Sobey's Cashier: Did she cross the line? What would you have done?

Jenn - posted on 04/10/2011 ( 41 moms have responded )

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So i have to post about this because it toally irked me for the rest of the day after it happened. I was at Sobey's doing groceries with my four year old son, Cody and Chanel, my 18 mth old daughter. We got to the cash to pay and the kids where getting cranky and my four year old emmediatly started whining for a "treat" (Curse whoever puts the chocolate bars beside the cash!)...He started having a mini meltdown for a chocolate bar and I was doing my best to ignore him. He was holding the chocolate bar with one hand and pulling on my coat with the other bugging for it. I am on a tight budget so I had everything added up in my head and was hoping I had enough for everything. I told him to stop whining and wait...I wanted to make sure i had enough for my groceries before getting any treats. Suddenly the cashier says "Here, let me see it" to my son. He hands over the chocolate bar to her. At this point i am thinking well she must be going to let him ave it or buy it for hi or somethig. What does she do? She proceeds to ring it up with my groceries and hands it back to him. I was a little taken aback and pretty pissed. My son stopped whining abrubtly and started ripping it open and eating it right then and there. I was sop miffed. I was ready to snatch it back and demand she void it off my order, but i didnt. (Although afterwards I wish i would have)...It pissed me off for a few reasons: Number one: I am on a tight budget and cant afford to buy trteats all the time, but she just assumed i would pay for it. Number two: I dont want to teach my son that whining and throwing tantrums is the way to get what he wants, Number three: Fort all she knew he could have been allergic to peanuts or chocolate for that matter!! Anyways, instead i just finished paying and grabber my kids and left, giving her the stink eye on the way by. It annoyed me so much i honestly contemplated complaining to management, but it just sucked it up instead and let it slide. It bothered me for the rest of the day though...

So what is your opinion on this?? I am overreacting by being pissed by this? What would you have done? Did she overstep her boundaries on this one?? Let me know your opinions ladies,,,

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Jess - posted on 04/11/2011

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I use to be a cashier when I was in high school and I can tell you 100% she over stepped the boundaries !!! If that had been me I would have told her that she had no business adding that to my bill and giving it to my child ! I think you should write a letter of complaint to the store also, especially if you have the docket still because her employee details should be on it somewhere.

The supermarkets pay people BIG bucks to work out where and how to place things like confectionary to get kids to pick it up. Its called Impulse shopping, and its everywhere ! Fruit it usually placed at the entry because its almost always bought on impulse, chocolates are usually directly opposite from a stable requirement like bread or baby supplies and if a register is confectionary free you can bet your bottom dollar that the most expensive children's magazines will be on display at that register. You can't win !

All I can suggest you do in the future is as soon as your son starts kicking off, stop what your doing *even if the cashier has to wait for you*, take the chocolate bar away and tell your son exactly what your expectations are.

As a cashier, it NEVER bothered me to have to wait for a parent to take care of their kids. I've seen PLENTY of chocolate bar melt downs in my time and they are best dealt this with quickly and calmly and with zero input from strangers, because after all no one should be under minding your authority !

Jenni - posted on 04/11/2011

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Oh yes! I'd be P'd off. Totally overstepping her boundry.
First off the check out isles seem to be a debacle for meltdowns. Most of us are *trying* to teach our children good manners at the check out line. I love how they put all the treats in the check out isle. Preying on our childrens tantrums by forcing them to stare at them while we're trying to get our groceries up. It's just plain evil. >:) Evil geniuses, maybe...
What happened to those candy-free check outs?? My grocery store took all the candy out of the check out isles for a about a year! Then they put them all back to the way they were.

Anyways, since you didn't act at the time... I would file a complaint to the management about that particular employee. Way out of line. Now your son is going to be even more determined next time because he got results the last time for the whinning.

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Sammie - posted on 04/13/2011

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So I get the whole "your child may have been allergic" etc... that said, One would assume is he were YOU wouldn't have let him hold onto it. I think you are overreacting.

You said your son opened it, not that she opened it and gave it back to him. I'm sorry but shopping or no shopping, if you didn't want him to have it you should've removed it straight away. I imagine she thought you were too busy getting your shopping out of the trolley and thought she was being helpful by quickly scanning it so he could have it back..

I'm sorry I don't agree but that's how it looks to me. I think a complaint is very unnecessary when she probably thought she was helping you get out of the queue faster!

Marj - posted on 04/13/2011

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I think I would have been PISSED!! Like seriously, what the heck? I think if a cashier would have done that to my daughter I would have taken it away from her given it back to the cashier, (open or not) and told her to void it and tell her to mind her own business. If she would get sniffy then go to the managers and get her fired.

April - posted on 04/13/2011

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1 i would have made her void it and delt with the tantrum to insue. 2 talk to the manager and 3 made her think twice by ringing her neck by saying hey lady do you know me or my kids NO! for all you know he could be allergic to that you could have killed him if god forbid he was. and walked out of the store then she would have felt like s**t i would just as irked as you.

Rose - posted on 04/13/2011

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NO WAY I honestly would report her for that! She crossed the fricken line if it was her kid she could do whatever but to do that is def not right and for that i think that she should have paid for it I know that if i ever did something like that i would say "would you mind if i buy him that treat for you" ya know? its extremely inappropriate to expect the parent to pay for it if shes saying let me make sure i have enough money first

Casey - posted on 04/12/2011

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Yeah I would have been pissed too, she had no right to do that your the parent it's your choice weather or not you buy the treat or not and unless she was planning on paying for it herself then she should not have interferred.

Vegemite - posted on 04/12/2011

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oh yeah i would have not liked this and she would not have liked my reaction. I would have taken the chocolate away from my son, placed it on the counter and told her we wouldn't be buying it. If she had a problem I would have asked for the manager. All while child is having a tantrum. People need to learn to respect others boundaries.

Nohblee - posted on 04/12/2011

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I am so shocked, i would have given her what for and told her he was allergic to it! just to make her freak out, what if the child was allergic and she did that and the parent didnt react or maybe if they didnt even know the child was allergic! its so stupid she thought she could just take over your parenting like that, it sends a very bad message to your child too, i wouldve walked out without the groceries!

Kelly - posted on 04/12/2011

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Oh I would have gone to management!!! I have spent a total of 10 yrs working in grocery store and that is just not cool!!!
Like you said, your child could have had an allergy or something..... Can't believe that she did that.

Meg - posted on 04/12/2011

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Out of line to say the least. Next time, let them know that it is not ok to do that. You are in charge of your groceries and your son. What if your son was just diagniosed with a medical reason not to have chocolate (my son has a food allergy that excludes it) and he was not use to not having it. Management needs to know that her behavior was unorifessional and unacceptable.

Meg - posted on 04/12/2011

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Out of line to say the least. Next time, let them know that it is not ok to do that. You are in charge of your groceries and your son. What if your son was just diagniosed with a medical reason not to have chocolate (my son has a food allergy that excludes it) and he was not use to not having it. Management needs to know that her behavior was unorifessional and unacceptable.

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I would like to think that I'd tell her to shove it and void it... but I am often far to meek to be able to. I would have at least taken it up with the manager. It was extremely inappropriate. It was obvious that you weren't going to buy it.

Bridgette - posted on 04/12/2011

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I woulda been alot more than Miffed and the manager woulda been involved. She was WAY over her boundarys! She made the assumtion you would let your child steal it. I live with this kind of bs every day in California. I told a lady at a museum I wanted the 100 dollar membership - Its close to home and that way my kids friends would be free like us. She gave us the 60 dollar one even though I told her, I looked the whole thing up online and wanted the other membership. There may not be a next time going there because I am angry.

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I really don't want to be a jerk, but, honestly, I think you are overreacting. The cashier was trying to do her job and get you out of her line and on your way, not parent your child.

She probably didn't realize you were undecided on your purchase of the candy bar, but, as you were standing in the checkout line with an item in your hand, she assumed you wanted it.
Maybe next time you could stop the whining by telling him no, and putting the chocolate back, and diverting his attention (give him a quarter and let him get something from the gumball machine, maybe), or explain that he has to wait, instead of ignoring his fit.

Charlotte - posted on 04/12/2011

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OMG! I am truly shocked! I think I might of exploded if I were you! How dare she! And without even asking you first! After all it's you the mother and you who's paying the groceries! She really did overstep the line. I'd go back and complain to the store manager.

Emma - posted on 04/12/2011

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sorry about all the typos, my keyboard is a littly shifty after my girl gets anywhere near it :D

Emma - posted on 04/12/2011

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I worked at a suermarket many years befor my daughter came along, and in this situation i found it best to say something along the lines of 'If you like i could put that through now, if that migt be easier for you' not take it f your son and ring it up, especially if she had heard you say no, or even shake your head. I havent had to deal with that kinda thing yet, but i woud have more than likely been annoyed as well. Next time id suggest possibly having a quick word with the supervisor at the main counter. Sometimes they have feedback cards at the main counter as well, you could always take one home, wait til you have 'simmered down' and let the company know. This has been my approach to 'bad' sales staff recently.

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i would have told her off, she has no right to make that decision for you! who the hell does she think she is!!

Stephanie - posted on 04/11/2011

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Maybe you would have dealt with a tantrum but I definitely would have pinned her with a wth were you thinking stare as I told her to void it... for all she knew he could have been allergic to chocolate! And I would have certainly asked her if she made out all her customers grocery lists or just mine? She had no right to make that kind of decision. It also would have been wise to ask her boss if the store handles situations like that... It is not up to them to decide things like that for you!!

Bri - posted on 04/11/2011

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i would talk to the manager anyways. that cashier doesn't get to decide that your child can get that candy bar, it's not her place to do so.

Kiera - posted on 04/11/2011

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I feel you with the tight budget, being in a one income family means I also have to be very careful with the little money we do have and that also makes me extremely stressed, I personally would of lost it at her and would have used all my will power to not slap her, your absolutely right your child may have had an allergy so what she did could of been very dangerous, you have every right to be angry

Amanda - posted on 04/11/2011

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I would still report it to the manager. Even if you don't remember her name. Just make it very general and tell the manager all of the concerns you stated here.

Momof1 - posted on 04/11/2011

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Yeah, that is really wrong. I mean, you never said your son could have it, you said you would see if you had enough money. I totally understand about being on a budget. I would complain to a manager. All your reasons are valid. I never heard of such a thing.

Jenn - posted on 04/11/2011

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Yes i still have the reciept WITH her name on it, i just found it in my purse so i will be writing them an email...

Jenn - posted on 04/11/2011

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I just wanted to say that I really appreciate everyone's feedback on this matter, it makes me feel better knowing that i wasn't overreacting and many would have felt the same. I have decided that I am going to send an email to Sobey's management. I will keep you posted if I get a response. Keep the feedback coming:)

Charity - posted on 04/11/2011

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I think it was a case of miscommunication if he had the chocolate bar in his hand and you clearly didn't take it away from him she probably thought you were going to buy it for him, she possibly didn't hear you say no you can't have it and maybe saw that you were a little frustrated from the tantrum that he was throwing there. I wouldn't agree with her telling him he could eat it, but you said she handed it back to him and HE opened it and started to eat it not that she handed it back to him opened or told him he could eat it. I have been shopping many times when my son gets to pick a treat or a prize for good behavior,that he is holding at the register and the cashier takes the item rings it up and hands it back to him so thats where I get my view of miscommunication.

Melissa - posted on 04/11/2011

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I would have handed it back and said sorry my son can not have that but thanks for assuming he could and making things worse!!

Bonnie - posted on 04/11/2011

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I would have been pissed off for the same reasons you are and I likely would have told her off right then and there. Even if it was already opened, I would have said to her, "oh are you planning on taking money out of your own pocket to pay for that because i'm not?" I love how strangers like to make decisions for you when it comes to children *NOT*.

Shannon - posted on 04/11/2011

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I would've been completely furious at the audacity of the cashier, but being who i am i would've waited until she was completely thru with ringing up my order and shorted her a dollar and said well you see the chocolate that YOU politely gave my son wasn't in my budget soooo thank you for buying that for him. I have never had to deal with a tantrum at the checkout line, i curbed those early in life with small steps. I cannot tell you how many times i was in the middle of shopping and had one of my 4 start to show signs of a tantrum and i walked away from the cart and out the door to the vehicle with stunned children, because i refused to allow them the satisfaction of a public show. I can now go shopping with 3 kids aged 6, 4 and 2 (the 2 yr old is a little one i babysit) without fear of a tantrum or meltdown. My older 2 are 15 and 12 and have been out of the tantrum stage for a while but they still know that i will walk out with any sign of attitude and it will be an extra day before i get their favorite snacks lol

Tracey - posted on 04/11/2011

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I wouldn't have given her a damn penny for anything I was buying until she removed the chocolate bar from my total purchase - you did not authorize the purchase of the chocolate; the cashier took it upon herself to add it and she was in the wrong to do so without asking you first!

However, there was possibly a lack of communication too - you did not respond when the cashier rang the chocolate bar in and handed it back - she had no idea what you were thinking/intending and by voicing that "no my son isn't getting what he wants" may make you feel like a bad mom (which is not so) it also keeps you in control of the situation.

Stifler's - posted on 04/10/2011

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She shouldn't have done it. Like you said she has no idea whether he can have chocolate or nuts and you clearly didn't want to buy it for him either since you didn't just give it to him when he started whingeing.

Hope - posted on 04/10/2011

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Wow. I agree with you that she over-stepped her boundaries. I would have told her that I didn't want my child to have that candybar and ask that she void it off my purchase. You could call management of the store. Its not like she was making a comment of wether or not your baby was dressed warmly enough/ over dressed etc. Like you said, your child might be allergic to that candybar. I'm glad that he's not allergic to it and he's ok. I would have been pissed too if I were you.

Jane - posted on 04/10/2011

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she was out of line and i would definitely put in a complaint. obviously what you were doing was part of your parenting strategy. never in a million years would i think of it any other way. and i would have had her void it. if that woman has any kids, they're proably a bit off like her if that's her approach on how to handle children - just give them what they're whining for so they'll be quiet.
you were right and you should make a complaint if you want to. it's not her job to make parenting decisions, it's her job to ring in the groceries that are on the counter.

Kristin - posted on 04/10/2011

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i'm a big fan of writing letters lol.
don't want to complain in person? just write a letter or email. that always takes care of it, plus you might get some coupons out of the deal.

Tinker1987 - posted on 04/10/2011

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I would have most definetly make a stink about this. actually i would have made her take it off my bill. open or unopened!

Jennifer - posted on 04/10/2011

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She's definately out of line. whether she was trying to be nice or not, she needs to be told not to do it again. I would definately talk to management (they should be able to tell who it was by you receipt). Just make sure you are nice about it, and let them know you think she just needs a friendly reminder to ask the parents first.

Amber - posted on 04/10/2011

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I also like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I wouldn't have kept my mouth shut.
I would have told her that unless she's paying for my groceries, she doesn't get to decide what she rings up and what she doesn't. I also wouldn't have let my son have it, but that is simply because I refuse to buy him anything if he whines about it. He's 4 and he knows that he needs to ask properly and that he's not touching the candy unless I say yes.

If nothing else, a nice mom like you should tell her so that she doesn't have to deal with me in the future :) lol

Elfrieda - posted on 04/10/2011

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Wow. So frustrating! I would be mad, but I think I would have been too stunned to react, too. I don't know what the best thing to do would have been.
But I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. If nothing else, it lowers my own blood pressure! :) Let's say that the cashier didn't realize that you weren't going to buy it, she thought you were just telling your son to wait until you were finished looking in your wallet, and so she wanted to be nice and quickly rang it through so he could eat it. Let's hope it was that and not that she thought it was her job to parent your son!

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