Cappuccino_C3 karma

It really depends on what I’m doing. Every once in a while I might have to bag or ring. If I am ever bagging or ringing I hope it gets quiet so I can shut Dow the register and do other things. If I am helping out other associates, I would rather it be busy because it’s more demanding and there are more things to do all at once

feromount0 karma

Do you use any Substance or Alternative (alcohol,Drugs,etc...)?

Cappuccino_C1 karma

No..?

[deleted]-2 karma

[deleted]

Cappuccino_C8 karma

Retail is a very unique line of work. Dealing with crappy people, countless issues, bad co workers and such is something retail workers deal with daily. I made this AMA so people who don’t have retail experience can ask questions about it

PM-ME-Y0UR-NUDES-6 karma

How often do you steal?

Cappuccino_C7 karma

I don’t steal, but people who work in grocery get it eat damaged goods, if that counts?

PM-ME-Y0UR-NUDES1 karma

Do you ever intentionally damage food?

Cappuccino_C4 karma

I don’t work in the grocery department so I can’t get way with eating damaged food, but I know that some other people do.

PM-ME-Y0UR-NUDES1 karma

Do you enjoy working there?

Is there another career you're working towards.

Cappuccino_C3 karma

I’m still in school so this is a part time job for me. Hopefully I can find a better job like as a bank teller which has better pay usually while I’m in school. Completely unrelated to retail, I actually want to go into medicine. The job isn’t really that much fun (unsurprisingly) but it is easy money.