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Cashiers who comment on your purchases…

I can understand that cashiers crave smalltalk, but it’s not a cool to inquire about your customers purchases. While purchasing some Aquaphor the cashier inquired if I recently got a new tattoo. I said “No, I’ve got an outbreak of diarrhea at the house and this is very soothing for rashes.” I didn’t mention that it was for my son, but it made the conversation awkward and end rather quickly. Apparently, Aquaphor is also good for tattoo healing. Good to know.

Other times I’m purchasing ground beef, taco shells and salsa and the cashier chimes in “Looks like it’s taco night!”. The obvious remarks when I’ve purchased a custom birthday cake and they say. “Looks like someone is having a birthday” I simply say. “No my psychotherapist recommends that I purchase a birthday cake for each one of my personalities so that it keeps me out of the hospital”.

Next time I go shopping I think I’ll purchase All Bran with extra fiber, a fleet enema, some food coloring, and a big poster board to see what they say.

Improving on Supermarket Express Lanes

Supermarkets have hit a log jam when it comes to express lanes. They seem like a good idea but they are fatally flawed because they only have one rule: Item Limits (which are always violated). Here are a few new rules that supermarkets should adopt to increase performance of the Express Lane.

High Performance Cashiers and Baggers

Cashiers that are knowledgeable of what they’re doing goes along way. Would it hurt a cashier to smile and at least pretend to enjoy employment?. Express lane workers should be like the Navy Seals of cashiers. It’s frustrating when a volunteer senior citizen works the express lane and considers bar codes “the mark of the beast” and laser scanners “apocalyptic weaponry”. Baggers need to know that bread, Clorox and ground beef shouldn’t co-mingle in a bag.

Accept only Debit Cards

Nothing is more frustrating than seeing someone whip out a checkbook to pay for five items. Cash is clumsy and no one can do simple math anymore. No gift cards either, 100% of the time there isn’t enough money to foot the bill, so that causes longer waits for your decision to write a check, pay with cash, or find your debit/credit card. Even credit cards take too long because people forget their own name and how to sign it.

Surcharge for going over the limit.

There should be a 50% surcharge for each over the limit item and increases incrementally for each item you go over. This will stop people with 100 items from getting in the 20 item or less line when their grocery bill goes all Fibonacci on them.

No Impulse Items

Remove all the candy and magazines so that people will pay attention when the grocery belt is open for them to place their items. Who cares what celebrity is overweight or having a out of wedlock baby with an alien.

No Cigarette Purchases

No lung candy since we are not allowing any other candy purchases in this line. Nothing is worse than someone finishing up their two item purchase and then remembering they need soft pack of reds. The cashier takes minutes opening the case and bringing back the hard pack which cause great anger in the customer. This cigarette volley goes on as you watch customers in other lanes with full carts leaving the store.

No “Valued Customer” card signup

If you already posses this card and have it at the ready then you are free to use it. However don’t query the cashier  entering five phone numbers because you forgot your card.

Self Checkout Rules and Guidelines

No light items

Items must be heavy enough to register on the scale. Kool-Aid packets are a great example. Purchasing Kool-Aid also shows you make poor decisions, so getting in this line probably reveals this.

Respect the Item Limits

Self Checkout is not for full buggies, crazy couponers or hoarders filling the fallout shelter for the coming apocalypse.

Know the Code

It needs to have a bar code! If you buy produce at least know the item number. If you have to tap your tuber by touch screen, pick a different line.

Items need to fit

Trying to lift a 60″ plasma TV onto the self checkout scanner is obviously not going to work. If the item is too large to fit on the scanner, you have failed us. Call the manager to be escorted from the premises.

Don’t move bags to your buggy

Some robo-scales get angry when you remove items from the bagging area. This only shows you have too many items to be in this line. Everything you purchase should fit in the bagging area.

Debit Cards only

No cash, no checks, no gift cards. I’ve tried (all except the check). Debit cards are great: swipe, enter your pin, grab your bags and receipt. Watching someone smooth out a crinkled dollar and feed it into the money bot orifice, makes me want to fling soup cans at your face.

Wal-Mart Shopping Carts

I think Wal-mart is the only company that doesn’t maintain their shopping carts. They’ve come up with a trick that will encourage you to endure the punishment of wobbly wheels for the shopping duration. The trick is they cover the solarium with a bunch of uneven stone tiles. You won’t notice the wheels are busted until you’ve been been distracted by a Wal-Mart elder and the lure of cheap candy, bananas and detergent before hitting the smooth surfaces. They figure that you’ve traveled all this distance from the corral and you won’t walk back to get another. You might risk offending the elder and get scolded: “Well, back in my day, we had to strap saddle bags on a mule when we wanted Doritos from the General store, I think that buggy will do you just fine sonny boy”.

Costco has the best shopping carts, it’s really the only thing that I miss about them. That and the huge refrigerated section where they kept all the lettuce, I wish I could get my home office that cold.

Sometimes you get lucky and there aren’t many buggies in the corral at Wal-Mart.  This gives you a bit of smooth surface to do a little test run to see if all the wheels are straight. I’m sure Wal Mart will catch on to this, and extend the rough tiles into the buggy corral. It’s really only a matter of time before Wal-Mart becomes just a rough uneven terrain of shopping on dirt floors. Then you won’t notice there are no wheels on the buggy at all.

God and Cheetos

Got behind a lady at Walmart buying one of those teeny tiny bags of Cheetos. Of course she had a gift card and wanted to check the balance, then decide not to use it. Then pull out a wad of bills only to decide to use exact change. But wait, there’s more, she had to get her employee discount card for the teeny tiny bag of Cheetos. Finally, it was time for the cashier to go home, so I had to wait for the change over. God I know that you have taught me patience, because I didn’t throw my 12 pack of Pepsi at this lady. Thank you Lord.

My History with Feminine Products

I think all guys are required to buy feminine products for their spouse as a married man right of passage. It’s a humbling experience and a awkward one if there is another woman in the aisle. Almost as awkward when you ask a waiter for a sanitary napkin, when what you really meant was a wet-nap.

I think the worst pad pickup is when we were out town traveling back from a 10 hour drive. As much as I enjoy being trapped in a cage with a honey badger after spending time with in-laws, it doesn’t help when I have to make a late night visit in a strange town to get uterine diapers. For some reason I went to Wal-Mart that night. As usual, there are about 500 registers at Wal-Mart, but only two are staffed. I noticed a short express line and only two people waiting, but as soon as I entered the cashier turned off her light. When she finished checking out the person in front me she spat her venomous rejection that she was closing down.  In an act of desperation after seeing 1000′s of people with buggies filled with dog food and I raised my voice drawing attention to myself and the cashier. “Ma’am I’ve very sorry but my wife is bleeding in our hotel room” as I called attention to my only item. She lowered her head and apologized, “I completely understand”. I was her last customer for the night.

The Customer is Not Always Right

The customer is ultimately the one who gives you money, but that shouldn’t make them right. Customers should implore some common sense before they go asking inane questions to store associates.

I worked in retail for a few years at Office Depot and it was quite frustrating to deal with some people. Most of the time people would come in asking for ink refills. I would ask what printer they own, and they say didn’t know and didn’t know what it looked like. They bought it at Office Depot, so I guess that was enough.

Of course on the other end of the spectrum, if you work at a place you should know your store and what you stock. There have been times where I’ve asked someone at Best Buy where a certain item is located. They are quick to reply they don’t carry the item and go about killing time until their break or shift ends. I always make it a point to find the item, and locate said employee and show them the item they don’t carry. Then proceed to order it from amazon from my smartphone.

Recommended website. Not Always Right

Shopping at Best Buy

I enjoy shopping at Best Buy, only because they provide bar codes for me to scan so that I can order from Amazon.com. If Best Buy would price match Amazon, I think they would do well. Every once and awhile an associate will ask. “What are you doing?” and I reply. “Saving money”.

Friendly Motorcycle People

I would like to buy a motorcycle one day. One thing that is stopping me is that I don’t want to wave at everyone else riding a motorcycle. I’m just not that friendly.

Navigating a Crowd

I read this article that talks about not running into people by keeping your eyes on your destination. Well, I guess that would work for me not running into people, but it wouldn’t stop them from bouncing off me. The problem is, other people don’t know where they are going half the time. They aren’t paying much attention so if I’m not looking out for them, I will knock them over. I try to be considerate and move through a crowd rather than just broad shouldering everyone and knocking them to the floor. Maybe I should try this and see how many people get hurt.

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