After leaving the gym this morning, I decided to stop by a nearby Kroger to pick up a few items. I arrived at the store around 7:10 am. During this timeframe, the only lanes open are self-checkout. I was the first one in the self-checkout lane and opted to use the register in the very back. After I started scanning my items, two men with separate transactions, proceeded to the two front checkout lanes which were across the aisle from each other. During the time this was taking place, the attendant who is charged with monitoring the self-checkout lanes, was away from his post having a lively discussion with a vendor not too far from where I stood.
After I finished scanning my items, I selected the option for entering a coupon which immediately triggered an alert for the attendant to assist me. Due to the lively discussion, the attendant was engaged in, he was unaware that an alert had been signaled. Shortly after my register froze, one of the gentleman’s register triggered an alert, followed by the other. By this time, we are all looking in the direction of the attendant who must have felt the heat on his back, because he turned around with a surprised look.
He commented, “Oh, everyone needs help”. In that precise moment, I could tell he was processing who to help first. This is where the plot thickens. My register signaled the alert first. The attendant would also have to walk past me to assist the other two gentlemen. In an instant, his decision was made, and he proceeded to help the gentleman then backtrack to help me. Could this have been a result of him being an older white gentleman and the other two gentlemen were also white? Could this have been because they were men and I was a woman? Could this be because they were at the front registers and I was at a rear register? Could it be that he felt he would get pushback from the gentlemen if he helped me first? Could this be because I was in gym attire and they weren’t – which gave an impression that I didn’t have any place to be? I patiently waited for him to assist the other two gentlemen, paid for my transaction and kept it moving.
What would you have done if you were the attendant?