Friday, September 16, 2011

Check-out Line Etiquette 101

I'm a firm believer that people should be given the same consideration in check-out lines as they are when using an ATM.  Most people these days pay with their debit card, and no-one wants some stranger hanging over your shoulder, watching you enter your PIN.  Even if a person is paying with cash, I think it's really rude to crowd someone while they're trying to complete their retail therapy.  So, here's my rant about check-out line etiquette and why I should be allowed to stomp on the feet of strangers.

*All of these examples happened to me yesterday in the space of about an hour.  I was beginning to suspect a conspiracy.*

Maybe I should have this printed on a shirt.
Image Via.

Invasion of personal space:  I was at a drug store buying some things for The Boy when I sensed, or rather smelled, the presence of someone behind me.  I barely had to turn my head to see the woman who had sidled up because she was only about 2 cms away from touching me.  I only glanced at her with my peripheral vision for a second but that slight turning of my head was enough for me to get a face full of the alcoholic fumes and cigarette breath that were pouring out of her as she slurred into her cell phone.  It was 10:15 in the morning.  Clearly, she was a class act.

Even though the lush was practically perched on my shoulder, I didn't really worry too much about her being able to see me entering my PIN because I was pretty sure that a) she was seeing double and b) she wouldn't remember it and, in fact, probably wouldn't even remember how she got to the drug store.  What bothered me the most was that I really didn't want to be able to smell her breakfast of Jim Beam, Cheerios and a Marlboro.  Surely, at the very least, she could remember to take others into consideration and swig some mouth wash before she ventures forth in search of nicotine.  Minty fresh for the general public and an extra hit of alcohol for her - win/win!

Moral of the story - if you're gross, or even if you're lovely, don't get all up in my business at the check-out.  Don't get all up in anybody's business.  Mind your own damn business and allow for personal space!

Any excuse to add a LOLCat.
Image Via.

Pretending you don't see me:  I carried on with my shopping adventure and went looking for a shirt at my local Winners.  I found a shirt, waited patiently in line for the next cashier, and then proceeded forward when it was my turn.  I noticed that the cashier acknowledged the presence of the next person in line, who must have waved or made eyes at her.  Keep in mind, the cashier merely nodded - she didn't make any 'come hither' motions.  Besides which, I was quite clearly making a purchase and she was serving me.

Within seconds of the cashier's fatal error of politeness, the woman who had been behind me in line was suddenly at my side, telling the cashier that she would like to make a return.  At this point the cashier was still ringing my purchase through.  I turned and stared at the woman who didn't even acknowledge my presence and I wondered if I had mistakenly put on my cloak of invisibility that morning.  The cashier simultaneously asked the woman politely to wait her turn while shooing her away dismissively with her hand.  I liked her a lot in that instant.  The woman, sounding as surprised as if I had suddenly jumped out from behind a tree yelling 'Boo!', said 'Oh!' and returned to the line.

Moral of the story:  Just because you choose not to believe that I'm standing in front of you, doesn't mean I'm not there.  Pull your head out of your ass, you self-centred twat.

Even if you're the leader of a nation, you're not line-jumping ahead of me.
Image Via.

Bullying in the check-out line:  This one mostly applies to grocery stores, or any store that has conveyor belts at the cash registers.  My second to last stop of the day was at a grocery store.  I picked up one item and headed for the express line (people who try to take full trolleys through the express lines also really piss me off but that's a story for another rant).  There were two people in front of me, both with items on the conveyor belt, so I stood at reasonable distance from the man in front of me and waited my turn.

 As the line moved forward, the man ahead of me placed one of those separation bars behind his items and I placed mine on the conveyor belt.  Queue the jerk behind me who appeared and began to breathe down my neck.  He placed his basket on the shelf below the conveyor belt and began picking things up out of it.  There were still two people ahead of me at this point so I was positioned at the end of  the belt.  I don't like grocery store bullies and I suddenly felt like irritating this man as much as I possibly could.

The people ahead of me moved forward and now there was only one other shopper ahead.  That meant there was plenty of room on the conveyor belt.  The man behind had now started making impatient huffing and puffing noises and was piling his items precariously at the end of the conveyor belt.  I started to reach for the separation bar and to move forward, but I made sure that I was moving at glacial speed.

Eventually, the only item on the conveyor belt was my one, small pack of yoghurt

Moral of the story:  Cashiers can only help one person at a time so there is really no point in trying to make people move faster.  Don't try and rush me at the grocery store.  The more you try and  push me forward, the slower I will move.

So, darlings, remember to play nice when you're out shopping.  If people won't play nice with you, feel free to mess with them.  It's kind of fun!

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