Jenni (chaospearl) wrote in bad_service,

This was posted as a comment in the customers_suck community as a question to somebody who had mentioned the Self-Serve or U-Scan registers at a grocery store.  It was suggested I crosspost it here.

Totally off topic, but I've got a question -- does the U-Scam (er, U-Scan) register at your store allow alcohol purchases? The one at my local grocery does, and it's become a huge pain in the ass because instead of disallowing alcohol or creating some kind of alert when an alcoholic product is scanned, what they've done is inform the cashiers near the U-Scam and the floating managers to keep a close eye on any "kids" using the U-Scam.

I'm several years over legal drinking age (and I don't usually buy alcohol at the grocery anyway) but I LOOK much younger, and these days I've given up using U-Scam because the instant I walk up to the register a manager will appear out of nowhere and STARE at me the entire time, despite the fact that I've got no alcohol in my cart.

I recently tried to buy a six-pack of IBC cream soda. Now, keep in mind that cream soda is the same color as beer, and this brand is sold in glass bottles with metal caps. So I could understand the original confusion at first glance, but...

Manager: Excuse me, miss, but I'll need some ID.
Me: Huh? Why?
Manager: I'm sorry but you're going to need to remove the beer from your cart, or I'll have to call security.
Me: (still confused) I'm sorry? What beer?
Manager: Look, I don't know if you've snuck through the self-serve register before, but I MUST ask you to remove the beer or I'll be calling security, and the police may be involved.
Me: (finally realizing the problem with a laugh) OH! This isn't beer, it's cream soda. (lifts up the six-pack to show him) And I'm over 21, anyway.
Manager: Miss, I'm just going to take the beer --
Manager: I'll have to call security. You're going to have to come with me. (reaches out and takes hold of my hand, then begins to walk away)
Me: (pissed off now, rips my hand out of his grip) EXCUSE ME! Is there a problem here? I'm over 21 and I am purchasing this six-pack of CREAM SODA. Look, here's the label. CREEEEEEAM SOOOOOOODAAAA. (yes, I said it in a slow patronizing tone of voice). And here's my ID, in case you're still unable to comprehend.

He apologized gruffly after that, the kind of apology where you can tell he obviously doesn't think he's done anything wrong. This was the only time I've been actually challenged at U-Scam but I'm still stared at regularly, and it's disconcerting trying to scan my groceries when I know someone's eyes are riveted. I get nervous and do stupid things like hit the wrong button or suddenly display an inability to locate the bar code.
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