Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Express Lane to Nowhere...

Tonight, I did it. I finally couldn't keep my mouth shut.

I took a "quick trip" to Safeway to get hamburger and salad fixin's for dinner. I took my three items to the only open express line, which was backed all the way into the freezer aisle. It still should have been faster than the one open regular line that was also backed into the aisle. The first four people in the line had four or five items and paid cash or ATM, and all was well.

The guy and his wife ahead of me in line had a cart full. I counted as they put their stuff on the belt. Twenty-nine items in the 15 item express line. I bit my tongue and said nothing. Then it happened.

He pulled out his checkbook...

...then he asked the checker for a pen.

I couldn't help myself.

"You're kidding me. First you bring WAAAAAY more than fifteen items into the clearly marked (as I pointed up to the sign) Express Lane, then you want to write a check (tapping my finger on the part of the sign that says ATM / Cash ONLY - NO CHECKS)."

He looked at me with that "mind your own damned business" look. Then he ignored me and went back to his check. I wasn't finished.

"Then, you don't even have a pen so you can preflight your check. You're just going to hold up the line while you write out the whole check? You already know the date and the store, all you needed to do was leave the amount blank. But that doesn't help the fact you have too much stuff to be in this line in the first place."

Then the gal behind me chimed in... "What an asshole!"

The check writer looked up again and his face was redder than his shirt. He still didn't say anything. He looked at the checker as if seeking backup, but she just said "Well, they're right."

At that point they opened another express line, and the new checker asked if I'd like to go there. I said I'd love to.

After finishing my transaction, having paid with my ATM card, I walked toward the exit. Guess who was just finishing his transaction.

What an ass.

17 comments:

Mrs. "Smith" said...

Jeez, hon, no wonder you didn't want to talk about how long it took. ;)

TheBronze said...

Smitty, you're my new hero!

kvegas911 said...

HAHAHAHAHA sometimes you just gotta say how it is!

Jay said...

Ha, We've all been in those lines and stood silent as some idiot abuses the system.
Now I know what to do. Well done LOL.

Me said...

Way to stand up for check-out line Justice!

USAincognito said...

HAHAHA!!!!!! THANK YOU for saying something!!! Ya know how many times I have bit my tongue and have held back some nasty "speak my mind" words when standing in the express lane?!? Now...the next time....I think I shall just say it! ;)

fuzzys dad said...

I have expressed my feelings about these nimrods that are so stupid they can not get in the proper check out lane.

Officer "Smith" said...

It's probably a good thing he didn't ask if I was the express line police.

5150Wife said...

Way. To. Go!

Tonya said...

Good for you! Unless the person looks deranged or dangerous, I *always* say something to express lane offenders. I have a VERY standard thing I say which gives them a a nice way out, though. "Excuse me, you look like a nice person so I'm guessing that you simply didn't see the sign? This is the express lane - 15 items or fewer."

Most of the time the person turns reds, apologizes and go gets in another line, though I did have one lady who had like 20-25 items was trying to claim that because she had 5 cans of the exact same soup and 3 boxes of the same cereal, those only counted as 1 item each. Not. I complained loudly enough that the cashier asked her to go to a different line.

Sometimes it IS just a matter of not seeing the sign. I know I once accidentally got into an express lane with a full cart.. it took me a couple minutes to figure out why I was getting dirty looks. I then went "OH, this is the express lane, SORRY!" and then I went and got into a different line, of course. If someone had just said something, I would have
moved sooner.

Speaking of standard things to say... I live in Oakland and travel to San Francisco a lot. I tend to encounter many homeless people or beggars on my daily travels. I don't believe in giving them money as I know there are many, many social services available to them and I don't feel like supporting someone's drug or alcohol habit. When I am asked for change, I always look them in the eye and say, "No, but good luck!" or "Not today, but good luck." It's simple, firm, polite while acknowledging them as a human being and without having to say "I'm sorry" or make up any other kind of excuse. Works every time, I highly recommend trying it.

Liz said...

I don't think he'll be doing that again for awhile. You shamed him good. If fewer people stayed silent, fewer people would be rude like that.

*Goddess* said...

I love WalMart's "solution" to this problem: make it 21 items in the express lane. UGH!!!

MJ said...

LOL! Thank you for doing that!

Tonya--I have a coworker who encountered a homeless person asking for change. I do NOT recommend doing what he did--he told the guy to "F--- off." And promptly got his butt kicked by said homeless person.

Me said...

MJ, if a homeless person can kick your coworker's butt, said coworker probably needs to spend a little more time in the gym.

justusforall said...

I hate, HATE people who pull out checkbooks when they're in line in front of me. Because I know that makes their checkout time like twice as long. Get with the 21st century and get a debit or credit card, people!

justusforall said...

"I tend to encounter many homeless people or beggars on my daily travels. I don't believe in giving them money as I know there are many, many social services available to them and I don't feel like supporting someone's drug or alcohol habit. When I am asked for change, I always look them in the eye and say, "No, but good luck!" or "Not today, but good luck." It's simple, firm, polite while acknowledging them as a human being and without having to say "I'm sorry" or make up any other kind of excuse. Works every time, I highly recommend trying it."

I love this idea! I always just lie to homeless people and say I don't have any change. I always feel a little twinge of guilt for lying, even to a homeless person, and I don't want to be TOO RUDE to them, but I definitely don't want to give them money (my taxes pay for their SSI payments, section 8 or public housing, food stamps, etc).
Just tell them firmly "NO but good luck" - let them know they're not gonna get a penny from you but you do wish them well...

justusforall said...

"MJ, if a homeless person can kick your coworker's butt, said coworker probably needs to spend a little more time in the gym."

I don't know, I've seen some pretty big homeless people. That's when you know they're not as bad off as they say they are, when they look like they eat better than you do...