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May 30, 2012 09:57 PM

Rush Hour

You know the busy time when everyone is at the store after work. It just happens that way sometimes. Tence, your uptight and want to get home. You just got all your goods( 15 or less). Well wouldn't you know it all the checkout stands are deep with people.I have seen you out there looking for the best line to get in. Do you take the 15 or less line with alot more people, or the one with fewer people and more groceries?

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  1. Whichever one I choose, it's always the wrong one.

    Either the nice old lady who wants to pay with pennies, which must be counted out individually, or the gabby one who can't write the check and talk at the same time, or "Price Check...." or the scanner's busted....

    It's always something.

    I generally scan for the total number of items ahead of me with a degree of difficulty for the number of carts, but it's hardly a guarantee.

    1. You gotta look at the amount of groceries and the type of people. Like Apu in the Simpsons, when he chooses the long line of "pathetic single men", "only cash, no chit-chat."

      My biggest annoyance are the people who wait until everything has been scanned before they start writing their check. Beyond the fact that I'm not sure why people are still writing checks at grocery stores, I'm always enraged that they don't bother to start filling in information BEFORE it's time to give it to the cashier.

      26 Replies
      1. re: bluex


        There's a grocery store near my office that I used to think was faster because it was smaller. But the vast majority of their customers remember WWII clearly and are either paying by check or cash, are chit-chatty, always arguing over price, have coupons, etc.

        I could drive 10 miles out of the way and get in and out faster.

        1. re: Janet from Richmond

          You know, for lots of old people, their trip to the grocery store may be the social event of their day or maybe even week. I figure the rest of us can just cool our heels and not make them feel like they're an annoyance. We all get old, except for those who don't, so some of us will be the customers who "remember 9/11 clearly" and won't we be a pain in the ass.

          1. re: escondido123

            +1. I just don't rush after work. Granted, I'm not cooking for a family or have kids to pick up from daycare, but I am not going to run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I *do* try and get in the shortest line, but as the subject line says, it's Rush Hour. And no matter what lane on a 4-lane highway I merge into, invariably it's going to slow down.

            I figure the checkout clerks are as tired as I am at 6pm. So if I can joke with them a bit and be nice, it makes it better for the both of us.

            1. re: escondido123


              One day, that "old person" you are annoyed at will be YOU.

              1. re: huiray

                If I reach the golden years that are anything but, I have no doubt I will be one of those people.

                1. re: huiray

                  Thank you, Huiray. The various references made about the elderly on these boards - even though I have the greatest respect for posters who are assisting older family members - annoys and irritates me. We will all age. And you may think you will age differently, but guess what? You probably won't. Please, posters, respect the previous generations. Y'all will be 'it' someday. And I assist my elderly mother. So I know.

                  1. re: nikkihwood

                    nikki.....I am well aware of eldercare and elder issues. I was 24 when I started caring for my Mom who was blind the last 6 years of her life.

                    So I know all about it as well.

                    1. re: nikkihwood

                      Right on! I think slamming certain groups in particularly gross ways gets a pass on Chowhound, and the elderly and kids are right in the bulls-eye. Add to it complaints against parents of children who don't do their parenting correctly and younger adults who don't know how to tip and act, and we each have pretty much 10 years of our life (maybe 25-35) where we are allowed to step out of our houses without being an affront to someone here!

                      1. re: Cachetes

                        you're right! Whenever I start to internally grumble about a "clueless" older person, I remember that my 82 year old father probably acts that way at times, and give them a pass, hoping some other middle-aged woman down in North Carolina will return the favor to him.

                  2. re: escondido123

                    +3. As I mentioned on another thread, circumstances have dictated that I go food shopping with my 83-year-old mom. It takes hours as she inspects products she has no intention of buying, chats with other customers, chats with the produce guy, chats with deli guy, chats with the cashier. But she's home all day every day, and unlike when we lived in the city, she can't go out and chat with the neighbors. So I try to compensate by bagging while she and the cashier chat ;) If I'm lucky that will be me some day.

                    1. re: gaffk

                      It used to drive my sister crazy when my parents talked about going out shopping at "rush hour." She suggested to them time and again that those hours were for people who worked and since they were retired they should go in the off hours when there was plenty of time to dawdle without slowing other folks down. Sometimes they followed her "rules," sometimes they went when they damn well pleased.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        Unfortunately her food shopping is at the mercy of my time. When dad was still around, they always shopped mid-day weekday. But she's short (4'10" before she lost those 2" old folks do) and arthritic. In the city she could walk to local markets that could cater to the elderly, but out here everything requires a drive in territory that is unfamiliar to her. Hence my empathy for the elderly.

                2. re: bluex

                  Definitely my main pet peeve...can't ever figure out why everything except the amount hasn't been filled out!!

                  1. re: bluex

                    I HATE it when people write checks! Please, step into the modern age. Almost as bad are the "exact change" people who feel the need to dig through their bag for five minutes "Hang on, I've got a couple more nickels in here somewhere". It won't kill you to get a little change back.

                    1. re: tinnywatty

                      1. Some people choose *not* to do everything electronically. That is there prerogative.

                      2. Perhaps they're digging for those nickels because they don't *have* any other money to pay for their groceries.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Indeed. There are people who do not have credit cards, or who have balances (from medical bills, for example) on credit cards that cannot afford to add to their credit card balance and have yet more interest to pay. These people, for reasons of safety, don't carry around a lot of cash, but can manage a checkbook. (Also, paying by cash or check can be a great way to limit how much you spend as compared to a credit card.)

                        And, while the exact change people may seem OCD to us, some of them (particularly if quite old) are exercising muscles of certain competencies that might atrophy if not used regularly. (If you've not really observed how necessary this is with old people, you may yet be blessed to see this in action).

                        Yes, there are habits that can be annoying; but what is such a habit and what is actually a necessity (or nearly so) is not as obvious to strangers as it may seem.

                        It's always an opportunity for us to learn how to be patient, a lesson more human beings eventually discover they needed more of.

                        1. re: Karl S

                          I stopped with the exact change when I read it was one of the things that make women look "old." (I also worked in retail and have to say I it really didn't help me out much at all to get exact change--I always kept a dish of pennies to keep me from dolling out 99 cents in change. I also frequent many stores where they press a button and the change comes out a slot.)

                      2. re: tinnywatty

                        I am reminded of a couple days ago, when I, with 20 or so items, let the lady in back of me with 2 items, go in front of me. Then she asked for ciggies (trip by cashier to the courtesy desk) and pawed through her change purse for two extra pennies. Grrrrr.

                      3. re: bluex

                        i'm annoyed with people who wait for the check to say the amount then give a surprised, "oh!" wait a second, then start to rifle through their purse, bag, pockets, etc. were you not anticipating a monetary exchange of some sort? have you not been in a sales situation since 1892? has a checker even said, "oh just go ahead and take these ones for free!" this is how the grocery store (and world) work -- loot for loot (or dough for dough... or food for money) rant over.

                        to the poster below who mentions this being the only trip and social event, i try to be patient with the elderly, as i hope will be done for me when i'm old, senile, and unhip. however, i wish they wouldn't go at peak times to do the socializing (if possible), and i wish they wouldn't choose the express lane...

                        i have to give one older lady (80's) credit a couple of weeks ago... the checker was moving abominably slow, then sort of socializing with another checker. the older lady in front of me said, "excuse me, could you please finish up here? i could've checked myself out faster over there (points to self-checkout), and i'm OLD!" the checker sheepishly started to speed up. the lady gilds the lily, "you know i come through this line, so you can still have a job, but you stink at it. for a second there, i thought i was gonna pass my 86th birthday here, and have to go buy a cake! and your cakes stink out loud." i just bit my lip. hard.

                        1. re: Emme

                          Only proves that impatience and rudeness is ageless Emme. We all want what we want!!

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Oh, I could have kissed that old woman. I would never say anything like it... so I stood in reverent awe.

                            1. re: Emme

                              Too funny, Emme. Divide and conquer....even over the small issues of life.

                          2. re: Emme

                            I would love to be in line behind that old lady!

                            1. re: John E.

                              Hell, when I'm 80, I AM going to be her!

                            2. re: Emme

                              In Boston, she might have been applauded by other customers. Yankees tend to have a certain respect for demonstrations of piss and vinegar by elderly curmudgeons insisting on basic competence; it warms the cockles of our sometimes wintry hearts.

                              1. re: Karl S

                                Unless the shoes on the other foot and then those same piss and vinegar by elderly curmudgeons scream that us young'ins are so rude.

                                Yeah, it goes both ways Karl S. I know you profess such manners.

                          3. I'm another "it's always the wrong line" person. Aren't we all?

                            Most recently I chose Door #2, mostly so I could be out of the way, as the 12 or less aisle was wrapping around the store. So of course, the person with the huge haul has to separate her cartful into about 8 separate cash transactions, paying for each separately.

                            I couldn't even be annoyed, I just laughed a little because OF COURSE that's how it goes.

                            1. Sometimes I just look to see who the checker is. Since I usually shop at the same stores I usually know the fast ones and the slow ones. Unfortunately you never know who is checking out in front of you!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Mother of four

                                i do too! i have often found that the young kids who are smiling are the fastest and most efficient. i try to watch out for anyone looking surly or bored.

                              2. Scan as you go! Many people are intimidated and although I may wait sometimes it is still faster than a line that still needs to be scanned.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: melpy

                                  That's not an option at any store in my neck of the woods.