Trader Joe's employees share 3 annoying things they wish shoppers would stop doing
Trader Joe's earn pretty high marks in terms of employee satisfaction.
This year, Glassdoor named the grocery chain with a cult-like following as one of the best places to work in the US. Trader Joe's also earned that distinction in 2017, 2013, 2012,and 2011.
But any consumer-facing gig is sure to cause some stress. Sometimes, shoppers just do or say things that have a way of grating on crew members' nerves.
One Trader Joe's crew member wrote on Reddit that the stores probably attract no more rude customers "than the average retailer."
But there are always going to be bad eggs.
"Many TJ's are built in or near affluent neighborhoods, so we do get a lot of people who can be a bit snooty, but won't go out of their way to be rude necessarily," the crew member wrote. "The outrageously rude customers are thankfully far and few between, and we even have had to ban a couple of them. For the most part, I think 99.9% of our customers are decent people. I am even on first name basis with many of the regulars."
With that in mind, here's a look at some of behaviors that are sure to aggravate Trader Joe's crew members:
Abusing the store's sampling policy
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Trader Joe's wants customers to try its new products without having to commit to buying them outright. So crew members are instructed to open up items — aside from alcohol and products that require cooking — to allow shoppers to dig into some samples.
But, on occasion, people take advantage of this sampling policy.
"I've only experienced two or three occasions where a customer tried to take advantage of this and wanted us to open literally ten plus products," one person who said they were a Trader Joe's crew member wrote in a 2017 Reddit thread. "Management had to step in and kindly inform them that one or two products is fine, but we have to draw the line somewhere."
Plus, even if you purchase a product you end up hating, you still have some recourse.
"We have the no-hassle return policy where you don't even need to bring a receipt, so they can buy the product with confidence and, if they don't like it, they are welcome to return it," the crew member wrote.
Another Reddit poster who said they were a crew member at the chain said that handing out samples is "... only annoying when I am the one running the sample station and a customer wants to try like three things — and I'm swamped with people wanting samples."
Acting impatient when it comes to finding products
Jessica Tyler/Business Insider
One Reddit poster who said they were a Trader Joe's employee noted that having customers ask them to check for a product in the back of the store was irritating whenever they found that the shopper subsequently asked an additional crew member "...to do the same exact thing."
They also said they were sick of customers "... walking up to me — or sneaking up on me — and just saying the name of a product they have a question about, instead of saying, 'Hi, can you help me for a moment?'"
Leaving frozen items all over the store
If you decide a product isn't for you, Trader Joe's employees would appreciate it if you'd put it back where you found it.
One person who said they were a Trader Joe's crew member wrote in a 2018 Reddit thread that they felt irked by "... people who decide they don't want something refrigerated or frozen, who just leave it on a shelf somewhere."
"It inevitably gets to room temp and is ruined," the employee added. "It's just so wasteful. One time, I found a package of chicken breasts hidden behind the bottled water. Why?"
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