By the time I get to the line at the grocery store I am pretty desperate.
My (almost) 2 year old is no longer distracted by the marshmallows I opened mid aisle or the airplane candy dispenser I grabbed because it lights up and has buttons(that I really have no intention of purchasing). I’ve already downsized my list to just what will get me though today (I have big dreams of coming to the store later when he’s asleep, I’ll for sure have energy then…) and I have received the dirtiest of looks from a at least 2 people who are highly dissatisfied with my parenting. If I don’t get out quick, it could get ugly.
These are the times that a sheer glance at the length of the line is not enough. The line must be approached with much more precision and expertise. These are the times to use the Jason Bourne skills of evaluation and the map I give you here, to ensure the highest speed of checkout possible.
First scan the folks within the line.
Skip this line. Although, she is certainly a sweet person. I would bet you a shampoo n’ set she’s got checks in that purse. The ones that take a good 3 minutes to write out if you have a steady hand. This is especially serious if you are in a “self check out” aisle. You don’t have that kind of time today.
Crazy Coupon Lady.
Even if you are a crazy coupon lady yourself you still don’t want to get behind one in line. Tell me this, what are the chances every one of those coupons rings up correctly? Can you say “Price Check on Aisle 12”? Not today my friends.
Group of teenagers.
Even if they only have 5 items a cumulatively I can almost guarantee you they will be paying separately. This will cost more time than is worth the entertaining conversation your bound to overhear, keep moving.
If the line contains none of the above, it’s time to check out the checker.
Any other day I would be more than happy to be helped by Cathy. I love a checker with whom I can share a pleasant conversation while I ring, but today I can’t risk it. The details of her weekend plans are sure to impose on her ability to remember the code for broccoli and press the debit button. Pass.
Mr.(or Miss) I hate “the man”.
You can spot this checker by their present frown and the way they lift even the lightest item as if moving it across the scanner requires effort they can barely muster. Sense of urgency is not something they understand or have ever even heard of and even if they had they would go slower just to make a point. For you, for your sanity and for “the man”, just say no.
If the checker does not show these attributes and seems to be capable, proceed.
I hope this recipe can be of service to you.
To those of you without kids:
I hope you enjoy, to the fullest, your peaceful lines. Read a magazine, do some people watching, think your own thoughts for heaven sake and be grateful, because although you might not think it’s great to be waiting in line at all, you may one day remember this kind of line waiting, fondly.