The Modern Way
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.