No matter which line I choose in the grocery store, I know that it's going to be a long wait because that's the way the universe wants it and I'm okay with that because I pick and choose my battles with the universe. Usually, I have only 15 items or less in my cart so I stand on the 15 items or less line, and usually the whole store has three people in it because I go really early to avoid lines, so this whole checking out process shouldn't take so long, you know, because it's in an express line.
For some reason, the good managers at the local grocery store have the slow check out lady in the express lane. She's a really nice woman. She always circles how many points I've earned with my savings club card on my receipt. It's really unnecessary because I never earn enough within a month's time to get the monthly reward, but it's a nice gesture. What I'd rather her put her energy into is ringing up my items. Instead, it's more like she reads the name and ingredients of everything as she rings each item up.
I'm pretty okay with all this happening, too, as it's all part of the universe's plan to make me slow down or appreciate the technology of the cashier process or something.
What did irk me was the combination of slow check out lady in the express lane with slow old lady checking out way more than 15 items in the express line and not being able to hear or pay or put the bags back in her cart. Well, it irked me only at first. Then it was just absurd, you know, like the rest of my life.
So there she is, all her groceries piled up next to the bags at the end of the belt, staring at the total. The slow check out lady told her how much it all was. Then there were crumpled coupons that weren't there before because the slow old lady forgot to hand them over. Then the slow check out lady didn't know how to go back and had to get the management involved. The manager pressed a few buttons and then all the coupons were ready to go. The slow old lady then picked through her pocketbook (it wasn't a purse--it was totally a pocketbook) until she found all of her crumpled up cash. Then somehow she paid in cash and on a card, and I think, if memory serves, also with a check. Then instead of packing up the items, slow check out lady waited for the receipt to print out so she could circle stuff.
I'm pretty sure five hours went by as the well over 15 items made their way into 87 plastic bags because neither slow check out lady nor slow old lady care about unrecyclables or the planet and they put maybe half an item into each bag.
Finally, it was my turn! Yeay! My stuff was already on the belt. I had my club card all ready. The slow check out lady was ready to take it from my hand when the slow old lady was like, Can I get change of this dollar?
Where the hell did that crumply dollar come from? Oh, from her very large pocketbook.
Slow check out lady couldn't open the register until she rang something up so then she rang up my stuff and stopped to make the change and then started packing up my stuff while I paid with my credit card. Then I loaded all my stuff into my cart as slow check out lady circled things on my receipt. This was how to conduct a quick checkout.
And who was still standing in the doorway counting out her change for a dollar? Yeah, that's right, slow old lady and her earth-killing 87 plastic bags and her oversized pocketbook filled with crumply dollars and coupons. That's when I had a storm in my brain: grocery stores should have express exits. Ooh, OR the should have lines designated for slow old ladies manned by slow check out ladies so that I can get through the express line before my dairy goes sour.