I kind of love grocery shopping.
It’s so much fun to wander up and down all the aisles, looking at the abundance of fruits and veggies and meats and crackers and canned foods and on and on. If I am not tired and/or in a hurry, I could spend hours in there.
A few things irritate me about the grocery store, though. For one thing: People Who Are Cart-Oblivious. These are the people who leave their carts in the middle of the aisle so you have to move their cart if you want to walk past.
For another: People Who Use Grocery Shopping As a Social Activity. You know the ones: They stop in the middle of the aisle and gab at each other as people try to squeeze past them. DUDE.
But those things are clearly inconsiderate and/or rude.
What I want to address is another Grocery Shopping Experience that irritates me. But I’m not sure if I’m just being Easily Irritated or if it’s actually something that IS irritating or if the people who irritate me are wrong or right or if there is some middle ground.
And now I will get on with it.
Our grocery store has four self-checkout lanes (I think). Only two are usually open. And for some reason, they have no item limit. (This is weird in itself, right? Do your store self-checkout lanes have an item limit?)
So sometimes, you see people with carts jam-packed with products who are using the self-checkout lanes.
This bugs me, Internet.
I KNOW there’s no posted limit on how many items you can buy at the self-checkout.
But come ON. People use the self-checkout because they don’t want to wait in the excruciatingly long lines of the cashier lanes.
And usually they don’t want to wait in the long lines because a) they are in a hurry or b) they only have a couple of items to buy.
I should add here that the grocery store in question ALWAYS seems to be super busy… There seem to be no end to the long lines… And there are only two “15 items or fewer” cashier lanes… And no matter how many people need to check out – be it 5 or 50 – they always seem to have too few lanes even open.
But I think that – posted or not – there should be an understood item limit at the self-checkout lanes. Because not only do you have to ring each item up yourself, you also have to BAG each item yourself, making the process doubly long. So all the people who are just there to buy a carton of milk or a frozen pizza and a bag of skittles are going to be tapping their feet and examining their watches while you painstakingly ring up a whole month’s worth of groceries… and then slowly bag them up.
Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that our self-checkout lanes get “clogged” easily. By which I mean that if you put too many items on the conveyor belt, the machine will stop and force you to bag some of the rung-up items and move them off the conveyor belt before you can resume ringing thing up.
It gets to be so bad that if you pick the self-checkout lane with one Full-Cart Person in it over a cashier checkout lane with five Moderately-Full Cart People in it… you will inevitably be the last person in the store when Full-Cart Person FINALLY finishes ringing up his or her groceries.
So here is what I propose: We should not use the self-checkout lanes unless we are 100% sure that we are the only person in the store and/or there are five other self-checkout lanes open at the time… Or unless we have fewer than 10 items in our carts/baskets.
Ten items! That’s not so bad, is it Internet?