Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
People are smart, but something happens to the average person when they transform into……a customer. It’s unavoidable. No matter who you are, or what you do, once you become a customer, you…change…..
Here’s my definition of a customer:
Customer: (Noun) A person with a glorious, amazing absence of self awareness.
There’s one thing that speeds up the evolution of a reasonable human being into a clueless customer; the grocery store sign. We put up these signs to help customers; to guide them to their desired products. Grocery stores fail completely in this noble endeavor. It seems most people become confused, panicked, or even angry when confronted with a grocery store sign. It’s not their fault. If these stores wanted them to be able to read these hieroglyphic-like enigmas they would provide some sort of rosetta stone.
Below are some of my favorite (and more importantly, 100% true) examples of customers just looking for a sign.
Customer: I'll take a half of pound of shrimp.
Me: Sure! Here you go!
Customer: The tag says local. (The sign actually says Regional)
Me: Well, it's regional. It's coming out of Georgia.
Customer: (long pause) That's South Carolina, right?
Customer: Your ALASKAN salmon says its wild caught. But where is it from? Is it American?
Me: Um... its from Alaska.
Me: Yes, it's American.
Customer: Great! I'll take a pound.
Customer : Is this local wreckfish east coast or west coast wreckfish?
Customer: Is this blue crab? It says red crab on the sign.
Me: It's red crab.
Customer: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, ma'am. We don't carry blue crab like that.
Customer: You should make it more clear.
Customer : Is this the tilapia that's on sale?
Me: Let me check. This is my first day working this sale.
Customer: The sign says it's on sale.
Me: Then yes. That's the tilapia on sale.
Customer: Do you have any wild caught salmon?
Me: Yes, I do. Right here. Some WILD CAUGHT sockeye salmon.
Customer: Ehhh...sockeye? Is that all you have?
Me: Yeah. When it's out of season, the only WILD salmon I can get is sockeye. It's really good, though. Sockeye is some of the best WILD CAUGHT salmon.
Customer: Okay. I'll take a pound.
(I give it to her. She turns and walks away. Then she runs back over)
Customer: Wait. This is wild salmon, right?
Me: Yeah. It's still wild.
Customer: Great. Thanks!
Customer : Your lying to your customers. That sign says there are 51- 60 shrimp in a pound. Those shrimp aren't 51/60 count.
Me: Uh....yes, ma'am they are. I can show you the box.
Customer: They're too big to be 51/60s. You're telling me 60 of those would make a pound? You're lying.
(I count out 15 shrimp and weigh them)
Me: That's 15. It's about a quarter of a pound. So four of those would be about a 60 shrimp.
Customer : Look, I'm a local. I go shrimping. There's no way there 50 or 60 of those in a pound.
(I count out 50, throw out on the scale, it's a little shy of a pound. I put on 8 more. It's now a pound)
Me: That's 58. A pound on the dot.
Customer: Wow. I could have sworn it wasn't that much.
Me: How much did you want?
Customer: Oh, I don't want any. (Walks away)
(A Customer Service Clerk walks back with a Customer)
Customer: See. That pack of chicken should be $2.99. Look at the sign.
Customer Service Clerk: That sign means it $2.99 a pound.
Customer: Oh...uh....well...it's not very clear.
Customer Service Clerk: It says per pound. The "lb" is right beside the price.
Customer: Yeah...well....I'm not used to that. That's not the way you guys normally do it.
Customer Service Clerk: Excuse me. Did you guys start doing these signs?
Me: I mean, those are the same type of signs we've had the entire time I've worked here.
Customer: Yeah, but how long has this guy worked here? That's not saying much.
Me: Ive been here for awhile. It will be 18 years in July.
Customer: The sign is dumb.