The holidays, a new job, excuse a, excuse b, and etc. Yes I know it has been a while. The good news is that I got a moleskin from Biscuit for Christmas so I can keep track of story ideas even if I don’t have time to publish.
This is one of those stories.
If are one of the million people that leave in my metropolitan area, chances are you were at the grocery store with me between 3 and 6PM on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know if it was because it was NYE or because the Rose bowl game was the next day, but the grocery store was beyond approved capacity. The parking lot should have been my first clue as I scoured each lane for a parking spot, finally stalking person walking to their car. Once I found someone loading their car, I waiting patiently with my blinker on, effectively marking my territory.
Once in the store, there were no carts. No biggie, I could settle for a basket. Nope, none of those either. There were about ten of us wandering around looking for baskets. Once the guy with all the carts brought some more in, we descended on him like hungry vultures.
I walked in through the produce section, glancing to my right at the checkout counters. There were so many people waiting, it gave me an early indication of what I was in for. I weaved in and out of each aisle, dodging carts, children and grumpy shoppers.
Finally, I had collected the items I needed, and a couple others I picked up as I avoided the checkout madness. By this time, the lines for the checkout lanes extended back into the aisles. The only way to pick a line was to go back by the dairy section and walk down the aisle. So I did, resigned to wait a long time. I know better than to pick a self checkout lane. I know what happens there...
Those lanes are for the people that think they are fast. Instead, in those lanes, you find yourself behind people buying only the items that actually need a cashier, like gift cards or alcohol. They always have produce that needs looked up. So it rang up your peeled white onion as a Vidalia onion, WHO CARES! Just when you think that slow-as-molasses person is ready to checkout, out come the coupons. They scan each coupon individually, pausing to confirm that each coupon registered for the correct amount. Inevitably, one coupon is expired. You are waiting once again first for the cashier to first NOTICE the blinking light, second while they discuss WHY the expired coupon will not register......
So there I was in line, about 8 carts back, where an experience cashier could check me out. I waited, observing the madness around me. Eventually, I noticed the line next to me was considerably shorter. I checked out the contents of the last cart in line. I can see why no one was behind them. The cart was literally overflowing. Perched precariously atop the groceries was a clipboard with a list. That clipboard gave me an idea. "These people know what they are doing, I bet I’m going to get through this madness faster if I get in that line. One big cart HAS to be better than a lot of small carts, each going through a long process of unloading, scanning, paying and bagging." I decisevly whip my cart over into the other lane.
Was my logic sound? Was it a good choice? Did I ever see the end of that grocery line? Did I get a smartphone from Christmas allowing me to blogging all this right now from the same grocery line where I’ve been stuck ever since NYE? Come back tomorrow to find out my fate…..