No, I don't want to apply for a club card....
No, I don't want to apply for a club card, nor a credit card and no I don't want to donate to Ugandan orphans who suffer from color blindness in the left eye.
I just want you to ring me up in a timely manner, put the shit I just paid for in my reusable canvas Trader Joes bag and no, I am a capable full-grown man who does not need help out to my car with my newly purchased 12-pack of Pabst, box of donuts and the latest copy of Star.
Seriously, I go shopping for three things, takes two and a half minutes to gather them from the far corners of the store and then I wait.
Even if there's only one person in front of me with just a couple of things, I'm still waiting at least five minutes.
I have done everything I can to streamline this process.
If there a club card or rewards card attached to whatever establishment I'm in, I bring the number to mind (having memorized them all. Let you on to a little secret, most of them are just your phone number) and start repeating it.
Sometimes this process leads me to muttering the number to myself in line like I'm Rain Man or something.
Once I get the number in, it's on the clerk.
There are some freaking phenomenal clerks out there. They know where the barcode is on every product and know the exact angle to drag the product across the scannner. They know all the fruit and vegetable codes probably as well, if not better, than I know my club card number. And they are able to gauge the mood of their customers and interact with accordingly, like a real good bartender.
But then there's some shitty clerks out there too. The ones who have been doing it their whole life (not knocking this profession at all by the way, they all make more money than I do) and who just don't give a shit anymore. Protected by the union and they really don't care. But I do admit that if I had to deal with the same assholes they had to deal with on a daily basis, and act nice to them to boot, I'd probably be in some prison somewhere. But they're still slow.
We also have the opposite. The newbie. Again, I understand. They haven't spent enough time doing it to get their groove, their flow. Shit, just last week he was bagging groceries and mopping up dropped pickle jars on aisle six. Now he has his shot, he may have to ask the clerk to lanes over for the code for an organic pomegranate, but I give him a break.
Then there's this. Now maybe this is just the symptom of living in a small town, but what is up with the full-on conversations between the clerk and the customer in front of you? OK, you two know each other, I've had to hear about your how your husband's knee is still out and how your son got a grease-stain on his pants during auto class. Shit, I feel I know you now too, but your cart has been loaded with the nicely bagged groceries for the past minute, and yet you haven't moved from your spot, blocking the keypad that I must input this number I've been mumbling to myself for the past seven minutes. And God damnit don't-give-a-shit clerk, you keep encouraging by asking questions. Stop it.
And after all that, you're going to ask me to donate to a charity? Right when my wallet is in my hand and open, making me look like the asshole of the century when I say no.
I just wanted some beer, donuts and some journalism. Now my blood pressure is approaching stroke, my guilty conscience is on threat level red and now I continue to mutter my club card number as some sort of nervous tick.
Were you eavesdropping on the people behind you in line at the post office? Aww... we know you didn't mean to listen, but did they really just say that? Send it to us and if its funny (or awful) we'll put it in 'The Eavesdroppings' of our next issue. Tell us where you heard it.
Send it here.
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