Monday, September 27, 2010

Scooter Girl

A few days ago I was in line at the self checkout 10 items or less line at the grocery store.  They have four self checkout stations here and I was customer number five.  I'm standing there watching every single person experiencing what seemed to be their first go at the self-check out.  Ugh.  I am a master of the self check out.  I know by memory most of my commonly used produce codes, where the bar codes are on nearly everything, and the proper way to get it all done quickly.  At the station closest to me, there are two little old ladies trying to do this together.  Scanning the toilet paper and then putting it back in the cart and then making the machine yell to put your items back in the bag...  I took a deep breath and channeled patience.  Or tried.  Something my Price Chopper loves to do is add a wobbly table or a shopping cart in the middle of all of this to try to up-sell soon-to-expire baked goods and whatnot.  It annoys me.  Always in the way of a small area.  But it must work because they almost always do it. 

So that's me setting the scene for you.  No on to the story behind all that rambling.

To make things slower, the teenager who is working the master checkout center thingy is not old enough to check ID's.  Three of the four people were buying alcohol.  So he had to keep leaving (s l o w l y) to get a manager.  Every time the cute little old lady duo put their products back in the cart after scanning, they needed said teenager to re-set things on his master machine thingy.  But he was distracted by yet another little old lady.  This lady was not actually checking out.  Was facing the wrong direction.  Blocking anyone from walking past.  And was in one of those motorized shopping carts.  The things that are essentially a one-seater golf cart with a big basket in front.  I could have made dinner in the time I was standing here!

So scooter lady finishes up distracting teenager employee and drives her cart out of the way.  The wrong direction through all of the self check out folks, trying to squeeze past the cute old lady duo and then past me.  But she pushes the wrong button or something.  Because all of a sudden her scooter cart thing picks up speed and she tells the old ladies to get out of the way.  But they have a big cart and then there is that other cart that the store put in the middle of things to up-sell junk.  One of the duo was able to squeeze to the side but the other sweet lady got wedged in between the up-sell shopping cart, her own shopping cart and the motorized (and still moving) scooter.  It all happened so fast that there just wasn't enough time to react.  I had to jump out of the way myself.  I think we all thought the scooter lady would stop.  So I throw down my hand basket and push the stupid up-sell cart out of the way and the old lady is just stunned.  We all were.  The scooter lady felt terrible.  The guy behind me was a paramedic and he jumped in.  The other couple walking by stepped in front of me- which was very strange the more I think about how that all played out.  But whatever.  And then comes the teenager employee who moseys himself on over.  And by on over, I mean he had to walk a total of about five feet.  S l o w l y.  Paramedic and I insist she sit down and ask employee if she can sit anywhere.  He points to the place where you set your hand basket on the check out centers.  We ask again if he can bring her a chair.  And he points to the scanner thingy.  So both he and paramedic go off to find a chair.  Paramedic shows up with one in about 30 seconds.  Two minutes later teen employee rolls up in another motorized scooter. 

So to clarify.  At this point we have people still trying to check out.  I am STILL next in line.  Scooter lady is still there.  Old lady duo are still there.  Paramedic is there.  Couple who pushed me to the side to step in front of me are still there.  Man from that couple actually finished scanning the duo's groceries, which was very nice of him.  Teen employee is now sitting in a second scooter thingy.  And a few carts are in the mix too. 

Guy buying beer finishes up so I scoot past the chaos to just check out.  There were so many people there at that point and I know both those little old ladies were more embarrassed by it all than anything else.  Though the scooter cart did ram right into the one old ladies knees- she said they hurt. 

I bought six items and as I was finishing up, a manager was still just then getting there.  Speed is clearly not the Price Chopper motto!

I don't really think this is any one person's fault.  But the combination of small vehicles being driven in small, crowded areas by people who may or may not be legally allowed to drive on actual roads plus the s l o w reaction time of the employees plus putting too much stuff in a tiny area lead to a near disaster.  Thankfully the scooter lady stopped short of really doing harm to the duo lady. 

Drama aside, I still maintain that self check out is way better than the old cashier way though!


Love Being A Nonny said...

TOO FUNNY! Laughing did me good on this rainy Monday morning! I too am a self check out person who does it quickly. To me, that's what they are for! QUICK!

Susan R said...

You have got to be kidding me? Self check way! Unless the store is giving me a discount for scanning, packing and tendering payment.....they are going to have to work for my dollar and I don't care how small or large my order is (well not if it's only one bag)....since they ALWAYS ask if I want someone to carry the groceries to my car, I say YES please. I bet I would have gotten out of the store faster too.
Funny, but unfortunately sad story.

Lisalulu said...

that is the best story I have read in a long time, and I identify with that SO much, I live in a retirement town! (although everyone is so old noone would understand the self checkout so there would be no old people there!) but man it sucks to be old! and young(lazy) and slow??? weird and sitting in a motorized cart while waiting for the manager to get over to clear the mess??? what??? I'd tell that manager to fire the underage clerk or assign him bathroom duty!

Ryan K said...

Oh geez! I do the self check out also :) I always say I'm not going to while doing it, but I still try. Too funny.

Annemarie said...

Oh what a nightmare, but oh-so-funny! I happen to agree with you- the self checkout line always trumps the grocer line any day!

CanadianPrep said...

Oh my gosh, I think this may be the most ridiculous grocery shopping story i've even heard! It's crazy! My jaw was dropping lower and lower as I read on! I'm so glad no one was hurt. I'm making a mental note to avoid any self-check out lines where there are little old ladies.

Telia said...

I am dying laughing! That's just about hysterical. I am so there on the speedy self-checkout. I hate it when (no offense) 60+ year olds try to scan. They are slow as Christmas and always have about 45 items!! It’s like their inner child comes out and they just want to play with the little scanner thing.

Telia, NewlyWedWifeLife

KK said...

That was a very exciting check out!

Kerree said...

I use the self check out too coz I am super quick and I get through much quicker than if I go through a cashier-manned checkout. Slow people at the self checkout drive me nuts as do people who (slowly) finger type my details into their computers (makes me want to rip the keyboard right out of their hands and do it myself) and people who act as though they've never even seen an ATM before let alone used one...


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