I’m one of those weird people who actually likes grocery shopping. It took me a while to get to that place, but I like thinking about the food I’ll make for people I love. I consider it one of the ways I serve my family and friends.
I’ve noticed a weird phenomenon, though. Evidently people in north-central Indiana have difficulty counting grocery items. I’m not sure if it’s a local phenomenon. Maybe it’s national. Maybe it’s international. Maybe there are Japanese ladies with overflowing cards standing blithely in the 15-items-or-less lane. But, I digress.
I have a rule. If I’m in a hurry, I don’t enter a grocery store. It helps my attitude and my sanity. (Hey, no comments from the peanut gallery.) So, those math-challenged customers don’t anger me. They do intrigue me, though.
Unless I’m picking up only one or two items, I count the things in my cart. A case of 24 sodas is 1 item. On the other hand, 24 2-liter bottles is 24 items. Two bunches of bananas can count as one item because they’ll be weighed together. It’s not really that difficult.
I must confess that, to the best of my recollection, on two occasions I’ve taken a full cart through the express lane. I will never do that again. The times I did were when the store was pretty quiet. No one was in the express lane, but there were a few of us lined up at the one regular lane that was open. The express-lane cashier urged me to move over to her lane. As soon as she started the process of checking my order out, someone with one or two items came up behind me. I felt so bad.
The last time I encountered the full-carter (FC) in the express lane she almost made me laugh out loud. The store was packed. I mean packed. Every lane was open, and customers were four and five deep at every one. The man in front of FC also had way too many items for the express lane. The man behind her had only a case of soda, so she let him go ahead. She asked a worker to go and get an item she’d forgotten. She then turned to me and apologized for having to do that.
Really. She apologized for forgetting an item. We’ve all done that. I assured her it was not an issue. I refrained from pointing out that the four people behind me and I (yes, I looked and counted) all had an appropriately small order. I didn’t mention that having someone grab something while the cashier rung up her 1,987,483 items (that may not be an accurate count) was a small faux pas in comparison to ignoring the 15-items-or-less sign.
People crack me up.