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The Express Checkout Topic


jhlurie
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When I have a full cart, I admit that I watch the cashiers for a moment and scan the customer line to determine a best guess for who will take longest. That's because I sometimes have three small children with me.

But even with determined analysis, I often end up behind the checkbook-in-purse-bottom, folded-coupon, that-was-supposed-to-be-49-cents customers. Or the cashier who apparently stoked up on horse tranquilizers before the shift.

On the bright side, having three small children chanting "Dad-dee! Dad-dee! Dad-dee!" always brings the assistant manager over to help bag.

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I always count my items, too. One day I was waiting in a regular checkout line with my full cart, when an aggressive cashier dragged me over to the unoccupied express checkout register and insisted on ringing my items up there. Naturally, the empty store suddenly filled with a rush of people needing one or two things, snarling and evil-eying innocent me. The cashier didn't stick up for me. She must have been a bit of a sadist. I'm still traumatized all these years later. heh. :smile:

The D.C. area is also a magical land of self-involved, self-important, oblivious yuppie lunkheads (any possible present company excluded, of course). I don't know which is worse here--Whole Foods or the Trader Joe's across the street. (My old CA Trader Joe's of ten years ago was very cool, in contrast.)

As for dealing with outrageous express-line scofflaws, I have good results with the face-saving, "Oh, I bet you didn't see the TEN ITEMS ONLY sign. I always miss that too." At this, everyone, including the cashier, usually pauses and stares until the offender skulks off to another line. I hate grocery shopping.

"Hey, don't borgnine the sandwich." -- H. Simpson

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i wonder if they should revisit the express lane maximums. these limits (10,12, sometimes 15) were implemented back before scanning, and at a time when the entire process of check-out was less efficient. surely the differential in time between scanning (and bagging, assuming one's hands are functional) 10 products and 12 products in negligible. surely.

i applaud people following the rules. but i think that there are other factors at play when considering check-out times and its relationship to number-of-items.

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The checkout here in France was the last straw that made us give up supermarket shopping here forever. Where can I begin?

There are 5 categories of checkouts.

1) Normal. On weekends, this line always has a wait of approximately 15-20 minutes. The concept of opening new lanes once they get longer than a certain number of people is unknown here. In most cases, access to the front asiles of the store is physcially restricted by people waiting for checkout.

2) A lane reserved for "invalids and pregnant women".

3) No bags provided, this is to attract people who want to do their shoppin in an ecofriendly way. The wait is just as long. This one is a rather new concept, so there are usually misunderstandings and long drawn out situations where someone did not understand and does not want to pay for the bags they have for sale there.

4) The Pass line. This is not your average frequent customer pass. This pass requires you to pay for your purchases with a card issued by the store which has a direct line on your bank account. To get one, you have to make an appointment, go to a special office, open a dossier, and undergo a complete review of your financial records, including last three pay statements, a copy of your marriage certificate, carte de sejour or identity card, and involves a yearly fee. The Pass line is always shorter then the others. I find it scandalous because it relegates people who don't wish to provide all of their personal and financial information, pay a fee, or people the supermarket deems unworthy or too poor to longer waits, not to mention foreign visitors who are completely barred from using this service.

5) The express line, which is policed with authority by the checkout person. If the sign says 10 and you have 11, the checkout person refuses to ring the person up, and makes a scene about it in the process. Sometimes this entails tantrums or obstructive long arguments.

The checkout people are given no decision making powers whatsoever, which fuels their general frustration in life and makes them on the whole a rather unpleasant lot. The store has no trust in the customer. So if an item fails to scan or does not have a label, your reminder that the item indeed cost €3,29 is ignored, and the checkout person picks up a phone, which proceeds to ring for 2 or 3 minutes, and is finally picked up by someone who sends a price checker. This person arrives from a distant location in the store on rollerblades. They take the item, return to the asile with it (all while you and everyone behind you are waiting at the checkout) and return to tell the cashier that it costs €3,29. The people in line wait patiently.

Produce must be individially checked, sealed to avoid you adding vegetables to a sack after it's been weighed, and weighed in the produce section by a person relegated to the task, and that task alone.

And last but not least, you are not given your detailed receipt, which almost always contains 2 or three errors in prices programmed into the bar code software (which can be costly - we were once charged 16 euros for an item that actually cost 1.60 for example), until after your card transaction has gone through. You must scan the prices of each item, and take your receipt and wait in line for another 5 to 10 minutes in order for a person to look scrutiniizingly down their nose at you, call another price checker, and go through the price checking process again. They then slap the difference in price down with distain as if you have made an unjust accusation and call - NEXT!

We avoid it whenever humanly possible.

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At my local Shop Rite, the floor managers (or whatever you want to call them) pull people off the regular lines and into the "Express Lanes" when the store is busy and the Express check outs are empty. I still think this is a bad practice. I always end up having to wait in an express line...(and 9 times out of 10 I am in a terrible rush for whatever reason) while the people they put into it check out. When they tell me I can go into the express lane with a full or fullish :wink: cart, I decline the invitation. Also...I get thoroughly PISSED OFF when I am in an express lane with a JERK who just thinks it's his right to be there with 29 items, while I stand there with a one package of chicken. They could at least let you go ahead of them. People are selfish dirtbags on the grocery line. That's the way of the world. :cool:

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If you are in the express line and you have at least ten items over the limit I'm gonna tell you so. I'll say it in a nice way with a psychotic look in my eyes so you'll get the point. Ok? Grocery shopping brings out a weird aggressive side to my personality. I have a lot of patience with the elderly who cling to their carts, blocking everyone from moving forward while they look for their favorite brand of pasta. I have no patience whatsoever for the very importantant people yacking on their cell phones and swishing through the store like no else is there. That so pisses me off. Another thing, the line isn't going to go any faster even if you push your cart half way up my ass. Back off please!

Melissa

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Most of my shopping trips involve quite a few items as I plan menus ahead of time and try to get everything in one trip because it is really a chore for me to get in and out of the van, hobble in to the store, find one of the riding carts (which never hold enough) and wheel my way around.

If I am in line and see someone behind me with just a couplf of items, I tell them to go ahead of me and often they are so startled by it that I guess there just are very few people who are considerate of others. I was brought up in an earlier era where everything was not me, me, me all the time.

Sometimes I don't notice everything that goes on around me because I am concentrating on my list, but I do try. I often shop at the huge Mexican supermarket and I am fairly well known to several of the cashiers and the box persons. They always help me out to my van and load my groceries and I insist on giving them a tip. They are very careful how they load my groceries, and are always very polite. Some of the other markets are very different, if a checker asks one of the box people to help me out there is one young man who I tell never mind because he slings my bags into the van, sets heavy items on top of crushable things, etc.

I complained to my checker one day that I did not want him bagging my groceries after he put a carton of eggs in the bottom of a bag and dropped a bag of apples in on top of them.

needless to say, 8 of the 12 eggs were broken. I pulled the apples and the eggs out of the bag and showed the checker the eggs. She sent another box person off to replace the eggs.

Apparently this young man hasn't learned that he is employed to serve the public, not the other way around. He obviously resents having to perform his job properly. Too bad....

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you are in the express line and you have at least ten items over the limit I'm gonna tell you so. I'll say it in a nice way with a psychotic look in my eyes so you'll get the point. Ok? Grocery shopping brings out a weird aggressive side to my personality. I have a lot of patience with the elderly who cling to their carts, blocking everyone from moving forward while they look for their favorite brand of pasta. I have no patience whatsoever for the very importantant people yacking on their cell phones and swishing through the store like no else is there. That so pisses me off. Another thing, the line isn't going to go any faster even if you push your cart half way up my ass. Back off please!

Yes'm, You said it! Right ON!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Re someone ahead of you way over the express line limit - This isn't something I thought up, and I think it more often than I say it, but I say it once in while:

"Are you a math major who never learned to read, or an English major who never learned to count?"

The yuppy vermin seldom will acknowledge fault, and so generally ignore the dig, but the checkout people always get a kick out of it....

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With regard to bagging, I just remembered this incident from a couple of years ago. I was at the supermarket, there were horrendous lines, and I'd had to wait at least 15 minutes. There were maybe 3 baggers for all of the checkout lanes that were open, so I stepped up to start bagging my own groceries in an effort to help speed up at least my transaction by a minute or two.

When I was finished, and the woman behind me had stepped up to have her order processed, she gave me a dirty look, and said that I shouldn't bag my own groceries because next thing you know they'll start charging for it!:wacko:

I just smiled and explained that I was trying to speed up the line for those who were waiting.

It wasn't like I was trying to get her to bag her own groceries!

I still hate the supermarket.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I love the self checkouts because no one else uses them. I agree that you should pass a test to be able to use them.

Bleudauvergne, I visited some friends in Clairmont-Ferrand a few years ago. They had recently gotten a mega mart. I remember that my friend hated it. My French comprehension wasn't good enough to understand all the problems, but I remember the lines and the problems with the pricing. I also remember the almond nougat. :wub:

it just makes me want to sit down and eat a bag of sugar chased down by a bag of flour.

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Top 5 or so

Check Out Time - Mudhoney

Abominable Snowman in the Supermarket - Modern Lovers

Supermarket Checkout Queen - Plotz & the Registers

Super Market - Iggy Pop

Check it Out - John Mellencamp

Rockin' Shopping Center - Jonathan Richman

Don't also forget...

Lost in the Supermarket - The Clash

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If you are in the express line and you have at least ten items over the limit I'm gonna tell you so. I'll say it in a nice way with a psychotic look in my eyes so you'll get the point. Ok? Grocery shopping brings out a weird aggressive side to my personality. I have a lot of patience with the elderly who cling to their carts, blocking everyone from moving forward while they look for their favorite brand of pasta. I have no patience whatsoever for the very importantant people yacking on their cell phones and swishing through the store like no else is there. That so pisses me off. Another thing, the line isn't going to go any faster even if you push your cart half way up my ass. Back off please!

I'm still trying to figure out my exact rage "limit".

For 10 items or less lines... maybe 18 unique items. Although I might also get pissed by TONS of repeat items.

For 15 items or less... maybe 20. It takes more balls to fudge on a bigger limit line.

Okay, it occurs to me that this is all B.S. For me, it's really going to matter more what the person's attitude is. If they are making shifty eyed little glances around like someone might catch them I'll actually find it funny and maybe a bit sympathetic. If they are just oblivious... that I hate.

As for the aggressive stuff? Screaming kids--that's what does me. And while I'm NOT a parent, I am an uncle and have had sole charge of the kids in a grocery store before. If I see them bugging another patron I'm quick to apologize and I pray for the same courtesy.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I don't suffer from road rage, but I DO get 'grocery rage' far too often. I only rarely make it known at the time.

If it says, "Express," to me, the important part is fast, not necessarily a small number of items. Usually I buy a small number of items on a particular visit, and am sometimes really in a hurry.

Almost invariably when I'm actually in a hurry, I get stuck behind someone who has an appropriate number of items, but at least one requires a lengthy price check, who then institutes a long argument about ineligible coupons, then spends several millenia counting a mountain of small change. Aarrggh.

Although I like ATMs, I don't particularly like the self-check things; for some reason, at my local mega-mart, the self-check has a line just like the regular checkouts anyway. I tried one for the first time this weekend - there was a wait at express, but a vacancy at the self-check next to it. Never done it, but I got started easily enough; then came the fatal problem - I had a bottle of wine. The self-check machine instructed me to show my ID to the minder (one person oversees 4 self-check stations). Oops, the minder was busy. I bailed out back to the express line and didn't lose a place in line.

Sigh.

Edit: Add additional inconvenience about slow people in the 'fast' line, without even mentioning the people that also engage in lengthy but pointless bouts of small talk with the checker, much less the fact that the market seems to like putting the slowest checker in the fast lane.

Edited by Human Bean (log)
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Don't even think about the self-checkout if you have produce that doesn't fit into the category of peppers, tomatoes, lemons, etc.

There are no listings for oyster mushrooms, and the person slected to "monitor" the self-checkout is the least capable cashier in the store.

And why is it that the ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO STILL WRITE PERSONAL CHECKS AT RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS always get in the express check-out line.

UGH!!!!!!

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The checkout here in France was the last straw that made us give up supermarket shopping here forever. Where can I begin?

Ha! The best is in Germany though. The little old retired ladies always seem to wait until saturday afternoon when the stores are about to close and all the non-retireds are doing their mad dash to buy milk and bread. Then they have to have a long and involved conversation with the checkout person about how everything is more expensive now with the Euro etc etc and they are MEAN! They totally cut the line and pretend they didn't see you, or else keep bumping their carts into your shins if you dare assert your place in line.

And then as a dumb american I always forgot my "Einkaufstasche" (shopping bag) and had to squeeze everything in my messenger bag. (With the obligatory bottle of cachaca in hand, so I look like a serious alcoholic walking home...)

Now in the states, I always carry my shopping bags with me (I keep em in my car). My local supermarket teens are highly amused, and think I'm some sort of hippy.

I prefer self checkout, it probably appeals to my control freak tendencies. Plus then I don't have to have a conversation about my swiss chard and what I plan do with it.

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And why is it that the ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO STILL WRITE PERSONAL CHECKS AT RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS always get in the express check-out line.

UGH!!!!!!

older people. shopping only for themselves. i say kick them in the head, even if they have only 11 items in the 10 item express lane.

shew. glad i got that rage off my chest.

:shock:

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BREATHE , BREATHE, SLOW DOWN IT'S NOT THAT BIG A DEAL BREATHE,BREATHE. IT's not that big a deal. :biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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BREATHE , BREATHE, SLOW DOWN IT'S NOT THAT BIG A DEAL BREATHE,BREATHE. IT's not that big a deal. :biggrin:

Are you trying to convince us or yourself?

Most people are in way to much of a hurry. Try to worry about things that you have control over and accept the others. You don't have to be happy about it just chill a little. :laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I like the self-checkout. However, I think the grocery store should automatically give me (the consumer) a small discount, say 2%, for doing 100% of the work of shopping, checking myself out, and bagging my own groceries. Otherwise, I see it as a way the grocery store makes extra profit while ostensibly giving me extra "convenience," which kinda bugs me.

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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BREATHE , BREATHE, SLOW DOWN IT'S NOT THAT BIG A DEAL BREATHE,BREATHE. IT's not that big a deal. :biggrin:

Are you trying to convince us or yourself?

Most people are in way to much of a hurry. Try to worry about things that you have control over and accept the others. You don't have to be happy about it just chill a little. :laugh:

I didn't actually hit the guy or step on his face like I wanted to. Hell, I didn't actually even call him a scumbag (to his face, I mean).

A little aggression is fine. It defines us a species. It's why we have teeth that can tear meat as well as plants. That dumbass wasting my time in the Supermarket line? Heck, he's just like the other animal that's blocking my path to the watering hole...

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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