Monday, March 8, 2010

Why you should never be rude

With DH and I taking turns being sick and all, we not gotten groceries in a while. We've been eating through the pantry, and when we ran out of grape jelly and rice, we knew it was time for a big run.

The grape jelly was almost a calamity, as Barley is notoriously finicky, and we were not sure he would find the plum jam or apricot preserves to be acceptable.  He did--so much so that DH scolded him for using up too much of these precious commodities.  Gifts from a generous friend, there will be no more plum jam until next fall when canning season comes again!

Anyway, I finally get to the store, and we are out of such disparate items that I am pretty much going up and down every aisle.  Being the comparison shopper that I am, I have to read all the labels, do lots of math in my head to figure out if the no-name brand is still cheaper if the regular brand is on sale, etc.  (Hey, I saved $35 by paying attention to these details!).

When I was finally ready to check out, I picked the shortest cashier-staffed checkout line.  The person ahead of me had only a lightly filled basket, and would be quick.  I usually do self-checkout, but I was tired from walking around the store for 45 minutes, and I wanted someone else to do the scanning.

As I was unloading my wagon, a man came behind me with 1 package of batteries.  He very politely asked if I minded him skipping ahead of me, as he only had one item and was in a hurry (aren't we all?).  I was mildly annoyed, but he was very polite, smiling winningly at me, and heck, he was in an ambulance uniform.  Maybe the battery was for a life-saving device or something!  I let him go ahead of me, thinking that the self-serve checkouts are usually very fast, and how hard can it be to scan ONE item, really?  Sheesh.  But I had nodded and let him in, so I kept my grumbling to myself.

The man checked out, and the cashier started scanning my stuff while I continued unloading my densely packed cart.  There was even a bagger--I was so relieved.  As I glanced backward to see how much room there was on the conveyor belt, I saw the sign above the grocer's head.  It read, in big white letters:

Express Lane: 10 Items or Less

No wonder the cart in front of me had been so light!  And now I got why my cashier had started announcing "3's a crowd, all cashiers to the front, please" when he saw me pull in.  Had he said anything directly to me, though?  Given me an evil fisheye for breaking the express lane rules?  Not at all.  When I apologized, he waved me off and said, "It's no problem, mam (sic), it's fine."  Even the bagger looked puzzled when I apologized to him. "What for?"  "I'm in the express lane and I have about 200 Items!"

They were already speed-checking me out, so there was no way to retreat.  Forward and onward! Suddenly, I was really, really glad I was polite to the poor man stuck behind me with his one battery.  I would really have looked the fool if I'd struck an attitude with him!

1 comment:

  1. I shop just like you, checking out prices. If only the damn sale price sticker would show the cost per measurement to make it easier to compare. Ah, perhaps that the goal.

    Good thing your inner self was good.


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