I had quite a surprising transaction at The Devil's Playground this morning. I was only in line for FOUR minutes! With two people ahead of me!
This checker was new. That's how I rationalized her speed. She had not yet been beaten down by the futility of her station. Like a New York city mailman who can climb a tree like a ring-tailed lemur (a skill he learned in the Pacific Northwest) in order to get a man-fur, she will soon learn that, like the mail, groceries never stop. They just keep coming and coming, with no let-up.
I had left my heavy items in the cart so she could scan without dragging them off the conveyor. All right. I had really done it so I didn't have to hoist them onto the conveyor. I had a case of water and two twelve-packs of Diet Mountain Dew for Farmer H's BARn refrigerator, a twelve-pack of Sprite for The Pony, two four-packs of Strawberry Water for Farmer H, and a six-pack of Ruby Red Ocean Spray grapefruit juice for me. The four-packs and six-pack were wedged on the side of the cart, with the bar codes turned outward for easy scanning.
Speedy got her gun, and walked around the bag carousel to scan them. I had to stop her. She was only going to charge me for one four-pack of Strawberry Water.
"Oh, there are two four-packs. You need to scan again." See there. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not an opportunist. Speedy treated me right, and I was going to treat Speedy right. Not that anyone would ever have know that Speedy let a four-pack of water trickle out on her watch. But fair is fair. Besides, I had just saved $10 on a bottle of Zyrtec for the #1 son, with a coupon my mom gave me. Now I'm the Ten Dollar Coupon Daughter.
My experience at Save A Lot yesterday was not so pleasant.
The coal-black-haired great-great-granddaughter of Methuselah, whose line I have gone through numerous times in previous years, decided to re-invent the wheel. As I was putting the items from the top child-seat section of my cart onto her conveyor, she suddenly darted out from behind her fortress and grabbed the butt-end of my cart, yanking it around to the end to have her way with it.
If you've never been in Save A Lot, you should know that the items are scanned and then slid off the counter directly into the cart. I had only a few items left in my child-seat to add to the conveyor. There was the empty cart of the previous customer that normally would have been put in place to catch my purchases. But the CBHGGGofM shoved it out of the way and kidnapped my cart.
"But...but...what about the stuff I have in the top?"
"I'll get that." The CBHGGGofM started grabbing my remaining items from the cart, scanned them, then dumped them in the bottom.
"Wait. I had TWO of those BBQ sauces."
"Well, I only see one."
"Oh. Here it is. I already put it on the conveyor."
Seriously. I had, like, six or seven items left. A bunch of bananas, three small cans of sliced black olives, two bottles of Lite Ranch Dressing, and that BBQ sauce. I don't know what her hurry was. Especially since she was the GBHGGGofM. Not a person unfamiliar with the passage of time.
To make matters worse, my mom had met me over there to pick up last week's used tabloids, and had done a little shopping herself. She was right behind me with her own cart. Or, I might say, her own cart was in my behind. I could not even reach the card-scanner to pay.
"Excuse me, but I need to reach over there and scan my debit card."
Mom was busy holding her arm between the last of my order on the conveyor, and her three items. "I hope she knows this is mine." Somehow, the lady behind Mom had gotten the divider and plopped it down at the front of her own order. She gave it to Mom. "Oh. Thank you. I'll make sure to put this behind mine as soon as hers are done."
I don't know what's with people these days. Don't rock the boat. The sailing will be smoother.