Checkout line adversity

image courtesy @jeti87 via stock.xchg

If you ever see me standing in line at the grocery store, immediately step into another line!  Does it look like I’m standing in the shortest line?  It doesn’t matter! No matter how few people are in front of me, no matter how few items they have, I will be in the slowest line.  I will watch people who arrive at checkout later than me, with fuller carts, move through their lines and happily leave the store while I remain standing in the same spot.

My teenager thinks I’m an idiot for not allowing her to hold a place in a second line, so that I can jump over to the faster line should she reach the checkout counter first. I say that I have high integrity and it’s not fair to all the other shoppers for us to take two places. Sort of like putting coats and purses on several seats in the middle row at the theatre for friends you know will arrive after the movie has started, forcing other movie-goers who showed up on time to take less desireable seats.

My husband thinks I’m being inflexible for not jumping over to another line when I see that it’s moving faster. I say that I value commitment – something that should make him pleased.  I chose my line and now I will stick with it, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.

If you ever see me standing in line at the grocery store, immediately step into another line!  Because inevitably, and particularly when I’m trying to run a quick errand, one or more of the following things will happen:

  • The checkout clerk in my line will be undergoing new employee training.
  • The cash register tape will run out just as the clerk gets to me. Cash register tape is extraordinarily difficult to change and usually requires two people.
  • The customer in front of me will be making a return that entails discussion of the reason for return, multiple scans to identify the price of the item being return, discussion of the price the customer actually paid, and assistance from a store manager (the only person entrusted with a cash register key).


Now if you see my husband or teenager in line, quickly get behind them – you’ll be out of the store in a jiffy!

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