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notalwaysright
12-28-2014, 01:04 AM
Okay, it's possible that I'm too sensitive to this, but you guys seem more rational than most so I'd be interested in your opinion.

I was in a small grocery store, (the kind with ONLY groceries not a supercenter) and was leaving after making my purchase. This store has a tiny coffee shop inside it. Everything is so small that the coffee shop doesn't have any tables or chairs, it's actually built into the side wall so that it is flush, not taking up grocery store floor space. It has a tiny counter near where you pick up your order, with cream, sugar, napkins and the like. As I'm walking past, this lady who was in the next check stand from me, casually grabs a few sugars and puts them in her pocket without breaking stride.

It didn't look like she had bought anything from the coffee shop, and I know it won't put them out of business (it was the green mermaid place), but it just kinda irked me. Maybe I'm being too critical, maybe she buys coffee every single day at that location, or had bought something earlier, or something. Anyway, thoughts?

EricKei
12-28-2014, 02:16 AM
Condiments are for paying customers ;) Tho you may be right, she could be a regular.

emax4
12-28-2014, 02:41 AM
I can see how that would irk someone. Think of it from an LP standpoint. You work for the green mermaid place, right? Lets say they have thousands of stores in every state. For arguments sake, let's also assume that there are 2-5 people per day that pull the same stuff. With all the money being made by green mermaid daily and that revenue allowing new stores to open up, do you think they care about those packets being taken? If it were store property or something like that, then it's worth throwing a fuss over.

MoonCat
12-28-2014, 04:49 AM
Unless she bought something from them that day, she really had no right to the sugar. Sorry but that's my opinion, which I'm aware is at least partly colored by the fact that a coworker of mine, who is NOT hurting for money AT ALL, used to take handfuls of sweetener from our cafeteria at work. One or two, yes, to go with your drink - not a handful, and not when you haven't bought anything.

But I will agree that a few here and there will not break the company. It's just the principle.

Argus
12-28-2014, 04:53 AM
Think about some of the coupons and sales some of those places use just to get people into the store. A few packets of sugar starts to look like a cheap loss leader.

Mytical
12-28-2014, 05:44 AM
Hmm going by the 1000's of stores, 2-5 people a day. Lets average the number of packets to 7 each. Lets go to 2 people only, and assume a grand total of 1000 stores. So 14 a day x 1000 = 14000 packets a day. They get them in bulk, so I am sure they are less then a cent each, but lets say 1c for the sake of making life easy. so only $140.00 a day. Doesn't seem like a lot to a large chain. Now.. take that by 365. That is $51,100 a year. Still doesn't seem like a lot? Little things add up. I am sure they have more then 1000 stores, and more then 2 people a day do this. Even if you drop it down to .1c that is 5k a year. 5k that could go to the employees. Yes, the big chains laugh at 5k a year. Heck when I worked in Wally World, I added up how much was lost from wrappers/etc that we found. I've seen 5k a day just lost.. and that was what we KNEW about. Do I mind that people take a few extra salt packets or sugar packets, or ketchup or such? No. Just adds up quicker then people think.

wolfie
12-28-2014, 12:54 PM
Condiments are for paying customers ;) Tho you may be right, she could be a regular.

MAD magazine touched on this in "A Berg's Eye View of Fast Food" back in the '70s or '80s. They called a spade a spade, referring to taking condiments when not buying product as stealing.

Think about some of the coupons and sales some of those places use just to get people into the store. A few packets of sugar starts to look like a cheap loss leader.

The thing with a loss leader is that it's intended to get people into the store TO BUY OTHER STUFF. Someone wants a couple of wrapped plastic forks, so they get lunch at Redhead Burger instead of Royal Burger or Sir John A's, and grab a couple forks while they're there? The forks could be written off as a loss leader. They drop in to grab a couple forks without buying anything (or the sugar incident from the OP)? That's stealing.

CoffeeMonkey
12-28-2014, 02:30 PM
I think it's aggravating from a principle standpoint, because that behavior is rude and entitled. They don't ask if they can have a couple of packets. They aren't customers. They're taking advantage of condiments offered for customers. Bleh!

However, from a practical standpoint? Not worth worrying about. Those packets cost about half a cent apiece, and that's the Sam's club price, not the truly bulk price. Even if all the paying customers put some in their coffee, which they don't, you're looking at a few bucks a year in shrink. Does it add up? Of course, everything does. But a business like that may have 99 problems, but a few sugar packets a day is not one of them. One customer a day scamming one $2 cup of coffee could buy more sugar packets than most stores will go through in a day.

Now, when you get the regulars who load up their drinks and then load up their pockets with as many packets of raw sugar and napkins as they can fit, then it becomes an annoyance.

(In my store, when we saw one particular customer, or his wife, coming, we would quickly hide most of the raw sugar and napkins so that there was only enough left to dress up the cup.)

XCashier
12-28-2014, 04:02 PM
When I worked at the roast beef sandwich place, we used to have trays of condiment packages out on the counter, for people to take what they needed. Far too often, some old bat would put the entire contents of the tray into her purse: barbecue sauce, horseradish sauce, ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, diet sweetener, everything. They also stuffed loads of napkins into their purses and pockets as well. We lost more than a few dollars that way until management put the trays behind the registers and the customers had to ask for what they needed.

MoonCat
12-29-2014, 01:24 AM
When I worked at the roast beef sandwich place, we used to have trays of condiment packages out on the counter, for people to take what they needed. Far too often, some old bat would put the entire contents of the tray into her purse: barbecue sauce, horseradish sauce, ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, diet sweetener, everything. They also stuffed loads of napkins into their purses and pockets as well. We lost more than a few dollars that way until management put the trays behind the registers and the customers had to ask for what they needed.

See? When my mom belonged to a local senior center, she got tired of there never being hand towels in the ladies room and brought in a roll of paper towels. It lasted a day or two before someone took it.

As for my CW, she stopped taking handfuls of sweetener packets from the cafeteria when someone :whistle: left a coupon on her desk for the same brand of sweetener. She got the point.

drjonah
12-29-2014, 03:54 AM
Probably the same kind of SC who asks if they can have a couple extra plastic bags and then take a giant handful because 'The company can afford it' :rolleyes:

Monterey Jack
12-29-2014, 02:07 PM
Probably the same kind of SC who asks if they can have a couple extra plastic bags and then take a giant handful because 'The company can afford it' :rolleyes:

And then they bitch when my store runs out of plastic bags (we're only allotted a finite amount per week, and if we run out before the next shipment, the customers have to make do with paper bags or their own re-usable ones). Of course, they always ask for "double bags", no matter how light the items in question are. :rolleyes:

Lace Neil Singer
12-29-2014, 05:53 PM
This is the reason why the free sample stands in the supermarket are always manned (or womaned ;)) cuz of customers grabbing handfuls of samples and leaving none for the rest. Altho some SCs have no shame. I once witnessed an SC throwing a tantrum cuz she tried to grab an entire fruit cake off the sample stand and was stopped by the staff member on it; the SC's excuse was "it's a free sample!" Um, no it's not. :rolleyes: The little morsels of cake in the paper cups are free samples, the cake is not.

Shalom
12-29-2014, 06:58 PM
Probably the same kind of SC who asks if they can have a couple extra plastic bags and then take a giant handful because 'The company can afford it' :rolleyes:

Back in the '80s, when I worked in the city, there was a deli on the same block where I'd go for coffee or soda and nosh. They had a box nailed up by the register with wrapped straws in it, maybe about 75-100 of them at the time.

The deli guy told me once day a man had come in and asked if he could take a few straws. When Deli Guy said OK, he reached his hand in the box and wrapped it around the whole lot.

Deli Guy leaned across the counter and clamped down on the guy's wrist, and he's got a grip of iron. He patiently explained that "a few" does not mean "all of them", and then let go.

notalwaysright
12-29-2014, 08:17 PM
Yeah, okay. I mostly wasn't talking financially, more like morally. The lady I saw did it so casually, like it was a routine, so I figured either she was a regular of that coffee shop, or she took sugar every time she was at the grocery store. Because although it's quite visible, there are like three different types of sugar, regular, raw and fake, so if it was me, I'd have to make sure I got the one I was going for if you get me.

I actually have a funny/depressing story about grocery store samples. You recall that my hometown is basically a wealthy retirement community? Right, so there is this nice retirement home, the type which has a spa and yoga studio and chartered buses. You are rich if you live there, end of story. Well, a couple times a week a shuttle went to the grocery store. Of course, many of these people took advantage of the free samples. But one woman really went overboard. She would bring a paper plate in her giant purse, load up, and eat in the little section with seating near the deli. Now, many of you are thinking, hey NAR, if she's just getting one of each, that's no big deal! She was NOT getting one thing. She would sneak back SEVERAL times to reload her plate. She didn't buy anything, because she "preferred a more quality" store. Her words. So the grocery store stopped putting out samples until that person gave up.

XCashier
12-30-2014, 02:02 AM
She was NOT getting one thing. She would sneak back SEVERAL times to reload her plate. She didn't buy anything, because she "preferred a more quality" store. Her words. So the grocery store stopped putting out samples until that person gave up.
(Because I'm tacky) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq7Eki5EZ8o)
Took the whole bowl of restaurant mints. Hey, it said they're free

:rolleyes:

Lace Neil Singer
12-30-2014, 09:18 AM
What a lot of SCs don't realise about them taking loads of plastic bags, sugar packets etc is that the costs of replacing the bags fall on them, the customer, as a result. Stores have to make up the money somehow and the usual way to do it is to raise prices. :rolleyes:

Catwoman2965
12-30-2014, 02:59 PM
I hate people who do that. I will admit to, once or twice, when a new artificial sweetner came out, taking ONE packet, while eating at a restaurant, so I was paying for something, but not needing it for my drink right then and there. I wanted to try them out, and didn't want to buy a whole box or package, in case it wasn't good. But i think I did that exactly twice, only took one, and was also paying for a full meal, beverage, etc.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
12-30-2014, 03:49 PM
We used to set up a refreshment table at the swamp every time we had Another Damn Senior Day. It had packages of cookies (requisitioned from store stock), juice (again requisitioned from store stock) and maybe a big urn of coffee (the cups for the coffee were requisitioned from store stock).

And people would come in, take a package of cookies or a bottle of juice, and walk right out without buying anything. Also, whenever we had coffee we were always finding the damn cups left all over the place. So bye bye refreshments table.

Lace Neil Singer
12-30-2014, 09:37 PM
We used to set up a refreshment table at the swamp every time we had Another Damn Senior Day. It had packages of cookies (requisitioned from store stock), juice (again requisitioned from store stock) and maybe a big urn of coffee (the cups for the coffee were requisitioned from store stock).

And people would come in, take a package of cookies or a bottle of juice, and walk right out without buying anything. Also, whenever we had coffee we were always finding the damn cups left all over the place. So bye bye refreshments table.

And this is why we can't have nice things! :rolleyes:

Ironclad Alibi
12-31-2014, 01:12 AM
What a lot of SCs don't realise about them taking loads of plastic bags, sugar packets etc is that the costs of replacing the bags fall on them, the customer, as a result. Stores have to make up the money somehow and the usual way to do it is to raise prices. :rolleyes:

But look at the bright side. Soon they will have to pay 5p for every bag they take. Not that they won't complain about it. And when they complain, tell them to take it up with their MP.

wolfie
12-31-2014, 04:02 AM
And people would come in, take a package of cookies or a bottle of juice, and walk right out without buying anything.

Too late for the Clearance Swamp, since refreshments during ADSD have been discontinued, but am I evil to suggest drilling a small hole in the juice bottle in such a place that it wouldn't cause problems when pouring a glass of it and putting the bottle back on the refreshment table, but if someone were to take the whole bottle and put it in their purse the (so the thief thinks) sealed bottle would leak its contents all over the place? Of course, if they tried to return the bottle, the hole would be a dead giveaway that they had taken it from the refreshment table instead of buying it.

Alternately, when a bottle is put on the refreshment table, dispose of the cap in the trash can in the employee break room, so it can't be re-closed.

Sapphire Silk
12-31-2014, 03:12 PM
We had a frequent flyer in the ER whom I caught in the hospital cafeteria late at night, stuffing her purse with sugar packets and creamer packets, and other stuff. While the line was closed late at night the dining room was open because of all the vending machines in there. The cafeteria staff never put the condiments away after closing the line for the night.

I ordered FF to put all the stuff back, or I would call the cops and have her arrested for stealing . . . and then she wouldn't get her daily dose of narcotics that she was really there for.

She meekly complied.

As she left, I told her if I ever caught her doing this again I would call the cops no questions asked.

I mentioned it to the cafeteria supervisor; she shrugged and ignored the suggestion this stuff be locked up after hours.

And people wonder why health care costs so much :doh: