..10 Items or less please  sign was papered over with Thanksgiving Special data, there was one woman in line and her items were already bagged.  I swept in behind her for a pay/dash (while fellow shoppers further lengthened the other check-outs) and realized she was trying to describe to the Express Lane cashier the type of cigarettes she wanted. The Express Lane is the only lane featuring tobacco products, which are otc only. If a shopper’s first choice in smokes is not available or easily located among several hundred types, much discussion and finger pointing and option sorting needs to ensue. Typically enqueued with two tiny packages, swelling with deja vu, I glimpsed the beginnings of the ritual.
What would happen next, once agreement was reached on brand, length, diameter, flavor and filtration options was certain: Lottery tickets. Available only otc in the Express Lane, with nearly 100 games to choose from.  Ms. CorkinBottle actually retreated to a place in line behind me to make her many and varied selections, chanting her number prayer:

“1 of 56, 2 of 23, 1 of 8”, etc.

With the cashier attempting to satisfy her:

“One, Two? 43? 23? Two? No?” etc.

I had nothing to do but ponder what the “M” in Big M Supermarket stood for.

Big Money? Mess? Mammary?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Before the days of supermarkets we bought from the local grocery store which doubled as a social club. One person in front would be buying a weeks shopping, from memory, without a list, and the shopokeeper would have to go and source each item as it was ordered, and the shopping lady would keep remembering items to add just when you thought she had fifnshed. On top of that there would be lengthy gossip of local scandal which reached its peak after the shopping had been dealt with. You could be there half an hour before getting served.

    There is a lot of science employed by supermarkets to try and improve customer service, after all it is in their interests (Big Money), but they have an uphill battle with human behaviour.


    • Yes Conrad, there is the social club aspect, which still exists in the local store, and I would never choose a permanent trade for efficiency. Not much competition here in the village, I can drive 12 miles to a small city supermarket and find dependable check-out speed…along with a less personable atmosphere. This was just a blog dash, not a real bitch. I’m glad the days of shopkeepers sourcing all are over, though I never experienced it. The key is to enjoy, when possible, whatever scenario one is in.


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