Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meditation on the Grocery Checker

As I was painfully watching my grocery checker "organize" my groceries into different bags, I started to think of all of the little things checkers do that sort of, kind of, drive me bonkers.

Here are a few categories that came to mind as she was "organizing" my stuff. Feel free to let me know of any categories I am forgetting....

1. The Organizer - When you have an entire cart full of groceries piled on to the conveyor belt, the checker diligently sifts through layers and layers of your comestibles to make sure all deli meats are in one bag, snack boxes in another, and so forth. It gets dicey when the last items are batteries, shampoos, french bread, and ice cream.

2.  Double Bagger - They make sure to bag everything and then bag it again.  Which is such a relief, since I only have two drawers full of used grocery bags. Just when I was worried about not being able to fill up a third drawer, the Double Bagger steps up to help me out, much to the chagrin of Julia Roberts. Please, lady... don't bag the milk and the super huge bag of cereal or the bag of apples, bag of oranges, plasma television, or mop.

3. Living Commercial - Like we aren't assaulted by commercials at every turn.  One time I went to Walmart and the lady started talking about a credit card and she literally sounded like a robotic pitchman. It was scary. I don't get this one much, but when I do, all I can say is...creepy!

4. No Eye Contact - Have you ever stood in front of your checker and they never look at you one time? You could be Charles Manson just escaped from prison or have a third arm growing out of your forehead. They would never have a clue.

5. Slow-Ho-Ho - And then there is this one, which is the line I usually end up in when I am in a hurry. Of course, in all fairness, when am I not in a hurry? I think my foot starts tapping involuntary and I get a weird twitch in my eyebrow.  I usually try to avoid anyone who looks like a pothead. This is solid advice.

6. Mrs. Chatty Pants - I don't really care if they are chatty with me, because I am quite chatty myself, surprisingly enough. However, I find myself getting unjustifiably annoyed when they are chatty with the customer in front of me. Why can't they just check AND chat ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

7. Gossip Gal - I find myself squirming a bit when the checker is gossiping about another employee at the store with a fellow worker.  I am always amazed at the nasty stuff they will say right in front of customers like me.  

8. Tie Tie Tie It - I actually had one checker actually tie Every. Single. One of my bags and I must have had 40 bags.  I was so horrifyingly amazed that she did this that I didn't try to stop her at first. Then I did try to stop her, but it did no good. Then I spent the next 15 minutes untying all the bags as I loaded it in the car.  I couldn't carry more than one bag in each hand when they were tied.

9. Conveyor-Belt Controller - Okay, so you know when you have a HUGE cart of groceries and you want to get them all on the conveyor belt before they get bagged and you need to put the bags back in your cart?  But then there is the checker who is constantly turning the belt off and so you have to wait to put stuff on the belt and you can't get the stuff that is bagged. Hence, you are in a stand-off with the checker. Hostage negotiators have to be called in to get the switch put back on go. Can't they just leave the switch on?

And for the record, I do use recyclable bags, but I forget them all the freakin' time!

So, the next time you do your grocery shopping, think about how you would categorize your checker. Because this is a worthwhile meditation when you are standing in front of your checker at the grocery store.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Yes, some grocery checkers have annoying habits (the ones who make incessant odd comments to my stranger-shy children currently top my list), but let me suggest that we all go easy on the double baggers. They might come from a place where double bagging (especially the milk) is essential and is something that is more natural instinct than bad habit. I know I can't make it home from the grocery store if my groceries aren't double bagged -- unless I want everything to spill all over the sidewalk. :)

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