The Checkout Conveyor Belt


I really think I need to take a time out and readjust my attitude as of late. Work has been as stressful as ever and I find myself in limbo with most of life. I know everything will workout but it is a matter of finding the path of least resistance and avoiding the garden rakes that litter the yard. Last night, however, I almost had an episode in the grocery store. (Warning….there will be f-bombs and such. For those of you who know me for my gentle side, I am sorry. Eye-muffs.)

The shopping cart dismount: I love it when someone leaves their shopping cart in the middle of the aisle to go “on foot” to shop. Are beans an illusive product that will slip away when one is being marred down by a cart? Very rarely do I push a cart in the grocery store but rather carry a basket because, well, I am a guy so there for I am incapable of writing a list for mass shopping or can last more than thirty minutes in any store. But I think next time I will just leave my basket in the middle of the aisle and ponder for ten minutes what salsa looks better.

The Meat Guy: I don’t know if the guy behind the meat counter is a butcher or not, but no matter what I am buying he always asks me how I am going to cook something. Now, I am not a jerk in nature. I hate people who are cantankerous for no reason because I know a few. But when I am buying ground beef, trust me pal, I aint boiling or nuking it. This is petty but when you are not into small talk, small-talkers become worse than close-talkers.

The Human Element: You know you do this. I work really hard in life not to judge people but sometimes you are what you eat and there have been many times when I have peered into another person’s shopping cart to see what he or she fuels with. I know I am not the only one because I was looking for sharp cheddar when I heard a woman next to me comment on the fact I had organic apples.

“You know they are all the same, right?” she preached. What does one say to this? Should I get into a debate about apples? Should I serve her with a lunge competition? I really didn’t know where to go with that so I asked her where the organic cheeses were.

There are certain rules I follow in the grocery store: 1. Don’t preach to others about their eating habits. 2.Don’t make eye contact with women in the feminine hygiene aisle. 3.Spend less than 30 seconds in the cookie, cracker and chip aisle.  4. Check the eggs.  Oh! And 5. Don’t compliment someone’s hairnet unless you mean it.

Check-Out: Maybe it’s just me but I always feel in a rush at checkout and it’s usually because “Check-out Mary” is leaning on the conveyor belt button forcing everything into a disorganized mess that has me frazzled and panicking to get my separator bar between me and the next person so I don’t get home to find that I purchased a pregnancy test that was intended for the girl infront of me. And I think “Checkout Mary knows this too because she keeps that conveyor belt on a steady roll until I finally give up as if to say, “fine…have my canned soup and yogurt. Hope they go in the same bag.”

Did you find everything okay?: Man, you gotta love that question! If I had not, and was incapable of asking when I was in the process of shopping, it’s a safe assumption that defeat was already declared. And only a true asshole would say no and make everyone wait while they retrieved that particular item that was so illusive to begin with. Next time I am asked this I think I will retort with, “No Checkout Mary, where are the fucking vegetables, meat and milk? I’ve been here for an hour but all I seemed to have found was cat litter and soap. Oh, I have coupons and will be writing a check.”

Do you need help carrying this to your car?: I came here with only a basket. That equates to only four bags at most. So yes.

I know this isn’t “Checkout Mary’s” fault because I am sure corporate Safeway makes it mandatory that she ask but I equate this to the same retarded ideas as “no child left behind” and “zero tolerance” policies. Removing human thought and the ability to judge for one’s self eliminates the need for the brain. It’s as simple as that. Please America, entrust that a checkout  girl can think for herself. Unless that is not their policy and “Checkout Mary” thinks I am a douche. Hmmm.

So, I want to thank you for letting me get this off my chest. We all get screws loose and sometimes screws fall out. It’s an imperfect world. I am back to normal now because writing is therapeutic to me. Be well and please, be excellent to each other. Especially your meat guy and “Checkout Mary”.

5 Comments

  1. “did you find everything okay?” rings so true with me. i like that one almost as much as, “did anyone help you with your shopping?” at clothes stores. dude. if you have to ask, you weren’t paying attention to me in the first place. i always say, “no, no one helped me, and i prefer it that way.” i’m 30 damn years old. i can find socks myself. if i need help, i’ll look for the tiny nametagged girl dressed in the blouse that’s hanging on the rack next to me. i got this. xo.

  2. I get annoyed with the person in the checkout line who used an entire shopping cart for one item. Unless that item is a sofa or you’re 80, carry it in your hand. I don’t know why this bugs me so much but it does. Consolidate and simply, people.

    • I am guilty of small items in the shopping cart. I was just getting over pneumonia and was out of food.

      Chicken noodle soup x10
      Box of Crackers

      Epic shopping experience especially when I arrived at the car and fell asleep.

  3. Dude, last night the woman behind me commented on my groceries. She automatically knew I was sick and guessed that I must be a student. I told her, “no I just work for the University and am subject to being around those disgusting disease ridden bastards!” Directly afterwards I realize that Checkout Mary is a university-aged girl who is now giving me dirty looks for calling her a bastard, how the hell would I know if she knows her father; apparently being born out of wedlock isn’t funny anymore.

    @bluesuit12 I am with you on that, I hate so much when people do that. When I get a cart, and it seems like I may end up being that person, I will buy shit I don’t necessarily need just to not look douchey. Have you ever noticed that those are the people that leave their cart in the middle of the check-out area too?

  4. Your #5 made me laugh


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