Kroger Encounter

I promised you a few weeks ago that I would share my Kroger experience with you all even though I’ve tried to block it from my mind.

PhilBillPaul, his mother and my mother found this whole story way too amusing. I’m calling for a little more empathy from my loyal blog readers after you get to the end.

First, let me preface this story with a little background about being a cashier as a part-time job or as a career choice. We have a lot of cashier history in our family. My mom was a cashier back in her youth. Cashier was my first job in high school and the darling twins are cashiers at that other grocery store which I’m not blogging about today but is known for its stellar customer service.

The first thing we learned in cashier training was “The customer is always right.” Never were we allowed to argue, roll our eyes or have an attitude with a customer. (Or chew gum which is a personal pet peeve of mine when I see a store clerk chomping.)

My mom and I had major cashier job stress. It was back in the day where you actually had to punch numbers on the cash register, know department numbers, prices AND even use old-fashioned addition and subtraction to handle money and count back change.

Nowadays if the scanner or the touchscreen isn’t working, the average cashier cannot do his/her job and management seems panic-stricken.

Which reminds me of another story you must remind me to tell you about McDonald’s and how you can shut the whole place down with one tiny request.

Sorry for that wandering mind distraction. Back to the subject at hand.


Side note: That “s” is for a certain friend. She knows who she is. 😉

I need for you to have a picture of the cashier who checked me out in your mind. I really need to go back to the store and snap her picture. It’s one of those “Separated at Birth” things…

She looks eerily like Maxine, the crabby Hallmark character. Minus the biting sense of humor.

I actually love Maxine.

The Kroger cashier. Not so much.

Kroger has some standard greetings and questions asking the customer:

“How are you today?”

“Did you find everything you needed?”

“Are you a Kroger Plus customer?”

Ending the checkout process with:

“Would you like to donate a dollar to ____________ (insert current Kroger charity)?”

To which I almost always reply “No thank you” with a smile.

Because I will freely admit here and now that I prefer to choose my charitable giving without any cashier pressure. Yes, even when it’s only a dollar.

I’ve never felt any wrath from this.

Until now.

When the not sweet Maxine-like cashier looked back up at me and said…

“Are you a senior?”

Which changes my relationship with Kroger on so many levels.

I’ll proudly ask for my senior discount when I’m eligible but until then, I think Kroger needs to re-visit their cashier training program.

Only after I shared this story did PhilBillPaul share that the day before he went through a local drive-thru for lunch and upon handing his debit card with photo on it that the cashier declared…

“Wow, that’s an old picture.”


Customer Service 101 – let’s get back to the basics folks. I think that begins with not biting the hand that feeds you. Insulting your customers is bad for business.

Especially the old, grouchy ones.


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  1. 1
    Karen says:

    I’m only laughing because the SAME THING happened to me at Kohl’s!! I was in horror and ranting and raving at home when I looked at my receipt and found I’d been given the Sr. discount. My family thought it was hilarious. Then to top it off, it happened again and like you I was asked. One of my FB friends had the same thing at Kohl’s. It’s like they are in auto pilot with what they say and they can’t break out of it to even look at the person’s face! Seriously I agree that cashier training needs to be taken to another level.

  2. 2
    Melodi says:

    Tee hee hee we have Kroger here also – I went in last week and spent almost $200 on groceries and amongst the many items was one bottle of wine. I GOT CARDED!!!!!!!!!! What young person would purchase $200 worth of groceries to get a bottle of wine? I must say I had to immediately call my sister and two best friends to brag that I had gotten carded!! I think my sister said something like “they card everyone” – yeah right. Oh well, it made my year!

    • 2.1
      Sherra says:

      @Karen–Auto pilot was not the case here. The cashier looked right at me and said it. Maybe they get a bonus for meeting a quota of donations.

      @Melodi–I’m going to have to ban you from the blog for not relating to my trauma AND gloating about getting carded. Just kidding but did you miss the old, grouchy part?

      @julieann–PhilBillPaul has gotten those in the mail too. He gets really cranky about it. He’s way closer to those benefits than either of us!!

  3. 3
    julieann says:

    I keep getting AARP cards in the mail, and YES, I am a few years too young for membership. I am keeping one of the 30 day “trial” ones to use at our local cinema. Monday is Senior Day and you can see the latest flicks for only $6.00 all day. If you were mistaken for a senior, Sherra, I feel certain I’ll pass with my AARP card. Then I’ll donate the dollars I saved to my charity of choice 😉


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