Diapers and Dragons

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Checking Myself

I stood in the Self Check Out lane for far too long, growing increasingly impatient with the fumbling idiots who apparently couldn't handle a process that a monkey could figure out. Why do so many seniors choose that lane and then demand the undivided attention of the lane monitor to help them lift each item and scan it through? Don't they realize that completely negates the purpose of SELF Check Out?

I was fuming by the time I stepped up to a scanner to run through my five grocery items. As I quickly and competently sped through the process, I noticed that the woman at the scanner next to me had run into an issue. She had run through a dozen cans of Pringles under a misunderstanding about the sale price and wanted to void them out--but, as the monitor tried to explain several times with little success, could no longer void them because she had already run through her card as well.

Around this time I noticed that, having run my own debit card through, the machine was stalled in a "Please Wait..." status. I growled and jabbed the "Call for Assistance" button. Some use that would be, with Ms. Don't Know How To Understand Basic Explanations still mumbling about the Pringles over there. Why does this sort of technical snafu always happen when I'm in a hurry? And when someone else is monopolizing the monitor? The day was just getting worse and worse. It had been bad enough navigating the treacherous traffic getting there, since the roads were filled with idiot drivers who needed to lose their licenses. The store hadn't had the meat I needed for dinner in a couple of days. It had been a crazy day following a crazy weekend. My feet were killing me. Now this.

I tapped my feet, impatient, huffing just loudly enough to let the monitor know I was waiting. She glanced at me, then focused again on convincing the other shopper to let her void the entire purchase and just run everything through again.

Finally, she succeeded with Ms. What Do You Mean I Can't Do That? and came over to me. She was an older woman with short, curling grey hair. She showed no sign of impatience or exasperation, and instead greeted me with a pleasant smile and an apology for my wait. I curtly explained my problem, and she glanced at the screen.

Oh, well, have you pressed the End Order and Pay button yet, dear? You ran your card through, but it won't complete everything until you press that. She smiled at me again, no trace of sarcasm or impatience to be found in her voice or face.

My face flushed. I meekly extended my finger, pressed the button, and watched as the machine finished the process and spit out my receipt.

There you go, dear. I know, sometimes it's a little confusing! I'm sorry again you had to wait. Thank you for your patience! She patted me affectionately on my shoulders and moved toward her monitoring station.

I quietly picked up my bags and left the store, mumbling a sheepish Thank you! as I passed her.

You're welcome. Merry Christmas! she replied.

I've been bitching lately about the lack of basic human decency in the world around me, about all these ungrateful, impatient, rude people I encounter every day.

It took a trip to the grocery store to make me realize that I'm part of the problem.

Forget waiting for the New Year for a change of attitude. It's time to start now.

10 bits of love:

Kathleen said...

Awww...what a great post. And I am so happy to hear there are still decent people running the cash registers somewhere in this country!

Tim Riley said...

Great post! I need to check myself on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing this.

Stone Fox said...

i also get impatient in the self-check line, except it's mostly when i see people with entire. carts. full. of. groceries. i want to yell, "ARE YOU READING-STUPID OR COUNTING-STUPID?" isn't that just awful of me?

it kills me when those moments of self-reflection hit and make me realize i've been acting like an arsehole.

Wanderlust said...

Been there, done that! Tis the season for impatience, isn't it? We probably all need to check ourselves more often. Great post. xx

Draft Queen said...

Lately, I've been easily annoyed.

Well, except yesterday and today. Because my lovely fiance decided to give me a "listen B****" lecture and now, I just don't give a rat's behind about anything.

LoriM said...

Good one!

mom said...

We all can relate, as the posted comments show! Du courage as you attempt to become part of the solution; it isn't easy to avoid that creeping grouchiness. And I wonder how that monitor managed? Her job would drive me absolutely bonkers.

Dad said...

Thank you for the post, my dear. I always need to be reminded about this thing - so easy to see the speck in the other persons eye while ignoring the plank in mine - I think someone said that once.

MomZombie said...

Reminds me of a particularly frazzling day a few weeks ago when I "lost" a $20 bill at child care. As I waved my hands about, squawking over the lost money, one of the calm moms pointed down to the table, right in front of me, to the bill. Gah! We'd better buck up 'cause it's only going to get worse as the month moves on. Peace to you.

4everalway5 said...

It happens to all of us, dear. I mean, you read my blog. I'm not perfect by any means. Just remember to keep that pretty little chin up!

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