In this installment of “WWYD,” informing on the cashier at the grocery store.
Occasionally my grocery store posts these signs in the checkout lane saying that if your cashier forgets to do something, you can get a free chocolate bar by reporting it to customer service. I like a free chocolate bar, but I don’t like feeling like I’m profiting by snitching on an employee, or feeling like a poorly-compensated mystery shopper, so I never take advantage. Any chance I’m being oversensitive about this? — N.
During my brief stint as a Barnes and Noble bookseller back in college, management would circulate employees to work as cashiers, and then watch them to make sure they asked every customer if they were interested in buying a $25 annual membership. If you didn’t ask, you were reprimanded, or banished to the messy nightmare that was the kids’ section, or the bathrooms to retrieve books and magazines that people took in and left there (I don’t know why people did this—it’s very unsanitary).
What I’m getting at here is that, yes, the managers want to incentivize you to report on employees who aren’t doing something they’re being asked to do. And with chocolate! And not everyone feels okay with informing on people they don’t know. So you’re not being oversensitive—you just don’t feel good about getting an employee in trouble in exchange for chocolate. I would also not inform on the grocery store employees in exchange for chocolate—maybe the cashier is having a bad day and forgot to ask, who knows. I’d rather buy my own chocolate.