The Modern Way

to Self-Torture

Woman Skateboard Shopping

I must admit, I don't like shopping.

       To me, entering a store is akin to performing my own root canal, sans anesthesia.  The only thing worse than actually running a shopping errand is not completing it in a timely manner.  Case in point:  my shopping trip last weekend.  It was the kind of experience I might have reported to a manager on duty, if I had seen one.

       I was ready to check out with my purchases, and as usual, there were only five lines open out of the 500 available.  I chose the shortest.  The line next door already had three customers waiting, and as I began unloading my items onto the conveyor belt, I chuckled to myself, thinking I was, indeed, the smart one.  Those other people were going to have a longer wait than I, but that was justified, since they probably didn't loathe shopping nearly as much as I do.


 I should know better than to be smug.  About ten items into my unloading process, I stopped abruptly.  The checker had managed to scan only one item in the thirty seconds I had been waiting.  Intrigued, I stood still and simply watched her.  She was picking up items and looking them over absently while she carried on a conversation with her customer.  At first, I thought she must know the woman.  But then I realized that these two had only just "met" in the check-out line!  Apparently, the customer was new in town, and she and the checker were comparing notes on everything from sushi bars to massage therapists.

       Sighing loudly, I waited for the checker to pick up her pace.  Amazingly, she ignored me and continued the "conversation".  Glancing to my right, I noticed grimly that the checker in the next line was collecting money from the last of her three customers.  Hastily, I reloaded the items into my cart and switched lines.

       The checker in my new line merely asked if I had found everything I was looking for and if I wanted to save 10% by opening a charge account.  My answers (yes and now) were delivered in an equally direct fashion, and our "conversation", effectively, ended.

       As I walked away with my laden cart, I noticed that in my original line, the checker was still working on the same woman's purchases.  Another, less savvy, customer had just begun to unload her items, and I smiled pityingly.  I wondered how long she would stand there before reloading her cart.

       As I walked toward the door, I thought about complaining to a manager regarding the deplorable service.  After all, no one likes a slow checker.  Since no one official-looking stood between me and my escape vehicle in the parking lot, however, I did not register the complaint.  But you can bet I thought about it.

And next time?  I'll shop online.