Check It Out

Dear Family at the Self-Checkout Line,

I’m sure you are lovely people and all in real life, so please take this not as an attack, but as helpful advice for the future.

Now I could be wrong, but it would seem to me that the self-checkouts are designed to expedite the whole in-and-out process of food shopping; i.e., for the antisocial people who are going to get irate and volatile on the express lanes because approximately 90% of the customers on said lanes think nothing of bringing 17 more items than are allowed by the signs, and/or consider 198 cans of different cat food to equal one item. Some people — not just me — don’t have the funds or the families that require multiple shopping carts on their supermarket adventures, and by the time they want to pay for their sad little frozen dinners, and just want to report to the proper allotted slots for lonely people. Which is to say, the SELF-CHECKOUTS.

And I realize that not everyone can beam with pride over being an expert scanner due to having been a 30-year-old cashier at ShopRite. There must be a handicap. So the woman who took a distressingly long time today to scan $13.00 of groceries because most of said groceries were produce and she had no idea how to do it? Well, actually never mind, because that is pretty obnoxious too. But you can think, well B- for effort. Nothing to help her make the Supermarket Shopper Honor Roll, but at least the proper spirit was apparently there.

Where the proper spirit was not was when y’all decided that one of the two self-checkouts out of 7,800 lanes was the ideal place to purchase $198.17 worth of groceries (and that number is literal).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I would one day very much like to have a man and and a child with whom I can go buy roasts, and rolls, and tomatoes, and all that adult stuff. But when and if that day comes? I will be waiting at the proper register.

No, it won’t be fun sharing a line with the cretins who talk on their cell phones the entire time, not paying any attention at all to the purportedly automatron cashier who doesn’t exist as a person, only after all is said and done, to berate said non-person cashier because said cretins are too important to read signs closely and must now question every single item scan while the cashier struggles to bag all the groceries because the customers’ hands are way too numb after their riveting cell-phone conversations.

That will not be fun at all, but I will do it, because there are rules. Rules that state that if a single person gets into a regular line with a sad frozen dinner and two tiny cans of cat food because that’s all she can afford, she has absolutely no right to sigh and bitch and eye roll because the family ahead of her has a lot of stuff. No one on those lines has to let a single person go ahead of them, because THOSE are the lines for the heavy-duty shoppers. This is understood.

BUT if said single person trudges over to self-checkout, exhausted from playing virtual Frogger with other people’s screaming children, then like, let her have her little place in society. I mean, sorry to get all Cathy®/”Sex and the City” about things, but the supermarket is really not single-friendly as it is, with everything being so hugely portioned, but I accept that, because I do love kids, and I do support families on the grand scale of things. Truly!

BUT WHAT I DO NOT ACCEPT is having to wait forever and ever and ever because a couple decides that the rules do not apply to them, and besides all that, have apparently confused Pathmark with a Montessori school, and are using this quality time during the highest supermarket volume of the day, to let their adorable little child try her very hardest to scan ZUCCHINI, among other things. Get her one of those cute little shopping carts with the plastic food and let her play Store at home, like every other kid in the world. Or if she is really that gifted and sweet, then let her entertain a cashier on the correct line, because cute kids really can make a cashier’s day, trust me!

But to quote George Costanza, “WE ARE LIVING IN A SOCIETY HERE!” and part of that means recognizing that sometimes single people can’t afford to do ALL of their grocery shopping at 7-11, and like, let’s just all work together here, okay?

Thanks.

Sincerely,

The Girl Who One Time Had To Put Back Her Two-Dollar Tank Top Because The Self-Checkouts Were Being Used By People With Three Carts Each

©2007

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