As mentioned in this space nearly a year ago, I do enjoy using the self-service checkout line at the supermarket. But if you're going to brave 21st Century technology, you've gotta be up to the task!
I lined up in the 15-items-or-less line at the Olney Giant behind a woman who had somehow managed to miss the fact that she had taken her FULL cart to the express lane. The store clerk who runs interference over the self-serve lanes certainly noticed... She was bagging the woman's stuff as quickly as the customer could ring it up - which unfortunately, was not very quickly. Even after the woman finished ringing up her items (30 at least!), she grew even more irritating after the crumpled up bills that came from the bottom of her purse refused to be accepted by the automatic cash machine.
I stood behind the woman with my four items, quietly stewing and hoping that the Giant clerk would transform into "Express line" Nazi - expelling the woman from the store for daring to exceed the 15-item limit so egregiously. But alas, this was not to be the case.
As I patiently (on the outside - inside, I was shooting deadly lasers with my eyes into the back of the woman's cranium) waited my turn, I pondered for a moment whether I was the one who was socially deficient in this situation... whether I was somehow too quick to blame and somehow overly rigid and obsessive in my need for supermarket law-and-order.
After all - we've all skirted around the 15-or-less rule, haven't we? We've counted the 10 bottles of soda selling at 10 for 10 dollars as one item, haven't we? Or let the 15 item-limit slide to 18 or 19 in hopes that no one would notice - haven't we?
SCREW THAT! I've noticed, dammit! It's YOU people who are the problem! YOU are the social devients and thoughtless selfish jackasses who gum up the works and make the lines grow longer. It's YOU people who think you're too good for EXPRESS lane limits. Yeah, and if YOU worked for AIG, you'd have damn well accepted your bonus without regrets too, wouldn't you?
Breathe, John. Breathe.
Coming soon... My take on McDonald's employees who give you a girl's Happy Meal toy instead of asking whether your child is a boy.