Reserving A Place In The Express Lane To Ehell

by admin on October 5, 2011

Yesterday, I was at the local store to pick up about 8 items, I was in a hurry so when I was ready to check out I got into the express lane. The express lanes are usually reserved for people with 20 items or less, sometimes people don’t follow that rule, but life goes on.

Yesterday however, when I got in line, there were 2 people in front of me, a young man who was starting to pay and a woman who didn’t have any items. I figured the woman was getting something that she couldn’t get in the store, like cigarettes or stamps. When she arrived to the register the man behind the register asked what he could get for her and she responded with, “Oh, nothing, my husband is on his way with our groceries.” We all proceed to wait for her husband to arrive, which he did pretty quickly. On the other hand, he arrived with a basket with no less than 50 items.

It’s not like it was the biggest inconvenience ever, but I thought it was incredibly rude to get in line before having your groceries and then bringing far more than you’re supposed. 0829-11

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

lkb October 5, 2011 at 5:10 am

The cashier should have let you go first, especially when SS’s husband shows up with 50 items.

I’ve noticed that one of our local stores’ signs for the express lane says something like “about 20 items”. I do know from sad personal experience that our Stuff-Mart staff will not confront people who grossly abuse the express lane.

Sigh.

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Rick October 5, 2011 at 5:30 am

Definitely outside out of bounds with the over 20 items. However, what are the thoughts on the idea of holding a place in line for your spouse in a normal line? It’s disconcerting seeing the end of the wait only to have a shopping cart full of items pull in front of you at the last minute.

The only thing worse is to watch them send a spouse to run back to pickup a forgotten item. The cashier can’t allow the next person to move forward as they’re in the middle of the current sale, so everything is at a standstill.

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FunkyMunky October 5, 2011 at 6:21 am

When I worked as a cashier I got an official warning for the way I handled a very similar situation. When the lady arrived at my register (8 items or fewer) with a trolley full, I asked her which 8 items she was purchasing. She got offended and stormed out, but the rest of my line alternately laughed or applauded.

I go into a normal line if I have over the limit. I understand sneaking in one or two items, but the brazen way people take huge baskets through has always astonished me.

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SV October 5, 2011 at 7:11 am

Agreed, extremely uncool. However, I would have politely waited for the husband to arrive just like everyone else did because I can’t quite imagine asking her to leave.

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TychaBrahe October 5, 2011 at 7:13 am

Honestly, the cashier should have rung you up first, since she wasn’t ready, and if there were people behind you in line, the woman and her husband should have been sent to another line.

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DAH October 5, 2011 at 7:57 am

I would certainly, immediately have said, “I’m ready now.” Then have proceeded to move expectantly forward. It is necessary to speak up in these situations. It would give give the clerk a chance to do the right thing. We must “make waves” sometimes.

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Typo Tat October 5, 2011 at 8:18 am

Gah, supermarket adventures!

My own parents have this obnoxious habit of going to stand in different lines, to see which moved faster. I refused to cooperate with such behavior from early age, and then spent years trying to explain why this isn’t the thing to do.

I really don’t know what’s wrong with people sometimes… Waiting for another 2 minutes won’t kill you!

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MellowedOne October 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

I agree totally about the lack of courtesy shown in getting in line when a person isn’t ready to check out.

Side note about behind someone who is in the express lane WITH items, but clearly over the limit–it may not be a case of rudeness. One time I went to checkout and avoided the express lane because I had items over the max (10 in our store). However, that lane had no customers, and the checkout person waved me over to her. So I got in line, and of course, others eventually got in line behind me. Even though I was not there on my own, I still felt bad, knowing the ones behind me probably thought I was being one of ‘those rude jerks’. :-(

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The Elf October 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

And in the express line no less! Oh, I would be pissed. Wait in line like everyone else.

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Susan October 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

There are two culprits here. The couple, for trying to slip through too many groceries in the express lane, and the cashier for failing to have a polite spine. Although there is not much you can do once the groceries are on the belt, I would expect someone with a full cart to be politely sent to another line.

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Ellie October 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

Seems to me the man behind the register needs to learn how to say, with a friendly smile, “OK, then I will just take the next person in line…..Next?” Me…I worked in retail, and it’s always something, or in this case, someone.

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Clair Seulement October 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

I wouldn’t have waited. Would that we could all just get in line NOW for everything in our lives. I would have simply said “Then I’m sure you won’t mind, since I’m ready with my completed shopping, if I check out in front of you.” (Since you know, she was so sure *you* wouldn’t mind waiting indefinitely for her gigantic load of groceries to arrive). Then I would have put all of my groceries on the belt. What is she going to do, complain that no one’s respecting her self-entitled ruse? Meanwhile I feel bad when the person in back of me has *one* item.

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Katy October 5, 2011 at 9:19 am

When I worked at a grocery store the management taught us to have a polite spine about the express lanes. If it would take longer to convince a customer to go to a different line than it would to scan those extra five items then it wasn’t worth it. But chronic or excessive offenders were told to go to the correct line, and the cashier would often have to hold up the line in refusal. I thought it was a dumb policy, but after working that line for a while I realized that there were very few chronic or excessive offenders in the line, and it moved really quickly. The cashier should have grown a polite spine and said ‘please step aside so someone who has their purchase ready can come through’, even if they didn’t say anything about more than doubling the line limit.
There’s a grocery store where I lived that shut down because no one liked shopping there- the only line they had open was the ‘express lane’ for most of the day, so even those with two fully loaded carts had to go through. No one with a cartload of groceries liked getting dirty looks from the people with two things standing behind them, and no one with two items liked waiting for someone with a full cart. Stores who run express lanes well seem to get more customers than those who act like it was ‘just a guideline’.

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LovleAnjel October 5, 2011 at 9:21 am

1. Don’t exceed the number of items allowed in an express lane. It will cease to be an express lane if you do that. I admit to having one or two over and not realizing it until checking out (I’ll forget the five packets of taco seasoning hiding under the bag of oranges). I’m embarrassed. I apologize to the cashier and the customer behind me. If I’m not at the cashier yet and realize it, I move to a normal line.

2. There is no saving of spots in the checkout lines! Everyone had to wait for hubby to show up – even if he only had five items, everyone still had to wait. That’s rude. Many cashiers will ask the space-holder to step aside & start checking out the next person in line (I used to do that as a cashier, but I didn’t work in a big box store).

Now, if she had items on the belt but realized they forgot something and hubby ran to get it, that’s slightly different. I’ve done that plenty, but apologize profusely for it. That’s not saving a spot, that’s being forgetful.

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alex October 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

that is just rude. I even think standing in line when you obviously have nothing is rude too. Running back to get something you forgot and having someone stand there is one thing but getting in line before you have anything? Not good. But I can let that one fly, the getting in the express lane with more items than allowed really irks me. That and the people that basically do their entire 100+ item shopping trip on the U-Scan. :) But I wish cashiers would tell them they can’t check them out, I wonder what the rules are on that?

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Harley Granny October 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

Very very rude…and I don’t care what lane you’re in.
I sometimes want to ask the person just why do they think this is ok?

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adrienne October 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

i would have said “Well, I`m ready Now”.

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Chris October 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

Formerly I was a cashier at Walmart. I used to turn away these customers all the time, even when it was slow. And if a situation occurred where I couldn’t turn them away, I’d politely remind them that the express lanes are for customers with fewer than 20 items. As for WAITING like that? Hell no- ‘Ma’am you’ll need to step out of line and, once your husband arrives, take a place at the end of the line.’

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Invalidcharactr October 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

I had a few people do similar things when I worked as a cashier. My response was always, “I can help whoever is next in line.”

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KS October 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

It was rude of her. However, the cashier should have asked her to step aside and taken the next person. I would contact the customer service or manager of the grocery store and suggest that they train their cashiers on that situation. I doubt that will be the first or last time that couple pulls the stunt.

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Twik October 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

I’m not sure it’s wrong to save a place as the customer did here – you’ll be in front of *someone*, whichever way you do it.

It is very inconsiderate, however, to look as if you have virtually nothing, and then suddenly you have 50 items in the express line.

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AMC October 5, 2011 at 9:48 am

If I’d been the cashier, I would have asked the woman to leave the line and come back when her husband was ready to check out.

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Xtina October 5, 2011 at 9:56 am

Yeah, that sort of thing bugs me. There’s no sense in a store having express lanes for a certain number of items if that rule isn’t enforced. I know stores often let people slide if it’s just a few items over the limit, but a basket of items that is clearly over the limit should be called out.

And really–saving a place in the express lane? For a person who has a lot of items? That’s just wrong and breaking the unwritten yet holy rules of shopping! If I had one item and the person in front of me gave “cuts” or was holding a place for someone with a whole basket full of items, I would be very angry and would probably either ask the clerk to remove those people from the line, or lodge a complaint with management about it (not to complain, but rather to let them know that it is going on). The express lane is designed for customers with just a few things–as usual, some jerk will ruin it for everyone else.

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Hemi Halliwell October 5, 2011 at 10:00 am

This is one of my pet peeves! If I had been the cashier, I would have asked the woman to step aside while I rang up the OP. When the husband arrived, I would have directed them to the regular line.

I think this is like the Bad Customer, Great Manager story. If we stopped giving in to these people and made them follow the 20 or less rule or go to the regular line, it would happen less.

The couple in the story seem to have some form of the entitlement issue. They wanted to go through the express lane, with more items than allowed, so they did and did not care if they inconvenienced others. As OP stated, not the biggest inconvenience ever, but rude nonetheless.

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Meegs October 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

I can’t imagine why the cashier didn’t say “Oh, let me take this lady here first, she this is the express lane and she only has a few items.”

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Elizabeth October 5, 2011 at 10:09 am

I experienced a similar situation once. I got in line ( a regular, not express line) at a Meijer’s once, and there were two women ahead of me that didn’t seem to have any items to purchase. I didn’t give it much thought though. The cashier finished up with the person in front of the two women. I started placing my items on the conveyor belt. Then, another woman with a full cart came up behind me, and the women in front of me said “We were holding a place in line for our friend.” They expected me to move! The width of the check-out aisle was such that I would have take my stuff off the belt, scoot backwards and allow this woman in. I gave them an incredulous look and said “Absolutely not.” I continued to place my things on the conveyor belt and ignored them. They just walked away.

I am appalled by the OP’s story, though, because I can’t believe a cashier would allow the person to make everyone wait while the husband showed up, and THEN allow an obviously over-the-limit cart to go through. That cashier should have said “Please step aside, this woman is ready to be checked out.” Also, if I were the OP, I would absolutely not have waited and simply proceeded to hand my items to the cashier by saying, “oh, I’m ready to be checked out now.” In the face of such blatant self-centered behavior (“everyone else has to be inconvenienced so I won’t have to wait for one second longer!”), I don’t think it’s rude at all to reject the request and proceed as normal.

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Gracie C. October 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

Reserving a spot in line isn’t bad, but when you arrive to the front if you aren’t ready to go, then the person behind you is told, “Oh no, you go ahead, I thought my husband would be back by now.” Under no circumstances should a person not ready to make their purchase be allowed to tie up the line and the cashier should have told the woman that. It’s not even like she had a full order and her husband dashed off to grab one quick thing they forgot. He had all of the groceries, so no, waiting should not have been an option. As for the 50 items – I’ve been told that duplicate items count as 1. So, if you buy 5 mangos, 6 frozen pizzas, 10 jars of salsa, and 10 watermelons, you have technically only bought 4 items, even though the total count is 31. Now, I actually don’t agree with that, because most places actually scan every single item vs. counting how many, and then entering a quantity and scanning once (and I’ve had cashiers tell me they aren’t allowed to enter the quantity, but must instead scan every item). Anyway, i guess my point is, depending on the items, 20 items or less, doesn’t always mean exactly 20 things.

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Snowy October 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

I actually don’t have a problem with the place holding, but I do have a problem with bringing so many items to an express lane. The checker should’ve explained the limit and sent them to another register.

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Cat October 5, 2011 at 10:54 am

The perfect time to say either, “I have only a few items; why don’t I go on and pay before your husband gets here?” or, if he’s arrived, “Oh, this is the express lane. You want one of the regular lanes.” That’s the clerk’s job. They had not even unloaded the basket yet.

I lived in the Miami area and the man one customer ahead of me turned to the woman with a large order, who was behind him but before me, and said, “I wonder that the lady behind you isn’t mad that you are in the express lane with a large order.” I replied, “Oh, this is Miami. Everyone acts like that. There’s nothing that you can do about it.”
She got quite upset and asked if I wanted to go ahead of her. I explained that that was not the point. She did not belong in an express lane with an order over ten items. I bet the next time she thought twice about doing it.

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--Lia October 5, 2011 at 10:56 am

If the cashier didn’t say “I’m sorry; this is an express line. Customers behind you are trying to get out in a hurry. That’s why we can’t wait for people who don’t have their groceries when they get to the front. Oh, and you have more than the 20 item limit anyway. I’ll just get the folks behind you first, and you’ll know for next time.” Then you complain about the policy to the cashier or the management, not complain about the customer. It’s not her job to make sure you get through quickly. It is the store’s.

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PNJ October 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

Reserving your place in line at the supermarket? Wow, that’s a new one. I guess people keep thinking up new ways to service their self-entitlement!

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Javin October 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

I REAAAAALLLLLY wish stores would enforce their own policies. If there was even the CHANCE that these people would be embarrassed by having the clerk say, “I’m sorry, but that is far more than 15 items. You will have to go to another register” then people just wouldn’t do it. The only reason the neanderthals act the way they do is because they can, and they know they can get away with it.

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Laura October 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

It was the cashiers responsibility to say something, and he should have turned them away from the express lane. Personally, I would have said something as this is a huge pet peeve of mine.

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AS October 5, 2011 at 11:13 am

My pet peeve in a departmental store line is when someone “reserves” the place in a line while their partner is still shopping. I can understand forgetting something, or some item that needs to be exchanged. But if you haven’t finished shopping, don’t stand in line and let the people who have finished get checked out first.

Not only did she stand in line, but her husband also brought in a cart into express check-out line with more than 20 items! It is taking undue advantage of nice people who would not say anything just to avoid confrontation.

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Ashley October 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

A few of the grocery stores near where I live WILL kick people out of the express line if they OBVIOUSLY have more than 20 items. It’s fantastic.

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Emmerton October 5, 2011 at 11:53 am

I haven’t ever had a problem asking customers to move aside if they don’t have their items yet, or they have a huge order I’ll ask for back up while I ring them up so my co-worker can get the line down with the people who had just one or two books and their time at the register lasted only a minute or two.

However I noticed people seem to take the express lanes at grocery stores as somehow they get rung up faster then the other lane, even if they still have 50 items. Do they see the word ‘express’ and think that The Flash is going to be bagging their groceries today?

It’s called ‘express’ because it’s meant for those who have just a few items, not because the person at the register will ring up your 50 items any faster!

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JennJenn68 October 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

I have actually asked a few cashiers at my local large supermarket who have allowed people with full carts to go through the express checkout, and each time I was told that they were “not allowed” to ask people to leave the line because they have more than the number of items for the express checkout. Management will not back them up because “the customer is always right”. As long as the retail industry is trapped into the illusion that customers should be kowtowed to absolutely no matter how unreasonably they behave, incidents like this will not only continue, they will proliferate to the point that politeness will be the exception rather than the rule. And my friends and family wonder why I loathe going shopping! (I’d rather perform self-trephination with a barbeque skewer.)

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Aurora October 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I am a cashier at a WalMart. We are not allowed to tell anyone they cannot come through our lane, for any reason. It does not matter if it’s a 20 item or less lane and they have 20 carts full, if they wish to check out there, we cannot say anything. I’ve had people move the “lane closed” sign out of the way and begin putting their things on the counter, and not been allowed to turn them away. Our managers have flat out told customers who complained about having to wait behind people with full carts in express lanes that they will not enforce the item limits. Please do not blame the cashier. More than likely, they have been told that they will be fired if they say anything.

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danielle October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

1 or 2 items over is fine, 25 over is another thing all together unfortunately if it was me i probably wouldn’t say anything to the cashier until the person in front of me was gone and as far as the line saving goes its a huge no-no in my book (unless its the black Friday sales i usually run for what i want while my mother stands in line since those lines usually wrap around the entire store anyway)

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Debbie October 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Please don’t be upset at the cashier for allowing a basketfull. Sometimes they are not allowed to say anything. The waiting? An entirely different story.

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UK Helen October 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Ugh! I had this once, when I put my groceries out of my trolley onto a (non-express) belt, behind another woman – all completely normal so far. Then the woman turned round, saw my stuff there and said, “Oh no, you can’t do that, my mother’s with me,” – and her elderly mother turned up with a second trolley full of stuff. The woman wanted me to take all my goods off the belt to let her mother put HER stuff on there. I appealed to the checkout woman, who smiled weakly and said nothing. So I just had to remove all my stuff! Total copout by the employee!

Another thing I get is when I’ve queued for a while at a non-express till with a lot of shopping and I’ve just put it on the belt with no-one behind me, when someone comes up holding one item. These days I pretend I haven’t seen them :-) It’s the fault of someone languishing in ehell right now, who approached me like this and said she was in a hurry and could she go in front of me because she only had one thing. I said I was also in a rush to get out (true), and pointed out that the store had a number of express tills. “I know,” she said, “but there are people there and I don’t want to wait” – ! Well, guess what, there’s someone here, too!

I used to offer to let people through like this, but after her antics, and having noticed other people try it on like this, I don’t.

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Chocobo October 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm

A lot of express lanes now are automated computer touch screens. I wonder if this is what the OP meant, in which case there would be no store employee to say “Okay, ma’am, that’s fine — next please”.

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Amanda October 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I have been that person with a cartload who reluctantly let a cashier usher me away from a longer, regular lane into the express lane with the assurance that it was okay because nobody else was there and things move faster all around if all available lanes are used. OF COURSE, as soon as I got my cart unloaded three different customers with just a few items each got in line behind me and glared. Now, when approached with that offer, I pretend I forgot something and come back a few minutes later when the express lane has a line.

On another occasion I got in a lane which had one person with a full cart halfway through checking out and one woman holding four items. After several minutes the first customer was paying and a man with an overflowing cart came up next to me and asked me to back up so that he could get his cart to the belt in front of me. It turned out he was with the woman in front of me. Despite being half the first customer’s age, it took them twice as long to put their purchases on the belt and pay. It still burns me to think of it. If I had known that I would be waiting for that much longer, I would have chosen another lane.

About a half dozen times I have been in a position to let a person with a few items go ahead of me when I had a lot of groceries. They were always very grateful, especially the ones who were holding heavy cases of beer and soda. It brightened my day each time.

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Maryann October 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

This happened to me one time. The man ahead of me (in the express lane) had two items, the store was very crowded, and there was a substantial line behind me. Then his daughter and granddaughter came over with the cart, nosing it in front of me. The granddaughter, maybe eight or nine, began counting the items in the cart and pointed out to her mother that they had (far) too many. Her mother told her to hush, it didn’t count because – I kid you not – they belonged to more than one person. (So instead of having too many items, they were merely letting two or three people cut in front of me. Big difference, apparently, in the world of a woman whose behavior is so abysmal that even her child knows better.)

I didn’t let it happen. That’s cutting, pure and simple. I refuse to be a doormat in the interests of someone who would treat me as one, or even in the interests of etiquette. I stuck my foot out to stop the cart, said, “No. Absolutely not,” put my things on the conveyor belt, and let them cuss me out. I just said, “I don’t care. You’re cutting, and you know it.” I was told I was obviously a pathetic person who has a terrible life. I utterly ignored them, and explained what happened to the checker. She nodded and told me, “You gotta do what you know is right.” (Next time I saw her, I apologized for putting her in the middle. I told her I knew it wasn’t fair to her, but she told me it was fine and just repeated what she said before.)

While I was bagging my things, the woman was yelling about how each person (including people for whom she said she was buying who were not present) had fewer than maximum allowed items. I looked up at her and said, “You know what you did was wrong.”

This woman, at least in her thirties, stuck her tongue out at me.

My anger dissipated in that moment. I still laugh when I retell or remember it. Every cloud has a silver lining. I also like to hope that little girl will follow her own good sense and never become the piece of work that her mother and grandfather are.

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Ellen CA October 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Saving a place in line happens quite often at the big warehouse club store. Pick out a line that doesn’t look too bad and invariably someone will scoot up in front of you with a full (and I mean FULL) cart to join their partner.

As far as someone in the express line with far too many items, I think you are well within your manners to say to them “you do realize this is the express line, right?”

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Lilac October 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I don’t think it’s bad to have someone reserve your place in line but only if you are ready to go when you turn comes. No one should have to wait for you. As for the express lanes–it’s not really fair to put the onus on the cashiers. Unfortunately, they are probably told not to confront customers with too many items. It just creates a bad experience all way round, from the irritated (or angry) customer, embarrassed cashier, and other customers who have to wait while the transgressor makes a fuss or exasperatedly puts everything back in their cart. This is one of those situations that we wish management or staff could be the heavy but no matter what they do they come off looking bad. Sometimes in this world of self-entitled horse’s patootees those of us with manners have to step in and “enforce” the rules by making a simple comment or firmly backing up those who don’t really have any power like the cashier.

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Shannon October 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I actually don’t have a problem with placeholding. Before my neighborhood supermarket was remodeled, it had an extremely limited number of cashiers and the lines were EPIC. That’s what happens in urban markets where people don’t have cars, you get a captive audience who can’t shop anywhere else. There’s no incentive for the store to do better.

So it was actually pretty common to send one person around with the basket while the other held a place in line. After all, the line was halfway down the aisle and you were gonna be there for at least 30 minutes anyway. But if you had a big cart of items you didn’t placehold. And we were all pretty good about letting someone go ahead if they only had one or two things.

Now that they’ve remodeled, there are rarely more than three or four to a line and things go much more quickly. Placeholding has therefore disappeared.

My supermarket beef is with people who only carry a certain amount of funds, or they’ve set a budget for the trip, but they don’t add things up in their heads as they go along. Instead, they pile all their items on the conveyor, and have the cashier scan an item, nod, the cashier scans another item, nod, another item, until the limit is hit. Then whatever’s left over gets scattered all over the place and left behind. It takes forever, it’s maddening to watch, and it’s a lot of extra work for the staff (who have to put everything back, or figure out if anything has spoiled).

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Laurita October 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I definitely think the cashier should have stepped in here. Holding a place in line should be unacceptable, let alone being over the limit.

Funny story: I was in the express (10 items or less) at my local market with my items on the belt. I reached out and took a chocolate bar from the rack which brought my total items up to 9. The lady behind me very obviously started counting my purchases, mouthing the numbers and pointing at my items. She was going to make sure I was not over the limit with that candy. It was rude, but also hilarious.

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Mamaduck43 October 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

A store that I frequented had a big sign at their express line – - “Limit of 10 items in this express line… The first 10 items on the belt will be rung up and your sale will end…. If you have more than the limit, you are welcome to take the rest of the items and go to the end of the line after you pay for the sale already completed”…..
It took about two weeks of this system to solve the problem….
We used to shop at a notoriously inefficient military commissary – - a huge store and four registers…. The common practice was for one of us to get in line and by the time we entered the inner sanctum of the check-out area, the other half would have gotten the entire shopping list… Everyone did it – - it became almost a game…. If you filled your cart and then got into line, the wait could easily be well over an hour in line on top of your shopping time….

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Kitty Lizard October 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Slightly off topic, but the U-scan mention brought to mind a really funny story about our local Publix’s attempt to install one. We live in a very small town, and the Publix’s employees, cashiers and managers are our friends and neighbors. Everyone knows everyone. They installed a U-scan. It was a spectacular failure. No matter how they tried, it would not work correctly. It wouldn’t scan, wouldn’t take credit cards, wouldn’t give correct change, etc. The manager was over there constantly, the cashiers were always being pulled off the registers, etc. The machine was changed out God knows how many times. One of the ministers, after it took his money and wouldn’t give it back, christened it “Son of Satan.”
Finally, when no one was looking, somebody glued a Halloween pitchfork to the side of it. They finally took it out, to the relief of the entire town, and store staff, although going to the store is not nearly the adventure it once was.
Kitty

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