the “check” out line — scenario #1

Somehow I notice this most in grocery checkouts, but it happens in all kinds of checkout lines.

You’re behind a person with an basketful. She puts her stuff on the conveyer. Her eyes glaze over and she stares into space waiting for the person in front of her to finish checkout and for her stuff to be rung up. The clerk turns and begins checking her items — meanwhile she continues to stand idly by. Ring up complete. Total calculated.

Now, discovering at this last moment she has to pay for her groceries, she reaches for her purse, opens it and rummages around for her checkbook. The checker, having nothing else to do now I guess, begins chatting with the lady. This distracts her from her search. Finally, she finds the checkbook and begins very carefully writing (preparing?) the check. Then she tears it out — this can take up to a full minute. I’ve seen what must be some of the most careful tearers in our galaxy. She hands it to the checker. The checker completes the check verification ritual. Then and only then, the lady starts bookkeeping her check register, right there at the checkout station, while checker and I standby.

It’s amazing how many people have never bought groceries or written a check before, thus each step catches them completely by surprise.

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~ by aloony on November 6, 2006.

2 Responses to “the “check” out line — scenario #1”

  1. Well, at least you get people who write checks. I think I would prefer that to the ones I get behind – the “exact changers”. They, as you say, are always taken by surprise that they have to actually *pay* for their purchases at the end of shopping, and when the cashier says “That will be $40.63”, they look around like the thought of actually tendering money hadn’t occured to them before this very moment. Then they reach into their purses or wallets to pull out bills, and they spend 5 minutes counting out $40 worth of ones, rubbing each one between their fingers 10 times, just to make sure two bills don’t stick together.

    But the next part – the change, well, that’s the worse part. Every person I get behind has one of those clamshell purses – you know the ones, and the shoppers have to pucker them open to count out exactly 63 cents worth of pennies.

    Half the time I want to throw them a buck and say “Here you go – now you’ll get *more* change – go to some other store and torment someome else with my regards.”

    I hate those people. Well, I hate most people – but I hate these people a lot.


  2. Hmm. Either I don’t run into the clamshell purse crowd or it’s so rare they don’t leave an impression.

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