You have got to be kidding me.
There I was. Standing in line.
For some odd reason I always tend to subconsciously pick the one line that moves the slowest and/or has the slowest cashier. And it never fails that a problem arises with the customer ahead of me.
I have found from experience that there tends to be a few typical, repeated scenarios.
1. "There must be a problem with your register."
Can I tell you how many times this has happened?! If I do, I'll have to take off my shoes to count that high. Getting in line behind someone whose credit/debit card doesn't work. And they insist that it is 'all the stores fault'.
The cashier rang this ladies items and gave her the total. We aren't just talking a soda and bag of chips. This was a full two shopping carts full of goodies. The customer wrote out a paper check (people still do this?) and the register wouldn't give it the okey-dokey. The customer loudly insisted that her check was good. Each time repeating the same thing, a little louder with a few more expletives. Her check obviously wasn't good. It wouldn't clear. Those machines don't lie. If there was money in the account, it wasn't accessible.
The cashier was trying to be cool and be nice, "Do you have another form of payment?"
"Call a manager! #@*#@&! They'll override the register! They've done it before."
Yeah, before what? The digital age? Please, as if the manager is going to override the computer because it says you don't have enough money in your account. Pretty simple. It might have worked a decade ago to gyp the stores of their merchandise, but not in the digital age. She motored on out in her rider shopping cart with her walking cane in the front basket, spewing loud obscenities at everyone she passed the entire way. Once she reached the exit doors, she parked the cart and I wasn't surprised at all to see her walk without help of her cane out to her car. She was obviously trying to work the sympathy card. Geez.
2. "My son/daughter/husband/friend will be right back. They just went to get an item I forgot."
Okay. I've done this maybe once before. I can deal. But when son/daughter/husband/friend comes back...finally, with an arm full of things? That's taking advantage just a tad, don't cha think? Do your shopping completely before entering into the check out line. That's what the rest of us do.
3. "I don't have enough cash. Can I take a few items off?"
Allow me to repeat myself. Decide what you can get before you get into line! I can understand an item or two, but this is what I witnessed.
"How much is the shampoo? Okay, take that off. Oh not enough, take off the scarf too. Oh! I have more than that, add the shampoo back on. No, leave the shampoo off, take off the magazines and chewing gum and add the scarf back."
I'm standing there just dying inside thinking,"Why. Me."
4. "I forgot my wallet!"
Surprise! Hey, we've all been there. No biggie. But in this case, the cashier turned it into a situation that I could have lived without witnessing. She was so flabbergasted, she didn't know how to continue. She became consumed with ridding her station of the items left behind, she called each and every department to come get the items. Which, of course, took longer than when I gave birth.
5. "Price check!"
This happens to me each time I go shopping. If it isn't someone in front of me, then it is ME who inadvertantly picks up the only item in the store without a price tag, bar code or some sort of identification to allow it to go through the system. If it's me, then I ususally just ask them to not ring it. I know it will take longer for them to get the price than for me to exit the store, take what I have purchased out to my car, go back in the store, re-find said item and get back in line to pay. Today, the cashier insisted on trying to punch in every number that it "could possibly be". None worked. What a surprise.
I kept asking her to "Forgot it, really. It's okay."
"No no. I'll get it."
In this lifetime? Or the next. There are only about a billion number combinations it could be. I finally convinced her "...it's okay. Just hit the total button. I have to go......"
I'm sure there are tons of more situations that I didn't mention. And I'd love to hear your stories of checkout horrors...
But the saddest part? These all happened to me today.
Swear to God. All today.
And of course, I was in a hurry. Or at least I was when I started my quest to rid myself of my errands. I was trying to get everything done off my list before picking up my daughter from school. And each place I tried to check off my "ToDo" list, I kept running into these people.
After the last one, I just started to laugh. Loudly.
How could I not?!
The others in line turned to me with scowls thinking, "How rude." By that time I'm sure that my laugh had started to sound more like a cackle.
If they had been with me and witnessed all these things in line, today I might add, as I did?
Trust me. They would be cackling too.
I was having a hard times financially speaking. My friend gave me a grocery card for 100 dollars and I think I had about 40 bucks left on it. I went to the store and got about 17 bucks worth of stuff. No go, the card rejected but a total came up. The cashier asked "Do you have another form of payment?" No. She got the manager/senior staffer with the magical white card. No go.ReplyDelete
Finally they takes me over to the office counter. The manager calls around to other stores, none of the registers are taking gift cards. I am praying. I was there twenty minutes and I hated the thought of going home empty handed. Finally the manager grabs a scrap piece of paper and jots the cards number down. "I will charge the total against the card when the machines come back up. Sorry for the delay" I left with my groceries. They never charged me. For once it worked in my favor and I had an extra 17 left on my card.
@Analisa - Can I go shopping with you next time? For your time input, it turned out to be IN your favor!ReplyDelete
There are some times the machines just don't work. But this lady? She was definitely trying to work the system. That ruins it for everyone.
Thanks for stopping by!
the joys of having your mother do the grocery shopping :p I'm sure ill have to put up with it eventually though... *sigh* so im trying to follow your blog, but i dont see a button to do it :/ any ideas?ReplyDelete
@Cameron le Fay- Hi! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!ReplyDelete
I was messing around with the html and had a broken end, which messed up the sidebar. But it's corrected now. You can wither follow at the top of the page or there on the side where I keep my little heads all in a row.
Haha, this is making me laugh... It's so weird because the whole "getting in the slowest que" issue seems to be universal. Which makes me wonder: Who are the people in the fast moving ques??? Obviously they exist, because I see them every time I'm in the grocery store, yet I never hear anyone talking about it. Something is rotten in Denmark I say...ReplyDelete
If you shop at Wal-Mart or K-Mart then usually the fastest line is the gardening section. I live across from a Wal-marto so it is super easy to just run in for things but I always use the Gardening cashier. Not only is there always close parking, the lines are usually super short! I think once I found the line to be too long, but it was a holiday so understandable.ReplyDelete
Sorry you had to go through that though. I have to say though, sometimes those computers just don't want to work. What always happens to me is that for some reason their scanner doesn't work nor the scanning gun but of course the have to scan it 100 times before they'll type in the barcode :)
As some one who worked on the checkout many years ago, my own personal favourite for causing customer annoyance was the woman who came in on a Thursday evening. She always had two full trolleys of groceries. She loaded them all precariously onto the conveyor belt and insisted I wait til she was finished before I could start. She then watched me ring every single item up (this was in the pre-scanner days), just to make sure I did it right. She listened to the total, nodded, and then turned her back on me and bagged the whole lot (refusing assistance), somehow stacking it all back onto a single trolley. And when she was done, she then paid. By cheque. And man did she write slow. The folks behind her stood and fumed every time. The thing was, she must have liked me because she always came through my checkout! Maybe I was the only polite soul in the store who would put up with it? Indigo.ReplyDelete
if there is a trainee in the vicinity i will get them. its like i have this jedi mind-meld thing. i am basically the beta tester for everyone else's super-shit service.ReplyDelete
I've given up even trying to work out the swiftes queue now. I just stand in line, breathe deeply and sneak a look into other people's shopping baskets.ReplyDelete
As you can tell, I don't get out much.
SWIFTEST queue, even.ReplyDelete
This would never have happened if I'd just typed 'most quickish' like I planned.
@Josephine - THAT is a very good point. I don't believe I have ever read (or heard) anyone ever talking about how fast their line was while shopping. I'd write about that, since I'd be the only one doing it, but then I'd be lying. "Cause it ain't never happened to me...ReplyDelete
@Senorita- That is a wonderful suggestion. One I will take to heart as I approach the checkout. This cashier would scasn the item, buzz, not a good code, scan it again, buzz. Then type it in, buzz. It had a pretty good rythm.
@Indigo - Ha! I can SEE it! She chose YOU because she knew one day you would write about her and make her infamous.
@sas - I'm right there with ya' sister. And when I see that it's going to be bad, I fight the urge to jump ques. I figure that I'm here, it won't take long (right) or that it might hurt their feelings (double right). Bah.
@ Matthew - swiftest que...type that 3 times and call me in the morning. Basket voyeurism...it's a new sport! And a quickish one!
Thanks guys for your comments! Love it.
I was the one in the line at Wal*Mart, desperately trying to get my Red Cross debit card to pay for new clothing after my house burned down. Guess what? The card didn't work. Would not scan. It was supposed to be a tax-exempt purchase. I was on the phone with the Red Cross in the check-out line, and they gave me a tax exempt code that did not work. After calling several supervisors over and trying various codes that did not work, I ended up going to the ATM to get the cash off the card, paying the tax, and going back to my mom's house so I could put on my one and only new bra. Have you ever been shopping braless? It's not an experience I want to repeat.ReplyDelete
I've also been trying to use self-checkouts lately, and I've come to the conclusion that they hate me.
I totally understand you on this. I have actually hate going shopping now, since the bar code was introduced.
Ah, f8hasit, I must thank you!ReplyDelete
In the round, it happens to us all and how often averages out. And that means you must be keeping the average of the rest of us down!
Again, thank you!
Another thing I can stand is when the clerk takes a look at the various fruits and vegetables and ask what each and everyone is. I'm sorry, but if they can't figure out that is a nectarine and not a peach - they shouldn't be working in a grocery store. Errr...ReplyDelete
The grocery store is my least favorite place on earth and hence grocery shopping is the task I detest the most - mainly because of the people.
Oops - now I'm all stressed out thinking about grocery shopping. My comment should of said "can't" stand.ReplyDelete
A new cashier at our grocery store comments on how much food I'm buying, asking how many kids and crap like that. Okay, I want to say, we're all fat pigs; enough already!ReplyDelete
Fate frequently draws me to the snail lane. Next time, try quietly handing the offender a card with your daughter's school address and say you'll be happy to wait in line while they pick her up from school for you.ReplyDelete
@Mean Stepmom - Those self checkout centers gave me a renewed appreciation for the scanner sweep. You know, that little flick of the wrist that the cashiers use? I can't do it. :-)ReplyDelete
@Allen - Did you know the guy that invented the barcode lives in Cincinnati? He docks his yacht up here in Rocky River every so often. All 120 ft of it. Damn. Why wasn't that MY idea!
@Highton-Ridley - It is my pleasure Mark to make sure that you get in the right que always. :-)
@Travel girl - I agree with you wholeheartedly. Although I must confess, if they ask what kind of tomato it is, I always tell them its the regular ol' tomato, not the hydroponic that I'm buying. Bad? Yeah. But it serves them right...
@Maureen - there was this huge, at least 12 people long, at the post office yesterday...and Howard (yeah I go there alot) started making small talk about the weather, etc. I tried to be polite to let him know he needs to speed it up a bit before the customers start shooting the postal workers and not the other way around!
My other favorite moments at the grocery store can usually easily be captured at the Deli counter. To hear some consumers, you would think their entire happiness depends on how thick the Jenny-O sliced ham is being sliced...and god help everyone holding a triangular number if they forgot to specify they wanted "honey-baked".ReplyDelete
One of the most spectacular tantrums I ever saw was at the deli counter by a middle aged woman holding a cane (I was convinced the store should have seized it as weapon). I was with my 3 year old neice who looked at me and asked, "Do they have a naughty stool here? Cause that lady is being baaaaddd."
Great blog, so glad I found someone who has random musings...
I have seen it all too. The one that jerks me the most is the paper food vouchers young unmarried girls with several kids in tow present. It takes forever for the cashier to ring up and hand write each item down for payment. Then I get more pissed because some dude (maybe the kids' daddy) covered in big ass jewelry and gang tattoos is hanging beside the welfare queen. My mind fumes knowing that my taxes are paying for her food when lazy sperm donor should be doing the supporting.ReplyDelete
My husband once stood behind a woman who insisted on a raincheck for 2 bottles of Gatorade. And it was the only check out open in the whole store. The cashier was totally annoyed that she had to fill out a form for something that added up to $3.50 Who does that?! Love your blog, I just started following. - GeorginaReplyDelete
Don't forget the "I forgot my reusable bags in the car!" Of which I am often guilty myself....ReplyDelete
Pick the line to the left. Everyone else always goes right....ReplyDelete
At least that's what I've heard.
That's funny. I see that you and I hold the same amount of patience. I hate when people start giving items back to the store to stay within a certain dollar figure. It's not a garage sale, People. If your budget is that tight, take a calculator to the store with you. GEEZ.ReplyDelete
I abhor these situations too right up there with the person who takes 30 items into the express line that says 12 items only and the cashier rings them up instead of pointing to the sign.ReplyDelete
I absolutely LOVE the pic you posted, awesome.ReplyDelete
The answer to the drama is to move to some podunk town where you are the ONLY person in line at any given time. Heh. That puts a new spin on things.
Hilarious! And as is often the case, it's the stuff that we can all relate to that's usually the funniest! Adding you to my blog roll immediately.ReplyDelete
HAhAHA..all in one day? TELL ME you are sipping a cocktail at this point?!?!?!ReplyDelete
Very nice post. This is definitely one of those things that is going to resonate with everyone. The tortures of other people and checkout lines...ReplyDelete
@Cat Lady Larew- That is a grand idea! However, by seeing how well they planned out the shopping trip, I'm not sure I'd want to give them the respoonsibility of the boobear! Snail line...love it.ReplyDelete
@Jenna - Welcome! And thanks. I was just over at yours and want to go back and read it more carefully. (couldn't quite do it at work!) OMG! That would be like in the movie The Wrrestler where the woman was "more", "No less", "No, More." Until he lost his patience. She was baaaaaddd, too. :-)
@Rae - I'm with ya' sister! I believe I was in line behind them yesterday. Or their cousins.
@Georgina - Welcome! I'm going to pop over to yours now! New friends! How fun for me! :-)
@LPC - Been there. But haven't done that. I figure I'll use them NEXT time. :-)
@Julie - I cold trust you to come up with the solution...Go against the flow. Lurch left instead of right.
@Summer - You know, I almost offered her my calculator, but I was afraid I wouldn't get it back. :-)
@Peach - I was tempted to bolt over to the express line, although I was over the limit. And I like to follow rules! I need to get more aggressive!
@Marsha - Even shopping carts can look good when in black and white! If you haven't noticed, I like black and white photography, black and white clothes, black and white blog...
@Anna - Thanks! Glad to have your little head amongst my collection!!! It's the small stuff that makes me the most crazy and makes me laugh the hardest!
@JennyMac - I just got home from work and that large Riedell wine glass, you know, the big balloon one that you are only supposed to fill up yea far? Yeah. That's getting filled to the rim. That way I can say I only had one glass of wine.
@Hunter - I do believe we have all, at one time or another, experienced the un-zen of lines. I've decided it is a test of some sort.I keep looking for the hidden cameras!
Thanks to everyone for your comments!
ha ha ha...good humor...ReplyDelete
Your post gave me hives. I have no patience and do not particularly care to cultivate that virtue. God, apparantly, has other ideas. Lesson plans are usually carried out on the road however. I ALWAYS get behind the slow people (whom are either elderly or _____(jeeze, I don't want to be labeled a racist). I always pick the lane that has a road block, or a bus stop, or an accident. Do.Not.Impede.My.Speed.ReplyDelete
@asit dhal - It wasn't humorous at the time,but definitley is now!ReplyDelete
@Wine and Words - Thanks for stopping by! I just have to laugh...because it is Murphy's law that the less time I have, the longer it's going to take. Now if I had nowhere to go? I would'vebeen out in a flash.
Whatever you do, don't buy a lotto ticket today ;) And don't worry about your little hamster (I call him Harry), I gave him enough food to last him until Christmas. Next year.ReplyDelete
This is why I always try and shop where I can go through the self check out register - that way I don't have to interact with moronic shoppers or cashiers!ReplyDelete
I still can't figure out why you got in line behind a woman with two full shopping carts.ReplyDelete
Ok...I know I keep saying this, but the more I find out about you, the more I KNOW we're related!ReplyDelete
OMG...this post was like reading ME! In fact, last year I wrote a post similar to this one (but not as funny) complaining about the same damn things. I swear to god, I feel like it's a conspiracy against me. I ALWAYS choose the longest line. And what's worse, is that I keep switching lines, thinking that the line next to me will move faster and it doesn't.
Great post, Nancy!
I am not sure what is worse; being stuck in a traffic jam checkout line or trying to check myself out in the do it yourself line. I am a poor judge of checkout lines. I am the cause of traffic jams in the self service line. The poor clerk finally gives up and stands beside me.ReplyDelete
Very funny and horrifyingly accurate
Oh I am so hearing ya. I am ALWAYS in the wrong lane and have dragged my self BACK TO THE STORE with severe buyers remorse not so long after buying more than I needed. But that's MY PROBLEM - not the um, polite and patient patrons behind me :) We'd be totally hosed if we were together. Wrong lane at Target, wrong lane at grocery store, wrong lane in traffic . . . My biggest pet peeve!!!ReplyDelete
@LadyTruth - I built little Harry an addition to store the goodies you gave him! He told me to tell you he loves you! :-)ReplyDelete
@M - My last encounter with the self checkout didn't work out so well, so I tend to avoid them due to that instance. Unless my daughter is with me. She has no worries with it, go figure...!
@Carlos - I haven't a clue either. I was wondering that myself! Argh.
@Ron - There is no other explanation, yes, we are related. So nice to have found my twin I didn't know I had!
You complete me. :-)
@Fumblingconfidence - I've been in both quite recently and the only upside to traffic jams is that you have your own choice of music!
@Mrs. Montoya - I'm SO glad that I can comiserate with someone else! It's nice to know that this doesn't befall only me! But if were in the same line together,we'd have so much to talk about time would fly and we would wish the lines were longer!
Thanks again everyone for your comments! It totally makes my day!
OH MY GOD - We are living parallel lives!!ReplyDelete
So that was you in line today was it? (looking around suspiciously)ReplyDelete
I've got two stories for you from just this week alone!
This happened to me Monday. Self Checkout. Why Why Why do I keep thinking this is going to be easier? It's so totally not. I bring my own shopping baasket cause I'm all envro friendly and the stupid thing thinks I'm removing stuff fromt he checkout are without paying. So of course I have to wait ten years for the self check person to come over and fix it.
On Wednesday in line behind this lady who says the ham she's buying is buy 1 get 1 but ti's not registering. The cahsier goes back and forth HIMSELF to the department to figure it out. Ten years, five kids and forty candy bars later he finally comes back and calls a manager. Then we have to wait. The only other option is self check - heck NO! not when I've got a cart full of stuff. I mean I know $8 is $8 but gahd! I hate grocery shopping.
Sorry for the typos. Guess it's time to get new glasses or clean off the fingerprints.ReplyDelete
And hey, Thanks for stopping by and following my blog :)
"Which, of course, took longer than when I gave birth." Hahaha! Love it.ReplyDelete
Hi! Wow - first visit here and I LOVE YOUR BLOG!ReplyDelete
Just had to share that before I get ready for work today!
@Eternally Distracted - It's more than once that I've noticed that indeed, we are, living parallel lives!ReplyDelete
@Mama Andrea - Yup! That was me! The one with her hands on her hips, teeth clenched to hold back the laughter and tapping her right foot ricducously fast in order to distract myself? Oh. No. That was YOU! :-)
Thanks for stopping over! Glad to have a new friend!
Oh...and they typos? I do it all the time. It's a sign that our brains are faster than our fingers. :-)
@liveloven'wine - LOVE the name! It's like my mantra! Thanks for stopping over!
And it really did seem longer than birth...
@Peggy - Thanks for the compliment! YOU just made my day! Come on back now, 'ya hear!
Have a great day at work!
Your comments rule!
Over the course of a week I will usually get in one, maybe two, of those lines. But you did it all in one day? Wow, that is seriously bad Karma.ReplyDelete
You described each one perfectly, I have encounter each and every one. Including me and the price check.
I was one of "those" people in the express lane yesterday. I was zipping by for the regular check-out (pinky swear) and the express clerk was standing at the end of her lane and caught sight of me. I am the mom that all the clerks know b/c I am in there so often (another story) and she's like "Let me run you through quick. I'm not busy." And naturally as soon as my stuff is on the belt, a line forms behind me and I can see them mentally counting my stuff and feel their stinky eyes on me. Sigh. The shame.ReplyDelete
:) What really gets my goat is the (and I don't mean this in sexist fashon) the lady with the purse big enough to carry a whole country's belongings waits and waits and waits while the checker rings things up and when the total is finally announced and then and only then, does she go, "OH!" lift the bag up and start shoveling through tons and tons of "stuff" to dig out a check book several long moments later.ReplyDelete
@SquirrelQueen - HiJudy! I KNOW! I seriously thought that perhaps I should go back home, back to bed and start all over again. But since I used all the bad mojo inthe afternoon, my evening turned out great! Funny how that works...ReplyDelete
@aniiegirl - Oh, I've been there. You want to turn and tell them, "she told me to!!"
@IntenseGuy - You'd think that they would KNOW they wre approaching and have wallet in hand. But noooooooo. And it's always the one with the biggest purse! WHY women want to carry large purses amazes me. Mine? Just large enough for the stuff that I absolutely need. Not so I can go on a game show...
Have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by!
We like to use the scan yourself lines. So don't you know when we get in the shortest line the person in front of us is an older person or someone using for their 1st time. They think learning something new is best when there's a whole line of people waitng. And the regular check out lines are going faster. Some people shouldn't be allowed to be near new technology!ReplyDelete
How did I miss this post? You snuck it in, didn't you? What a great subject...something everyone can relate to. I've often felt that there are ppl who don't seem to mind spending countless hours in the grocery store...and then you have someone like ME, who has a mental race w/the cashier to see if I can bag it as fast as she scans it. (She usually wins, but not by much!) Great post!ReplyDelete
my absolute LEAST favorite is the person who demands a discount for a dented can/tiny stain/little hole or will fight to the death over something that rings up for a dime more than is on the shelf sticker/price tag. It KILLS me.ReplyDelete
Target is not a garage sale. Wegmans is not a farmers market.
Dear God... you've just reminded me of the horrors I witnessed while working at Wal-Mart for six years of my younger life. There is no way I could do it now; I have no patience for ignorant people. The ones that pissed me off more than anything were the ones who came through with five cases of beer and six cartons of cigarettes... then asked the cashier to ring up their steaks and Don Perinjon seperately, since their food stamps covered that portion.ReplyDelete