At the grocery store (PUBLIX, no less, where I used to work and which is serious in its customer service training!) I spotted an interesting-sounding article on the cover of Cosmo in the checkout line and grabbed it. I'm well-aware that Cosmo is not exactly...shall we say...heavy reading, but that's not really the point.
SRC: self-righteous cashier, male, maybe 17
So the groceries roll down the belt, he rings, I bag (they were busy), all is well. Then Cosmopolitan rolls into view, last thing in line.
SRC: *pauses, picks up mag, holds it up* This...is the WORST magazine.
SRC: I mean, I guess there are others, but this thing is horrible! Horrible.
Me: *stares for a second, then slowly begins getting out money. To my disgust, my face turns red.*
SRC: The stuff that's in here, I mean, you know? You know what's in here? It's terrible. It's awful.
*Note: It's hard to convey facial expressions or tone on LJ, but it was quite obvious from his face what his objection was. Gotta love life in the Bible belt. I keep my firmest "we are not amused" expression and go on fiddling with the debit machine.*
SRC: You know what's in this magazine?
Me: *in mildest possible voice* Yes, but it's not a good idea to say so to customers, you know.
SRC: *falters* Well, you know, I didn't mean it like that.
Me: *flatly* Yes, you did.
Not cool, Buster. I suspected he knew his comments had gone over like a lead balloon, and debated while buying my lottery ticket whether to complain. In the end, I did ask for a manager to say what had happened and that he'd been rude, (a bit awkward, since they paged her and I was standing less than 10 feet from SRC's register, so he probably knew what was up. I pointedly didn't look back at him), and she was great. Very apologetic (mortified, in fact), and gave me a couple of discount coupons even though I told her it wasn't necessary.
I did notice her checking to see what magazine I had bought. Wonder how that conversation went after I left!
Having been a grocery girl myself, I don't expect cashiers or retailers to pretend to be robots, but for the love of Pete, people, you DON'T badmouth something a customer is purchasing! Most will take it as a slap against their tastes or against them personally.
Exclaiming, "Oh, I LOVE this," or "Mmm, that looks good" is one thing, and although there have been times when I've rung something up for someone and wanted to yell, "GROSS!"...anybody old enough to legally work ought to know that's a bad idea.