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Justice - IKEA style

September 15th, 2012

For years I’ve been complaining about Safeway’s policy for their checkers to acknowledge their customers by name. A simple friendly hello and thank you will do. Add a smile to that, and it’s golden. For years I’ve shuddered as the Safeway checkers:
1. … say my name out loud for all to hear - thanks Safeway, that vomit smelling tweeker behind me now knows my name.
2. … try to pronounce my name (BTW Safeway, it’s SO-LORI-O, not Solano, not Solerno, not Solomon, and certainly not Celery [though I will answer to Oreo]).
3. … pretend that they’re not reading my name off the receipt and act like they know me.
4. … seem to be just as pained to have to follow the silly policy.

Since Safeway won’t change it’s policy on their customers’ privacy - I took matters into my own hands and changed my name to MJÖNÄS STRÅLANDE BJÖRNBÄR on my Club Card.  Revenge is sweet Swede… thank you, IKEA catalog - you’re the best!
Justice - IKEA style
I have never been so excited in anticipation for my next grocery shopping trip. Hjolla.

UPDATED! I went shopping!!
MwahahaSwedish alphabet fail. :(

I think I want to change my name again - to something fun or cute so it’s fun for the checkers, too. The stupid Safeway “naming policy” is just as bad for the checkers as it is the customer - hoping there’s a wave of name changes. If we can’t beat em - we should all at least have some fun.

Posted in Stuff |

113 Responses

  1. The fabulous Jackie K allegedly said:

    That’s just plain hilarious!! Love it!!!

  2. The fabulous Cathy allegedly said:

    Funny! Please report back as I want to know the pronunciation of your new name - both proper and Safeway version.

  3. The fabulous christina allegedly said:

    Oh man! I hate that too…..I’d rather just get a thank you than have to correct my name or just smile at them as they butcher it. It doesn’t make me like them anymore!

  4. The fabulous Katie B allegedly said:


  5. The fabulous Amy allegedly said:

    That’s pretty funny. I do hope you will post an update. I have had stores say my name a couple of times by reading it off the credit card and didn’t like it at all. I agree!

  6. The fabulous Deb allegedly said:

    Gold! Pure gold :) that sounds like it comes from the don’t get mad get even school of thought!!

  7. The fabulous Beth allegedly said:

    Best. Solution. Ever! You need to take a video of your next shopping experience :)

  8. The fabulous Lauren aka Giddy99 allegedly said:

    That’s freaking brilliant. Please let us know how it goes? Maybe you should go now… don’t you need some ice cream, or candy, or something? ;)

  9. The fabulous DianeY allegedly said:

    So completely brilliant!!! I hate that, too! Of course, for me, when somebody wants to verify my address,that’s funny! Love how Hawaiian street names are butchered even in Hawaii!

  10. The fabulous Books_Bound allegedly said:

    That’s fantastic. You made me laugh. Those poor cashiers!

    I was on the other side of it for awhile as a waitress. Of course, you tell tables your name, but when people actually use it, it seems so weird! I think I preferred “ma’am” or “miss.” I don’t know what it is about companies that make them think that this “personalization” does anything other than make people on both sides feel uncomfortable! (We’re looking at you too, Starbucks. As far as you’re concerned, my name is “non-fat, no whip peppermint mocha!”)

  11. The fabulous crystal allegedly said:

    Can you change your name to anything? I would have changed it to Doctor Scientist or Tookie Clothespin or something like that.

  12. The fabulous Johanna allegedly said:

    You do realize you are the best - of course you do, right MJÖNÄS STRÅLANDE BJÖRNBÄR? I can’t stand people butchering my name. Yes, even relatives. You’d think family could at least remember how to say your name. Grrrr….anyways, years of counciling may help me. Maybe not. My name rhymes with banana for the 500th time. If you cannot say it right “family” please address me as Jo. Otherwise, no Christmas card for you! Sorry about that. I feel much better now.

  13. The fabulous ppam allegedly said:


  14. The fabulous Bernie allegedly said:

    Little bit paranoid, are we??

  15. The fabulous Johanna allegedly said:

    BTW, love the translation!

  16. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Ok, best ever idea! I also loathe when you get asked for your zip…why do you need that?

    Take video of the first person who wrecks your new name :)

  17. The fabulous Karen S. allegedly said:


  18. The fabulous Amylouwho allegedly said:

    So your name is couch table light fixture? I’m going to find those names I the catalog stat! And brilliant revenge!! Can’t wait to hear the follow up!

  19. The fabulous Haley allegedly said:

    Mwahahahaa! I love it! We don’t have Safeway here in the South, but my Aunt lives in California and hates the same thing.

  20. The fabulous Deborah allegedly said:

    Thanks for making my day……uh my week……!

  21. The fabulous Bethany M. allegedly said:

    Thank you for making me laugh. Pay in cash so they don’t see the name on the credit card part. They do always seem to default to the club card name though.

  22. The fabulous Other Monica allegedly said:

    Bwahahahaha…that’s brilliant!

  23. The fabulous SewCalGal allegedly said:

    I’m cracking up big time. Love it!


  24. The fabulous Lisa allegedly said:

    OMG!!! I HATE that, too! Hate it. Once, I asked the checker ahead of time not to say my name…and it was even worse. The clerk turned to the bagger and said very loudly, “She doesn’t want anyone to say her name”…and then the whole line looked at me like I was psycho.

    You know what else peeves me at Safeway? Every wandering employee asks “Are you finding everything okay?” five hundred times while I’m trying to read labels and tend to my shopping list. Yes, dammit…I’ve shopped here for twenty years…I know where everything is…leave me the eff alone! Bothered me so much I now wear big white headphones attached to my ipod while I shop….they still ask, but I pretend I can’t hear. Bliss.

    Gah…I’m such a crochety old lady….

  25. The fabulous Mary on Lake Pulaski allegedly said:

    I love the way you think!!

  26. The fabulous Susan B allegedly said:

    hahahahaha! this is the funniest thing I’ve heard for ages. I’m all alone in my apartment laughing out loud thinking about the clerk’s face the next time you shop there.
    we don’t have safeways here (brooklyn, ny) and the stores we do have have keychain cards with numbers on them, not names, so I’ve never run into this problem. I hope you can take a video of your next safeway experience and post it here for us.

  27. The fabulous Mary Ann allegedly said:

    Oh you are so good…or is it bad….lol

  28. The fabulous Cat allegedly said:

    this has totally made my day, PLEASE please please report back and let us know of the Safeway checkers’ attempts to go all Swedish on you. Maybe they’ll just zero in on the Bjorn and call you Mrs Bjorn or Mrs Bjornbar.

    My only crazy-name-game is to invent names whenever I have to give my name for a takeaway coffee … I have a friend, Katrina, who is known as Destiny at her local coffee shop. Makes her her silently chuckle every time. Cat.

  29. The fabulous dana allegedly said:

    Oh crap! I just laughed so loud I scared the dog! I HATE that policy as well! I also hate it when waitrons tell you their name, although not as much. I have a fake name on all my grocery cards, and it’s just a simple American name, but they still slaughter it. I can ONLY imagine the joy that your “new” name will bring you….SO awesome!

  30. The fabulous dana allegedly said:

    PS- when asked for a zip code, I always say “90210″.

  31. The fabulous Kristyne allegedly said:

    Amen sister! I could write a book on the mispronunciations I get at Safeway too. Even funnier when they default to my husband’s legal Slavic name Jan (he goes by John for obvious reasons). xo

  32. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Oh my, a follow up post is most definitely in order…you are so clever!

  33. The fabulous Four dogs and one quilter allegedly said:

    You are absolutely brilliant! I love this. Don’t shop in Safeway very often but now I will have to make up my own alias.

    Now if only the banks would mind their own business too. Am so tired of the chatty tellers who always ask what I am doing today. I ‘m in the effing bank to conduct business not to be your friend. Stop talking and get on with it! There, I feel better.

  34. The fabulous Wendy allegedly said:

    I love it! I always read, rarely comment, but this had me chuckling. Thanks :)

  35. The fabulous Anne allegedly said:

    OMG, Monica, you crack me up. You’re the best!

  36. The fabulous Sivje allegedly said:

    Welcome to my world! Yeah, you would die laughing if you heard the way people pronounce my name! Bwahahahahaha!

  37. The fabulous Evie allegedly said:

    Absolutely marvellous! Inspired. We only have this policy in the UK at Starbucks and it drives me absolutely bonkers.

  38. The fabulous Charlotte allegedly said:

    bwahahahahahahaaa! Please PLEASE secretly film the checkout person next time you go. I have to see what happens!

  39. The fabulous Lotta allegedly said:

    Haha, I’ve actually had “Mjönäs Strålande Björnbär”, i.e “Mjönäs Radiant Blackberry” since my inlaws have a cabin in Mjönäs village and there are a few blackberry bushes near by. Not sure if I would have labelled them radiant though ;-)

    Love this story! And I reiterate - follow up on how the checkers pronounce this is def in order!

  40. The fabulous Leo allegedly said:

    ohh well at least they don’t “whispser” is your address still right, the one we have is: Ex street 5, XXX somewhere …

    I usually try my “death stare” on anyone being too friendly - no thanks I can fill my bags myself, and no I don’t need anyone to carry them to my bicycle … (Luckyly that’s only needed in Christmas time, when kids think they need to collect for something and have watched too many American movies where you do get your bags packed …)

  41. The fabulous Sarah@PingsAndNeedles allegedly said:

    LOL this made me snort my morning coffee, Monica!

    Luckily, I hail from England, where the idea of anyone you hadn’t known for at least 30 years calling you by your name is, quite simply, unthinkable … much like making eye contact on the underground, or chatting at the bus stop …

    My students call me mrs wizzersby (witherby) … I kinda like it …

  42. The fabulous Archie the wonder dog allegedly said:

    Between your post and Sarah Pings’ comment above I’m chuckling away to myself like a mad woman - thank goodness this policy hasn’t reached the UK, if it did I’d be tempted to write my name backwards and see what they made of it… Good luck with your IKEA name - any chance you could do some secret filming the next time you’re there?!

  43. The fabulous Josie allegedly said:

    Thanks for starting my day with the best belly laugh I’ve had in ages ;o)) Wish I could be behind you next time you hit the checkout.
    Rock on!

  44. The fabulous Dana allegedly said:

    Oh, I love you! Thanks so much for the laugh majonas boojanbar.

  45. The fabulous DianeP allegedly said:

    Absolutely brilliant! May I call you Monica?

    I was born with one of those unprounceable last names, so I’d love to see how one of the Safeway workers would pronounce it?!?!

  46. The fabulous Mhairi allegedly said:

    I love IKEA but this is pure GOLD!!!
    Can not wait to hear what they say when they are confronted with your Swedeified name.
    Hope it lives up to the expectation.

  47. The fabulous Carol L. allegedly said:

    That’s so funny what bugs one person and not another. I never really care about them saying my name but here are two things that bug me: 1. Being asked repeatedly if I want help out to my car, if I tell the cashier no and the bag boy can hear that why the heck do I need to be asked again by this bag boy? 2. Bugs me to no end the way they bag the groceries. Hello, no soap in with food and duh a 2 ltr. bottle of pop in with my bread is a bad idea.

  48. The fabulous kelli allegedly said:

    you’re my favorite! i got my safeway card before i was married. I hate when they refer to my husband with my maiden name… he is not my dad! i’m going to have to change our names also :)

  49. The fabulous MC allegedly said:

    This was an awesome idea! Now you can look forward to every shopping trip to see what they come up with. I am so happy Safeway here doesn’t have that policy. The poor cashiers have a hard enough time understanding that I’ve brought my own bag, they’d never make it through my french name.

  50. The fabulous Sharon T allegedly said:

    OMG! You’re killing me!

  51. The fabulous Jane allegedly said:

    Ha, so funny. Just another reason to love IKEA.

  52. The fabulous Jenelle allegedly said:

    Ha! What can’t Ikea do? I’m starting to think I should just pack up and move into their showroom! ;)

  53. The fabulous katie allegedly said:

    Ohhhhhh this is good. I want to change my name on mine too, but Im not sure if I’ll be Hillary Clinton or Angelina Jolie….

  54. The fabulous Jane Swanson allegedly said:

    This is SO hilarious!!

  55. The fabulous Gigi allegedly said:

    You are hilarious!! I may want to give this a try too!

  56. The fabulous Kristen allegedly said:

    What an idea. You made me laugh and set the wheels in motion in my mind.

    My married name (won’t even touch the maiden one) gets mangled every which way.

    I should change it to Nike Shoebox and then they might get it correct. Oh my, such giggles happening with that thought.

    Thanks again for the idea and laugh. Muchly needed.

  57. The fabulous Allison allegedly said:

    hahaha! you are so funny, Mrs. Tea light holder Chopper Plant pot :) I used to work in a department store with the same policy, it was misery to try to get those names out, knowing I was probably butchering many of them. My maiden name was often mispronounced, so I felt their pain while I mangled their names.

  58. The fabulous Sharon allegedly said:

    I know — we have Von’s here (owned by Safeway) and they do the same thing. Don’t really like my name being broadcast, oh well!

  59. The fabulous Elizabeth allegedly said:

    Two words. Self check. I never want to go to a Safeway checker again, but self check makes me love going to the grocery store.

  60. The fabulous Ann in NC allegedly said:

    That is TOO funny! I hope you will tell us about your next shopping trip!

  61. The fabulous Julie allegedly said:


    Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    Julie G

  62. The fabulous Sharon S allegedly said:

    Can’t wait to hear how this goes. My last name is impossible for anyone to pronounce. I always say “please don’t try & say me last name.” It usually works.

  63. The fabulous Jenny allegedly said:

    Can you get any funnier????

  64. The fabulous Karen a/k/a The Lazy Quilter allegedly said:

    As I sit here hiding from my raucous 6 and 7 year old boys, laughing my ajse off (I know - the j just isn’t quite the same without the h before it, but it’s all I’ve got) I realize how lucky I am to have The Happy Zombie, oops, I mean MJÖNÄS STRÅLANDE BJÖRNBÄR in my life. Sorry if that sounds stalker-ish. Perhaps I was a Safeway employee in a former life. ;) Thanks as always for the giggles!

  65. The fabulous Erin allegedly said:

    I would love to be there to hear that! Thanks for making me laugh this morning.

  66. The fabulous Caroline allegedly said:

    Loved this so much I had to share this with my husband, lots of owning at the breakfast table this morning!

  67. The fabulous Linda allegedly said:

    You crack me up! I shop at Vons here in the San Diego area. I love the people at my Vons, so it doesn’t bother me when they say my name. The thing that always drove me crazy was people’s inability to say Trail, my first married name, correctly. Such a simple word. I even had one person argue with me when I corrected their mispronunciation! The current one is Cornwell, and it seems to be easier for people than Trail! Go figure. Love your blog…8-)(and itching to get my hands on Winterkist)

  68. The fabulous chandra allegedly said:

    We have used “Bobby Shaftoe” in the phone book and “Justice Thomas” on our Safeway card for over ten years, anyone who has never listed themselves under pseudonyms before, it is never too late to start!

  69. The fabulous Ellen allegedly said:

    What a fabulous way to turn the tables on an especially annoying attempt to fake fiendly and sellout our privacy. I also hate that the checker loudly begs for a donation to various charities & then gives you the condemation look for saying no thanks. Safeway takes the customers donations and then they write it off their corporate taxes. I am going to replace my card today with a new ID of “Nonnayour Business”. You may have started a retail revolution. I’d rather the checker not jam heavy cans on top of my produce than “personalize” their transaction.

  70. The fabulous SuzK allegedly said:

    That’s too funny. I don’t think we have a Safeway in my part of NH, but I constantly get asked my zip code, so I give them my office zip - which is in MA. It will be interesting to hear how that name gets pronounced!

  71. The fabulous Nurseli allegedly said:

    You are hilarious! Speaking from someone who has a weird first name that has been butchered since the day I was born, go for it girl! To make matters worse, after my divorce I didn’t change my last name back, so I get called Mrs. Zalma (I always cringe or think of my former MIL). Plus, I’m nobody’s Mrs! LOL. BTW, my other pet peeve is going to the bank and the teller loudly counts out the money as they hand it to you. Thanks. Now the weirdo in the bank knows i’m leaving with $300 in cash. Worse if the bank is in the grocery store. Why not announce how much i’m withdrawing over the intercom? Great.

  72. The fabulous Bridget allegedly said:

    try using your middle name and see where it gets you! my credit card is imprinted with my middle name, but my driver’s license has a first middle last. I know when you call my name wether I know you or not…and also, please spell my name correctly on my thank you cards people! I spelled it correctly on the card. If the name isn’t correctly spelled on the wedding gift, there is not baby gift.

  73. The fabulous shannon c. allegedly said:

    This is awesome! I hate the call-you-by-your-name thing. When I was younger and worked in a a Pizza Hut I used to wear someone else’s name tag every day because I hated hearing people call my name as if they knew me. Great job on the safeway card!

  74. The fabulous Bridgette allegedly said:

    I am giving you a standing ovation……WELL DONE!!!

  75. The fabulous Ali M allegedly said:

    I really love that - I didn’t take my husband’s last name, and kept my exes name for professional reasons so my husband keeps getting called Mr M instead of Mr G

  76. The fabulous Ali M allegedly said:

    So actually I just went to Fred Meyer and Safeway online and changed it to my husbands last name - thanks for this post!

    I wish they’d change their policy too, I don’t like being called by name at all…

  77. The fabulous Cindy Sharp allegedly said:

    Thanks for the giggle!

  78. The fabulous Annie allegedly said:

    That is the best thing Ive heard in such a long time LOVE LOVE LOVE your sense of humor.

  79. The fabulous nicke allegedly said:

    lol! that is fucking hilarious! i love your guts my dear!

  80. The fabulous Sydney allegedly said:

    This may be the best thing I’ve heard in a long time! It also makes me extremely glad to live in a country without this sort of thing! Haha!

  81. The fabulous Kelly allegedly said:

    Oh my gosh I am sitting here laughing out loud! That is too funny. Be sure to let us know what happens!

  82. The fabulous Cynthia allegedly said:

    Lol, you are hilarious!!!

  83. The fabulous chris allegedly said:

    OMG this is so LOL. literally LOL’ed at work and my coworkers all turned and looked at me.

    thanks for the GREAT idea and making me laugh!

  84. The fabulous Erin allegedly said:

    this is the best post ever! I flipping hate SAFEWAY just for this and must admit that sometimes I dont go there to have them look at my last name on the recipt, than look at me and than look down puzzled trying to pronouce it. It always takes all my will power not to correct them and sometimes my will power isn’t enough and than I feel rude. I think i am gonna change mine today! u have inspired me!

  85. The fabulous Heather allegedly said:

    Crazy funny and I totally identify! Your fix for the problem is truly hilarious! Thanks for the guffaws!

  86. The fabulous Paula allegedly said:

    Brilliant! I would love to follow you through the check out to hear their attempts at pronouncing that!!

  87. The fabulous Viv allegedly said:


  88. The fabulous Michelle allegedly said:

    I too am here to profess my love for you! This is brilliant. I should have thought about this!

  89. The fabulous Amy allegedly said:

    I’m WAY late to the party telling you that you’re awesome, but I’m here to shout it from the rooftops! Way to stick it to the man :) Also, I just ordered my fat quarter bundle of Winterkist, and I’m way excited to begin a Christmas table runner. Thanks for being awesome!

  90. The fabulous Anne allegedly said:

    You are my most favorite person EVER.

  91. The fabulous Amy z allegedly said:

    You are brilliant! This post is truly inspired! I laughed myself silly the first time I read this and have come back to giggle several times since. Let us all know how your new name goes over please!!!!

  92. The fabulous Wrennette allegedly said:

    I am on the floor….rolling around laughing and exclaiming..”got’em”.
    Oh, if only I could be behind you in line the next time you shop. I would be ready with a camera. Sadly, they will try very hard to “Do The Right Thing”..how do I know this? Because I have a name that is scandinavian and impossible to say by an american…and yet they try so very hard to get it right. Bless their little hearts. Thankyou for the light spot in my day. You often put one there. smile

  93. The fabulous Brenda allegedly said:

    I worked at Target through Christmas, and we had to ask EVERY “guest” if they wanted to open a Target red card. I knew it was super annoying, but if I didn’t ask, my skinny little manager would magically appear from out of nowhere and remind me. (I swear he had eyes AND EARS in the back of his little pin head.) I hate to shop at stores that make you open a “membership” or use a special card, like Sam’s Club.

  94. The fabulous Alison Marie Schmidt allegedly said:

    OH, man! This post AND the comments are the best. My last name rhymes with a curse word, so imagine how it has been mis-pronounced (sales calls at home before the Do-Not-Call list were the worst.). Now I use my boyfriend’s card at Safeway and they call me ‘Mrs. Weber’….which of course is his mom!

  95. The fabulous devonlynne allegedly said:

    SO awesome! I have a membership to a store that requires membership/card. A few months ago while standing in line I noticed the cashier was calling the customer by name [as far as I know this is not their policy] She did this with the next two customers, saying their names several times. It made me wonder how she’d pronounce my name. Then it was my turn. As she was handing me my receipt, she told me how much she LOVED my name and how unique it was. Then told me to have a great day. All while never saying my name, not once. I couldn’t help but laugh and really wonder how she thought it is pronounced.

  96. The fabulous robin allegedly said:

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this post! Your sense of humor is wonderful. I just may smile all day today!

  97. The fabulous Rita allegedly said:

    ladies, there is so much more in this world to worry about than a grocery store clerk trying to do his job. if you really want to make a difference, talk to the higher ups. they are the only ones who can make changes and don’t take it out on the clerks. there are a lot of other names they can call you, right?

  98. The fabulous Ivy allegedly said:

    You are hys-freakin’-sterical. I have new respect for you! :)

  99. The fabulous anina allegedly said:

    LOL. Having an apparently unpronounceable name myself, I can totally relate.

  100. The fabulous Mo allegedly said:

    You (once again!) had the kids and I howling!!! I vote you change it next time to Pat Maweena!

  101. The fabulous Pétra allegedly said:

    So the Safeway by my house doesn’t do that! Which actually makes me sad because I would change the name on my card to Wonder Woman or Lisa Simpson or Franny McFancypants or for Jen Honey Badger… I like this game!

  102. The fabulous Sew Create It - Jane allegedly said:

    LOL - you are so going to H*LL :o) Don’t worry their will plenty of us to keep you company! LOL Thanks for the giggle…just what I needed!

  103. The fabulous Wens allegedly said:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA so awesome.

  104. The fabulous Amy allegedly said:

    So funny. And boy am I gad that they don’t do that in Australia, but then I also hate being called ‘love’ and ‘darl’ by service people.

  105. The fabulous Lori allegedly said:

    I’m wiping away the mists from my eyes as I type this. That was quite literally laugh out loudable.
    I used to give fake names at Jamba Juice so when my smoothie was ready they’d have to shout out “Barbie-licious!” or “Uncle Buck”. But Ikea catalog? You’ve taken it to a whole new level, my friend.

  106. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    Crack me up! There’s a new meme for ya. What’s your Ikea name. Mine would be Cilla Millinge Werna.

  107. The fabulous Keri in CA allegedly said:

    Ok, game on Monica. I am Swedish American and if I changed my name to Swede-Ikea I would be Ektorp Jennylund (a fluffy white chair for $199, because I am white and kinda fluffy too.) PS: Your Swedish Safeway name sounds more like Swedish Chef. LOL

  108. The fabulous Nic allegedly said:

    Total crack up! Even before the reaction video. So what’s the next name gonna be? I’m thinking cartoon characters. I’d be Gargamel :)

  109. The fabulous ssandy allegedly said:

    Too, funny! My husband and I were laughing so hard. Hmmm, what will be my new Safeway name?

  110. The fabulous JustHeather allegedly said:

    My entire family (mom, dad, stepmom, myself, brother, sister, etc) all use the same Safeway club account, so we all get called Mr or Mrs X. Oh well.

    I too hate the zip code thing, especially since I don’t live in the US anymore. MY zip code doesn’t give them any sort of info. *grin*

    Great solution by the way.

  111. The fabulous Carol allegedly said:

    That is fabulous!!! Reminds me of my rebellious mom, who signed up for her card as “Foghorn Leghorn!”

  112. The fabulous Michelle allegedly said:

    After watching the video and laughing out loud hysterically… I am 100% changing my name on the card. I’ve already chosen a name - Heidi Klum. Baaahahahaha.

  113. The fabulous Lynne Laino allegedly said:

    You are simply brilliant! Hahahahaha!!!!

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

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Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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