Grocery store check out lines

Snarky's Ghost

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Have any stories?

At the risk of being a wee bit misogyracist, my beef recently has been that I often place those little plastic dividers a few inches behind my load on the conveyor belt so the person's stuff behind me won't fall over onto my stuff.

What irks me is that, on occasion, the person who gets in line behind me will then shove that plastic divider back up against my stuff, and will proceed to place their stuff right up against the other side of the plastic divider that they just moved and -- yep! -- with the movement of the conveyor belt their stuff is jarred forward and falls over the divider into my stuff.

And it's always black women.

Is it a scam? A boorish sense of entitlement? Both? Neither?

 
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Daniel Avery

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In order of appearance.....perhaps you've met them:

1. Customer enters front door of market, then STOPS. Standing in the entrance, they dig through purse for list; examine list; peruse sale paper/flyer; scratch butt; stare off into space; all of the above. Meanwhile, eighteen other wannabe shoppers are piling up just outside the entrance while customer continues all other activities totally oblivious to how they're obstructing the flow of traffic.

2. Sample-grazers who seem to make their daily meals at the bakery counter, the deli counter, the free coffee urn (they'll bring their own MUG, for #$%^ sake), the nut barrels, and the candy jars. After eating their body weight in free samples, they leave without buying a thing. Bonus Bad Karma points for the icky jerks who dip their bare hands in the candy jars and nut barrels.

3. "Gosh these aisles sure are narrow. Let me park my cart diagonally right here in the middle of the aisle during lunch rush while I read the ingredients label on forty cans of soup. No one else could possibly need to get by."

4. Mommy needs some alone-time, so while she is blocking aisle three with her car-sized baby stroller, her five kids under age eight are all running loose in the various parts of the store destroying displays, climbing into the freezer cases, and throwing fruit at one another in produce.

5. A forty-ish woman with a "I want to speak to a manager!" haircut is screaming at a terrified teenaged cashier who rang up the $1.49 vine tomatoes as $1.55 Roma tomatoes, resulting in an overcharge of roughly two cents.

6. ::sniff:: I only buy organic. Put that poison in your body if you like, but I actually love my kids enough to avoid those chemicals...:sniff::

7. Your "line" at the cash register is only two people, yet the customer behind you fidgets and bitches the entire time, whining that "they ought to open more registers" and "why are they making us wait?"

8. After loading their groceries into the car, they give the shopping cart one strong shove in the general direction of the front of the store, then drive away without a care in the world....because the cart didn't ding their car, just five others. As if those clerks just blow a whistle and the carts "come home" by themselves.

As you can guess, I avoid grocery shopping like the plague.
 

Mel O'Drama

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We Brits do cherish our queues. And we like them orderly. Self-scan has begun to see that institution come under some major fire.

Not just the people who take fifteen minutes to scan five items. Or those nonplussed individuals who look round helplessly, too startled to realise that when they remove their handbag from the loading area, the terrifying disembodied woman screaming about the "unexpected item in bagging area" will be silenced.

No... my biggest concern is this: parallel two queue system etiquette.

A small Co-op that I use regularly has this system. You stand on the left side of a barrier for a cashier or the right side of the same barrier for self-service. Both clearly marked. The majority of people pay no heed to the signs and decide to use a different system. They just stand behind the person they can see queueing already - invariably those people in the cashier queue. Then the person at the front of said queue heads for whichever form of service becomes free next. In principle there's nothing wrong with this system either, but it's not what's being asked here.

When I stand at the front of the empty right hand queue, clearly marked "self service", I get disapproving looks from the people in the long queue, as though I'm trying to jump ahead. It leads to a really awkward tension. If a cashier becomes available, it's standard for the next person in the queue to march on determinedly, before the person ahead of them has left - presumably just in case I jump the queue. And then, when someone finishes scanning their items at the self-serve there's this awkward tension. I know that it's rightfully mine next, but the person in the left hand queue has been waiting longer (because they've chosen to ignore the signs) and is under the belief that they're entitled to the next free checkout on that basis.

It can really put a damper on a simple meal deal.
 

bmasters9

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6. ::sniff:: I only buy organic. Put that poison in your body if you like, but I actually love my kids enough to avoid those chemicals...:sniff::
That would annoy me as well-- someone acting like it's not enough for him or her to avoid the things that you are being judged for buying, but that you must avoid them as well.
 

Emelee

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It's annoying when you pick the shortest queue (also the one with customers in front of you with quite few items) is still the slowest queue.

Or when the only customer in front of you is so slow. Either has a coupon that refuses to register or pays with lots of coins. Or has a request that forces the cashier to leave her station to go get something.

 

Emelee

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Swedes seldom use cash anymore. It's either Mastercard/Visa or Swish (Smartphone Payment). But for some reason I always end up behind an old person who can't figure out how to pay with the card, or wants to get rid of lots of coins.
 

Daniel Avery

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They should reserve one self-check register for the folks who have never used one, or the "I don't like technology" people. Call it the "training register" or "Register 0".

Oh, and people who load up the check out line, and then say disingenuously , "Oh, I forgot somethin'..." and then leave the line -- with their stuff on the conveyor belt -- while they essentially continue shopping, saving their place in line.
Or the classic "Oh, I left my purse in the car..." as if it had never occurred to them that they would need to pay for their stuff.
 

Willie Oleson

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I get disapproving looks from the people in the long queue, as though I'm trying to jump ahead.
That reminds me of my intense hatred of Disney park visitors who use the fastpass system. It never occurs to me to use it too....I just stand there, fuming and hating.
 

Jessie

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People who have one or two items. They ask to go ahead of you. I don't care but people behind me also have a few items so it isn't really fair. There is under 10 items lines, but these people don't go there they pick the other lines.

People who race in front of you to get in line ahead of you.

I get people use coupons but some take it too far. They don't have them ready they go through a huge pile of coupons trying to find the ones they want.

People who block aisles, and they know people want past but they could careless.
 

Daniel Avery

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[on the phone] "Oh, hello, Aunt Peggy. Yes, I wanted to let you know we've decided to hold the family reunion this year in the frozen food aisle of Publix. Yeah, be sure to bring Uncle Sylvester. See you next Friday." [hangs up]
 

Alexis

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That reminds me of my intense hatred of Disney park visitors who use the fastpass system. It never occurs to me to use it too....I just stand there, fuming and hating.
I misread this as "visitors who use a fatpass system" all my dreams of you were shattered.
 
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