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Chasing The American Dream

September 22, 2006


Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind… The Eagles, Life in the Fast Lane

Slow express. I know I always pick the slowest line no matter where I go, but why is it that retail management fails to realize how important it is to put someone fast and competent behind the express line register? Three times this week, I’ve waited far too long in the ‘express’ lane. And I’m not even talking about the people in line that can’t read the “limit 10 items or less” sign. Instance number one, I observed the cashier in practically slow motion as she scanned the items. I mean, how long could it possibly take to scan 10 items? It took her 10 minutes. Why? Because she has to examine each item purchased and make a comment about it. C’mon lady, not in the express lane.

Instance number two, I waited again with my three items. And again, it was another Mrs. Slow Motion behind the register. Then she fouls up someone’s debit card and didn’t give the customer the right change. Of course, that’s an automatic call to the manager. Tick, tick, tick, went my watch. She finally gets to me and in the middle of my three items, the previous customer came back and complained she didn’t receive the correct change. The cashier owed her another $20. Well, that flustered the hell out of the cashier. She couldn’t figure out how she was going to give the customer the $20 in the middle of my order. Real tough, right? Geez lady. Finish my two items, cash me out, and give the lady her $20. Real tough.

Instance number three, I found myself waiting in another moron’s line. This guy made the other two cashiers look like Speedy Gonzales. It looked like he hadn’t a clue as to what he was doing. It took him like 10 times to scan each item. Then he couldn’t handle the tough produce transaction. He ended up charging a customer $9.73 for a head of Endive. He couldn’t figure out how to cancel it which meant another call to the manager bullpen. Tick, tick, tick and up went my blood pressure. He finally gets to me and once again I had three items. I was so mad I couldn’t even look at him. I swiped my credit card, signed the slip, and was about to leave when I heard the guy in line behind me say, “That’s not mine.” I look over and there stood my Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves. One, I guess my cashier couldn’t count to three because he stopped at two items. Two, why did the guy behind me wait so long to tell the idiot cashier he’d left the preserves behind?

This sort of madness I can’t seem to handle anymore. I’m extending my pet peeve of slow drivers in the left lane to anything or anyone who slows me down unnecessarily and gets in my way. So please all you retail managers, think about serving your customers better by leaving the slow morons off the express line register. This customer would be eternally grateful.


  • Um, can I ask why you don't have a 3)"Why didn't I notice that one of my three items wasn't in the bag?" Its not like you had 20. The cashier is responsible for scanning and bagging, and perhaps for asking if the next item is yours. The guy behind you isn't responsible for squat to you. He was probably staring into space, waiting his turn.

    But its so much more fun to blame everyone else.

    Take a deep breath and get over it.

    By Anonymous slowpokemary, at 9:53 AM, September 24, 2006  

  • I lived in New Orleans for several years, things move sloooooooowly there. It taught me how to have some degree of patience with those situations. Though I still stand in line and curse under my breath!

    By Blogger eb, at 2:49 PM, September 24, 2006  

  • Slow lines exist so that you may catch up on Paris, Jen, TomKat, etc. I personally like the "Stars! They're Just Like Us!" feature in either USWeekly or The Star. It makes me feel good about me. I also feel good about me when I toss the magazine carelessly onto the battery display on the checkout line, thereby scattering those blowout cards every which way. Guess who has to tidy up his/her checkout lane? (I don't to this when the cashier appears to be over the age of about 30, but teens and 20-somethings are fair game.)

    By Anonymous Barbara E., at 6:16 PM, September 24, 2006  

  • Life in Miami...gotta love it.

    By Blogger orieyenta, at 7:55 PM, September 24, 2006  

  • I've seen this kind of complaint before...from various different situations. The explanation always seems to be that these people are minimum (or very low) wage and therefore we shouldn't expect much. And to that I say "what a load of crap!" A good work ethic is a good work ethic....I don't care what you're being paid. There is also the excuse about 'lack of education' and that's the only job they can get....but that's a discussion for another time ;)

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 2:35 PM, September 25, 2006  

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