Rude Treatment for Using Wic?

Updated on March 06, 2012
K.P. asks from Tacoma, WA
33 answers

I was just at our local Fred Meyer and I went to get my son's Wic. My son and I went to the "Family Friendly" checkout and put our things up on the belt and waited. There were two other customers in front of me and the checker and the customers were making friendly chit chat etc etc. Hi how are you yada yada. It comes to my turn and I say "I have Wic" and hand him the checks and he got so rude with me! I couldn't believe the change in personality from the two others to me. Because I had Wic. He went on and on about how I should have told him I had Wic etc Um I did?? He sighed, and rolled his eyes when I tried to explain myself and I was just shocked and annoyed at how I was treated.

Is it really THAT big of a deal to use Wic to some people? Does anyone else get rude treatment?

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So What Happened?

To clarify I am not on welfare or use food stamps either.

ETA: Thank you to most Momma's who were kind and made me feel better about this! it has really been weighing on my mind all day yesterday. Thanks for the support!

Okay now, I wasn't trying to be rude by stating my situation.

I have been using Wic for awhile now, and I ALWAYS separate check orders by how they are shown on the checks. I'm a little OCD about it lol. My husband doesnt get it. First is Milk, then peanut butter, cereal etc so that is how I line them up. I am also VERY careful about making sure they are the right kinds and types. etc etc so it wasn't a lazy act of throwing everything in a mess up there :) I also, put a separator bar between each check so they know when the first one ends.
I also ALWAYS tell them first before they ring anything up, I always have them ready in my hand so they can clearly see that I am using Wic today. I put Wic first before any other thing that I am buying etc etc.

I didn't have my regular ol' cell phone that I use out, I was wearing jeans and a tshirt, I have a black purse from Walmart, and I dont have a flashy ring, and I drive a car that is from 97'. There was nothing about me that screamed or said that I was "abusing the system" believe me lol.
Along with Wic the only extra thing I bought was some salad for dinner, and extra fruit because it was on sale for a really good price. And I dont smoke or drink. I could see how that would offend some people if I had cartons of cigarettes and case of beer up there too but that was not what I was doing.

I was just a regular Mom trying to get some items for my son who needs them. And yes we NEED them. My son cant have regular milk, it is a special kind. It costs over $4 some places for a HALF gallon. We cant afford that! Much too expensive so yes, we are extremely thankful that Wic is there to help us out.

I know that it takes longer for cashiers to check out Wic that is why I am always patient and extra nice to them because I appreciate when they are kind and dont give me attitude like this man did. It hurts when people are rude to you because you do need a little help. It's offensive, and I guess like someone else said Must be nice to be them who have never needed help with anything, and they cant put themselves in someone elses shoes.

Thanks for the support ladies, I am glad to see that most everyone else doesnt recieve this treatment. Must just be where I live because I have gotten some unfriendly people more than once. But this is the first time that I have been treated like that. And yes I am going to report him today.

Thanks again.

Featured Answers

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

He treated you that way because he is ignorant and you should have reported him to his manager. First of all, many think wic is welfare, but they are wrong. (not that using welfare if it is needed is a bad thing, that is what it is there for, to help those in need) but wic is a nutritional program for woman and babies, not welfare. He had no right or reason to treat you like that and I hope next time you ask him to stop the transaction and wait until his manager gets their so you can be treated with a little respect.

As to the idea that it may be a hassle for the cashier, that is TOO DAMN BAD. It is their job. If they feel they are too good for it than they should leave and give the job to someone who will do it and show respect for the customers.

5 moms found this helpful
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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

He was totally a jerk !

He is just having a bad day or doesn't know how to ring up the transaction, sorry he was out of line.

5 moms found this helpful
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R.M.

answers from Cumberland on

There is never a reason to be rude to a customer-least of all a mother trying to provide for a child-Good luck to you and stay strong!

4 moms found this helpful

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L.L.

answers from Rochester on

The income cut off for WIC is actually very high...a lot MORE people could use it. The point of the program isn't so much to support just welfare cases, but to ensure people have access to the healthy foods their children need that they may be tempted to forgo due to price.

I've been using WIC going on seven years now between pregnancies and two children, and I don't feel guilty at all. Nor do I get rude treatment...but then, I pick where I go and there's a certain store that I probably wouldn't take my WIC to...or to certain cashiers.

It's a shame, really. Those of us who rely on welfare (um, me and my family, and I've been pretty open with that here) to live due to disabilities and other misfortunes shouldn't be treated any better or worse than anyone else. Personally, my family still gives back to society as much as we can, we don't use drugs, we volunteer, etc...but there's still a stigma. Sad.

Sorry for your experience!! :) Hugs.

16 moms found this helpful

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

Hmmm...some of these responses are raising my hackles. WHO CARES if you had an iphone? Maybe you are like me and got it for free. WHO CARES if you have designer clothes? Maybe you got them at a garage sale (which I do ALL THE TIME for my kids) or maybe you got them at Ross. WHO CARES if your purse was nice? Often times you can go to outlets or wait until an end of season sale and get them at fantastic prices. Or MAYBE it is gifted to you. WHO CARES if you drive a nice car? Maybe you had a great job and were able to pay it off. WHO CARES if people think you are wearing diamonds? Maybe they were cubic Zirconia.
My point? There is NO reason for rude behavior if you are getting WIC or using food stamps. They don't know you or your situation. "F" 'em for judging you.
L.
RHONDA H - you comment IS reportable because it is BLATANTLY racist. Bleh. She didn't say a thing about foreigners or Mexicans. And how the hell do you know if someone is foreign? Because they speak a different language? Well, I know a whole slew of people, myself included, that speak two languages and we were all born in the US. Or is it because they have dark skin? My children all have dark skin and were born right here as well. Or, is it because you can just LOOK at someone and KNOW that they are from overseas. Geesh. That ignorant comment is seriously throwing me. I reported you. She asked for feedback about WIC, not for xenophobia.

15 moms found this helpful
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T.M.

answers from Tampa on

OBVIOUSLY, the cashier was out of line and should have kept his mouth shut. Some folks just cannot help being judgemental.

Personally, I try to think that I just don't know what is going on in someone's life to cause them to need public assistance. You qualified for some reason...probably you met the income limits for assistance. WIC is a better program IMO because it does limit what can be purchased with WIC funds. It is just none of the cashier's business as to why you are on WIC...it is not their job to know. If he was that rude, you should have reported him to the store manager.

I would never say anythiing, but frankly it DID annoy me when I was a cashier and I saw folks buying cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets with their cash and then paying for food with WIC/food stamps. I am certainly not saying this was you...but I did see a lof of it during my cashier days. I have NO problem helping to feed someone that is down on their luck. However, I DO believe that if you are accepting govt. assistance, then you just cannot afford cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets. I saw people that would use their last cash to buy cigarettes and then feed their children ramen noodles. That is just wrong on so many levels.

14 moms found this helpful

J.✰.

answers from San Antonio on

I used to be a cashier at a local grocery store. First of all that cashier has no class. He's a jerk. Don't let him get to you. As for WHY he may have been annoyed: Oftentimes with WIC, the customer would let me ring up 10 items before telling me that they had WIC, so I had to go back and delete the cheese and cereal and peanutbutter until only the milk showed up on the screen. (<<Sigh>>More work). So even if you did say that you had WIC, perhaps he didn't hear you and was annoyed (although he should have been annoyed with himself and not taken it out on you). And if he's an experienced cashier, he should have seen that you had common WIC items in bulk at the front/back of your order and listened for you to say something about it or to pull out and hand him the WIC brochures (do they still do it on paper?) The only other time I was, as a cashier, 'annoyed' with a WIC customer, was when the same person using WIC also bought a carton of cigarettes or bought an excess of 'unnecessary' items (unnecessary in my eyes, not in theirs). Or if that customer wore huge diamonds or carried a designer purse. Looking back, I see now that someone CAN have a designer purse (purchased before the need for WIC, or as a gift) and that you can't judge a book by it's cover. Sounds like this guy is un-experienced and just niaeve (sp?)

11 moms found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I will say as a former cashier, entering those checks into the system is SO tedious. I used to hate it . But with that beimg said, its not your fault they made it so frustrating for a cashier to check you out. I was always nice to my WIC customers as they were often nicer and more patient then my cash customers! He sounds like a jerk. I would complain to the store manager if you can remember the cashiers name.

10 moms found this helpful
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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I have never used WIC.
I did (in college) work as a cashier and lots of people used food stamps (back before the EBT/Access cards where legally, the cashier had to rip the coupons out of the booklets FOR the users (talk about humiliating people!).
Look, you can take your business anywhere. That store is getting MONEY for selling goods to you.
I would think, at the very least, you should call the store manager and lodge a complaint. That's utterly ridiculous treatment.
I'm sorry you had that experience when you are just doing the right thing.

7 moms found this helpful
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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Isn't WIC for women, infants and children?

Sorry he is so lacking in empathy. If my tax dollars are going to this program, I am thrilled. And if I ever need to use it, I will not hesitate.

I hope if he ever needs help he will remember how he treated you and your son : (

6 moms found this helpful
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W..

answers from Chicago on

I had the link card for about 9 months after I had lost my job.

I LOVED that program, because it automatically showed you on the screen how much of your purchase was eligible after you selected the "EBT" option. And lots of time the clerk never even knew what card you used.

However, there were many times that I had to ask the cashier a question and I was never treated rudely. These were the Dominick's and Jewel in the near north area of the city.

I would think anyone who thinks it's a big deal to use WIC has never had the "need" of a program that helps you purchase basic necessities. Or, someone who is young, new and lacks a bit of natural compassion.

Sorry you were treated that way.

5 moms found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

i would have asked for his manager. that is not ok.

5 moms found this helpful
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V.F.

answers from Shreveport on

I would call the manager or at least fill out an online complaint form. I had an issue with a girl at Kroger. After a few times, I complained online and received a call from the manager. I was not the first one to complain about her. She no longer works there, and I am sure it is because she had horrible customer service. They may not be aware of this person.

5 moms found this helpful
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K.N.

answers from Boston on

Sometimes, people are just dumb.

5 moms found this helpful

M.F.

answers from Portland on

I would have reported him!
I used WIC after my daughter was born, there is NOTHING wrong with getting the healthy nutrients you and your child need.
I am glad you are getting the help you need to give healthy stuff to your kids...

Would people rather you feed them sugar loaded Kool-Aid (cause it's cheaper than real juice) and Hamburger Helper since that is cheaper than the whole grains and beans and things you get with WIC?
No, then they would give you grief about your childs poor diet.
It's like you can't win anymore.

5 moms found this helpful
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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Even if you were on food stamps or welfare it would not matter. There are plenty of people on this site that ARE on those programs and you just kind of dissed them. So play nice sweetie.

I have used WIC for several years, youngest turned 5 in December and I cannot believe how much the food bill went up.

I almost got a local Walmart'c WIC contract terminated. The manager would not enforce her cereal isle manager to put the little green stickers under the proper cereal. So when I went to use that middle voucher it would often take me the better part of an hour to select 36 oz. of cereal. When I would pick the ones with the green stickers under them then go to check out they would often be denied, they were the wrong cereals. I would use my little pamphlet too.

They do change very often but a good manager would be on top of it. They are there 4-5 days per week and the site is easily accessed for them. They update and change all the time. I realize that. They should have been up to date. It's their job.

This had been going on nearly a year. She refused to do anything about it. So each and every time I went in and could not find the right cereals I would call for a manager to help me. The assistant managers would come out and see what was going on and just shake their heads.

I complained to the health department, they gave me the state number, I called and complained. They called the district manager, who called me, then he called the area manager, who then called me and listened, then he called the store, who had an assistant manager call me. I had phone calls for nearly a month about this.

Now the cashiers have to call a CSM to read the voucher out loud to the cashier as they check us out, seriously. It is humiliating and annoying to have this done to us. It also takes up a LOT of time because the CSM's are often working in different parts of the store and very busy.

WIC is a blessing for anyone with kids under 5 years old. The income for it is higher. You can even get WIC if you are pregnant and don't even have kids yet.

BTW, my smart phone was free, so was hubby's. Mine was free for renewing our contract and hubby's was free from out accumulation of belief points over nearly a year.

Food stamps are a supplement, not an entire person's food budget.

5 moms found this helpful
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A.S.

answers from Eugene on

I was a checker for years. It didn't matter who paid with what- it was all sales to the store. Sales to the store meant more hours for me. WIC can be confusing while checking-if you don't ring up the right items and get the wrong dollar amount on the check-the check will be returned to the store. His frustration could of come from him not knowing what he was doing rather than you and your situation. It was his problem not yours. Don't take it personally. I am sorry he treated you rude-there is no reason for that. The nutrition your kids get from WIC is the most important thing.

5 moms found this helpful
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H.G.

answers from New York on

There's no excuse for his behavior. I'm at the grocery store 2-3 times a week and I often see people using WIC, etc. There should be no difference between how people are treated - whether they're paying cash, using WIC or food stamps or whatever. People have no brains sometimes. Since you saw a difference in how he treated other customers and then you, I might have asked for a manager and brought his behavior to their attention.

4 moms found this helpful

R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm so sorry you were treated rudely. I'm raising my youngest grandchild and get WIC for him, and have had rude service as well. I have spoken up and asked to see the manager(s.) I've been told that WIC is just like money to the store, they "bill" WIC and get their money at the end of the month for the vouchers, and that there is no reason for anyone to be rude to me. One checker was the son of the store manager (I didn't know) and was so polite to me after the day he was rude I was stunned, he even asked if I needed help to my car since I had a full cart of groceries! Most checkers are always very polite, one has even told me she likes doing WIC purchases!

Call the store and ask to speak to the manager and let them know what happened, or check your WIC folder (that has your signature) and there should be a number to call and report the store. They will ask for the store name, address, etc., but that should be on your receipt(s.)

4 moms found this helpful
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D.G.

answers from Houston on

I used to work as a cashier in high school and wic took a little more time to checkout than cash or cc but I *never* gave the customer a hard time. Even if I was having a bad day or my feet were killing it it was part of my job to smile at customers. Even at the people who tried to use 50 coupons (40 of which were expired) or the people who bought a whole case of beer by slowly counting out change.

Some people are just idiots, if his behavior really bothers you I would complain to the manager about his unprofessionalism.

4 moms found this helpful

V.C.

answers from Dallas on

Go and talk to the store manager about it.

3 moms found this helpful
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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

It was not his place to comment. He can actually be repremanded for that.

As long as you had your items seperated from and non-eligible items, you shouldn't have had to say anything at all. Just hand him the paperwork just as he was starting the order. Its not his business how you provide for your child.

3 moms found this helpful
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S.G.

answers from Jacksonville on

Call the 800# on your WIC card and report the store. There is no need for that type of behavior from a cashier from any store anywhere for any reason! I've had to call the # in store before because things wouldn't ring up as WIC and the CSM wanted to argue with me even though I had the current approved list in my hand! I also had a cashier once try to refuse me my WIC purchase because my infant son wasn't with me and the checks were in his name! lol It takes all kinds to go around and this guy was probably just irked because WIC does take longer to ring up but he needs to get over himself!

S.

3 moms found this helpful
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C.R.

answers from Anchorage on

Sorry you had to put up with the rude treatment. Fred Meyer is notorious for this. Try another store if that is an option for you. They're always super nice at Safeway.

3 moms found this helpful

L.M.

answers from Dover on

Had he already starting ringing your items up before you told him you were using WIC? I am only asking because they should be told prior to anything being rung up.

Either way, they should not be rude and you should have asked for a manager.

2 moms found this helpful
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N.I.

answers from Portland on

Speak blessings over him. People DO NOT like it when they are rude and you smile and tell him to have a very blessed day.

N.

2 moms found this helpful

K.I.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yeah, he shouldn't have been rude to you, that was wrong on his part!

Did you have everything separated like you are supposed to? With each coupon laid out for each thing or group of things?

~I work at a grocery store and that is the only thing I can think of that would have irritated him...if you put everything in one lump and then just handed him all the coupons at once for him to do all the work?

2 moms found this helpful
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M.P.

answers from Portland on

I used my daughter's WIC checks buying for my granddaughter for a couple of years. I was never treated rudely. I have every once in awhile been treated rudely when I was paying cash or with a credit card. I suggest that he's an anomaly. I suggest he's just rude. I wouldn't use energy to think about him. Rudeness sometimes happens.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.S.

answers from Seattle on

ALL THE TIME! Eye rolls, sighs, etc...

1 mom found this helpful
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E.J.

answers from Portland on

I don't think it had anything to do with whether or not you "deserved" to have WIC. WIC does take a little more thought and work to process at check out, as you know, and the cashier probably just got grumpy. NOT OK. But I do know, as someone who use to be a checker, sometimes you just get really burnt out. That person may have just been to that point. So many women are on WIC. It is a wonderful program and no one should feel ashamed of it. We should be thankful that our country has a good nutritional program for women and children.

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S.G.

answers from Seattle on

They just get annoyed because it takes longer.

J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Wic wasn't around when I was a checker so I have no idea what the procedure for taking them is. I just wonder if he was in no mood for that procedure and you took it as no mood for you.

It just seems strange to me because most checkers tend to be over nice to people on food stamps and I guess Wic because they are the first people to jump down your throat. Not saying this is global, just my experience. Most people like their job so it seems like there is no upside to treating a customer poorly.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I think he treated you that way because it's a real hassle for the checkers - first they ring it up, then they take it off. I hate being behind someone with Wic just because it takes so long for them to check out. Don't take it personally.

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