14 ways to make your grocery store checker not hate you
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Thread: 14 ways to make your grocery store checker not hate you

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    14 ways to make your grocery store checker not hate you

    I was inspired to create this thread by the 13 things your waiter won't tell you (+1!) thread, being a checker myself. It seems to be a position that attracts the most inept customers possible. It'd be cool to see these from other people that work in retail-esque/general public positions.

    1. Paying for a tiny total with a massive bill is not cool, especially early in the morning. Later in the day tills are generally stocked enough to give change but buy a 69 cent bagel with a 100 dollar bill, expect to do some waiting if the checker can't change it. On the flipside, exact change is always cool.

    2. Your kid may be cute, but him thrusting your groceries at the checker is not "helpful". Also, we're not here to parent your kids. Yanking receipts out of the machine, banging on the card reader, and chucking produce is not cute behavior. Trust me on this one.

    3. We're checkers, not technicians. If the card reader won't accept your card, assaulting our eardrums with your rants is not going to help. Usually, the error isn't in the machines, and when it is, there's really nothing we can do anyway except tell our managers about it.

    4. Checkers ought to know the general store layout, but don't be surprised if we don't know the geographical location of sun-dried tomato-flavored tortillas. We spend 99.9% of our time on the front end, and some of us don't even shop at the store we work at.

    5. Don't be surprised if your checker frequently has to look up produce codes, especially if the store has an extensive produce section, as the one I am employed at does. Our produce section has over 240 items, each assigned a 4 digit code. Generally, memorization starts to become natural with more common items, but don't be surprised if it takes a minute for your checker to ring up your cherimoyas, kiwanos, and feijoas.

    6. Don't buy beer with minors. Different stores have different rules on this; we're required to ID every person in the party appearing underage. Selling alcohol to minors is instant termination and a 400 dollar fine, and to be quite frank, we care much more about our jobs than the need for you and your douchebag bros to get plastered.

    7. Throwing products and currency at checkers is never cool, no matter how many years you've been patronizing the store or have been going hunting with the owner. I know this seems common sense, but some people have to be reminded it seems...

    8. If you don't know how to use the card reader, ask. We're here to help you. But please, for your own sake, learn to use it. It's not hard. Pay attention to the words on the screen.

    9. If your items are separate from the guy behind you, please make it apparent.

    10. Please, PLEASE hang up your cell phone when you get to the checkstand. This applies more at general grocery stores than big chains like Wal-Mart, but some stores require their checkers to greet and engage the customer. Whether you're paying with debit or credit or EBT or a gift card is important information and I, for one, will invariably interrupt your phone call. On purpose.

    11. Reusable canvas and paper (if your store offers them) bags are cool, but if your ground beef is a bloody dripping mess, it's going in plastic. Period.

    12. 10 items or less means 10 items or less. The reason it's called the express lane is because it's equipped to deal with less items. By cramming your cart filled to the brim with hot pockets and Diet Coke through the express lane, you've negated this effect entirely. It's more for your sake than ours because we get paid no matter what. But it is annoying, and all you're doing is making your and the other customers' wait time longer.

    13. Just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean we are.

    14. Don't be afraid to let us do our jobs. If you need help finding something, even if we don't know where it is off-hand, we can always find out quickly.

    Last edited by FourTonMantis; March 14th, 2009 at 09:50 AM.
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    1. Paying for a tiny total with a massive bill is not cool, especially early in the morning. Later in the day tills are generally stocked enough to give change but buy a 69 cent bagel with a 100 dollar bill, expect to do some waiting if the checker can't change it. On the flipside, exact change is always cool.
    WHAT?! How could you be so INCONSIDERATE! It's your JOB to make change for whatever bill the customer GIVES YOU. WHO THE HELL ARE YOU to tell them they can't pay for their Juicy Fruit with a 100 dollar bill? YOU INCONSIDERATE PRICK. It's clear you don't care about anyone BUT YOURSELF!!

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    I think this may be slightly different because you are paid a fix rate whereas servers work for tips. we are treated as trained monkeys, even though we work hard. checkers are hired knowing they will get treated like that at $7 an hour. our income is not guarenteed.

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    i work on registers a lot, and you mentioned one of my biggest pet peeves - talking on cellphones. i can understand answering a ringing phone, and often in that case they will be nice enough to ask the caller to hold the line, but when people have the nerve to walk up to you, thrust their items at you, then proceed to dial numbers and have a merry old conversation with someone somewhere else, letting you guess what they want you to do, THAT i take as an insult. a personal one. you dont have to confide your deepest, darkest secrets with me, just a few niceties and the respect that human beings normally garner, a simple acknowledgement and a "hows your day been" whilst we ring up your sale is not a lot to ask, is it? its bad enough the process is so repetitive, that people go out of their way to completely disregard the fact that you are a human being, starved of human interaction whilst tethered to the register...

    /rant

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    But this one:
    13. Just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean we are.
    Makes me not wanting to come back EVER to your "store". If you donīt like your work, donīt hesitate to work there. You are just fucking everyone.

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    #9 never happened to me, but every time I'm at the counter (the other side), I'm afraid my stuff might get mixed up with somebody else's.

    Oh yeah...

    15. When it comes time to pay up, make sure the guy who's supposed to pay the bill isn't doing some last minute shopping.

    Ya' know, you stand in the checkout line and your wife just remembers she forgot something. You get to the checkout and she's still not back. Annoying.

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    Ok but I got a pet peeve for you cashiers: STOP GIVING ME WEIRD LOOKS WHEN I BUY CONDOMS

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    I could actually care less if the checker hates me or not. And, I do points 1, 4, 5, 10, 11 (and I dont see how its your business in what I want to carry my shit home in?!), 13... boy you'd be in a world of pain if you actually said this to me while Im standing at your counter...

    Its a shit job, you deal with people who are annoyed, because hell, just standing in line is annoying if nothing else adds to that. And yes, youll get the end of it, why? because youre the checker.... sorry. Its just one of those unspoken rules of the modern world.


    ps - maybe Im just in a bad mood coz I just got back from grocery shopping, and all checkers were douches....

    Last edited by nicolas; March 14th, 2009 at 05:27 AM.
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    I think #11 is more because it can make a mess at the checkout - ie, it's your right to carry your stuff in whatever bag you want, but it's not okay to make a mess of the checkout because of it. Or something along those lines.

    I know my parents always used two bags for thawed food, I guess it's just common courtesy.

    And to put a dot on both the topics - as a customer, there's nothing preventing you from acting as a total douche. But you know, it goes both ways. Kind of like the you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, you be nice to me and I'll be nice to you.

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    F.T.M. - At least you have a job. Job may suck but suck it up.

    Last month 651,000 people in the US alone decided they'd rather have your job then what they had at the moment their companies decided to axe their current jobs.

    Employment in the U.S. is getting harder and harder to find at the moment, one of the deciding factors that led me to China. You get paid, no matter how little, to perform a service to the public and to the people who sign your meager pay checks. Do it happily and understand that the idiots, who are throwing their money at you and yaking their ever fucking heads off when they SHOULD be communicating with you to make yours and their lives easier, are the ones who are essentially putting the money into the bank whose name is stamped on your pay stubs. Do your job with a giant corny smile on your face and who knows, maybe the next time they come in they may be more polite. I also used to work in customer service, and I know how tough it can get at times.. Deal with it.

    Customers - Just because you're buying a pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, or even the latest Gucci loafers for that matter, that doesn't give you the right to act like a pud straight from the retard factory.

    Fact is the person behind the counter probably doesn't get paid enough or given enough respect by their employers, and the other customers to give half a shit about what you and your idiot girlfriend/boyfriend/grandma/frat bras/whoever are talking about. End the call, or at least have the caller/callee wait and perform your duty as a customer.

    Whoever said they don't care if the cashier hates them is right, but you're still a douche for being so uncaring of the feelings of those who are only trying to serve you and take care of their own responsibilities by taking this shit job.

    Customer service these days sucks the big one. But customers these days are doing half the sucking. Work together together to make life easier for everyone. I always give as close to the exact change as possible when I go out shopping, and apologize if I don't have the exact change even knowing it's mr. clerks jobs to change my cash. In return for my politeness I expect the clerk to be equally polite, or slightly moreso because regardless of the fact that I just bought a 3 dollar slice of pizza I'm still paying your salary.

    Companies - Train your employees better, offer better compensation for your employee putting in a 10 hour shift dealing with droves of retarded assholes, and show a little bit of respect and humanity towards the warm bodies who are more often than not trying their damndest just to cope and do well. They are the ones who are taking care of your bottom line, and the moment you forget that then your company fails because the employee fails and the customer gets the shittiest end of the shitty stick.

    This could go on, but when all is said and done every one of us need to learn a thing or two about taking responsibility for our actions, and when we neglect to do so, then we fail as individuals. The downfall of modern civilization is assured as long as idiots continue to breed and spread ignorance.

    Straight Edge Ryan - no one cares about the girls you're attempting to poke (the boys poking you?) and the clerk probably feels as awkward handling those jimmy hats as you feel when they give you that weird glance. I know I feel awkward when I buy rubbers and the girl at the checkout stand gives me that awkward glance (the men usually don't do that... they just give you that 'go bro!' look.... i hate those people).

    Last edited by Sepulverture; March 14th, 2009 at 07:26 AM.
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    Sepulvurture you're probably right, though I sometimes get a "wow! someone wants to have sex with you??" look. I think it just comes with the territory haha

    Worst look I've gotten so far was when a friend of mine asked me to go out and buy tampons for her. The clerk gave me a weird look and I just finally said "look, they're obviously not for me alright? can we just complete the transaction please?"

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    Sepulverture: I think you read me wrong. None of this stuff makes my job suck. I enjoy it, actually. It's a good store with quality (albeit overpriced) products that employ friendly people.

    Ian Miles: Let me clarify: Just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean we're going to race through your order. I go approximately the same speed for everyone, which is still considerably fast. But I won't go slow because someone is in a hurry. That I will not do.

    l33t fl33t: You know, it's odd, but the last minute shopping thing doesn't bother me so much. I actually find it kind of humorous when the person waiting for their spouse/friend/partner to return is getting all stressed cuz they think they're doing me and the other customers some sort of injustice. Especially if it's dead quiet. It's like...you realize you're the only one here, right?

    Straight Edge Ryan: Heh you must have had some young/naive checkers. I never freak out about what people are buying, although I get kind of bothered when people feel they need to disclose their personal plumbing problems...really, I just work here, move along please...

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    6 and 11 don't really apply here in Toronto.

    Only the L.C.B.O (basically the government-owned liquor store) and the Beer Store are allowed to sell alcohol, so the grocery stores wouldn't be selling it anyway,

    and they now charge 5 cents a bag per plastic bag in most of the large grocery chains - you're expected to bring your own. Pretty sure this is because the Ontario government made it law to charge a small amount for plastic bags in order to try to cut down on the amount of waste we get from them.

    Most places the canvas bags are 99 cents or free with a certain purchase, but i have plenty now so i never need more. :]

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    F.T.M. - I'm sorry, I guess the wording of my statement wasn't quite right. I didn't mean to single you out in that comment, I was shooting more towards commenting on the customer service industry as a whole. And customers as a whole. And employers as a whole. No offense intended towards you if offense was taken.

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    daestwen: I didn't mention the charge on plastic bags because where I'm at, they're free in every store. It would be pretty interesting to see if that law were instituted here. I think it's like 10 cents per bag in California...considering those bags cost the store about 2 cents each...

    Sepulverture: No problem man. I agree with you about the customer service bit. It's something that we try to focus on, which is probably their justification for charging almost twice as much as everyone else. I've heard some pretty awful stories about the way checkers have been treated, especially by big chains. That's why we refer to Wal-Mart as the "evil empire".

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    I really like those newer check yourself out registers. One of the things I hate most about grocery shopping (edit: well about everything really) is having to deal with people. The entire store is filled with talking monkeys and then at the end you get to interact with someone who's been forced to endure these idiots. Now, with the handy dandy touch screen interface, talking robot, self checker outer, I am guaranteed to not have to talk to anyone. Sometimes....most times, I just dont want to talk to or deal with anyone.

    But they arent everywhere yet. I'm always nice to cashiers. There is no reason not to be. I tend to look at it like this, for any job. I ask myself a few questions. Would I want to/ be capable of doing this job? How many skin dumpsters has this person had to deal with today so far? After X many, are they still in a great mood for the situation? It's a lot like servers. There is no reason not to be nice to them. Sometimes being that one decent person in their shift is enough to get them through the rest of it without homicides. It's a job I'd get fired from on day one. A lot of my rantings on people in public is at the grocery store. I dont go out of my way to harp on people, but the grocery store is a common back drop for when I do snap. People are so incompetent. From the sounds of it, the trouble cases are the same.

    I dont share the same respect for the customers. They can all rot. They are nothing but hideous obstacles in a maze of sustenance. You're taking up too much space, you're old enough to be soylent and a product at this store not a patron. Take 10 seconds to pay enough attention to your kid to shut him/her the fuck up. And dont speak to me, under any condition, unless you work there and have information that is some how relevant to my food purchasing.

    Oh and I'm sick of these bullshit special parking spots. At some grocery stores around me they have Pregnant/ with kids parking, right next to the handicapped. Now I understand that having kids/ parading around in public with them is a sign of mental retardation, but it shouldnt earn you special parking. Where is the bachelor get in buy a few things and get the fuck out parking? Just because you cant keep your legs shut doesnt mean you get a special parking spot.

    Wow...I shouldnt wake up this angry.

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    #13.

    I had to wait in line for 15 minutes behind one customer because they couldn't figure the price out for one item. The chicken. And they didn't seem rushed at all, instead the cashier called out "how much is the chicken" and then started having a conversation with the bagger. After the conversation, they went to get the manager and it took even longer to mark the mother fucking damn chicken. I hate that place now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mock View Post
    WHAT?! How could you be so INCONSIDERATE! It's your JOB to make change for whatever bill the customer GIVES YOU. WHO THE HELL ARE YOU to tell them they can't pay for their Juicy Fruit with a 100 dollar bill? YOU INCONSIDERATE PRICK. It's clear you don't care about anyone BUT YOURSELF!!
    I worked one of these shit jobs, I'd give out rolled coin. Here you go, $5s, $1s, and rolled quarters! Do you want a roll of pennies with that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hippl5 View Post
    #13.

    I had to wait in line for 15 minutes behind one customer because they couldn't figure the price out for one item. The chicken. And they didn't seem rushed at all, instead the cashier called out "how much is the chicken" and then started having a conversation with the bagger. After the conversation, they went to get the manager and it took even longer to mark the mother fucking damn chicken. I hate that place now.
    I hear you on that, this being the reason I just make up prices on shit that won't scan. I ask the customer $X sound good? $X it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolas View Post
    I could actually care less if the checker hates me or not. And, I do points 1, 4, 5, 10, 11 (and I dont see how its your business in what I want to carry my shit home in?!), 13... boy you'd be in a world of pain if you actually said this to me while Im standing at your counter...

    Its a shit job, you deal with people who are annoyed, because hell, just standing in line is annoying if nothing else adds to that. And yes, youll get the end of it, why? because youre the checker.... sorry. Its just one of those unspoken rules of the modern world.


    ps - maybe Im just in a bad mood coz I just got back from grocery shopping, and all checkers were douches....
    I find this comment funny. Having worked this shit job, I broke all kinds of company policies to expedite customers. That said, when a customer whats to be an ass, well I guess we'll go by the motherfuckin policy book.

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    #16: If you have to buy something really large, bulky, and heavy, PLEASE take the extra moment or two to put the UPC code ON TOP, CLEARLY visible. This allows the checker to either hand-scan it quickly, or at least read the numbers to enter them in. It's SO uncool to expect them to have to haul a 50 lb bag of cat litter out of your cart (Because you were too lazy to put it on the conveyor), and then have to wrestle it over to get to the bar code.

    #17 If you have coupons for the stuff you buy, and not a ton of them, put them on top of the item you're buying. If the checker has to verify a particular brand or product, it's SO much faster if they see the coupon as they scan the item. They then don't have to try to remember if you really did buy 6 cans of chicken soup, or just 3, and 3 cream of chicken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FourTonMantis View Post
    5. Don't be surprised if your checker frequently has to look up produce codes, especially if the store has an extensive produce section, as the one I am employed at does. Our produce section has over 240 items, each assigned a 4 digit code. Generally, memorization starts to become natural with more common items, but don't be surprised if it takes a minute for your checker to ring up your cherimoyas, kiwanos, and feijoas.
    To all checkers, a hearty thank you for not knowing the difference between red cabbage (79Ē/lb.) and radicchio ($2.99 each)!


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    the girl at the checkout stand gives me that awkward glance (the men usually don't do that... they just give you that 'go bro!' look.... i hate those people).
    where the hell do you guys shop? I don't think I ever noticed any kind of look or weirdness or anything at all like that. Just scan, bag, take money. You guys must have big goofy smiles while you're waiting or something

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    I should write my own entry "15 Ways to Make Your Consumer Electronics Wage Slave Not Hate You", as inspired by my prison time at Circuit City.

    I work at a little Sporting Goods store my dad just opened a year or two ago now. No complaints.

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  34. #25
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    I'm good to the cashiers pretty much all the time, just being courteous. Really, the only times I'd be a little nasty is when one cashier is chatting with another about "what we did at some party and what she/he said to pee this one off..." right in front of me, while one of them is supposed to be tending to me. And then that cashier can hardly look at me or the food they're ringing in. I really hate THAT, and I won't be so nice when a cashier is like that. Otherwise I pretty much follow them rules up there.

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  35. #26
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    1. Paying for a tiny total with a massive bill is not cool, especially early in the morning. Later in the day tills are generally stocked enough to give change but buy a 69 cent bagel with a 100 dollar bill, expect to do some waiting if the checker can't change it. On the flipside, exact change is always cool.
    3. We're checkers, not technicians. If the card reader won't accept your card, assaulting our eardrums with your rants is not going to help. Usually, the error isn't in the machines, and when it is, there's really nothing we can do anyway except tell our managers about it.
    4. Checkers ought to know the general store layout, but don't be surprised if we don't know the geographical location of sun-dried tomato-flavored tortillas. We spend 99.9% of our time on the front end, and some of us don't even shop at the store we work at.
    8. If you don't know how to use the card reader, ask. We're here to help you. But please, for your own sake, learn to use it. It's not hard. Pay attention to the words on the screen.
    9. If your items are separate from the guy behind you, please make it apparent.
    QFT. I don't work at a grocery store, just general retail, but these struck a chord with me.
    Some of my own:

    -Corollary to #4- Just as we don't know the exact location of every single item in the store, we don't know everything that's coming in the next shipment. Or whether we have more in the back. We can find someone who might know, but it'll take a minute, and if there's a line that's kind of a pain in the ass.
    -Corollary to #8- It's been the 21st century for a while now. You've all been using debit cards for many years. You know that if you use your debit card, the card reader will most likely ask you for your PIN. So don't swipe your card and then wander away and stare of into space, and make me remind you that you have to enter your PIN. Please. This gets old after the thousandth customer does it.
    -If you get a frozen food item, and decide not to buy it, put it the fuck back in the freezer. Most other items don't get ruined if you leave them where they don't belong, but frozen food items thaw, you jackass. This pisses me off.
    -If you decide not to buy any item at all, give it to me, so I can put it back where it belongs. Don't just set it down wherever you happen to be.
    -Those "new" dollar bills have been around for many years now. You can stop saying that they look like Monopoly money.
    -If there's a sign saying that an item is half off or something, it means that that specific item is half off, not all the items in that general area.
    -See all those balloons up on the ceiling? Those came from customers trying to untie balloon bouquets themselves to get the balloon they want, rather than asking for our help. Let us get the balloons for you, please. And if you give a balloon to your kid, tie it around their wrist or something, because they will let it go.
    -When you're done, put the shopping cart back where it belongs, please. Don't just push it off to the side as you waltz out the door. And don't leave it at the register, so that the next lucky customer will get to push your shopping cart out of the way for you.
    -If it's raining, we really, really appreciate it if you bring the shopping carts back inside. Leaving them outside so that they can get nice and dripping wet is inconvenient for everyone.
    -On a related note, we have plenty of shopping carts and baskets. Use them to carry your items. Don't grab another item, like a gift bag, and use it to carry your stuff around, if you're not going to buy that item.
    -If the store is closing, finish up you're shopping and leave, please.
    -If I call for backup on the intercom, don't tell me thirty seconds later that I need to call for backup. I just did, you unobservant ape.
    -If there's only two people in line ahead of you, and they only have one or two items each, don't tell me I need to call for backup. It'll take me about forty five seconds to get through those people and ring you up. You can wait that long.
    -Be nice, be observant, and use common sense. That about sums it up.

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    Yea it used to annoy me when i worked on a checkout if ppl were on their phone. Id always say hello anyway, and when they didnt even give you a nod or a reply, it used to grate me a bit...

    But ppl who think that the checkout guy makes the rules are the worst. The number of angry customers who think its my fault personally that there is a que of people at my cehckout and still rows of checkouts that havent been opened up...
    The worst i had was a lady who wanted to buy 4 packs of paracetamol. The rule is to only sell 2 to each customer. Something to do with the risk of it being a suicide attempt if they are buying loads at once... Anyway, i told her that unfortunately i can only sell her 2 but would be happy to return the other 2 for her. She went nuts. Absolute 3 year old tantrum. Even the other customers were giving me knowing looks and giggling to their spouses.

    So if you have a checkout guy that wont sell you something, its not there fault! They want to sell it, they really do, they dont care if its for a suicide or a bad cold, but you just arent important enough to lose their job over. Now thats a depressing thought... go get another packet of paracetamol...

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    Ok but I got a pet peeve for you cashiers: STOP GIVING ME WEIRD LOOKS WHEN I BUY CONDOMS
    I never understood the embarrassment of buying condoms. I actually have had at least 2 people give me looks before (one teenage boy and one middle aged woman) and I said both times: "What? At least I'm getting laid?".

    The embarrassment was quickly reversed on them.
    There's absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Now, the time I had to buy lotion, wine, peanut butter, and several zucchinis definitely had me a little red in the cheeks.

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  39. #29
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    You should embrace buying condoms. Slap them down on the counter and yell, "Fuck yeah!"

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  41. #30
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    Straight Edge Ryan is offline much less of a douchebag in person, I promise Level 6 Gladiator: Provocator
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    haha true. But if you want to get REALLY bad looks, buy a ski mask, condoms, some rope, duct tape, a shovel and when you get up to the counter ask the cashier "hey you know if there's a gun store around here?"

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