I spent a half hour in Wal-Mart to simply buy material. I walked directly to the fabric department, picked up the bolt I needed (I had been eyeing it for a while), and stood in line to have it measured. Of course, the clerk's thing-a-ma-bob that scans the bar code on the bolt wasn't working. She had to re-boot. Hubby was in the car, waiting impatiently.
After that ten minute ordeal, I headed to the cash registers. A bazillion different lines were open but each one had a long line. If I wasn't in such a hurry, I would have looked around to try to figure out what Wal-Mart was giving away for free. There was no other explanation for lines like that. Instead, I chose a self check-out line...those are usually quicker, right? All I had was three yards of material, a Diet Coke, and a package of Easter candy (the waiting made me hungry).
When it was finally my turn, the Coke and candy rang up quickly. The material wouldn't scan. An angry beep notified me that I needed to set the item aside and an associate would assist me. Yeah, right....like I'm going to be able to find an associate. The ninety people behind me in line were sighing as they shifted their bargains around in their arms. I quickly scanned the chaos, looking desperately for a blue smocked person.
In the self check-out next to me, two young ladies were scanning two shopping carts full of Easter candy and novelties. Are you kidding me? I thought self check-outs were similar to express lines - 10 items or less. That irritated me. But before I could sarcastically comment that they were taking advantage of the system, the smock clad employee hustled to my assistance.
She pushed all kinds of buttons and tried to scan the fabric. "Material is a lot easier to scan at a cashier's line, hon." I was a bit grumpy at this point. "The cashier lines were ridiculously long," I replied. "You'll have to come up to me and I'll ring you out." So I paid for my Diet Coke and peanut butter eggs in my line before the guests behind me had my head cut off.
I had no idea where the lady ran off to...it was like trying to follow that very late rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. There were no holes for her to climb in so I eventually found her. But someone else was using her machine to ring out another difficult customer. At this point, my son called and said, "Dad wants to know if you're OK. Did you die in there?" I didn't laugh. Nine hours later, I had my three items in a plastic bag and headed out the door. The other stores I visited that day weren't much better. Good thing I didn't have a blood pressure appointment right then!
Yesterday, Hubby went to the grocery store to pick up two items. Each line had a wait so he chose what he thought was the shortest line. The lady in front of him paid her $10.42 bill with a credit card. Immediately after, she declared that she used the wrong card and wanted the order cancelled. He said she dug around in her purse for the correct card. She couldn't find it so she began looking for cash. I would have switched lines by this point but Hubby isn't quite as experienced as I am when it comes to slow moving lines. He said the woman slowly pulled out ten one dollar bills from different places in her giant handbag. Then she inquired how much the change was. She began digging for change until she found the forty-two cents she needed. Hubby said there were a dozen people behind him by the time she finished.
We discussed that there should be different kinds of lines in grocery stores:
- Lines for people in no hurry who are only out shopping because they have nothing to do.
- Lines for people who have more than two hundred items in their cart. They shouldn't be allowed to go through regular lines.
- Lines for people who don't know how to use a credit card machine or don't understand how the touch pen works, people who won't get off their cell phones to give their full attention to the cashier, and people who write checks. Basically, stupid people. Sorry, it had to be said.
- Lines for people who really do have less than ten items and will have their payment in hand, ready, to keep the line moving quickly.