Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Soft Serve Service


I went to WallyWorld last night for a few essential items. Actually, about six essentials and ended up with about eleven total.

After making my choices, I zoomed to the short line and waited; there were only two people ahead of me, so the wait would likely be short. The woman at the checkout counter had a relatively small collection of various produce items. The older woman behind her had two containers of ice cream, a tub of margarine, some bagels, a loaf of bread, and a bag of Fritos.

We both stood by, waiting for what was sure to be a short time before we could make our purchases.

As the minutes dragged by, it became obvious that our wait would be anything but short. Watching the checker and the current customer, there was what seemed like an inordinate amount of banter and contact. The customer lady seemed to be insisting on a personal inspection of every piece of produce in the bags, which turned out to be a sizeable haul. As she stood there smiling, the checker tenderly unwrapped all the fruits and vegetables, the customer pointed out nearly every one on a sale sheet. The smiling, slow-motion checker delicately turned each item to find the code and entered it carefully by hand into the keypad.

Meanwhile, at the next register, the young family of six sailed through their line with a groaning cart of groceries and summer items. At the same time, we were stalled out at the glacial line. It was then that I noticed the ice cream, mainly, and it made me think of my milk warming in my basket. I was wondering if granny was planning on eating the two melty half gallons in the car. Her bread was heading toward moldy, her bagels were going stale, I could hear them turning. The only thing she had in her basket that was not perishable was the bag of Fritos. Come to think of it, they won't go stale for another ten years.

Finally, the negotiations finally came to a close, she FINALLY paid her tab, and the old lady got to put her cartons of milkshake and tub of vegetable oil, along with her stale bagels and moldy bread on the short counter to tally.

It was then that I noticed that the checker was probably a greenhorn who didn't know the codes. By the time I got there, I was a little older, and wishing I could change my sour cream milk for a fresh gallon. Our little clerk was very friendly; achingly slow but friendly. By the time I got through, the little old lady was probably back at her car, eating her ice cream with her driver's license.

11 comments:

the photoSmith said...

In college I actually got back to my dorm room with a pint of ice cream that I had to eat with my student ID b/c I didn't have a spoon and our minifridge's freezer wasn't big enough for a pint. It's kinda fun eating with a card, except the cuts it gives you on the sides of your mouth...

invigilator_tex said...

You should use the self scan lanes, Geeze. Saves ya from those stuck in slow motion. Unless of course you do something wrong; then you're at the mercy of Wally himself.

photosmith...that's just nasty, dude.

aA said...

Tex, don't condemn PhotoSmith for his desperate act. I too, have eaten Blue Bell with a student ID...

I still use paper checks, and don't like to hold the U-Scan lines up to go give the little lady a check after I have done all the work. It doesn't seem fair.

Photo: the cuts are due to your mouth not being freakishly wide. They are a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Ok, sorry PS. You artsy folks are entitled to do such things. I once worked with an IT guy who dug ear wax with straightened paper clips. SHUDDDDDDDER.

Rob V. said...

Frustration at the checkout line is the price we pay for shopping at Wal-Mart to try to save a few pennies. Another WM frustration is trying to find a clerk to help you find merchandise. Even if you are lucky enough to find a clerk, most WM clerks seem not too interested in helping you in any way.

P.S. Love the ice cream photo you used with this post, although it gave me a strong desire to visit Marble Slab.

Trixie said...

aA: same thing happened to me last week at Walmart (more on this spelling below). The gentleman in front of me had melty ice cream. The clerk allowed him to exchange it once he paid. In fact, she got a colleague to fetch the frozen exchange.

BTW, note that Wal-Mart will no longer be hypenating their name. New PR campaign coming next month to be more Customer friendly. It will be Walmart and they also will be unveiling a new logo.

No self scan lanes on the west end WM in Pearland.

rthmcdragn said...

we're an impatient lot, aren't we??? i mean really, where else can you catch up on the tabloids, learn the latest fashions and make-up tips, and laugh at the fact that susan lucci is still on the scene in 'all my children'.....

Kaeti said...

I am back!
I usally am in an out of a store in record time using self check out. But if you do write checks I can see standing in line.

Walmart is just scary period! Only venture in the wee hours of the morning!

And I leave you with this: Bannana Pudding Ice cream by Blue Bell....holy crap.

aA said...

Kaeti, i used to be regular sized, till Blue Bell came out with that stuff 30 years ago!

Fantastic stuff.

Dragon: I don't read the tabloid covers, they make me mad! Too many people snooping into peoples' bidness already, who needs to know about Angelina's newest babies?
NOT ME!

Celeste said...

Keep up the good work.

aA said...

Celeste: thanks for noticing! I hope you don't have to eat YOUR ice cream in the car!