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View Full Version : If you can't reach an item on a tall shelf...


sarahj
06-05-2008, 12:28 PM
PLEASE ask an employee to get it down. Even a short employee can quickly grab a little step thing-y from out the back and reach something up the top. Please ask! We are here to help!

What not to do:
1. Attempt to reach the rather delicate item (pack of biscuits) yourself.
2. Stand on a lower shelf to reach higher. :eek:
3. Jump up and knock the item to the ground, defeating your purpose as the item is now damaged/broken and therefore you still do not have the item as you wanted it. :roll:

What customers are never, I repeat: NEVER, to do again:
1. Complain that their item is broken/damaged as they come through the checkout, without indicating to the cashier whether they'd like to keep it or leave it or have the cashier ask someone to get another item down.
2. When the cashier offers to have a new item brought down, refuse and pout.

Seriously, an older lady was holding onto a small pack of biscuits yesterday as she came through my register. It was the last item. I asked if she wanted to take them, and held out my hand for them. She mentioned that she couldn't reach them on the top shelf so she managed to knock them down, but now they were broken. So I offered to have someone get a new pack for her. Nonono, she'd take them, but *sigh* they were so hard to reach up there on that top shelf.

I had to sigh as she walked off. Customers make themselves hard to sympathize with sometimes. :rolleyes:

Edit: before someone says it, yes I know there was no SC here, this is a "the thinks customers do" eyeroll type thread. I'm hoping for similar stories in the comments! :)

DarkProwler
06-05-2008, 12:54 PM
At 6'1" tall, I usually have little trouble reaching things on the top shelves at stores, but as an avid Transformers collector, it can be a pain sometimes. I can't begin to count how many times I've gone looking for a new TF figure, only to find they have just restocked and the one item I'm looking for is on the top of a stack of boxes, at least 8 high (often times more), on the top shelf. Now, if I can find an employee, I'll ask them for assistance. But more often than not, I can't find anyone in the entire toy department. I've become rather adept at standing on the junction of two shelving units, and lowering the entire stack down with one hand, remove what I want, and putting the rest right back where it was, without dropping it :D

marasbaras
06-05-2008, 01:59 PM
I'm fairly short, 5'5" ... but, as such, am a master at knocking things off the top shelf and catching them.

Apathy
06-05-2008, 04:46 PM
"If you don't want me to solve your problem, ma'am, please shut up about it."

I posted a bit ago about a lady who was trying to reach some high stuff, knocked a bunch of items off, took hers, and left the others on the floor.

Evil Queen
06-05-2008, 04:50 PM
I'm rather short at 5' but my BF is 5'8 and my coworkers are a good 6' tall. :D I always have someone around to help me out.

But if I'm shopping by myself I will ask for help.

freeatlast
06-06-2008, 12:09 AM
I am only 5'3" and have that problem all the time. Either the shelf itself is too high, or the supply is low and all that is left is at the back of the shelf. Especially when buying beer at Wal Mart. All of the 12 packs of Coors Light are on the top shelf, so I just have to be patient and wait for someone tall to come along. Most of the time, whatever tall man I ask to reach it for me will be very helpful. But I have been told on more than one occasion that I shouldn't be allowed to buy it if I can't reach it for myself. They are all comedians you know:lol:

Salted Grump
06-06-2008, 12:21 AM
My personal advantage; 6'3" Prolly taller, and stretchable. I get stopped all the time and asked to help so-and-so with a tall shelf (99% of the time, in my area they're all older people who are very polite, so it gives me warm fuzzies even if it drags a 3-minute shopping trip into 10 minutes.)

boringscreenname
06-06-2008, 12:50 AM
I'm 5'3'' so I run into this problem all the time. I make the boyfriend go shopping with me since he's 6'0" and has no problem with shelves.

RetailWorkhorse
06-06-2008, 02:01 AM
A woman taller than me (I'm 4 foot 11 inches tall) asked me to get something off the shelf for her (she actually READ THE SIGN! :eek: ). So I trotted back to my register, grabbed one of the many canes, and pulled one down for her.

I actually use the canes a lot at work. Great for bringing down a set of giftbags.

Nyx
06-06-2008, 02:36 AM
A woman taller than me (I'm 4 foot 11 inches tall) asked me to get something off the shelf for her (she actually READ THE SIGN! :eek: ). So I trotted back to my register, grabbed one of the many canes, and pulled one down for her.

I actually use the canes a lot at work. Great for bringing down a set of giftbags.

We have a winner in shortness. :lol: (I'm 5'0 for the record)

I remember one time at the shoe store, I heard a loud crash and went over to find that a group of customers, (a woman and her two teen sons?) had pulled all the shoes in overstock down on their heads. Some of the shoes in these boxes were heavy steel toed ones even. The woman looks up at me and replies calmly and sweetly, "Oh it's ok, we got the ones we wanted" They then "helped" pack up the shoes regardless of whether they went in said box or not, paid and left me to sort them out. I'd asked the AM many times if we could put up a sign asking customers to not pull down boxes. But she always said "corporate wouldn't approve".

RetailWorkhorse
06-06-2008, 03:30 AM
We have a winner in shortness. :lol: (I'm 5'0 for the record)


*Takes a couple of bows*

Can't help being tiny.

Eric the Grey
06-06-2008, 04:01 AM
While shopping for work (dinner, soda, snacks...) yesterday, I came down the soda aisle and found a somewhat shorter-than-me woman trying to get a 2-liter bottle off the top shelf and not quite being able to reach it.

I offered to get it for her just as she was about to stand up on the lowest shelf. :rolleyes:

I'll never understand why people try that.


:cool: Eric the Grey

DeltaSierra
06-06-2008, 07:54 AM
This has to make me giggle because I'm *barely* 5'2 and quite often I simply can't reach items on the top shelves of supermarkets. They're not THAT high up, but for somebody short like me, it might as well be Everest. If an employee isn't available, I've had the good fortune of simply being able to ask someone who is taller than me if they would mind grabbing said item off the shelf. I usually get a grin and a "no problem!" from them, regardless whether they're male or female.

I'll never forget being in the supermarket one day and my one of my brother's friends happened to come down the aisle (he stands 6'8, and though 3 years younger than me, always would ask "who put this arm rest here?" when visiting my parent's house when we were younger) and I told him I was SO happy to see him!! He said "Hey I'm good for something!" :lol:

karath
06-06-2008, 11:05 AM
This has to make me giggle because I'm *barely* 5'2 and quite often I simply can't reach items on the top shelves of supermarkets. They're not THAT high up, but for somebody short like me, it might as well be Everest. If an employee isn't available, I've had the good fortune of simply being able to ask someone who is taller than me if they would mind grabbing said item off the shelf. I usually get a grin and a "no problem!" from them, regardless whether they're male or female.

I'll never forget being in the supermarket one day and my one of my brother's friends happened to come down the aisle (he stands 6'8, and though 3 years younger than me, always would ask "who put this arm rest here?" when visiting my parent's house when we were younger) and I told him I was SO happy to see him!! He said "Hey I'm good for something!" :lol:

Been there, done that; at 6'5" I get that all the time. Don't mind a bit unless I've had a really bad day (or it's early in the morning) but it's nice to know I'm useful for something!

JustADude
06-06-2008, 11:15 AM
I've had the good fortune of simply being able to ask someone who is taller than me if they would mind grabbing said item off the shelf. I usually get a grin and a "no problem!" from them, regardless whether they're male or female.Been there, done that; at 6'5" I get that all the time. Don't mind a bit unless I've had a really bad day (or it's early in the morning) but it's nice to know I'm useful for something!



Just a note:

While we tall people are generally glad to offer assistance to the "less vertically enabled :rolleyes:" among us, there's a rather unfair double standard there. I highly doubt we'd get as cheerful a reaction if we were to ask someone who was about 4'10" to pass us something stuck at the back of the bottom shelf where we have trouble reaching.

cinema guy
06-06-2008, 12:05 PM
I used to be the one who crawled under desks to get at computer cables, cos I am pretty small.

I have stood on the bumper bar along the bottom of shelving so that I can reach the top shelf.

hecubus
06-07-2008, 08:18 AM
Since I use a wheelchair, I come in at about 4'8" or so, but I have really long arms, so reaching most things is not a problem. If there is something out of my reach, and I can;t find an employee and there's no tall person in the area, I've gotten pretty good at taking off one of my footrests and knocking things off the shelf and catching them. Of course, I only do this with non-breakable items.

AKWalMartCartGuy
06-07-2008, 08:29 AM
Just a note:

While we tall people are generally glad to offer assistance to the "less vertically enabled :rolleyes:" among us, there's a rather unfair double standard there. I highly doubt we'd get as cheerful a reaction if we were to ask someone who was about 4'10" to pass us something stuck at the back of the bottom shelf where we have trouble reaching.
get a cane and a grey wig :lol:


really though, people climbing on shelves are more likely to hurt themselves then a tall person squatting down. I'm of average height so I can reach the top, and also reach the bottom easily

hecubus
06-07-2008, 10:21 AM
Just a note:

While we tall people are generally glad to offer assistance to the "less vertically enabled :rolleyes:" among us, there's a rather unfair double standard there. I highly doubt we'd get as cheerful a reaction if we were to ask someone who was about 4'10" to pass us something stuck at the back of the bottom shelf where we have trouble reaching.

You would from me. I mean, if I expect tall people to help me out when I ask, I should be just as willing to help them out if they ask.

crazylegs
06-07-2008, 07:38 PM
I have stood on the bumper bar along the bottom of shelving so that I can reach the top shelf.

Sooo not a good idea, the shelves are generally held onto the support arms by gravity alone no screws or anything so if you tread on a bad shelf you *will* tip it and you *will* hurt yourself.

BookstoreEscapee
06-07-2008, 09:05 PM
I used to be the one who crawled under desks to get at computer cables, cos I am pretty small.

When I was a kid I was always the one who got to crawl into the bushes to get the lost soccer ball or whatever. :rolleyes: I was the smallest kid in my class until 4th grade; then someone shorter moved to town. I didn't really catch up to my classmates until about 6-7th grade.

Now I'm 5'4"; I have on occasion been asked to get something from a top shelf in the grocery store. I don't mind at all. I have to do it for my mom all the time when we go shopping, anyway (she's 3 inches shorter than me).

In Store2, most of the fiction section is 7 shelves tall (most sections are only 6; or 5 in a few where the books are too big for normal spacing). This includes the romance section. Most romance readers are women. The shelves in that store are metal, with prongs in the back that hook into a track in the bookcase. If you stand on the shelf, it will not only bend the shelf (some of them have a distinct bend in the middle), it will also damage the slot in the track. Which means that replacing the shelf does no good. There are a few shelves in that section (all the second from the bottom) that cannot have books faced out on them because they will just fall off. The worst part of it all is the fact that there are step stools scattered around the store and especially in that area because of the taller cases. (Unfortunately people like to use them as chairs.) There are also a few wooden chairs near the windows right there that can be dragged over in a pinch. (I actually used to stand on a chair when I was zoning the top shelves because it was more comfortable than reaching up from the step stool.)

I much prefer the shelves in Store1. They're wood and held in place with 4 metal brackets. The will fall a little more easily (especially if a bracket is missing) but at least if a bracket gets damaged it doesn't make the whole shelf unuseable, and the shelves themselves can't bend in the middle. There are extra brackets in the drawer at every info station and also in receiving and the cashwrap.

cinema guy
06-07-2008, 11:44 PM
Sooo not a good idea, the shelves are generally held onto the support arms by gravity alone no screws or anything so if you tread on a bad shelf you *will* tip it and you *will* hurt yourself.

It isn't actually the shelving, it is a solid bar with rubber edging along the bottom at ground level, which I'm guessing is intended to stop trolleys crashing into the shelving. I've worked in a supermarket and have made up enough shelves to know not to climb on the shelves themselves.

Tauri.Sith
08-15-2008, 07:10 AM
I'm 4' 10". Yup, that's the story of my life...

At least at work everyone else is at least 5.5 feet and a few people are over 6 feet. So because I'm the n00b, I'm the one always sent back to get stuff - and then trot back up to the front and get someone else five seconds later because it's on the top shelf. So when it's J, B, and I at front counter, I can see people look up at J, up some more to B, and then down...down...down...to me. And then comes the smirk... and the comments...

I've been friends with these people for the past few years. I've heard everything. I really don't need your half-wit comments. Remember, I'm the one taking your order. Puh-leaze.

GingerBiscuit
08-15-2008, 07:21 AM
The amount of times I've been trying to reach something on the top shelf, making cute little squeaking noises, and some tall person comes along, reaches it and gives it to me with a look which is a strange combination of amusement, pity, happiness and patronising...

Golden Phoenix
08-15-2008, 03:04 PM
I recall that while working checkouts at the supermarket i sold my time to some years back i heard an almighty crash and a lot of shouting.

Found out later that some sucky parent had asked their teenage kid to grab a jar of pasta sauce for them, the sauce was on the top shelf so the kid stood on the second shelf up to reach it instead, result was that the kid pulled the entire shelf over. The kid wasn'thurt cos as soon as he felt the shelf start to go he jumped off but we lost nearly a thousand pounds worth of products when the bottles smashed and the cleaning crew nearly had a nervous breakdown.

The mother and son apparently just walked away from it quickly and vanished into the rest of the store, however we had them on the security cameras so the guard went and found them and ejected them from the place. :wave:

Then, damn me if it didn't happen again the next day.

A short (and rather round) gentleman decided thathe wanted a bottle of champagne and couldln't reach it (top shelf stuff) and climbed up to get it. *CRASH* down came another section of shelving with over fifteen thousand pounds worth of wine and champagne. :eek:

He was, again ejected from the store, but not before threatening to sue us because his suede coat got splashed and it was our fault for not posting warning signs that the shelves may tip if climbed on.

Chromatix
08-16-2008, 04:11 AM
Seems to me that the shelves should have been stabilised - either attached to the wall or to the shelf behind them. Certainly the IKEA shelves I bought recently all have "strongly encouraged" instructions to do so.

Golden Phoenix
08-16-2008, 03:14 PM
All our shelves were stabilised with long concrete blocks that attached to the back, they were enough to prevent it tipping over if kids decided to use them as climbing frames, guess no-one ever thought an adult would be that dumb....

Hyndis
08-16-2008, 03:26 PM
A short (and rather round) gentleman decided thathe wanted a bottle of champagne and couldln't reach it (top shelf stuff) and climbed up to get it. *CRASH* down came another section of shelving with over fifteen thousand pounds worth of wine and champagne. :eek:

He was, again ejected from the store, but not before threatening to sue us because his suede coat got splashed and it was our fault for not posting warning signs that the shelves may tip if climbed on.

I'd think the store would be able to go after him for damages. Probably small claims court or whatever similar thing you have in England. I'd imagine the case would be so easy to make it would merely require showing the judge the security tape of the incident, and you'd have your damages reimbursed.

Becks
08-16-2008, 04:21 PM
Even a short employee can quickly grab a little step thing-y from out the back

Not if the store doesn't have any.






Trust me.

Golden Phoenix
08-16-2008, 04:36 PM
He was, again ejected from the store, but not before threatening to sue us because his suede coat got splashed and it was our fault for not posting warning signs that the shelves may tip if climbed on.

One thing i forgot to add to this is that we did have "Please do not climb on the shelves, risk of tipping and injury" printed on every 2nd shelf.

I don't know if the store ever tried to sue him for the stuff he broke, i left a few days after, i was working off my four weeks notice befor going to University.

rerant
08-17-2008, 09:06 PM
This is why I'm dating someone who stands a nice, tall 6'4". If I can't reach something he definitely can. :)

Irving Patrick Freleigh
08-17-2008, 09:23 PM
PLEASE ask an employee to get it down. Even a short employee can quickly grab a little step thing-y from out the back and reach something up the top. Please ask! We are here to help!


Except at my store, you never can find a step stool when you need one. They always tend to get hidden by people trying to keep them for themselves.

So instead you have to stand on basedecks or climb shelving in the backroom. Haven't had an accident yet, knock on wood.

Chromatix
08-18-2008, 05:33 AM
I must admit that I very occasionally use the bottom shelf as a leg-up to reach the back of the top shelf. But only when absolutely necessary (and that is very rare) and I'm always careful to keep an eye on the shelf's balance. If it started to tip, I'd be ready to get off sharpish.

Then again, I'm an engineer (in computers, admittedly) and my dad was the "tame engineer" in a physics lab. So this kind of thing got instilled at an early age. :D

raideo
08-18-2008, 05:54 AM
Yeah, I'm 6'2", and about 190 so I get to carry anything heavy, I have to clean alot of stuff most people can't reach even with a step ladder, I burnt my hand on a heat lamp because due to my height I could not see the caution hot sign. And we have a recipt printer that only me and 3 other people can reload with paper because the rest of the employees can't see how to put the paper in it. The sink however was designed for dwarves so I end up with back cramps when i'm on fountain and have to clean all of the containers.

Jay 2K Winger
08-20-2008, 06:06 AM
Being about 6'2" myself, I get asked to get stuff off the high shelves at work on occasion, but more often I get asked to do it for my Mom at home. (She's about ... 5'7"? I'm terrible at estimating these things.)

She's always amazed that I can reach stuff on the top shelves in our kitchen without having to stand on tiptoes.

I'm also the go-to guy in the house for moving heavy stuff. As my Dad always likes to put it, "Yup. Strong back, weak mind."

To which I always reply, "I get them both from you, Dad."

mattm04
08-20-2008, 07:00 AM
We had a lady get hurt when she slipped off the 2nd shelf, trying to trach the back. This was not the regular grocery/dry goods shelves, which can hold a lot of weight, but the wire freezer shelving. The shelf edge bent, sending her falling to the ground. She was not hurt and we never heard a word from her or corp. about the incident, besides the initial e-mail, "We have received report number 12345679, regarding a SLIP/FALL in STORE #000 on DATE. Should you have contact with the customer, <insert legal stuff here>. "