17 August 2005

Queue trouble

| Indi
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I’ve never seen anyone worry an awful lot about whether a basket shopper has the right amount of items to join the ‘express’ queue…until yesterday…

Some people enjoy shopping and the ‘wandering’ factor, I really don’t care too much for it. You go in, you pick up what you need and you get out – a strike-force approach.

So it could be said that waiting in a queue isn’t really all that much fun, except for the opportunity to take up a magazine that you would never purchase to gain a quick update on what all the important people are doing with their lives…blah blah blah.

Anyway, on arrival at the front of the queue, I thought I wouldn’t have to worry that my basket was a little fuller than usual. Wrong! The check out operator took one look (without a physical count) at my basket and muttered, “You’ve got too many items – next please!”

As I was the last in the line and a check behind me led me to believe that nobody else was waiting, I thought ‘you cheeky little upstart’ and answered back, “there’s nobody else in line, you’ll have to serve me”.

Obviously left with no alternative and with a manager lurking around, the operator assertively tore out all but one item and rang them up – “that’s $28.74!”

With a bottle of soft drink left in my basket, I asked as to why it wasn’t charged with the other items. The curt reply was, “you’ll have to pay for that separately, you had too many items to use the express queue”.

This may all sound rather petty, but is this the way things are going where operators in supermarkets have to be soooo precise when ringing up goods or is this just a case of an individual just breaking the cycle of boredom while on an 8 hour shift?

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I hope you handed them the bill for your time they wasted as well.

Funnily enough, tonight I was in a 12 items or less (or words to that extent) aisle, and the person in front of me had 21 items in their basket. I only had 5. Normally, I would have had a bit of a quiet grumble to myself, but would have kept quiet, however after this thread, I have learnt a bit of tolerance, as it only added about 60 seconds to my life, and the zen budhist inside of me appreciated the opportunity to reflect on life. I also appreciated that “21 items or less” in front of me will probably have a sore bicep tomorrow due to the excessive weight of their basket. The inner Budhist and the inner impatient bastard then had inner conflicts, and I am now seeking therapy.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart10:30 pm 19 Aug 05

Aaaaah, so that’s why the columns have gone funny.

No more long words, they’re messing with my screen size!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart4:49 pm 19 Aug 05


A valiant effort Spitfire;

Pseudo-antidisestablishmentarianism. I win.

Ahhh yes, you can tack Pseudo on the front of anything.

Now I’m really going to the pub.

Mael, Antidisestablishmentarianism. I win!

Thumper, don’t encourage him.

Sptifire, I think I hear someone eating your focaccia….

Mael, release the evil.

I’m going to the pub.


Absent Diane2:36 pm 19 Aug 05


Thumper, if I asked you if you weren’t not perfect, is it not true that you would not deny never having made that claim?

Apologies confused, if you were innocently caught up in the post by CO/SG at 11:16am. My flame was directed at that identity.

cool. . this thread is growing faster than I can read it

Samuel Gordon-Stewart12:55 pm 19 Aug 05

I’m the Samuel formerly (and still) known as Samuel, and I always do an item count before going through the express lane, and then usually find an empty non-express checkout so I use that instead.

Bugger. I wanted to change my name to Tosser. Well, that joke failed.
I guess I’m still confused. 🙁

blogger formerly known as Confused …..very confused

I was confused, but was never a Casual-Observer, or a Sousaphone-Guy.

The blogger formerly known as Confused.

All right you want a change of topic ?

Well you got it.

What the hell are you doing changing logons ? Hiding your identity ? *ahem* why ?

Is there something you need to tell us why you have the apparent requirement to go by the following nicknames:

1. Confused
2. Casual-Observer
3. Sousaphone-Guy

Are you a bit scared that your ideas won’t be popular so you have invented some further identities to allegedly support your cause ?

In the trade there’s a word for people like you.


Absent Diane11:45 am 19 Aug 05

Funny this reminds me of a script a friend and I wrote for a short film based on trolley rage….

Is this the right time to point out that “10 things or less” should actually be “10 things or fewer”?

Casual-Observer11:16 am 19 Aug 05

Ooops – Name changed in that last post, to protect the confused
(previously knwon as Sousaphone-Guy)

Casual-Observer11:10 am 19 Aug 05

Oh My God ! Supermarkets now have a monopoly on the use of the English language. What next ? Pharmacies ?

Before I go, can I just say that I never said I have taken more than 10 ‘things’ through a ’10 or less thing’ checkout, (and in fact, never have). Yet, for this false allegation, I was flamed, abused, and sworn at.

Thanks to everyone else for their comments though.

Why is there always one bad item in the plastic bag ?

Have A Nice Day

Maelinar – no need to get steamed up, just look at the excess items issue through the Deb Foskey prism.

The argument runs – those people who take excess items through the express queue are generating additional income for the supermarket (“market rent”), thus allowing it to offer lower prices for everybody.

Thus the selfishness of the few is actually a good thing.

Surely fruit & vegetables that are sold by weight would be treated as one item. They are weighed together at the checkout and charged as one item. They may be separate ‘items’ but it would be idiotic to weigh and charge a handful of the same type of fruit or vegetables separately.

Ahh look, I’m not going to go into the fact that I wasn’t downgrading this conversation into a dialogue about grammar, I was however pointing out the fact that item and items, in the context of grocery shopping are extremely different issues. I note that under your theology it has already been stated that you can get through with 200 freddo frogs as one item.

I’m not a grammar nazi. I don’t mind a few spelling mistakes here and there and the odd word out of place, but if we’re going to be using things out of context, or I have to tolerate constant crap, you’re gonna hear about it.

If you don’t like it, tough. Ignore me.

By the way, who made you the Maelinar nazi ? Self appointments seem to be rife these days don’t they ?

Che, a good idea is to take the bag, they can be effectively reused as freezer bags for bulk items such as meat that you want to split up before you freeze them.

Beats the cost of freezer bags anytime, and recycling is always good.

You could take the bag, but leave it at the checkout once the transaction is complete?

so if I put 4 apples in a plastic bag it counts as 1 item, but then I have a plastic bag that I don’t need

but if I have 4 loose apples then they count as 4 items and they’ll put me over the limit and annoy everyone in the queue behind me

I’m in a moral dilema and don’t know what to do, do I take the bag or break the limit

Nice to see we’re all wearing our cranky pants. Here’s a good tip for beginners;

1) Find yourself a loving partner (easier said than done for some of you).
2) Go shopping with them and loudly vocalise any dissatisfaction you experience.
3) Comment on how fat children are (once again the louder the better).
4) Bitch about the random odours and blame strangers for farting.
5) Bitch about the cost and the lack of cheery smiles at the checkout. Feel free to point at the tabloid magazines and comment as to how good Danni Minogues new rack is. Loudly.
6) Bitch all the way home about how much you hate supermarkets, screaming children, yelling parents, stinky people etc. This can be continued into the afternoon/evening.

You will find that next time there is shopping to be done you are surplus to requirements; thus saving you from the stress and the risk of an assault charge whilst ‘educating’ the lowest common denominator.

Feels good and my therapist has mentioned my reduced exposure to supermarkets has smothered my urge to maim stupid people.

Mael, I’ll give you his number.

I was trying to make a point that on at least two different threads, you have diverted the topic to a grammar lesson, and on at least one instance, likened that to lower education. As an IT person, you would probably realise that a lot of our educated colleagues can’t spel verry good. And your English is good, but there is always someone better.

Stop picking on people’s grammar, unless you are perfect yourself. And if you are perfect, try and be a bit more humble, or become a politician. Do you also go and dance in front of cripples, or cough in front of smokers. You come across as arrogant. Who elected you grammer nazi anyway. It’s frustrating when you take the topic on a tangent.

And I realise I am being hypocrital myself, by continuing to divert from the original thread. I hope I make my point.

Confused, to alleviate your pain it’s a capital F because I cut and pasted from my overhead post. And it doesn’t need to be in quotes because I was making a statement, not a comment.

Such as fucking anal dickhead.

I realise there is an element of hypocricy in that sentence as I have previously gotten up people for their spelling and misuse of english within this blog, but I think you’ll agree that my general quality and use of language is of a high standard. I in no way ever implied that I was such an anal person myself.

I don’t see however what the plural for hypocrite has anything to do with your comment. Have you ever seen me in the 10 items or less lane with 11 items ?

Do I even know you ?

I hope that my answer both fulfills your questions posed and your anal requirement for me to put everything applicable into quotations and non capitals for his highness.

‘fuinniest’ being an alternate spelling of ‘funniest’, of course.

“What if a couple go through together, and announce that that they are an ‘item’ ?”

I may be a sucker for lame jokes, but that is the fuinniest thing I’ve read all day!

Shouldn’t that be over 10 item(s) wanker. And shouldn’t that be in quotes. “Over 10 item(s) wanker”
Also, why does fucking have a capital, Maelinar. Is it a noun? e.g. I’m going to hunt and kill me a Fucking.
What’s plural for hypocrite?

You may try to be funny, but you’re wrong, and in deep trouble if your ever in queue in front of me.

Let’s just face it, you’re a Fucking over 10 item wanker.

Absent Diane2:33 pm 18 Aug 05

ooooh…… if they are sticky taped and barcoded all the better

Sousaphone-Guy2:30 pm 18 Aug 05

What if a couple go through together, and announce that that they are an ‘item’ ?

Johnboy – may I suggest you add a ‘reputation power’ rating for contributors.

See here: http://forums.aspfree.com/archive/t-48650/Reputation-Power

Absent Diane2:20 pm 18 Aug 05

What you could possibly do….. if you are keen to ensure that you are within the limits of expresso perfecto lanes…. and you have multiples of a particular item, try taping them up and have one of the friendly bar coder staff come and barcode it as one item…. they probably won’t do it but it is a great way to get some entertainment out of your shopping experience…. have a nice day

…and as for queue jumpers I find a firm but polite “Sir (or madam, not necessarily in the professional sense of the word) there is little point in pushing in in front of me because you will subsequently find it difficult to order AFTER I’VE SMASHED YOUR FECKING JAW!” People appreciate courtesy and will generally accept the error of their ways and remove themselves either to the back of the queue or often from the premises entirely.

Sousaphone-Guy, what part of the word items do you just not get is breaking away from the singular ‘item’ and moving into the wonderful world of multiplicity ‘items’.

By using the word ‘items’ you are referring to the fact that you have more than one, so from then on, you cannot any longer ever EVER EVER! consider that they are a single item.

I thank you for your attendance at this quick informal lecture on what you should have learned at about the same time you learned ‘sharing’ in preschool.

There are occassions when numerous items of the one type will count as single item and that’s when they’re sealed inside a package, ie your 200 freddos if they’re in a multi pack or 1620 nutrigrain “little cicket bats with holes in them” THEN they count as one item OTHERWISE tally em up separately you ego centric bastids! And I find that if the people in ffront of you can’t count to 10 it helps if you hold up all your fingers (well in my case at least) and point out that “FOR YOUR EDIFICATION AND FUTURE INFORMATION, THIS MANY IS 10!” People are always grateful and receive that little lesson graciously… except for that dozy woman who then tried to tell me “yes but 10 of these items are mine and ten are my daughter’s” “well let’s see her pay for them then!” I mean after all, she was all of about 6 years old.

In the UK they would tell people that they couldnt serve them if the basket or trolley had too many items. I saw many people get turned away and forced to join the end of another queue.

At the same time though, if there is noone behind you…then it shouldnt matter.

I would like to state that I have never masturbated over a shopping basket. Guess you are just more experienced than me bonfire….

as an idea guy more than a detail guy, i regard a basket load as acceptable for any limited item lane.

i have never been called on excess items.

i also dont get wound up over peopel who have excess items.

there are more important things in this world to worry about, like whether or not mr bruford has one of the new graffitti grants (the we cant beat em so lets fund em strategy) or whether i should continue dining at hansels and gretels now that the ownership has changed and i cant see sasche torte in the fridge anymore. not sure if those are concepts or details, but it beats masturbating over how many fucking items i have in my basket!

Sousaphone-Guy1:02 pm 18 Aug 05

Maelinar, I thought it was perfectly logical to refer to a group of similar items as a single entity. If we are to require basic arithmetic as a prerequisite to enter a supermarket than how about a bit of set theory and some simple grammar to go with it. I still maintain that my preferred ‘basket of goods’ would get through much much quicker than 10 different types of fresh vegetables.

Absent Diane12:55 pm 18 Aug 05

See I love the power (hypocrisy) of being me….. I love bitching out aloud when someone has taken too many items into the expresso perfecto lane…… but I believe I should be privlidged enough to get served first every time, failing that I can take any number of items into lines I wish….and no one can will say a word…. A talented tyrant

I will retreat humbly away from this thread and apply for funding to obtain a carer to aid me with my shopping duties.

*backs away slowly towards the door…*

The express line at woolies doesn’t have a limit on the number of items – the 15 items bit of the sign isn’t ever lit. So go nuts with your basket of 200 freddo frogs.

And if the crunt serving didn’t want to scan an item you presented for payment, I’d call that a freebie and walk out.

FFS, its bad enough I have to educate the checkout dudes on what fruit or vegetable is what. You’re selling the product, you should know what it is!

I must be articulating myself more persuasively LG

Or I am turning everybody into closet right wingers with my common-sense, matter of fact view of the world.

This is the 2nd time I’ve agreed with Maelinar. I’m a basket nazi (as opposed to basket case, which I also probably am). People who take more items than they should through the lanes piss me off. If you can’t count to 8, you shouldn’t be allowed to shop without a carer.

Hello, My name is Maelinar and I suffer from Queue rage. Those who get in my way have suffered also…

There may just be a thesis subject in this.

Ooh the inhumanity of it all – dammit man, where has the flexibility of the system gone!

It was a case of one item over a limit and there was no one else in line.

In fact, there is a variety store in the Woden (Westfield) Mall that has 3 items or less queues. They never pull the technicality card on any customers who 4 or 5, maybe even 6 items.

I don’t mind how many items it is, I just believe those who display their ignorance and lack of education by not following the rules need to be socially adjusted back into line.

And I’m vocal (and big enough to get away with it) at the incident location.

Don’t even get me started on queue jumpers.

Mael, I get the feeling that you must prefer to shop in stores where the stated maximum number of items in the express lane is only 8 rather than an oppressive 15.

“Flaming” Mael? tisk tisk…

and multiple items of the same sort don’t count as one item. Pull apart that last sentence and you’ll see the logic behind it.

You even said it yourself. Multiple item(s) counting as one ? That’s nearly as silly as missing the black ball and giving your opponent two shots.

I’m afraid I disagree with the lot of you.

Counting to 10 was, and infact I think it would remain one of the first things, and one of the most important things I ever learned in school.

The fact that you have lost the ability to count to 10 indicates to me that you need retraining on this most basic of concepts.

I loathe people who stroll up to the quick queue with surplus items, especially if I am also wanting to get out of the store as I have only a few items to purchase, and you’re holding up the queue.

If you’ve ever been in front of me in a queue in this situation you’ll remember me as that vocal bastard who pointed out that you had more items than you should have had, and made life quite unbearable for the 5 minutes that was our time together.

I would love for there to be a cause and effect imposed, for instance in woolworths if you buy 6 bottles of wine, you get 10% off. If you show up to the counter with over 10 items, you have to pay an extra dollar for the service. That would make me happy, as I would watch your sorry ass pay extra for their goods, and feel good enough that I would not have to comment on your poor social behaviour.

Fucking over 10 item wanker.

In any event, which was the supermarket?

Sousaphone-Guy3:26 am 18 Aug 05

Isn’t there still a rule that multiple identical items only count as one, in an express lane ? e.g. 3 loaves of bread, 20 packets of cup-a-soup, and 5 packets of Tim-Tams is really only 3 items.

“Collect items that don’t scan properly”?!?!? Who has that much time or patience, just deface the bar code for the same effect. The other good one is the supercillious little twat that wants to look in your bag, “sorry” I always say very politely “Oooh it’s a condition of entry” they always reply “Well it would be if someone had stopped me and explained that to me before entering but you can’t impose it retrospectively” I invariably answer, then they call the manager and the manager tries the same tack, when I again refuse the pompous little arse (and it’s always a he, and although he’s only sometimes little he’s always pompous and always an arse)then says “in that case we are within our rights not to serve you” and here’s the good bit… I say “fine” and walk out leaving them to put back the several thousand items that I didn’t really want anyway but went to great care to select from across the full breadth of the store. Hey, it fills in the time… and I AM a prick!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart6:39 pm 17 Aug 05

I could bombard you with endless hours of my falsetto opera…which my boss recently described a “wolves crying”.

I must say, I do rather like this definition of “falsetto” from http://www.davestroud.com/glossary.def.falsetto.html
“Falsetto is the maximal elongation of vocal cords with minimal glottic gap.”

Samuel Gordon-Stewart5:54 pm 17 Aug 05

On last check, the Supabarn lanes have a “15 items or less” light which is occasionally used, and the express lane is “8 items or less”. It could also be that I don’t look at the signs any more as I think I know them.

i would have not mentioned the item and left the store with it. its hardly theft if you had the means and intention to pay, but were refused the opportunity.

apropos of hand baskets, anyone notice that supabarn has doubled the size of their baskets and changed the 8 item to a 15 item policy ?

There are solutions for every problem in life. Observe:

Invariably there are items in a store that don’t scan properly at the checkout, forcing the checkout operator to call someone over to do a price check for them. If you can find a cache of such items, they can be used by you to give nasty checkout operators a hard time. Bring them one at a time to the same checkout. Wander away from the checkout when they’re ready for you to pay (pretend you’re looking at the magazine rack for example).

If what you’re buying is very cheap, pay by cheque. If not, pay by lots of small change. If you are paying by cheque, ‘lose’ the pen each time. Or at least insist that it doesn’t work for you. If they really deserve it, drop the pen in the aisle outside their checkout counter so they have to come out and around to pick it up.

If you follow these few simple instruction, you will soon have a checkout operator who has realised the folly of their way and become apologetic and appreciative of your efforts in changing their attitude.

Note: I am not a prick, it just seems that way.

I think a bigger checkout issue is the way some people behave when they get to the front of the queue (and – despite this sounding sexist – it almost universally seems to be older women).

They stand there mute as their 89 items are scanned through and the total steadily mounts.

When the process is finally finished they wake up, act surprised that they have been asked to pay and then (and only then) start rooting around in their bag/handbag for a purse.

After it is finaly located more fiddling ensues as they dig around for money.

Compare that to the “strike force” people who actually have a ballpark figure in mind as they approach the checkout. With a sum approximating the total already to hand, they swiftly hand it over at the conclusion, receive change, and everybody’s happy.

Absent Diane4:53 pm 17 Aug 05

hahaha…. that’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard…… imagine being that constrained by rules…. I would of reached over and grabbed them by the shirt and given one of my steelies!!!…it is funny but

Samuel Gordon-Stewart4:41 pm 17 Aug 05

Seeing as my first class on a Monday is filled with annoyed checkout chicks, I would say it was probably them injecting fun into an otherwise boring shift…none the less, bad service, and worth complaining about (but do you remember the name of the checkout operator, or still have the reciept(s) which can identify them?)

A lot of supermarkets these days don’t even have the “item count” limit, it’s just ‘handbaskets only’. A better idea.

It wasn’t good customer service at all. If it concerns you that much, complain to the Manager (I would have) because I imagine the whole express lane thing is a guideline for busy times rather than a store policy.

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