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Supermarkets are not very Aspie friendly

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(deleted)

There's a business idea for you, an autism friendly supermarket :) I wonder if that would work?

 

I agree with you that suddenly changing the layout of the aisles or discontinuing a product line is extremely annoying. I'm ok with grocery shopping as long as I go the supermarket when it's not busy, because I don't like crowds or long queues. Also, I find it exasperating when people block the aisles with their trolleys and I can't pass, when kids are being noisy, and when people brush past me, and the most frustrating of all is when I'm looking at the products and somebody passes in front of me and breaks my concentration. Grrr!! I find that one really triggering. Oh, and I can't stand the sound of squeeky trolleys :(

 

Where I live there are no self-service check-outs. I tried one in the UK and i disliked it intensely, because it was the first time and I don't know how to use it, there was a queue and I felt under geat pressure to do it quickly. But I didn't know what to do and I find it hard to concentrate under pressure and read the instructions. Luckily, my sister with me and came to the rescue, or I would have just given up and had to join the queue again for the manned checkout. i prefer the manned checjout because that's what I'm used to and I have a system worked out for arranging my groceries on the conveyor belt so the heavier items are on the bottom and lighter ones on top, that way they don't get damaged. I do that, then get my money ready before i reach the till. but even so, i still feel under pressure to pack quickly and leave at the checkout, it's not a pleasant feeling.

I also don't like a lot of children or blocked ilses! I agree that it is a bit pressuring when there are people behind you at the self-service checkout (also because they always start scanning before you've taken your bags which I find really annoying!) but fortunately that doesn't usually happen that often so it's not too much of a problem. I also arrange the itms on the conveyor belt at the manned checkout so that they don't get damaged like that but the checkout assistant always squashes things like the bread when they pick it up (I always pick bread up by the tied end to avoid squashing it but the checkout assistant doesn't do that) and they also really shove things down and don't wait for you to pack before scanning more than can fit at the other end of the checkout so everything gets squashed like that as well.

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King_oni

You must live in a horrible area where supermarkets are like this (and no this is not a snarky remark).

 

Though I can understand your issues you have, I guess that's just one of the things that is what it is.

 

Seeing discontinued items (or rather; not seeing them anymore) is annoying, and for that reason, there are certain type of meals I've learned to make myself. I know I can't rely on the same brand existing forever, nor can I expect to live near a store that stocks these things forever. Eventually I'll move and I don't know what stores will be around (and honestly; I'm not going to make an extensive travel just so I can get ingredient X). However, I find that if you take some bigger brands, it's often not that much of an issue and these things remain in stores for quite a while. There are so many items I've seen in stores for over a decade, yet I've also seen items being pulled after a year. Maybe the "trick" is to not get overly attached to it. I mean, I once bought a yoghurt which I thought was one of the best flavor combinations I ever had; then I looked at the package "special edition"... it means that I can very well run into the store one day and find it replaced (and so it was). So I learned to let go of these things and rather just enjoy the items while they're still on sale.

 

I can see how change in a store adds to the frustration though. I'd get frustrated if they changed around where everything is though.

 

As for self-checkouts. I never used one either; some stores in my area have this, though I never used one myself. Though I guess I'm not that socially awkward and manage to interact with most female cashiers (up to the point where I once asked for someones phonenumber; that created some tension, hah). But I guess for many people it's nice if you're not too keen on interacting with people. The fact that these things create lines is beyond me. Shouldn't these things improve the flow of people paying and leaving?

 

What irks me on checkouts is that they scan the items so fast, that I don't even have time to pack it all. By now I've become adept to take a few minutes longer while shopping to reverse engineer my packing, so I can put everything from my cart on the belt in backwards order so it is in the right order when I need to pack. It saves me some frustration of having crushed eggs, lol. 

 

My main annoyances in grocerystores

- Wild and noisy children

- Items that are out of stock (one would suspect that in the "first world" things can't run out of stock, lol)

- Sudden price hikes (not exclusive to grocery stores)
- Loud speakers blaring all kinds of stuff through the store (give employees a pager or something, I don't need to hear that Tina is needed at the register)

- People with lots of spare change at a register. There's a reason I pay with my bankcard... it's to speed up the friggin process of monetary transaction. I'm not doing groceries because I'm bored, I need to get this stuff over with as fast as possible. Even worse; the elderly with change... (I have nothing against the elderly, but sometimes I wish they had their own queue)

- The lack of queues for a few items. Stores in my area don't have this, so even if I just need to buy a bottle of coke, I'm in line waiting behind someone who apparently is having a 36 people barbecue party. Though I'm often surprised if people tell me to skip the line because I have only 1 or 2 items... so I guess it's only a partial valid complaint.

 

I do kinda solve these issues for as much as I can by going early in the morning. Store opens at 8, I'm there 8:01 and out 8:05. No one in my way, no lines at the register... oh, and I often pre-plan what I need and sometimes even my route through the store.

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the-commander

Yes they do do "scan as you shop" but the one supermarket makes you pay for it and for some reason I never use it at the other one. (Also the other issue was the more significant one.) I also can't make the meal with raw ingrediants because it won't be exactly the same as the one that I used to by so I might as well just buy a different brand.

 

Your point about the self-service checkouts is valid but that doesn't mean that it's not upsetting for an aspie to arrive at the checkouts and find that they have been removed. Also my other point was that supermarkets should offer an "aspie" range of meals which are always guaranteed to be available (or can be ordered on request for manufacture within a few weeks if it is not economical to make them all the time). (Or if they can't guarantee that the "aspie" meals can always be available then the least that they could do is give advanced warning before discontinuing them to avoid nasty surprises when doing the shopping.) Actually by the way the discontinuation of the meal was not out of the supermarkets control because it was their own brand of meal.

........aspergers is a very small portion of the population. no offense but i really dont think expecting them to do this is reasonable.

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Whoknows

I'll just go through the backdoor and take everything in a truck.

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BirdSong

, and the most frustrating of all is when I'm looking at the products and somebody passes in front of me and breaks my concentration. Grrr!! I find that one really triggering.
 

 

Nesf do you , or anyone else, know how this trigger is described in diagnostic terms?  Could you tell me more about why you think its a problem for you? People breaking my concentration is a huge issue for me, now I realise its a common AS thing I'd like to hear more about the theories behind why we find it so hard.

Edited by BirdSong

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Bruce

I like the self-service tills, as they are usually quicker. But I pack my own groceries even at 'manned' ones & I've no problems with either, in general.

Then, I can't think of anything I like getting that's likely to get stopped. So, that just leaves idiots crawling slowly around shop, stopping on middle of aisle & such annoyances. ..

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Nesf

 

, and the most frustrating of all is when I'm looking at the products and somebody passes in front of me and breaks my concentration. Grrr!! I find that one really triggering.
 

 

Nesf do you , or anyone else, know how this trigger is described in diagnostic terms?  Could you tell me more about why you think its a problem for you? People breaking my concentration is a huge issue for me, now I realise its a common AS thing I'd like to hear more about the theories behind why we find it so hard.

 

I'm not an expert on this, but I think that it is due to impairments in executive functioning that people with ASD and ADHD often have, which can make it hard for us to change focus from one thing to another. Here's more about it:

 

http://musingsofanaspie.com/executive-function-series/

http://www.ucd.ie/artspgs/langimp/autismexecdysf.pdf

http://www.drthomasebrown.com/pdfs/Executive_Functions_by_Thomas_Brown.pdf

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HoleInTheEarth

Supermarkets really arent too good sometimes. I enjoy going to my local ASDA (or Walmart since they were bought out by them), but a lot of the time's there is an issue with it. As an example. One time I went and the lady at the till was putting the items through too fast and I started to panic. Another time, which apparently isn't a bad thing, but I saw it as one, I had a debate with my mother at the till because the bag we used for bread, wouldn't hold my bread. And so I started to panic about the bags being changed around to hold my bread. Small thing perhaps? Pretty big to me. Another issue I found is they stopped stocking my Starbucks coffee. Which is odd considering it's one of the bigger ASDA's, open 24 hours and what not. But I've had to try and replace it. I'm not fond at all of this, but it's something I try to do.

 

Maybe it's just life but I think we have to adapt, or at least try to adapt, to changes because they will happen. It's not easy but it should be possible.

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(deleted)

I think that what I was trying to say is just that supermarkets aren't really that aspie-friendly.

Also the self-service checkouts do cause a lot of queues because there usually aren't that many of them unfortunately (and even fewer of them now lol). I also just think that the very least that they could do is to give advanced warning before discontinuing items - especially if it's one thats been around for quite long like this one was - I mean surely that couldn't cost them that much to do just for our sake???

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HoleInTheEarth

I think that what I was trying to say is just that supermarkets aren't really that aspie-friendly.

Also the self-service checkouts do cause a lot of queues because there usually aren't that many of them unfortunately (and even fewer of them now lol). I also just think that the very least that they could do is to give advanced warning before discontinuing items - especially if it's one thats been around for quite long like this one was - I mean surely that couldn't cost them that much to do just for our sake???

 

I like a heads up myself before anything I enjoy is discontinued, so I know I have to find a replacement. What is problematic I think, is when you're used to doing the same thing, and it is now impossible to do it, it kinda messes up your schedule and routine, and that is where it hurts.

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