I stopped my local grocery store on my way to work to pick up something for lunch. It amounted to only three items, so I got in the express lane (12 Items or Fewer). I was third in line between an elderly woman and a non-descript gentleman (who had thee items, as well).

Unfortunately, the woman had WAY too many items. She had 12 cans of cat food alone. Okay, in and of itself that’s not enough to get me upset...annoyed, yes, but upset, no. She, was, however, totally unprepared to pay for her food. She waited until all her items were rung up and bagged before reaching into her cart to find her purse and then another 30 seconds of rummaging around in her purse to find her wallet. I did that thing where you look up at the overhead sign where it says “Express Lane” hoping the woman sees you and at least feels bad, but no such luck. She was, of course, paying with cash and had to fumble around her wallet for the proper bills. Then, out comes the change purse! No rounding up for this lady. No, she was going to find those 57 cents to pay for her order exactly.

I realize in the grand scheme of things this is rather unimportant, but this point, the other gentleman and I are exchanging annoyed glances. Why don’t supermarkets enforce their own rules? For this woman, going to the grocery store is probably an outing or an event, but I just wanted to buy my sushi and go. After she finishes counting out her change on the belt, it takes her another 30 seconds to pack back up before she takes her bags and puts them in the cart. At least the next guy was quick; next time I’m going through the self-checkout lane.

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