Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Grocery Store

There was an article in the paper today about how grocery stores want to make shopping a more pleasant experience. Really? How about they start with lowering the price of butter from $4.59 a pound? That would be an improvement.

The place where they need THE MOST improvement is at the checkout stand. On Monday, I got stuck behind a chatter. You know the type. You're waiting to check out, you're in a hurry and they stand there BLATHERING to the checker.

Shut up and get the hell out of my way.

Most grocery stores have eight to twelve lanes, two of which are open at any given time.

My first rule, if I were in charge, would be:

I don't care if there's one person in the whole store. Keep those checkers locked, loaded and ready to go. I guarantee the MINUTE one person gets in line, fifty more show up. It is the law of grocery store averages.

Lanes also need to be re-labeled to better fit the customers. First to go, would be the express lanes. The clerks in the "express" lanes don't know what the hell "express" means.

There would be FOUR express lanes in my ideal grocery store. Only they would be called, "Hurry The Hell Up" lanes. Catchy, huh?

The clerks couldn't do any of that insincere, "How are you today?" crap.

They would have to simply say, "Hello, I am at your service" and then ring up your stuff as quickly as a meth user cleans house.

Each HTHU lane would have different labels. One would be for fifteen items or less. Anything less than fifteen is unreasonable. After all, what if you want to buy a copy of the "National Bullshitter" while you are waiting in line?

The second HTHU lane would be for twenty-five items or less AND it would be child-friendly. What do I mean by child friendly? This means no candy bars, treats or other BS that your kids are going to beg for.

How many times has anybody that has gone to the store with a kid had to go through THIS scenario?

Child at checkout: Can I have a candy bar?

You: No.

Child: Why not?

You: Because you already picked out fruit roll-ups, cookies AND a seven dollar box of cereal.

Child: (beginning to whine loudly) But I WANT one! Can't I just have this tiny package of gum.

You: NO!

Child: (dancing and whining) Buuuuut I Waaaaaant IT!

You: (yelling) I SAID NO! You aren't getting any GODDAMN candy. And if you don't shut the HELL up, I am going to reach down your throat and pull out your FRICKIN' tonsils! IS THAT CLEAR?

Suddenly you realize that the store has become silent and everyone is staring at you. It's a little embarrassing, no?

Not only would my kid-friendly lanes not have candy, they would be lined with fly paper so you could have something to stick your kids to while unloading.

There would be two more HTHU lanes. There would be no grocery item limit in these and one of them would also be kid-friendly. There would be NO CHECK WRITING ALLOWED in any of these lanes.

The next lane would be a "Lonely, wants to chat with checker" lane. Checks would be allowed in this lane because nobody would be in a hurry anyway. The checker would have to be personable. This lane could not be staffed with PMS Pamela and her cloven hooves.

The sixth lane would be a combo "Crying Baby/HTHU" lane. This would also be kid-friendly. Anybody in a hurry could use this lane, but if somebody with a crying baby comes up, they immediately go to the head of the line.

Anybody that has shopped with a baby knows that you have approximately 3.8 seconds from the time you enter the store to the time the baby starts screaming. Feed them and change them first; it doesn't matter. To them, it's the principle of the thing. They can't eat any of the stuff in there yet so why should they be subjected to shopping for it?

Let these poor moms get the heck out of the store.

The seventh lane would be labeled "stuck in the eighties". This would be for people who are going to write checks as opposed to using their ATM card. This lane also applies to those annoying assholes who don't start writing the check until AFTER the groceries are totaled.

The eighth lane would be "found tons of stuff with no price marked" lane. That way nobody would be groaning while the clerk is running numerous price checks.

The ninth lane would be "rectal cranial inversion" lane. This is the lane for people who just don't get it.

Here's how this one works. Say a "chatty" gets in a "HTHU" lane. She/he gets one warning and a flag goes in the computer that is attached to their club card. If they get in the wrong lane AGAIN, that is their last warning. The only way they can pay the same price as everybody else, is to forever use the RCI lane. Or else, they would be charged MORE for the same groceries.

I leave it up to the rest of you to help me with more lane categories. Don't be shy. Chime in.


Blogger Bearette24 said...

what does hthu stand for?

i was behind an old lady who took about 20 minutes to get through (not the cashier's fault). she had 2 items, but she asked if there was a discount on each one, threatened to sue a couple of guys who squeezed past her in order to leave the store (i'm not making this up; she said, "i'll send an attorney to your address"), and rested her arm on my apples as she rooted for change. I so wanted to clock her.

3:58 PM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

ohmigod you are SO FREAKING FUNNY.
and i don't know about you but i really have only about 2 seconds but can *tolerate* 3.8 seconds : )

4:09 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

HTHU is "hurry the hell up."

Thanks, Babelbabe.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Maybe there should be two "lonely wants to chat" lanes and two "crying baby" lanes, huh?

5:43 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

"PMS Pamela and her cloven hooves..." That is *classic*!

Do your grocery stores have a self-checkout thing? Have you tried this? I guarantee you will break into a sweat if you have more than two items.

7:23 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

The next HTHU lane will be for the little old lady with the change purse full of pennies who is determined to pay the exact amount for her groceries. "Now there, that's 97 cents isn't it? Well, maybe we should count it again."

10:52 AM  
Blogger Ms.L said...

I'd LOVE self serve checkouts!

Our cashiers,like to think they are our BBFs and it drives me NUTS.
Just ring in the stuff and let us move on!

One of them,has even gone so far as to give me a nickname"Trouble"

I think she lurves my husband,because she always watches him with big moonie eyes...

Ohhh I see what Gina says about the self serve about robots then???

11:37 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Gina - I've never seen the self-serve or tried them in the grocery store. I've seen them in Home Depot.

Old Hoss - For the little old lady counting and re-counting, we could reserve a cattle prod for her. Low-voltage of course.

Ms.1 - There used to be a male clerk that I could tell HATED me. He would be friendly to the people in front of me and then go all Squidward when I got to him. (You have to watch SpongeBob to get that one, but I bet you do.) He's not there anymore. I'm glad.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Ms.L said...

Doesn't EVERYBODY watch SpongeBob;p?

May be,he was so in LOVE with you,that he tried to hide it,by being cool????

2:48 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Nah, there was a definite chill in the air. I could feel it emanating from him.

6:29 PM  
Blogger nobody1001 said...

Great blog and great comments. I, too, get ticked off. I can't figure out people who have all this time to poke around. If that's their social life, OH MY GOD!

The only time I spoke up was at the 99 cent store. I had worked all day, there was a long line behind me and the stupid, good-for-nothing checker kept stopping (for quite long intervals)to talk the next check about her social life.

My husand was mortified when I said "I've worked all day, I'm very tired and I would appreciate it if you would stop talking and ring up my groceries. Everyone behind me started to smile and she got me finished in about two minutes flat.

3:43 PM  

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