A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called What’s the Deal With Self Check-outs, which turns out to be one of my most popular posts.
But this time I’m writing about actually standing in the line, patiently waiting for the customer in front of you to finish checking out.
This is what happened to me the other day in a very poorly designed Dollar General.
I had traversed the entire store, looking for this and that, but I was finally ready to check out. The woman in front of me was in the process of emptying her card onto the counter. There isn’t room for a conveyer belt, just a counter. So she finally gets through unloading and moves her cart to the side at the end of the check-out station, the only available space.
So, thinking that she’ll be paying on the other side of the do-hickey where you slide your credit card like normal places such as Food World and Wal-Mart, I start unloading my cart.
“Excuse me,” I hear. Looking up, I am appalled to see that my cart is completely blocking her access to the clerk and the register. So I quickly apologize and back up. Right into the cart of the lady behind me.
Good thing I’m amply padded back there or there might have been a multi-cart collision on Isle 2.
So the woman at the check-out in front of me goes through the excruciatingly tedious and time-consuming process of digging through her change purse looking for exactly 18 cents that she can put with a 20 so she can get exactly $7 back in change. Then she stands there putting her hard-earned money into her billfold.
In the meantime, the clerk starts to scan and bag my stuff. That would be fine except I didn’t have all my items on the counter because there wasn’t enough room. Now that I’m still standing back aways so I don’t run over the customer in front of me, I can’t get my remaining things on the counter.
One reason for that is because there’s merchandise stacked at this end of the counter. I guess they’re hoping that I’ve developed bad breath while waiting in line and I will pick up a couple of packs of Tic Tacs.
The woman finally gets her change in her purse (Praise God, and I mean that literally) and moves down just enough for me to kind of fling the rest of my stuff onto the counter. It doesn’t help that I am trying to put a big package of paper towels up there that has a mind of its own and is completely out of control. Just when I think I’ve flung it far enough, it teeters on the end of the counter and falls back in my cart.
The clerk, meanwhile, has been scanning and bagging.
Just as the woman in front of me moves completely out of the way and I move forward, the clerk announces my total. Fortunately, I had already gotten my credit card out and had put it in my pocket. So I whipped it out, feeling all organized and proud that I’m not holding up the line, to find that this credit card do-hickey is not one that I’m familiar with. I see the little picture of how you’re supposed to scan it, but my mind has gone completely blank as I turn the card over and over, trying desperately to match the picture.
The clerk, bless her heart, sees that a poor, elderly woman isn’t coping very well with modern technology, so she takes the card out of my hand, turns it the right way, and says, “Here you go, dear.” Dear? Did she just call me dear? Would she say that to a 30-year-old? Don’t get me started.
Anyway, I was desperate by this time to just get moving, so I smiled and thanked her.
When all of that was done, it was time to put my bags in my cart. It bugs me that Wal-Mart does not have their clerks put your bags in your cart. I always do some of it, but it’s a nice touch when the clerk helps.
Don’t look for it at Dollar General. The way it’s set up, the clerk can’t help you because she’s trapped back there by the counter and bag carousel. So I pulled a few bags off and then asked if that was all of my order, because it didn’t look like it to me. She huffed a little, said, “No” like she was disciplining a 2-year-old, and moved the carousel to reveal the rest of my bags.
I choose to believe she was having a bad day, and helping an old person was getting on her last nerve. Otherwise, I would have some choice words for that young whippersnapper, let me tell you!
With all my bags in my cart, I head for the door and find that it is not an automatic door. It doesn’t open just because I’m standing there. So now I have to open the door and either push or pull my cart through a door that doesn’t even open all the way.
Another young whippersnapper came along (am I the oldest person in this whole store?) and pulled the door open at just the exact moment I no longer needed any help.
Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3 CEV