Friday, October 12, 2012

Express Lane Rant

How’s that speedy check-out lane working for you?  Do you find that half the time you want to use one none are open?  While I stand in an open express lane,  I find myself covertly counting the number of items in the basket before mine.  (On the whole the public tends to underestimate the number of products it is buying.)  And when I commit to one of these “quick” lines, I know that I have accepted a gamble, usually a losing one at that.

I have tried to cut my losses.  I have tried to create a system for determining which line will move the fastest.  There are so many variables:  the types of items being purchased, the cashier, the customer, coupons, sales events, even the time of day.  (You know, when it’s finally your chance to put your package of Tampons on the counter only to have the checker turn off the light because her shift is over, or it’s break time.)  I remember once last year when I thought I had made a brilliant choice.  I chose the line with the woman purchasing a gift card.  How long can that take?  Well, it turns out she was purchasing THIRTY of them!  SEPARATELY!  Thirty items in the ten and under lane.  Well, I guess since she paid separately she found the loophole.  But if I had seen thirty women purchasing single gift cards, I would have stood behind five people instead.  At least the cashier resented that her “express lane” status had been abused and she apologized to me.

Yesterday, I encountered an enabler.  Yep.  An express-lane cashier who exacerbated the wait.  I admit that I did not thoroughly consider all the variables.  But it was well past 5:00, the time that I lock my door to the crazy world and refuse to participate until the masses have settled down in front of their televisions.  And so when I got in line behind the single elderly woman in her Wal-Mart-provided motorized scooter in the “20 Item” line, I was simply ticking away the seconds until I could get home and put some supper on the table.

Those seconds ticked into minutes and I craned my head around to find her scooter’s basket already full to the brim with those offensive white Wal-Mart bags.  She still had another 8 items on the conveyer belt, and that’s when the monetary transaction games began.  “How much do I owe?  Oh.  Well put those two items on then.  Now how much do I owe?”  She paid the first bill of $100.00.  Then everything else needed to be rung up as another transaction, but maybe she didn’t want all of it. 

At that point I was glowering, shifting weight from one tired foot to the other, shooting red laser beams from my eyeballs at the “twenty items” sign hoping to disintegrate it, mentally calculating how much more time I would be there versus getting in another line behind several people, all the while pretending to humor my children by listening to at least parts of what they had to say. 

I spent 15 minutes being “next in line” before I changed lines and found a spot behind two other customers.  I paid for my 12 items with a thirty second swipe of the credit card and left with the octogenarian customer and the senior citizen cashier still tying up the express lane.  Old age may rob our senior citizens of their mobility, continence, and basic good manners, but it endows them with cajones the size of steroidal watermelons and tunnel vision.  (I say this with love and a smile, because I am VERY close to one of these described octogenarians.)

And that is my rant this week.  Avoid discount box stores after 5:00.  Never fall for a lane that is doubly hexed.  And NEVER NEVER take those check-out signs at face value.

Wooden Butterfly Skull- pendant
Cherry blossom detail
Oh, yeah, last week I gave you a tiny peek at my current projects.  They progressed a little slower than I hoped this week, but here’s what I have to show today.  (I have a few more still under construction. Once I have those complete I will begin putting them on Etsy.)  Feel free to leave feedback.  I learned that white is good in theory only.  All polymer clay artists will tell you that white is only white while it is in the package.  I knew that.  What I didn’t count on was how difficult it is to photograph white!  Suggestions are welcome!

Cherry Blossom Field Skull - pendant

1 comment:

  1. Love the butterfly skull pendant!! As for your rant, you forgot to mention those paying with WIC and "forgetting" to let the brand-new cashier know before starting.


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