When I think grocery shopping what comes to mind first is necessity. What comes next is usually something along the lines of irritation or, at best, energy draining. That’s right, grocery shopping isn’t one of my favorite things. I count myself lucky if I’m able to go in, whip through the aisles, grab what I need, and proceed through the checkout lane without something taxing happening. Sometimes it’s me – tired beyond words – and midway through I have a brain drain and end up standing in an aisle for a moment wondering what it was I was looking for. Other times it’s fellow shoppers who have no qualms about leaving their carts in middle of the aisle while they and their entourage are spread around it talking, goofing around or pulling food off of the shelves. And we haven’t even gotten to the checkout lane horror stories yet.
Going in tonight I knew that I was low on energy having slept poorly two nights in a row due to the warm temps. I finally got some sleep last night, but it wasn’t enough. Walking in, I nearly headed to the customer service desk to get a book of stamps, but remembering they’re available at checkout, I skipped it and went ahead with my shopping. As far as the shopping went, it was uneventful. I kept focused and got everything on my list before any blanking out. Nobody got in my way either, which helped me stay neutral. Having picked up everything that I needed, I headed to the checkout area. Here’s where things went a little south.
First of all, all of the manned checkout aisles were full and I didn’t have enough energy to wait so I ditched that idea (and stamps) and headed for the self checkout lanes. Once there, I had a short wait. I had just scanned in my fifth item when the dreaded red “trouble” light went on above my station and a screen message directing me to get store assistance came up on the screen. While waiting for the one employee, who services five lanes, to come help me, I bagged up what I had scanned. Turns out, the machine was having an internal problem with the coin slot – which I didn’t have a need to use, nor had the previous customer. One of those annoying computer glitches. So, after a couple of calls, a few more minutes of waiting, and another store employee attempting to fix the problem, I was directed to a closed lane where someone would ring me up personally.
I loaded up my cart again amidst apologies and followed the clerk where I unloaded it completely this time. As I was doing so, another customer came up to the chain across the opposite end – indicating it as a closed lane – and yelled out to my cashier, wondering if the lane was opened. Uh no. Then, as the cashier continued to scan the merchandise, some guy came up and wanted to chat with him. Fortunately, the cashier told him politely that he’d catch up with him when he was done. As he neared the end of my purchases I asked for stamps too, since I was there. Once I paid, he looked for stamps in the drawer, but there were none to be had. He called for assistance and then looked at the register at the next lane – none there either. Of course not, why would there be?
Finally, another guy appeared with stamps in his hands. I was sent on my way with another apology for the long wait. As I walked out, what baffled me the most was my attitude. None of what had occurred had phased me in the least. In fact, I had found it rather amusing in the “everything that could go wrong had gone wrong” scheme of things. Perhaps I could have said something deep and profound to the guy as I could tell he was a little frazzled and felt bad as the situation had gotten worse, but I was too tired to think straight. At the very least, I hadn’t stood there fuming, speaking in a terse tone. About the only logical thought in my head was that I could make this an entry in my blog. And, so I have..