The Checkout Questionnaire

Yesterday evening I found myself and my daughter in the midst of an unorthodox grocery visit, you know, those random stops at the local grocer or department store for milk, bread, eggs, or other haphazard items that couldn’t stand the test of time that elapses between your bi-weekly or monthly real grocery store stops?  And as per the usual, we were in a hurry.

On my list of items was deodorant, new toothbrushes, hairspray, shampoo and conditioner, coffee, and I needed pens for work so I thought what the hell, I’ll throw those in there too.  Should be pretty quick I thought.  And it was, until it was time to checkout.

After double-checking my cart to ensure all the items on my list actually made it in there, my daughter and I went headstrong towards the checkout area.  And like most people, we scouted the lines to see which was the shortest…THAT ONE!

Regrettably to our surprise, (actually it wasn’t a surprise because whenever you’re in a hurry things tend to go terribly wrong that ultimately delay you even more) the cashier was having difficulty with a customer and had to shut down her lane.  So we put the cart in reverse to find the next available (and shortest) line…EW, THAT ONE!

Ok, the lady in front of me has three 12-packs of Coke, we should be outta here in no time“, I thought to myself.  WRONG!  Apparently she didn’t read the fine print on one of her coupons she was attempting to use for the Coke which resulted in a brief (seemingly endless when you’re in a hurry) conversation with the cashier where the cashier felt inclined to explain every minute detail pertaining to the coupon.  “HURRY UP ALREADY!” I exclaimed in my head…

…Finally, my turn.

“Did you find everything ok?”, the cashier asked.

“Yeah”, I replied thinking to myself, “If I didn’t I wouldn’t be standing here right now because either I would have left the store and sought the item elsewhere or I’d still be looking for said item.

“Do you have a rewards card with us?”

“No.”, I replied.  Again, thinking to myself, “If I did, I would have it in my hand preparing to give it to you.”

“Would you like to sign up for one?”, she continued.

“No.”, I replied with a little more irritated tone.

“Would you like a copy of our current sales ad?”

“No.”  “What good is a sales ad going to do me when I’m standing at the checkout ATTEMPTING to get outta this place?”, I thought.

At this point I was beginning to show visible and obvious signs of frustration with her myriad number of scripted questions.  “Am I going through a damn insurance-type questionnaire here or am I trying to pay for these 7 measly items and get on with my life?”, I pondered.

Finally her questions stopped.  “Thank God.”, I thought to myself.

Now that all my items have passed through the scanner and are now back in the cart from which they came, it was time to pay.  I reached in my wallet and retrieved my check card and swiped it through their machine…nothing.  I swiped again…nothing again.  “What is going on here?”, I said in thought.

“Oh, I’m sorry but you have to answer the question on the screen there.”, the cashier said with a smile.

The question read something to the effect of, “Would you recommend this Kmart to a family member or friend?”.  The answers were as followed:

  • Definitely will
  • Most likely will
  • Maybe will
  • Most likely will not
  • Definitely will not

As I re-read the answers in an effort to most accurately answer the question, I looked up at the cashier while pressing the “Definitely will not” option while returning the smile.  In return, I got a snood smile, if you want to call it a smile at all with a “Thanks for shopping at Kmart” in the tone of “I hate you.”


In their defense, and I mean the actual people who have to ask these perpetually asinine questions, I understand it comes from the corporate level.  But my question is why?  Why must these corporate giants bother us with their constant bombardment of advertising and attempts to get people to “sign up” for this and “sign up” for that.  Isn’t their moronic commercials and spam mail (both e-mail and physical) enough?  And how about the absurd length of the receipts now days?  I bought 7 items and the receipt was a foot and a half long, no joke!  I looked on the back and what do you know; more advertising and more of “How did we do?”, “Take this survey…” etc.

I mean take a look at this…

“…and why is it that you have survey questions on the credit card machine?  customers get irrate about it-a customer threw the machine at me today he was really irrate about all the questions
and then a survey question on top of it all I really think we are pushing the customer away with all the questions we are asking and then a survey too some of our regular customers come in and say no , no, no before we check them out I have worked for over 2 yrs and in the beginning I loved working at kmart now, it is such a toil
You need to look at what is going on.  I love kmart, and even though I am leaving my position, I will shop there.  I just feel there is too much pushed on the customer just my thoughts…”

This excerpt came from an actual Kmart employee!

And don’t even get me started on Wal-Mart.  I don’t believe WordPress would have enough space on their servers to accommodate my feelings about Wal-Mart.

“Do you want your milk in a bag?”

“Do you want your candy left out?”

“Do you want your bread with you?”

“Do you want your soda left out?”

“Do you want to sign up for a Wal-Mart card?”

“Could I interest you in a gift card?”

“Would you like your mile long receipt with you or stuffed in its own sack because it’s so long?”

How about you just scan my damn items, put them in the damn sack so I can put that damn sack in my damn cart and I’ll give you my damn money so I can leave this damn store!  Or how about I punch you in the face for asking me so many damn questions!

It’s no wonder I prefer online shopping over brick-and-mortar shopping any day!

In closing, feel free to answer these questions as part of MY survey:

1.  Do you feel the same about the ridiculous amount of questions asked at department and grocery stores at the checkout?

2.  What kind of questions have you heard that weren’t mentioned in this post?

3.  Do you feel yourself becoming frustrated with the questions?  If so, how many questions does it take to get you mad?  If not, can we ask you more questions?

4.  Do you feel you should have to answer questions after reading a post on WordPress?

5.  Would you have rather I not ended this post with a survey?

6.  Do you want to punch me in the face right now?

7.  Does it make you mad that even though you want to punch me in the face right now you can’t?


6 thoughts on “The Checkout Questionnaire

  1. Pingback: 7 x 7 Link Award Acceptance | My Haphazard Proclivities

  2. What? Take time to answer questions? 😀 Great post, Joe. I know some of the cashiers who got that message together and tried to reach management. Folks zip-line past a genuine greeting to the human being who happens to be a customer. Does anyone care that I’m dropping some of my hard earned cash and love good service so I can get home?

    • These corporate giants put their advertising, marketing, and sales priorities above their customer service responsibilities, what a shame! Can I get a sincere greeting before you pummel me with “sign up for this and sign up for that”?

      Thanks for commenting Soul!

  3. 1. I don’t seem to notice the cashiers saying much to me, except did you find everything? my answer is either yes or no
    2. none
    3.doesn’t bother me, I always think of it as small talk, no
    5.doesn’t matter, we have the choice to take the survey or not, you are my friend
    7. no

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