The Frustrating, But Amiable, Grocer

There is probably nothing more irritating than standing in a grocery check-out line, being in a hurry, and watching as the cashier slowly takes each of a customer's items, passes them through the scanner, one by one, ever so slowly, and in-between each scan, tells the customer a story that said customer really couldn't give two hoots about.

I dare you to find anything so unamusing, frustrating, and homicide-inducing, except perhaps when your husband throws a pair of his used underwear across the room and they land on your head and then he laughs because he thinks he's so farking funny.

I happened upon perhaps the most irritating such cashier last week, on a day when I had both a migraine and a very sore arthritic foot, and I was in a big hurry to get back home, and the last thing I wanted was this guy taking his bloody time with the food scans.

But take his bloody time he did. I should have known when I got into the line, seeing as every other line was three times as long. At first, I thought I had lucked out, there only being two people in front of me. But soon after, I realized that everyone else was simply much smarter than me, because they realized that standing in this line would make them 10 times later than getting into any other line in the entire store.

So, as I neared the cashier, as he served the person before me, I could hear him talking. And he spoke about how exhausted he was, and how he had fallen asleep on the bus, and had ended up way on the other end of the city, and how he had to take another bus all the way back, but that was after he discovered he was actually lost and didn't know where he was, and then he mentioned that he worked two other jobs as well, and that it was time he give at least one of them up, because that's why he was falling asleep on the bus, and maybe it was time he get a car...

Yeah. Real interesting crap.

And then it was my turn at the cash, and as I started piling the groceries into bags, he began talking to me. I tried not to look him in the eye, because I knew that would be construed as an invitation to talk to me even more, and would seem that I actually cared, but it didn't seem to matter, because speak he did.

On and on. And on.

And guess what it was about, folks?

That's right. He talked to me about sleeping on the bus, and how he missed his stop and went all the bloody way to the other side of the damn city, you know, and then he didn't know where he was, bloody hell, and then he had to find his way back, which was awful, and maybe he should drop one or two jobs so that he could get more sleep, because you know, he barely gets any sleep working three jobs, and that's probably why he fell asleep on the bus. And did he mention he was exhausted?

Yes, all that, in one breath.

I still remember his face. And I will make sure to avoid that cash next time I'm there. Even if there's no line-up. Because I'll still be the last one out of the damn store.


Gaston Studio said…
You're right, that's a frustrating experience being forced to listen to the cashier's problems while he/she scans your items.

But... think about it, at least he's working (and several jobs from what he said) when he could be one of those that acts like they're doing you a HUGE favor instead of actually doing their job. This, I hate much worse!
Michel said…
haha! Dude! I do the same thing! Seriously, I am not sure why I think I need to get out of the store in record time - or why the thought of making chit chat with people drives me crazy. But I FEEL YOUR PAIN.

My parents say its because I'm a biatch!! They don't know.
Shana said…
I can not understand how some people just TALK!!
Lauren said…
Sucks to be you! HAHA! just kidding. :)
Lisa said…
Makes you want to scream, doesn't it? I'm often accused of being too quiet (hard to believe, I know), but I always figure that people don't care to hear my stuff in general, much less when I'm working.
Hannah said…
LOL. Aww poor guy, he obviously has problems and wants someone to care.:) I think giving up at least one of those jobs so he can have more social time with people who aren't customers is advisable.
alison said…
Yeah, maybe those self-checkouts aren't such a bad idea after all.

When I lived in Ottawa, there was this one kid who worked the cash at the local grocery store who was pretty dim. We called him (not within earshot) Skippy the Wonder Checker. He was slow, he couldn't recognize vegetables (I had to stop him from ringing up a bunch of radishes as beets) and he...spoke...very...slowly. I'm thinking he was smoking a bit of vegetation on his breaks, if you know what I mean.
Marvin D Wilson said…
A lovely rant. ;)

Hey Mary - don;t know if I've told you but the Google Nazis zapped my blogs - banished. Gonzo. I got a new blog with my own domain now. Stop by when ya got a chance?

the Old Silly
It's always the same when you're in a hurry at the checkout. I get the same problem, sometimes the people in front don't have enough cash or they've forgotten their credit card.
Hope next time you advoid the said cashier. Have a happy July 4th.

Bon Don said…
Ooohh you poor thing! I can't stand those cashiers, and I always get the freaks!!

I laughed when you said you didn't make eye contact, I'm going to try that next time even though it didn't work for you ;)
ReformingGeek said…
That's crazy. At our supermarket, the cashiers have the opposite problem, at least for awhile. They were being timed. Those people practically threw your food across the belt. I finally complained and that's when I was told they were being timed.

Something's wrong with that picture.

Your poor cashier sounds like a pathetic bore. I bet he's the life of any party he might actually be invited to.
Call Me Cate said…
I ran into a bit of the opposite on Thursday. The place was jammed, almost every register was open, and the cashier was doing her best to be expedient. There was a shortage of baggers so most customers were bagging their own as it was scanned.

Not this guy! He stood there the entire time, hands in his pockets, watching her scan his items. Then proceeded to tell her exactly how he wanted them bagged. Double bag the meat, don't put the cans of fruit with the cans of veggies, hide the ice cream under the broccoli so my kid won't be interested... THEN of course he paid by check.


Anyways, just catching up on following followers so stopping by to say hello. I look forward to your future adventures.
Kathy said…
Good grief. I hope you are feeling better.

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