So this afternoon I went into Shaw's Supermarket in Manchester, CT to buy a pack of batteries for the work camera I was using...
When I get into the express line, there are two employees in front of me in line. Within 15 seconds of me getting in line a person appearing to be a construction worker got behind me with about 3 items, and behind him a 30something business woman with a handful of items. It was lunch time, so I am assuming they were on their lunch break. In addition, another employee who appeared to be a supervisor was next to the cashier.
While the two employees were being checked out, they were having a loud conversation with each other and with the supervisor. By loud, I mean they were literally yelling at each other. They were talking about their personal lives, what they do for fun, the guys they were dating, etc. The cashier checks them out, but the employees continue to have their conversation with the supervisor while in line. As a result, myself and the customers behind me end up waiting 3-4 minutes before we are checked out in the express line. Once the employees leave the line (and appear to make their way back to other parts of the store, so they were probably on the clock) the supervisor sarcastically states "I apologize for the wait, the cashier is a little slow and needs to pick up the pace." While the supervisor and employees were having their conversation the cashier was trying politely to have the employees to move while giving myself and the other customers a sympathetic look of "I'm sorry."
Now, as a former employee I can understand that the job is more stressful than how it is perceived, however having a personal conversation in line which holds up customers in the express aisle is rather inappropriate. In addition, the supervisor should have had the conversation elsewhere (like a break room) and sarcastically apologizing to customers while throwing a cashier under the bus shows a lack of professionalism.
I may follow up with store management in the next couple of days.