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  #161  
Old 31.07.2011, 13:45
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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I understand what you are trying to say, but comparing the raising of a child, someone who you love unconditionally with every fiber of your being and who returns that love, with dealing with hundreds of strangers every day, many of whom might expect things of you you can't do because of policy, many of whom are grumpy and frustrated and flustered and shed a little or a lot of that on you, one after the other, comparing those two things is stretching a little.




I'm not comparing the two they both have very different pressures. I'm a parent and have also worked in a supermarket - I can only speak from my own experience.

I'm guessing reading your reply that you're not a parent yet Of course you love them unconditionally but believe me, parenting can often be a thankless task, a mundane and stressful job. You do your best and get a temper tantrum or mouthful of cheek back (not all the time - but it happens)

My point was people who have not had the experience of raising kids need to be careful in suggesting it isn't a full time job or that it's some kind of easy ride.
I'll second the added stress argument. I find shopping with the kids in tow can be pretty stressful. Usually they'll go off and find something that they simply must have and then come and wheedle with you until you either lose your temper or give in and buy it. When you're shopping on a tight budget this can be tough. Kids know instinctively when they can put you at a disadvantage and will readily throw a tantrum in a shop or in company of others as they seem to realise this catches you with the defences down a bit. Plus you learn to detest the way that shops position chocolates and sweets at the check outs - kids make a beeline for them and then if the queue is long you can get to enjoy seveal minutes of arguing why you're not going to buy yet another bar of chocolate, not even "just one Daddy".
I far prefer tackling the shopping on my own. Now, since I don't use the car, I shop almost every day buying little and often, this is far easier.
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  #162  
Old 31.07.2011, 13:54
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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I'm guessing reading your reply that you're not a parent yet Of course you love them unconditionally but believe me, parenting can often be a thankless task, a mundane and stressful job. You do your best and get a temper tantrum or mouthful of cheek back (not all the time - but it happens)
I'm definitely a parent .

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My point was people who have not had the experience of raising kids need to be careful in suggesting it isn't a full time job or that it's some kind of easy ride.
I don't think that's what DB was doing. I've done a lot of grimy jobs for a paycheck, from scrubbing toilets to heavy labor and everything in between including a good bit of time on a cash register. Child rearing, while demanding and certainly full time work, is enriching despite the effort, not potentially soul crushing as many lower tier jobs are. It's one thing to go home with arms you can't move because you were loading trucks all day, and another still to go home each day remembering the sour faces of the masses that 'greeted' () you again and again and again like a big cable knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting

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  #163  
Old 31.07.2011, 14:07
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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It is a bit daft, Jasmine, to put your soft fruit on the belt before the heavy stuff and, maybe, the cashier was, out of total exasperation, trying to show you how daft it was, by chucking the heavy stuff on top of the fruit. Not very friendly, that I accept.
Sorry, but you do need to engage your brain even for something as apparently 'mindless' as supermarket shopping.
I don't know, maybe she has too many things to deal with the same time, nevertheless, I find her complain as coming from someone who used to be pampered and taken care of a lot others, all her life.
If that is a big problem in the OP's life, and not, say "I don't have enough money to buy food and stuff.."..well, she is a happy one.
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  #164  
Old 31.07.2011, 14:10
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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If that is a big problem in the OP's life, and not, say "I don't have enough money to buy food and stuff.."..well, she is a happy one.
Exactly, she spends more money on groceries than I earn in a month. Or than people with full-time jobs spend on their rent.
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  #165  
Old 31.07.2011, 14:13
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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  #166  
Old 31.07.2011, 14:29
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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Due to the speed and efficiency at which the cashier scans my goods and throws them roughly into the bagging area, soon a pile of shopping begins to grow as I cannot keep up with her and bag them quickly enough, despite breaking out in a sweat in order to attempt to do so. By this point I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruits.

[...]

Just to add a final insult to injury, as soon as the pile is reduced somewhat, and the cashier is able to check through the last of your items, does she wait for you do finish bagging before prompting you to pay? Of course not. Instead you have to pay when she is ready for you to do so, so she can begin this process with the next customer, meaning that there are now two of you competing for space and bumping into one another in the small bagging area.
I don't know how it works at Coop/Migros, but someone who used to work as a cashier at Lidl told me the staff had 'targets' how many customers per hour they have to serve.
If the turnover was too low, they were penalised and had deductions from their wages.

I assume they have similar policies at Coop/Migros? Probably not salary deductions, but monthly reviews, and if the targets are not matched over some time they will be made redundant.

I don't know for sure, but seems to me a possible reason why they are always so stressed at Coop/Migros. I doubt the cashiers behave in this way just out of hatred...?

So, I think it is not wrong, as suggested by the OP, to complain to Coop management about this. As I see supermarkets in CH (also in the UK) are cutting down staff everywhere, trying to be more efficient for the sake of profit optimization - carried on the back of their customers, and especially on their staff.
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  #167  
Old 31.07.2011, 15:33
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Erm..it goes both ways. If you get a shop assistant who is pleasant and actually helps you to decide on a purchase etc etc then you are more likely to buy stuff. If you encounter the "couldn't care less" attitude, then you're more likely to have hackles up and walk out without buying everything.

Example: many years ago I was shopping for jeans in London and was looking around some small shop. The woman helping asked what I was after - so I said jeans, told her my size and she went off around the shelves and brought back a few examples.

I tried them on - waist ok but legs too long. She said, no problem we can alter them for you - I said I'm only in London for the day. Answer: the girl at the sewing machine downstairs can have them done in half an hour. While I was waiting for the jeans to be altered, I browsed a bit more and bought some shirts. A few minutes into the jeans being altered, the shop assistant came and told me they didn't have quite the same shade of thread as is in the seams of the jeans already - is that alright? So half an hour after walking in to this shop, I left having bought more than I might have done had the shop assistant just stood there and pouted - which is what they normally do in Zürich.

Cheers,
Nick

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I worked as a salesperson and i know that is not the nicest job in the world. And a customers attitude can make or break your day.
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  #168  
Old 31.07.2011, 16:49
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Re: Dear Joos.....

I believe everybody fully understands just how stressful in can be to shop in a new country, with new customs and 3 little kids in tow.

That wasn't the point that created the somewhat allergic reaction to this thread.... it was the arrogance to be really convinced that the service was owed to the OP and that the people serving were damaging the produce on purpose.

Nothing is owed to anybody and hard-working people really do the best they can.
A silly complaint might make the OP feel better but could have an unfortunate impact on a cashier's future.
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  #169  
Old 31.07.2011, 17:23
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Re: Dear Joos.....

One of the big deceptions about moving to a country where everything looks quite similar on the surface is that you can expect them to actually be the same when they are nothing like it.
A Swiss supermarket looks quite a lot like an English one.
We can all fall into the trap of expecting the same goods, service, etc. If you are in a village bazaar in far off land you wouldn't really make the same mistake!
We can also fall into the trap of losing sight of other ways of percieving.
I don't think imagining that a cashier could help with packing bags is stretching the imagination that far.
I shop in various European countries on a regular basis where this is part of the job description in the majority of the supermarket chains and the cashiers don't feel demeaned by it nor are they unwilling to help a flustered mum when they can. After having lived in Switzerland I don't always expect it though!
And yeah, I can remember being one of those cashiers once too!
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Old 31.07.2011, 17:47
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Re: Dear Joos.....

I remember the supermarkets in Australia where, when you got to the checkout, the stuff was packed for you, you paid, left the bags whilst you got your car, then drove to the exit, where all the bags were loaded into your car, with a smile and a 'have a nice day'.
They spoke my language too (well almost) but the service was totally different to what I expect, and get, in London.
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  #171  
Old 31.07.2011, 17:50
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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You need to drive to Milan and fill up your car with Italian groceries. Im sure youll find an Italian man or two who will be more than happy to help.
Varese or Como are closer, and have many large supermarkets.

However, they won't help bag, either!

Tom
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  #172  
Old 31.07.2011, 18:01
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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Except no. 2 this is exactly what Passabene at Coop is about.

You scan your items while shopping and put it in your preferred shopping bag. At the check out you present the scanner and pay. That's about it.
Fantastic idea, unfortunately not available in Ticino where OP lives.
Well, then they have it in Ticino as well.

I've never used it, but they do have it (at least at Manor).

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  #173  
Old 31.07.2011, 18:36
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Well, I must say I don't share this bad feeling about shopping in a supermarket.

I regularly do my weekly shopping at the Coop with my newborn in a babybjorn. 9 times out of 10, the lady at the cash register and/or another client pities me and helps me put my stuff in my bags, especially the heavy things.

And I'm always very grateful, as the poor lady working 8 long hours straight at her register can't really afford to help each and every client with their heavy things!!!
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  #174  
Old 31.07.2011, 20:24
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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Well, I must say I don't share this bad feeling about shopping in a supermarket.

I regularly do my weekly shopping at the Coop with my newborn in a babybjorn. 9 times out of 10, the lady at the cash register and/or another client pities me and helps me put my stuff in my bags, especially the heavy things.

And I'm always very grateful, as the poor lady working 8 long hours straight at her register can't really afford to help each and every client with their heavy things!!!
A polite request and sweet demeanour seem to go a long way as opposed to haughty demandingness…

Last edited by Sagitta; 31.07.2011 at 20:26. Reason: a typo
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  #175  
Old 31.07.2011, 20:28
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Zurich is far from the nice attitude some other cantons are sharing, but I can really say that I've always been helped by someone if I really needed it. Some close friends of us is permanently in a wheelchair and we often go out and about for shopping, traveling or visiting some places, and people here are really very helpful.

Bad customer service exists in each and every country, so there is not much one can do about it. That does not mean the whole country or the people are like this. One example does not qualify for an opinionated view over a broad spectrum.
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Old 31.07.2011, 21:24
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Re: Dear Joos.....

But it's not bad customer service, it's just not something known here.
I can remember being a small child visiting my grandparents in the States and looking at amazement while the teenagers would bag all of the groceries at the check out counter.
It was all part of the "Hi-I'm-Sally-and-I'll-be-your-waitress-today" and "would-you-like-a-doggie-bag" culture.
Completely different from here, not bad or good, just as different.
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  #177  
Old 31.07.2011, 22:06
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Quite right. The shop assistants at the Coop might be po-faced but at least they're genuine! None of this fake "being nice just because I get paid" malarky.

Give me po-faced and surly any day.

And don't forget: civility costs money in this country. It doesn't grow on trees.

Cheers,
Nick

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But it's not bad customer service, it's just not something known here.
I can remember being a small child visiting my grandparents in the States and looking at amazement while the teenagers would bag all of the groceries at the check out counter.
It was all part of the "Hi-I'm-Sally-and-I'll-be-your-waitress-today" and "would-you-like-a-doggie-bag" culture.
Completely different from here, not bad or good, just as different.
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  #178  
Old 31.07.2011, 22:20
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Re: Dear Joos.....

That's not what I meant.
For a service to be considered bad:
- The sought after service would have to be part of your culture/your every day habits
- You would have to make the conscious choice not to abide with the intent to be impolite

The cashiers are just doing their job.
They'd probably be very surprised that a customer would expect more.
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  #179  
Old 31.07.2011, 23:16
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Re: Dear Joos.....

To be fair, many small shops here have friendly staff - presumably small businesses have to do a bit more to survive. One example is a Messerschmied (knife shop) in Basel that has been in the same family for a couple of hundred years.

Larger shops, if you go in expecting to be made to feel like your presence is an inconvenience, then you won't be disappointed.

Cheers,
Nick

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That's not what I meant.
For a service to be considered bad:
- The sought after service would have to be part of your culture/your every day habits
- You would have to make the conscious choice not to abide with the intent to be impolite

The cashiers are just doing their job.
They'd probably be very surprised that a customer would expect more.
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  #180  
Old 01.08.2011, 02:13
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Re: Dear Joos.....

I thought for sure this thread would have died out on Saturday. Shows what I know.
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