Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Price, Progress?

Stop me if you've heard this one: The Devil's Handmaiden who checked me out at The Devil's Playground this morning was the worst cashier ever!

Okay. You're not really going to stop me. You might WANT to stop me, but I cannot be stopped! Just like I could not be stopped from switching out of a line that had two customers in it, because the last one had a cart piled over the top with merchandise. I was so clever, I was. I got into the next line, that also had two customers in it, the first one already having bags in her cart, forking over cash to complete the transaction, and the next one with a smattering of merchandise already on the conveyor. Little did I know that this specific Devil's Handmaiden had a previous life as a steel ball in a pinball machine.

Steely B treated that cash like she had just won it on Let's Make A Deal. Fanned through it. Took a couple of steps toward the customer's husband, who was standing behind the bag carousel. Bounced back to the register. Fanned the money again. Put it away. Made change.

Steely B started the conveyor for the next order. She turned this way and that, like a target in Nintendo NES Duck Hunt. Chatted up the customer like it was a family reunion. The person who had pulled in behind me on that other lane was done and headed for the parking lot. Finally, it was my turn.

I left Farmer H's gift for Father's Day in the cart. It was ungainly, a stainless steel grilling set, that being my equivalent of a $3.00 pink change purse and box of Sno-Caps for a Mother's Day gift. Farmer H is not getting one over on me. Steely B ignored it. She rang up about five items. Then she walked away. WALKED AWAY! She went over to the service desk to chat. Brought a friend back with her. Rang up a few more items.

"Oh, did you get this one yet?" I gestured to the grilling set in my cart.

"No. I don't believe I did."

Steely B came around the bag carousel to scan it. You know. The bar code RIGHT THERE IN THE UPPER LEFT CORNER. She grabbed the box and wrestled it around. Even though I said, "It's right there in the upper left corner." She obviously had a plan. Finally she found it and went back to her post.

"That's a good Father's Day gift. Stainless steel. Where did you get this?"

"On the center aisle display, over by the hardware. The display of Father's Day cards."

"Oh. And only $20. That's a good deal."

WHAT? That's a little more than a pink change purse and a box of Sno-Caps.

Then Steely B started talking to her new companion. "Did you just get here?"

"Uh huh."

"Just coming on?"

"Uh huh."

"You don't look thrilled."

"I'm not."

"Me either."

"Why...are you going somewhere?"

"I'm going to lunch."

"Oh."

"It's my lunch time."

"Oh."

Finally. My torture was complete. I had been in line 18 minutes. The temperature was approaching that of the 7th circle of The Devil's Playground.

Oh, those poor folks behind me! Four carts backed up. And they had to wait for Steely B to switch out her drawer.

Those homesteaders had it so easy. Plow. Plant. Harvest. Cook.

4 comments:

Sioux said...

Farmer H is hitting the jackpot with the grilling set. Perhaps you need to start looking now, to find something that rivals the change purse (Pink! Your favorite color!) and the Sno-Caps.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sioux,
I'm sure that Devil's Handmaiden could refer me to the proper aisle. Who are we kidding? She would walk away from a customer at her register and escort me to several aisles with suitable reciprocal gifts for a pink change purse and box of Sno-Caps.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You were very gracious to Farmer H! He Who got a bag of the limited time only Oreos with the Reeses filling and a pair of denim shorts. He needed the shorts and I was quick to make sure he knew I paid full price for the cookies.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Kathy,
As he unwrapped--okay, it wasn't wrapped, wasn't even in a Devil's Playground bag--but as he looked at the grilling set, I pointed out the pink change purse that was laying on the coffee table. No, it hasn't been there for years. We just found it somewhere a month or two ago, and it got put there. Here's what he said: "Well, it was right beside where I was looking, and it had a sign that said 'gift ideas' so I thought it would be a good gift." No explanation for the Sno-Caps.