Monday, December 10, 2007

At the supermarket

Two "types" ahead of me in line at the supermarket checkout. The line was held up by a customer using the cashier to stay on budget. This annoying kind of customer has a specific amount of money to spend, can't be bothered with a calculator, fills up the shopping cart, checks out the stuff, then picks out items one-by-one for the cashier to take off the total, subtracting until the desired amount is reached. Each item is carefully examined & the cashier has to find & announce the price numerous times before it is rejected. Experienced cashiers can identify several hundred types of fruits & vegetables along with the produce codes (for which they should receive three college credits) but they have little incentive to memorize the price of anything.

Meanwhile, the lady in front of me, who had few items, was distracted by front end displays, which are there mainly for people like her. She walked away & came back with Swiss Miss instant hot chocolate, stacked high & on sale for $1.50. Then she went & got another one. The next side trip resulted in Tollhouse garlic & onion crackers. As the line began to move, she dashed away for M&Ms in the Christmas packaging, & one more box of hot chocolate. She changed her mind about the third hot chocolate while the conveyor crawled toward the scanner & crammed it in the rack with the Spanish language People magazine. Her original items included a half gallon of marshmallow fluff & five pounds of sugar. She was amusing.

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Bob, the only thing that would have topped off your story would have been both shoppers paying for their respective purchases with a check.
Food voucher days are the worst in Elizabeth. People have vouchers that cover only specific listed basic food items (unlike the convenient food stamp debit cards), & the cashiers often have to separate out ineligible items, explaining that the transaction has to be rung separately from the cash purchases, & when it says "milk" it means plain old milk, not chocolate milk.
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