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.