“Express” lane, anyone?

I hate when I have to go all the way to a supermarket – okay that’s a slight exaggeration on effort, because there are about 6 supermarkets within a 10-minute drive from my house and I drive past them all the time – just to get one thing, only to discover that even the express lane is insanely long. But that’s okay, right? I mean, those checkouts are limited to people with 12 items or less, so theoretically it should be much, much faster in a long queue of bachelors with bottles of shampoo or beers in hand, as opposed to mothers with shopping trolleys stacked full to the top…

Unfortunately, that theory may as well go out the window when the checkout operators are stupid. We have a thing called the “one card” system, which can be used at supermarkets such as Foodtown or Countdown, that gives you extra discounts – all you have to do is swipe your card before you pay at the checkout. So here I was at 9.30pm on my way home from my piano lesson, needing to buy a 20-pack of mini chocolate bars as prizes for the sports quiz that I’m meant to conduct at House Assembly tomorrow morning, and not only did I wait a full ten minutes (if not more), for 4 people in front of me to get served (and feeling sorry for the 7 behind me), until it was finally, finally my turn. I swear, it took her at least 30seconds to pick up and scan my bag of chocolates, after which I was holding my eftpos card on the machine, ready to swipe, and she just stands there with an impatient bitchy look on her face, glaring at me – what for? the fact that I was card-in-hand, ready to pay, not waiting for her to ask me to?! After a stare-down and a half, she finally realises she hadn’t clicked the eftpos key so the machine wasn’t ready for my card, I finally make some progress towards my escape from her… and then my card was declined. For $4.55.

I’d evidently forgotten that I had dinner out on Sunday night and hadn’t transferred my money onto my card. Embarrassed, I quickly handed over $5 in cash, only to have the checkout girl give me a “WTF ARE YOU DOING?!!” look; and, juding by her half-opened mouth, she appeared as if she was just on the verge of saying it too. Honestly… how much louder could the eftpos “DECLINE” beep have been?! It was loud enough for me to have gained a sympathetic gaze from the last guy in queue, as well as send a woman chuckling, surely, surely the person whose job it was to get money off me would realise?! ARGH. Anyway, my chocolate mission took me about 20 minutes… time in which I could’ve watched an episode of something online, or driven about 15-25km!


  1. Felisa February 17, 2009

    What bugs me is when people with 150 items go to the lane for 15 items or less. Mothereffers!
    And you should have complained about that checker. That’s no way to treat a customer. I don’t care if she was having a crappy night… she shouldn’t have been so unprofessional.

  2. Carmen February 20, 2009

    I agree with Felisa- when people with MORE than 12 items go into the express lane and I happen to be behind them. Anyhoo- I feel your pain, I’ve been declined for $3 at the CINEMA with a gazillion people waiting to buy popcorn behind me =[


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