02 December 2014

Grocery Checkout Gauntlet

This afternoon I made a quick run to the market. We have two Stop & Shops to choose from; one is smaller but a little closer, so when it's nice out I'll usually walk to that one. But since it was cold I decided to catch the bus down to the bigger one. If I know what I need and I'm getting only a few things I can usually get my stuff and get out of the store in time to catch the same bus as it's coming back on the northbound run of the route, after it goes into Wellington and comes back out again.

That did happen today, but I barely made it. As I was waiting for the bus to pull over so I could get off, the bus driver said to me, "you made good time." I replied, "It mostly depends on what happens when I get to the register." That's where things get iffy.

There always seems to be someone ahead of me who's buying only three or four items, but for whatever reason their checkout takes multiple minutes. Or I get stuck behind one of the few dozen people who still clings to paying for groceries by check. Or the cashier has too much cash in the drawer and has to make a drop to a manager. Or, as happened today, after the checkout I got stuck behind a cluster of people lugging grocery carts, in no hurry to get to the exit, and without enough room for me to go around them.

I know I'm impatient, but it's 35 minutes between buses, and sometimes when I've bought groceries, I just don't feel like walking home with them. I try to be considerate of other people's time, but the reverse never seems to happen.

No comments: