Customer Reject

8 Rules For Being a Perfect Deli Customer

Dumdeli My name is K, and I am a deli clerk at a popular grocery chain in New Hampshire.

I have been slinging deli meats for around three years now, and in general I do enjoy it. Many of my regular customers know me by name and know exactly what they want and say please and thank you.

However, there are many customers who drive me completely insane, so I was forced to compile a list of rules for being the perfect deli customer.


1. Listen for your number to be called, and be at the counter when it is.

When your number gets called, guess what? It's your turn! Now!

Don't make everyone else wait because you were spacing out or talking. And don't you dare get pissed off because you weren't paying attention.

The faster I wait on you, the faster I can wait on everyone else.

2. Hang up your damn cell phone.

Nothing pisses me off more than waiting on someone who gives me the "one sec" finger while they talk on their phone.

It's great that your third cousin's wife's best friend is moving in with her step-brother's aunt's cousin, but you're here for bologna, not gossip.

You're holding up the line, jackass.

3. Know what you want when you're about to get waited on. 

I've seen you every single week for at least 6 months. How do you not know what you want? You just waited in line for at least 20 minutes, so how have you not decided?

If you're unsure of something, I will more than likely tell you whether or not it is absolutely disgusting. Also, almost everything we carry is on display, so don't ask me if we carry something you don't see.

And don't scoff at the store brands, you pretentious jerk.

4. If you want it sliced fresh, tell me!

If you don't, you're getting it pre-sliced. We pre-slice several of our sale items so we can get you the hell out in timely manner. If you want something sliced a certain way, tell me. If you're unsure how you want it, I'll show you the first slice so you can tell me I'm doing it wrong. Don't let me slice a pound of something and then tell me I sliced it wrong. That's a waste of goddamn food, you picky bitch.

5. Speak the hell up.

Most of the time there are 5 slicers running behind me. They are loud. Don't get offended when I say I can't hear your incoherent mumbles.

6. If you're going to say please, don't tack it on like you forgot.

I don't care if you say please. Just tell me pound of this, pound of that, and thank you. You awkwardly saying please a few seconds after you order is a bit, well, awkward. It also seems a bit rude. Is it really that hard to be polite? Your mother would be ashamed.

7. Don't bitch at me because we're out of stock on a product.

I am not the manager. I do not order our products. I also apologize and try to offer a comparable product for you to at least sample. Also, we don't carry Boar's Head meats, and because I shop here too, I don't know how they taste or how our products compare. They carry Boar's Head at Stop and Shop, and Stop and Shop is for bitches.

8. Thank me at the end of your order.

I serve you. I give you food. I am polite, and I slice everything exactly how you want. Don't I deserve just a teeny tiny bit of gratitude?

Okay, so maybe you were a complete asshat who was rude, mumbled, talked on their cell phone, awkwardly said please, and threw back pre-sliced cheese at me because you did not indicate that you wanted it sliced extra extra thin. I thanked you and told you have a nice day, and you just gave me that look. That look where you are of nobility and I...I am just a deli serf.





Deli customers always seem to be the rudest >< I used to work on the salad bar, and the customers who came there were always really nice and friendly...I spent 5 minutes on the deli bar while the guy went to the loo, and had some snotty woman snarkin at me within 10 seconds oO She wanted some cheeses for a platter, which meant cutting them off the big bloke (and of course they HAD to look fabulous) I told her that I was only covering, if she wanted to wait for the deli guy who is a hell of lot more capable of guessing what size of cheese to cut off, but nooooo she demanded I do it...it took me about 3 attempts to cut off the right weight of cheese, and she huffed at me, then shouted that I was useless and "what the fuck had I been trained for". I could see the deli guy out the corner of my eye, so I just smiled and said "Salads. I was trained to make salads. I don't work on this department" and wandered off :)


*big block, as apposed to big bloke...


*high fives* Woo another Granite Stater! Which market is this one? Basket of the market, Slaw's or Bammaford's?


Hehe wouldn't it be great if there was a really hunky man that you could cut hunks of cheese off =))


What is it about stop and shop? Every time I'm in there (which is very rarely) everyone seems so miserable and the prices are so much higher than any of the other chains around.

Ms. Deli Serf

Rosemary: Yay Granite State!! I work at the store where you "always get more for you dollar," also know as Trash Basket in my hometown :P

Stop and Shop is depressing. I worked as a cashier there for a few years and everyone who came through my line was miserable. Half the time prices rang through wrong, tons of EBT customers spent their ENTIRE month's allowance on the 5th. It was not fun.

--K/Ms. Deli Serf


Greetings from another Granite Stater!

Trash Basket is one place I refuse to shop at - particularly after finding salad mix a few days out of code. Still kicking myself for not raising hell about it, but I was in a hurry at the time.


The Basket is so variable. We have 1 about 1.5 miles away, 1 about 3 miles away, and 1 about 6 miles away. I always go to the one 6 miles away because it's so much better. The closest one is dirty and they don't stock a lot of things I buy from my usual store. The second closest one is horribly understaffed, the lines are always at least 3 people deep regardless of when I shop. If you get a good branch then it's great, the produce is lovely and the prices are great, but some branches are just awful.

Token Female

@Snagglefrog: Ewwww... yeah, that's definitely an issue. Granted, out of codes do happen, but with things like produce (and dairy and anything else that goes bad fast), they really should be on top of that.

Part of the reason I never wanted to work deli (and I was offered a position) was the fact that you're stuck in a relatively cold place, in relatively tight quarters (at least at my market) and you can't hide from the nasty customers as easily as you can when you work grocery...


I agree with everything but Rule #8. Sure, it's nice when customers are courteous, but you really expect to be thanked for something you get paid to do? That's pretty needy.



Its a common courtesy to thank someone for helping you out and doing something for you that you cant do yourself........

Deli Monkey

I gotta say #1, #2, and #5 are top of my petpeeve list. I've given many a customer the stink eye for pulling shit like that :P


@Token Female: Tell me about it. When I first came to the Portsmouth Bammaford's, the store was in the middle of being remodeled. As I result, I got stuck in a tiny deli department. Drove me insane back then.

Now that I'm cashiering (although on leave until end of Nov/early Dec), I feel much happier despite the few nasty customers.

I'd have to agree with Ria in that deli customers seem to be the nastiest.


I used to work in the deli of a grocery. I hated it when people would stand there and watch me slice their order and pile it up on the scale RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, and AFTER they had watched me slice their pound of bologna or whatever, complain that I had sliced it too thick or too thin, and make me slice them a new order. They would just stand there and watch me and say nothing!


@shelle - Exactly, it's courtesy. As in, not owed but given out of generosity. If I go to a deli and order something, it's the guy's job to fill it. Sure, I'll be courteous and say "please" and "thank you" and whatnot, but at the end of the day I'm paying for that service with my hard-earned money, and some of that goes towards his wages. I don't owe him anything more than that.

@Logan - That's an even worse example. A customer thanks a waiter by tipping.


@ marc

Soooo... service workers are not entitled to the little dignities of human acknowledgement. They're PAID to be there, after all, why shouldn't they be treated like equipment?


Please don't feed the trolls 8<

On topic, this is why I don't want to work in a grocery store... I have a hard enough time shopping there, some people are so stupid -_-;


Can we not insult others employers? Bumblebee here, work for the big black and yellow - i complaint about custys and coworkers but can we not insult others jobs. I hate some grocery stores, i'm not a jerk saying everyone who works there is depressed. Actually, I rarely have issues with anything ringing up, and our store's mid renovation - still one of the top stores in the area. Oh, and we slice everything fresh, does that mean i'm better than people who don't? No, not really, it's a different way of doing things. Who cares if the custys are pissy, custys are always pissy, besides, i work in a vacation spot with a terrible seasonal economy, i still get 22ish hours a week, and i go to school (granted i complain about getting so many hours, but still, unlike 90% of stores our down season is the winter-everyone goes home). Also, i don't know about you guys but...i thought the big thing was anonymity...not "hey i hate_____store". I mean, i'm sure most of you can guess where i work, and atleast the state, but i don't go out and say it...

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