I go to the grocery store around the corner (Weis, for those in the northeast US). I grab 4 or 5 things. I have knees that are fubar, so I'm in a scooter.
There are a total of three check stands open. Two are self-scan, one is staffed. Since I only have 5 items or so, I pick self-scan. One of them has two people ahead of me, one has only one person, who has already scanned half her order.
You'd think that was the right decision, no? But if it were, would I be posting? She is the suburban mom from hell but since I work for the government, I'll refer to her as SMFH (we love our initialisms). She needs to scan everything three times. She has coupons for almost every item. She has so many coupons, they jam the coupon box.
The guy two ahead of me in the other line finishes up and leaves. The guy behind him finishes up and leaves. The guy would have been behind me, finishes and leaves. The guy behind him has noticed that I haven't moved in line, and motions me to go ahead of him.
At that point, the guy finishing up his order starts to have massive problems with his scanner. But, hey, SMFH has finally finished scanning. And it only takes her TWO tries to pay. Meanwhile, the clerk overseeing the checkout it diddling with the other self-scanner. Ah, I think, she's noticed that the line is moving slowly, and is opening another one. Nope, the clerk walks away.
So I wheel back in behind SMFH. And she sits there, not doing anything. I say, politely, "Is it OK to start scanning my stuff?" and thinking, geez, lady, an acknowledgment that you've taken a really long time would be nice. Particularly since you managed to block my access to the tabloids at checkout, so I couldn't even get caught up with my celebrity gossip.
No, it's not OK. She's spilled milk all over the place. She's waiting for the clerk to come back. I guess it's just sucky customers like me that loudly ask for help cleaning up.
Finally, the clerk comes back and grabs some paper towels. Can I start scanning now? No, SMFH has to carefully pack her collection of string bags. It is beyond her to put a barrier up so I can start scanning my order. It is beyond the clerk's ability to pitch in and help her pack her bags.
Finally, with the huge sigh of someone very put-upon, she puts up the barrier. I scan my five items. And at this point the swipe machine for my ATM card decides to stop working. So I wait some more for the clerk to come back and reset it or fix it. Finally, she does.
And walks off again, leaving me to bag my five items. I did it, and I don't mean to complain about it, but they had the bags on the side farthermost from the side I was on, so it was awkward trying to bag my five items from the scooter. And I was mostly surprised someone didn't try to bag the items for me. Even when I am OK with bagging my items, even on the rare occasions I *want* to bag myself, clerks usually jump in to help the crippled lady. Hey, it's OK, maybe they're channeling their inner scout. At any rate, my hands and arms work OK, and it's only milk, tweezers, cat treats, bottled flavored water, and a 17 lb. sack of dog food.
Was the SMFH being a dick? Should the clerk have been more pro-active in trying to move things along? Should I think about switching over to Bloom, down the road? (Bloom is Food Lion for yuppies.) Should I be surprised the tabloids predicted Patrick Swazye's death in the same week? (I would have liked to have read more than the headline on that one.) And how long is it going to take that dog to work his way thru 17 lbs. of dog food? (Sorry, that's the question meant for the beagle owners community.)
You tell me.
TL; DR: one of two self-scan lines held up by slow customer, not aided by store clerk.