Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Just Say Yes

Yesterday I was in line at The Devil's Playground with just a handful of items, behind a woman with considerably more. I was perusing the impulse-buy section for Gourmet Lollipops (they had none) and Chapstick 100% Natural Lip Butter (didn't have the Pink Grapefruit flavor I wanted). I settled for a mini bottle of Germ-X with aloe. Farmer H says he has a bunch of clip-on mini bottles of hand sanitizer, as if for a backpack, in his storage unit stuff. But he hasn't given me any yet. So I was willing to fork over $1.53 to stay hygienic after my Devil's Playground adventures.


Well! THAT startled me back to the present. It sounded like there might be a rumble. I saw The Devil's Long-in-the-Tooth Handmaiden shoving a yellow family size bag of Lay's Potato Chips into a plastic Devil's sack on the carousel. Already in it was an identical yellow bag of Lay's. In case you've been shacking up under a rock for a couple thousand years with a Geico caveman...chips are fragile! I would not have wanted my chips Handmaiden-handled like that, either.

The Devil's Long-in-the-Tooth Handmaiden (TDLITTH) acted like she didn't know what she was doing wrong. She looked up at Customer. And kept doing it!

"NO! Don't shove that bag in! It breaks the chips! I'm sorry. But I hate broken chips. So just stop. Here! Give them to me." Customer reached over and took the bag off the carousel, and gently shook it a bit, then removed the pushed-upon bag. "See? You've put a box in the bottom. THAT'S why the bag won't go in." She set it aside by itself.

"Oh." TDLITTH acted like she never knew that. Despite the fact that I've seen her in The Playground for a while now.

That transaction wrapped up, the total being in the $200s, part being paid with cash, and part with a debit card. Customer offered a half-hearted apology for speaking harshly, but I think there was no need. You don't want to eat powdered Lay's until the next monthly shopping trip.

My items were already on the conveyor, and had been advanced to the ringing-up area. I put the Germ-X on last, since I picked it up last. I also had some PEEPS and some Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels, No Sugar Added Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for Farmer H, plus a boxed mini No Sugar Added Apple Pie, a 5-pound bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and a bag of dinner rolls.

Let the record show that I'd put the cold stuff up front. Then the cookies and PEEPS and pie, then the rolls. It made sense to me. Bagging cold with cold, square containers with each other, and the rolls last. With the Germ-X in its little bottle.

TDLITTH asked if I found everything I needed. WHEN am I ever going to learn to just say YES? I had to mention how I can never find the six-pack of boxed raisins. Of course, TDLITTH didn't tell me where to find them. She asked if I had The Devil's app. NO. I do not. I'm not particularly interested.

Thus began a promo for The Devil's app. Did I have a smart phone? Did I know how to download an app? I could use it to scan items that I didn't know the prices of. How about THIS, how about The Devil marks his gosh-darn merchandise like he's supposed to? Huh? How about THAT? Oh, and if I made sure to download the right store, I could type in the item, and the app would tell which aisle to find it. Huh. First the automated checkout, now the app...why was TDLITTH telling me stuff that was about to eliminate her job? Oh! I see. They were having a contest to promote the app.

Yeah. My eyes were glazed over. I couldn't even busy myself with putting the bags in my cart/walker, because TDLITTH was a BACKWARDS CHECKER! She turned that carousel AWAY from me, not toward me. So my full bags were out of reach until they made a full circuit.

All at once, TDLITTH announced my total. Not in the $200s, thankfully. Less than a fourth of that. As I turned to jam my debit card at the chip reader (I'd forgotten to wear in my glasses on top of my head), I noticed that TDLITTH had put my Germ-X on top of the carousel. They do that sometimes, you know. Set an item on top, so it won't go in a bag with food. ASSUMING that you won't want it in there. JUDGING your purchases, even though you may want to take that Germ-X home and drizzle it over those rolls and snarf it down like there's no tomorrow.

So there I was, blindly trying to use the chip reader, all of which seem to be missing at least one screw, and flop when you touch them, so you have to bend down and find the card slot, while elbowing the creeper behind you away so you can stand directly in front of it. I was on my third try when TDLITTH said, petulantly, "Oh. I was going to show you that app."

Well. Nothing would do but for me to stand up and take a step toward her so she could wave HER OWN PERSONAL PHONE across my Germ-X, and show me the price (which I already knew), rather than type in SNACK RAISINS and find me the aisle, as long as she was being totally time-sucking and overly-familiar.

The chip reader kept beeping for me to punch in information, so I turned back to it and squinted and declared that I didn't want cash back, and the total was fine, and typed in my PIN while holding up that broken-down contraption with the other hand. I then turned to see that my cart STILL had no bags in it, and waited for my receipt, and asked if I had everything. Because I had NOTHING!

TDLITTH picked up my three bags and walked them around to the cart. Just making her own life harder all the live-long day, but who am I to decree which direction The Devil's Handmaidens should spin their carousels?

Once I was settled in T-Hoe, writing the amount in my checkbook register and washing my hands with my almost-empty Germ-X...it dawned on me that as I had loaded the bags into T-Hoe's rear, I did not notice my new Germ-X. Gosh darn it! I wanted my tiny Germ-X! It was probably still on top of the bag carousel, riding round and round with wild abandon.

Crap crappity crap! I could go back inside and make a scene and get my $1.53 (plus tax) Germ-X. IF TDLITTH was still there. IF she had seen my Germ-X and set it aside. Otherwise, it would be a wasted trip, and I'd look petty, asking for Germ-X that I had paid for but not gotten. No. I was not taking the time and knee-mileage to go back. Screw it. She got me.

Once back at the Mansion, unpacking...I found the Germ-X in the bag with the rolls. Good thing I didn't go back.


River said...

I'll never understand your checkout people. It may be a low-paying no-brainer job, but like my mum used to say, a job is a job and if you have to be a street sweeper or toilet scrubber, be the best street sweeper or toilet scrubber there is. Same with checkout work, be the best checkout person there is, be the best you can be. People will notice and maybe offer you a better job somewhere else and just like that, you're on your way up the pay scale.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Walmart has an on-going teaching program on computers in the back of the store (computer based learning, referred to as CBL). Periodically the handmaidens are forced to undergo this training and they have to score a certain percentage to pass. I remember the one teaching how to bag items. Even though I worked in the Pharmacy, I was required to take all the basic CBL's. The bagging of chips is clearly addressed. Maybe she slept through that one. If you don't pass, you have to take it over and over again until you do. Maybe she is among the employees who have to constantly retake their CBL's.

Good help is hard to find, you know.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I'm pretty sure this gal isn't going to be offered a job anywhere else!

I think she must have just re-taken the "push our app on people" training, and needs a refresher on the "chip packing" training. Even a loud mouthy kid knows you don't try to force a bag of chips into not-enough room.

River said...

We have a similar training video that we are required to watch every now and again. The bag packing segment is hilarious to most of us, the person in the video has a slow conveyor belt with one item at a time coming towards him which gives him plenty of time to pick up each item, scan it, then place it oh-so-carefully in the bag, all the while making smiley chit-chat with the customer. There's no mention of separating items or placing chips on top of other items, although if I remember right there is a bit on keeping cold items together. We laugh at this training, because in a busy supermarket the conveyor belts move quite a bit faster, people tend to load them up until the goods resemble Mount Everest and still we manage to pack quickly and efficiently while not crushing eggs, bread, biscuits or chips. An overflowing trolley load used to take me around three minutes and I remember quite vividly one customer taking photos of the neatly packed bags so she could show them off.

Hillbilly Mom said...

That conveyor part reminds me of Lucy and Ethel working at the candy factory. Kudos to you for a job well done.

Seriously. It's common sense not to crush the chips! If this lady had HER picture taken...it wouldn't be for her packing technique.