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Queue trouble

By Indi - 17 August 2005 76

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?

What’s Your opinion?

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76 Responses to
Queue trouble
Maelinar 8:26 am 18 Aug 05

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.

Maelinar 7:57 am 18 Aug 05

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.

johnboy 7:03 am 18 Aug 05

In any event, which was the supermarket?

Sousaphone-Guy 3:26 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.

Philby 1:12 am 18 Aug 05

“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-Stewar 6:39 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
“Falsetto is the maximal elongation of vocal cords with minimal glottic gap.”

Thumper 6:30 pm 17 Aug 05

Frankly, I rather have hot needles driven in my eyes rather than going shopping.

Except that I have a 17 year old son who eats like horse, in fact if I bought a horse, he’d probably, no definetly, eat it. And as such, I am forced to go and do the ‘grocery shopping’.


I think I’ll run away to mountains or the coast and be a hippie…

You do realise that shopping is an evolutionary thing. Women tend to spend plenty of time shopping for bargains and checking things out. Its called gathering.

Men have a singular idea about shopping, that is, go in, get it, piss off asap. Thats the hunter side.

And as I have a degree in Cultural heritage I can say that we have yet to evolve from the hunter gatherer roles we occupy.

(Okay, its not really true, but it does make sense sometimes…..)

And all of this was stated with a tongue firmly implanted within a cheek….


And other news, I’ve booked a studio for my band. If we get around to actually recording then I’m going to bombard you bastards with my music.

Be afraid, very afraid….


Samuel Gordon-Stewar 5:54 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.

bonfire 5:28 pm 17 Aug 05

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 ?

Spitfire3 5:13 pm 17 Aug 05

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.

Ari 5:00 pm 17 Aug 05

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 Diane 4:53 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-Stewar 4:41 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?)

Smackbang 4:29 pm 17 Aug 05

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

RandomGit 4:19 pm 17 Aug 05

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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