I was at my local WalMart. Which is packed at any given time. I am one of those fortunate people that the only time I go to WalMart is when I've got plenty of time. So I don't stress about lines or anything. I usually just pick one and figure I'll get there when I get there.
I get in line and there are two people in front of me. A man (incidently, the pastor that married my husband and I) and a little old lady. The cashier is a fellow I recognize and I instantly cringe. I'd been in his line before and swore up and down that I wouldn't get in it again. But I'm a fair person. I thought I ought to give him another chance. And he's taking forever. He's yapping at the pastor who I can tell just wants to get out of there as he's not exactly the small talk sort. And the cashier guy is still yapping.
The little old lady turns around, looks at me and says, "Jesus, this kid talks more than a woman." (Which may possibly be the second best ever phrase that has come out of an old lady's mouth in my presence. The first being a reference to popping one's cherry.)
10 minutes later the kid is done with the pastor and the old lady plunks her purchases on the belt. I know, 10 minutes is too long to wait in line, but it was kind of like where you figure you've kept at it for so long, you might as well continue on. The old lady did her best to hurry him through the process by not responding to anything he said, but he didn't pick up on that and proceeded to monologue. Eight minutes later (I timed it) it was my turn.
Now, I like friendly cashiers. Cashiers that make small talk while they ring things up instead of sitting there stone faced and angry are pretty okay in my book. I used to cashier at a grocery store. Talking to the customers relieves the monotony. And honestly, my favourite part about working at Starbucks was my customers and developing a relationship with them.
But there is a certain rule to cashiering. If you are unable to work and talk at the same time, you need to start doing what you were paid to do and leave the multi-tasking to those more efficient in that category. It's not a character flaw or anything, it happens. Not everyone is gifted with the ability to do both. But you need to accept that and move on.
Not continue to talk and take the next half hour to ring everything up.
But it gets worse. As he's filling the bags, I'm carefully trying to arrange said bags in the grocery cart (I have 5 people in my family, 2 in diapers and one still eating baby food) he proceeds to grab one of the baby food jars and hold it above his head.
"Hey, if I threw this at you, would you be able to catch it?" And he made a motion like he was going to chuck it at my head. Now, I've never been hit in the head with a baby food jar but I have dropped one on my toe. That hurt like a mother and left it all purple and swollen, so I imagine the effect wouldn't be improved on my skull.
I widened my eyes at him and responded, "Err...no. I cannot catch."
"Well, why not?" (Like there was something wrong with me.)
"Because I am woefully unathletic. My talents lie in other areas."
"Really, like what?"
I didn't really want to get into it with him so I just told him I was a geek and left it at that. Simple answer, right? Wrong.
"So, I'm a dork and I can still catch. You can learn to be athletic."
"I suppose, but it also happens that I have minimal depth perception which makes it difficult for me to catch in the first place."
"So. You can learn to have depth perception."
At this point my youngest decided to let out a blood curdling scream. And while usually the sounds of my children screaming are the worst and most annoying sounds to me in the world, I was pretty thankful as it shut him right up.
He finally finished my groceries and gave me my change back. And as I walked away, I once again vowed that I wouldn't go in his line if he was the only cashier there. Self check out is there for a reason.