Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ruby Tuesday
(And a few observations)

This is the sign over the door at the store where I work. I think it was nice of them to make it red so that I could use it for Ruby Tuesday, don't you?

Personality Types and Belt Loading Styles

I’ve taken a few personality type tests in my day, but I’ve noticed that maybe all that diagnosing could be done if a psychoanalyst stood at my cash register and observed the manner in which people load their groceries onto my conveyer belt.

Note: None of these styles is gender specific. Instead of using the cumbersome politically correct he/she, I used he in some parts and she in others.

The Angry Tosser: This person is angry about something – maybe got into a fight with the spouse before leaving home or stressed out from work or possibly the high price of groceries. Whatever it is, she takes it out on the groceries. She drags her cart into the lane rather than pushing it from behind, positions herself between the cart and the belt and then grabs items out of the cart and literally throws them onto the belt, so that they land with an angry thud. Some of these people bend over the cart and throw things backwards over their heads, giving extra punctuation to the sound of them hitting the belt – especially the frozen things. When finished unloading the groceries onto the belt, she stomps over to the cash register (leaving the cart behind for someone else to move) and glares at the cashier. She watches the screen behind the cashier with frown lines growing deeper with every beep of the scanner. When the total is announced, she lets a little puff of disgust escape her lips and starts digging in her purse for a debit card. She rips the card through the card scanner and punches in the PIN as if stabbing the life out of a pesky rodent.
And – what a surprise – neither the Angry Tosser nor the cashier feel any better for all this venting.

The Liner-Upper: This person likes the belt to be moving constantly. They place their groceries on the belt one at a time, in single file. You can imagine what this looks like when we have single-serve yogurts on sale at 20 for $10.00.

The Stacker: This is a person who has too much time on their hands. They can be found in line behind an elderly person who takes too long to write the check or needs help with scanning their debit card. While I (the cashier) am helping the first customer figure out how to scan the debit (or EBT) card the Stacker is arranging his groceries in tall stacks, sometimes in alphabetical order on the belt. He is determined to use only half of the length of the four foot belt, so he somehow manages to get $200 worth of groceries compacted into piles three feet high. The first stack contains apples, apricots and bananas. Next, they load a pile of cheese, cookies and crackers. The Stacker doesn’t usually create a problem until he reaches the soft drink category of his groceries. He likes to stack his three 24 packs of pop or beer in order: i.e. three cubes of Pepsi followed by three cubes of Budweiser followed by three cases of bottled water. At this point, the stacks of 24-packs begin to tower over my head, and become increasingly unstable with every movement of the belt. The stacks generally come crashing down before they get to me, thank goodness, or I might have to demand hazardous duty pay when faced with The Stacker. Sometimes I wish the Stacker would take lessons from the Liner-Upper.

The Plop & Finish: This person is in too big of a hurry to bother picking up a cart or basket on their way into the store, so she has to carry everything in her arms. She approaches the grocery belt loaded down with several boxes of mac & cheese, a bag of potatoes, a few pounds of hamburger and a couple bottles of condiments. She plops this collection on the belt – and then abandons it to get “a couple things I almost forgot.” By the time she gets back with another overflowing armload of stuff, the first collection is scanned and bagged and there are usually two or three people lined up waiting….and waiting…and waiting for her to finish her shopping.

So there you have it. Which one are you?


Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Hi Janell, did you get your e-mail out of the trash yet?
I like your Ruby (Red) Tuesday post today, it was so nice you could tell us about your 'typical customers.' :-)
Thanks for peeking at my Red Iowa Things today, it was fun doing that post.

Now, what kind of a shopper am I?
You will have to tell me, I fit just a few of these things you described.

I DO NOT do the angry toss. But I do a rough toss or two if the checker doesn't slide the separator 'between orders' bars down where I can reach them.
I make a big deal of pulling every one back sharply until the first hits the stop.
THEN I toss mine down behind the customer ahead of me.
When I am finished I place a 'between orders' bar behind (pretty sharply too) so the next customer doesn't have to do that and she/he can see how NICE I really am.

I pull my cart behind me, I don't like to be crowded by the person back there acting like we are on the freeway where SHE tailgates me.

I am an 'elderly people' but always am pretty fast. The check part might be a little slow because I have to comb my beard before I get looked at to see if I match the I.D.
Most of the time I'm real fine with the card. It is NOT A DEBIT CARD, rather I use my CREDIT CARD.
First it gets me 'points' and because I am an 'elderly person' on A FIXED INCOME often times I have to CHARGE IT when I don't have enough money for groceries.

I only put one canned drink on the belt, I point to the others and the checker just does a 'X four' bit.

Now I'd rather go to our Krogers in Conroe. They don't use a belt, the checker takes the groceries out of my basket. I tell her my magic 10¢ a gallon off gas I.D. number and pay. Those two things are all I do.

Of course I alway check my paper tape printout to be sure I got the specials, but I pull over before I get in the way, towards the door, to do that.
Thanks for telling me Sue is your Sis, I knew once when I was on your blog, but wouldn't have remembered by myself today.
I'll go tell her thanks for checking on me.
I am a one of a kind (unique) grocery shopper so you don't need to fit me in any of your type shopper catagories.

Doug said...

Jim and I were just talking about Hy-Vee tenderloin sandwiches. I wish I worked some place like that.

Janell said...

Doug; thanks for stopping by. I haven't tried the tenderloin yet. But I do like the good egg rolls at my store.

Sue said...

I am kind of a stacker. I like to put like things in bunches so they are in the same bags when I get home. This way the stuff that goes in the bathroom is all in one or two bags. Makes it easier when I get home to unload.

Brooke said...

i am an organizer because i used to hate to bag groceries at target when people would have things everywhere. I have all of my cold together, then my veggies and fruit, the dry food.

Scarlet said...

I separate frozen, refrigerated and soft foods (like breads) to make it easier to bag. I help everything flow nicely. Come to think of it, I'm a very considerate shopper. ;)

Ralph said...

Well I think I'm not listed. I'm the sorter. I place all canned goods together, all the frozen items together, meat together (separated ny poultry and beef). All misc items go at the end.

Sue said...

BTW, your picture of the flower in the Oakland park is a canna.

Jamie Dawn said...

I guess I'm in a category all my own, although I share some things in common with The Stacker.
I always load the heavy stuff first, followed by medium then light stuff. I also try to keep things organized by food sections: dairy, dry pantry items, canned foods, meats, toiletries, etc...
I also tie my bags closed and double bag often to avoid puncture holes breaking through.
I've got it down to a science.
Howdy, Janell!!
It's sure good to stop by here again!!!!

nora said...

I usually don't have enough stuff to stack. But they are always odd things. Last time my purchases involved a watermelon, blueberries and yogurt. And I was on my bike.

For years I've brought my own cloth bag. I'm glad that they are making ones that are grocery bag shaped now, much easier to pack.

I need to steal your idea and come up with a list of four kinds of bar customers.

Paul Nichols said...

I'm gonna strangle the next Plopper & Finisher I see. Sheesh!

I only like to make sure my produce and my meats are in groups of their own. I dunno why. I guess cuz that's what my mother did way back when.

I also always try to get in a line where the cashier is pretty, cute and female. So I guess if I went into your store...

Janell said...

Sue, Brooke, Scarlet, Ralph, Jamie Dawn and Nora; You all are, obviously, my favorite type of customer. You make it easy to pack things the way you want them packed. So you are categorzed as "psychologically normal; with a towering intellect."

Paul; please don't strangle anyone - I'm pretty sure that's illegal. And on my shift, I may not be the prettiest one, but I'm usually the only one old enough to do alcohol, so that draws a lot of folks to my line on Fridays!

LaDawn said...

I am an organized stacker who sometimes forgets things and goes running like a mad woman through the store leaving her children with the cashier. Probably not the greatest technique!

Rachel said...

I have never been the angry shopper! I care too much about what I bought to toss it around like that. If they are backed up then I can stack. If not then I'm more of the organized kind. I usually try to put the cold stuff all together and the cans, etc., but if they are waiting on me I just take things out as I get to them. Many times there is no bagger so I bag them myself. I hate it when they put the bread in with something and mash it up. Arghhh!! I want my milk in a bag as well. Cans go together and get double bagged and tied.

Sometimes I'm the Plop and Finish shopper. Sure as I don't get a cart I'll see several other things I need. Then when I get to the belt my arms are so full I have to just plop it all down before I drop it.

I'm sure you see some interesting people in your line of work! Check out my post I just put up. I went to a quilt show yesterday! Beautiful, beautiful quilts!!

Been riding lately? Do have a wonderful weekend!!

Mary Connealy said...

I come closest to being a stacker. For some reason I think I'm ... maybe ... saving energy? If the groceries are all very close to the cashier without a lot of wasted space.

I suppose... big picture ... I'm not really helping am I?

Anyone here going to Husker Harvest Days??? I'm a presenter.

I was tricked! I have no idea what I'm doing.

Jerry said...

I'm kind of a stacker, but more I bunch like items together. My bunch of groceries look very neat, like a packed suitcase.

Janell said...

LaDawn; you can leave Seb & Ab at my cash register any time!

Rachel; I don't like squashed bread either, so I'm usually really careful with it when I pack it for other people. (I went riding at Cliff's place on Sunday afternoon with Juli & my saddle club. I noticed the corn was towering over my head, even on horseback.

Mary; good luck at HHD! You'll probably be the main attraction, won't you?

I like customers who organize their things. It makes it easy to pack for them.