Another supermarket rant

One of the reasons I go by "the Touched" is because people have always had a hell of a time pronouncing my last name (or spelling it, if they hear it pronounced). But some places have this irritating policy of addressing their customers by last name whether we like it or not.

Safeway is the culprit in this case, because their method of doing it is especially egregious. Picture the transaction, me at the cashier. The groceries are all passed through, and I've paid. I use a Safeway club card for extra savings, which prints my name on the receipt. Yes, I could probably evade this issue by paying more and not using the club card, but hey.

So this is what happens every time: after the transaction is complete, and my receipt prints out, instead of handing it to me so I can go on my merry way, the cashier holds it back from me, squints at it, and demands that I pronounce my name for her, so that she can repeat it back to me. And for some reason, even the times when I state in advance "Don't try to pronounce my last name" or "Address me by my first name," they either ignore me, don't understand what I'm saying, or forget. This is another case of company policies Wasting My Time, and annoying me with the name thing at the same time.

That's the second, lesser annoyance. It's one of my little eccentricities. I think shopping should be a relatively anonymous activity. I know the company thinks it's some kind of 50's-era "respect" to address the customer by his last name, and pretend they know him. But to me, it doesn't matter if I'm buying a sack of potatoes or a box of condoms -- you shouldn't act like you know me.

So don't hold my receipt hostage to read it and stumble over the name issue when I want to be heading home. Knock off this policy and hand over my goods. But if you must call me by name, just call me Shawn, for the love of mike. It's 1 syllable, and easy to pronounce, and I can get out of the bloody store that much faster.