A little sugar helps the medicines of Life go down.

Couponing with Grace and Kindness

Posted on
  • Monday, February 28
  • by
  • aSpoonfulOsugar
  • in
  • Labels: , , ,
  • Over the last year, I have heard a lot of negative comments from cashiers whenever I pulled out my coupon binder. I have to admit that I no longer use a binder as I got tired of the paper folding requirements and just went to a shoe box... but that is a time constraint issue with 2 small boys... I digress...

    Back to the comments...I never understood the hostility that I was experiencing at one of my favorite stores to shop at.  Over time, I have developed relationships with several of the cashiers and they are always talking about this one "binder" lady... that they all dread dealing with.  And after working with me for awhile... the hostility stopped towards me and I started receiving hellos and heads up regarding unadvertised deals.  Yet I have always wondered why it occurred in the first place.

    Well today... I finally understood.  Clarity came in a chance encounter.  I was happily shopping trying to remember what I had come for even though I had a list... (another digression... we had double doctor appointments today that were over an hour travel away from each other... so it was a long day of car rides with two little boys and I probably should have shopped tomorrow) and realizing that I was not making the best deal choices... when my favorite cashier came up with another couponer.  This has happened before and I usually end up with a new friend and sometimes we swap coupons in the store.  NOT this time... it seems the couponer that I met was the rude binder lady that the cashiers were always talking about.  I had always discounted their comments as just spilt milk.  Now I know why couponers have a bad name... this was the rudest encounter full of tension and attitude that I have experienced in years.  I was totally shocked.  If this is how she talked to another couponer or even just another person...I can only imagine her response when a cashier tells her that a coupon is not scanning.

    And the real irony is that this person actually teaches couponing classes around my local town for a fee. (side bar... I have no issue with someone charging a fee to teach couponing.  I, myself, don't do it for a fee... but that is my choice as currently I only teach friends on a one on one basis)....so the person who is partially responsible for giving couponers with binders a bad reputation in the local stores is also the person who is teaching (leading) others through this process.

    Please, for the sake of all couponers that go after you... be nice and polite to the cashiers and fellow customers.  Grace and kindness are valuable commodities.. or as a former boss used to say " you can get more flies with honey than with vinegar."  After experiencing this chance encounter... I know that I will be praying for grace and kindness to spill out of my mouth when I am shopping.



    A.Marie said...

    I totally agree with you...You should send "Miss Attitude" a note and include those very words, "Grace and kindness." Maybe she needs a wake-up call...she might not realize how annoying she has become!

    laughwithusblog said...

    Oh wow. A little kindness goes a long way!

    Anonymous said...

    Great post, you should always consider others first.

    - Goose

    aSpoonfulOsugar said...

    Thank you. I really appreciate it.

    Anonymous said...

    So how do we handle a rude cashier? I'm new to this and I had my first encounter with one this evening. Here's what happened.
    I wanted to use 6 cpns for 4 items. I do know WG's cpn policy and was aware that I needed 5 items in order to use all the cpns (one cpn was the WG in-store cpn which I knew didn't need a filler item). Unfortunately, I had miscounted because I forgot to pull out one of my coupons before checking out, realized it at the counter and quickly retrieved it, but therefore needed another filler (which didn't occur to me as I added that overlooked cpn). So I gave my manuf q's first. The cashier pushed them back across the counter to me and grabbed her copy of the in-store cpn pamphlet, adding that one first ("Okay, she's making it clear that SHE will decide which order I may use my coupons? Fair enough, I suppose, since she's behind the register and I am not). She then scanned my manuf. cpns, and finally my rr's. Only, she pushed one back across the counter at me and said, "You can't use this one. You have too many coupons." Again, knowing their policy, I simply told my dh to grab another 25cent filler and we did use the rr. I said, "I'm sorry about that. When I added the one coupon I had forgotten about, it obviously changed the coupon-to-item count. My mistake." She snapped, "I know how it works. I only stand behind the counter and do this all day every day." She was so unkind. I was definitely not happy with how she treated us and there was definite tension. I told her I too was aware of their policy but had simply made a mistake.

    I obviously do NOT want to be rude in return, nor to make waves when I'll need to shop there often. But she made it clear that couponers are not her favorite customers. So,...how would you handle a cashier like this? I do want to conduct myself with grace with her in the future. TIA.

    aSpoonfulOsugar said...

    I would first pray about this situation. Then the next time I was in the store, I would make a point of going to her register when there were no other customers or employees around. I would introduce myself and say that I felt uncomfortable about what happened between us last time (with a comment about the day so she will remember) and just say that it had been on my mind and that I wanted to apologize if I made her uncomfortable. A lot of times when a cashier reacts like that it is because she/he has had a long day with people treating them poorly. And I have found being the "bigger person (literally in some cases, lol)" and making a humble apology has been more beneficial than any talk with Managers. Like my dad used to say "a little sugar sweetens the sourest lemon... that's how you make lemon aid."

    Now of course... if she reacts poorly to that... then I would have a discrete conversation with the Manager and explain all that happened (utilizing a humble attitude) so She/He can work with the employee on correcting their attitude toward couponers. I would also make a point (in this case) to avoid that cashier until I saw a change in attitude. But I would make a point to say "hi!" and to talk about my kids to her and ask about her life every time I saw her. It is hard for people to be rude like that to a happy friendly customer.

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this matter. It has given me much to pray about before interacting with her again.

    aSpoonfulOsugar said...

    You are very welcome. I have been on both sides of this issue... as a cashier in college and as a couponer/customer with rude cashiers. Both roles are hard but spreading "sugar" as you go through makes life fun... especially if you like lemonaid.

    Post a Comment

    Copyright (c) 2010 Blogger templates by Bloggermint
    Sponsored by : Bradley Bookkeeping