I Thought This Was the Express Lane

I Thought This Was the Express LaneToday I went to Target to get something to eat for dinner. It is close to my apartment so I usually just swing by there on my way home from work. I parked in the side parking lot and headed inside to browse the aisles for something healthy to eat. Today marks the first day of a diet I am unsure how long will last.

This new diet includes eating breakfast every morning (I actually forgot to eat breakfast this morning and grabbed a handful of trail mix to jump start my metabolism), then a small lunch including lots of veggies and low calorie foods, end then a healthy dinner packed with veggies. I love bread and I can’t get enough of our homemade IPA, but this new diet cuts out all bread and allows me only one beer a day and not every day. Yes, this will be tough.

Regardless, as I headed into Target I noticed some pre-made salads sitting near the front doors. They looked delicious and while they had no calorie count on them I decided that a chicken salad with some walnuts and cranberries couldn’t be too bad for me. I grabbed that, a baked potato (note that these are much more expensive than at Walmart) and headed to the checkout.

I headed to the checkout carrying only a few items. (I also stopped by the pharmacy to grab some fish oil and some B12 vitamins.) Now, all I have in my hand is the salad, the baked potato, the fish oil, and the B12 vitamins. Count them with me now… four items.

Target is notorious for never having enough lanes open and I am always waiting in line to check out. Tonight seemed to be my night. They actually had an express lane open (which is a rare occurrence for this location). The sign states “10 items or less”. I had less than ten items, so I jumped on line. However the man in front of me had a carload of groceries. Half of his stuff had already been rung up and I counted another twenty-five items or so as he continued to empty his cart.

I quickly became irritated and then preceded to sit my things down on the belt. I did place a divider in front of my goods, but apparently I sat my things down too early as the man in front of me stopped, glanced at me, and made some irritated glance at me. He continued to add his items, but left his cart behind him, where I was standing, not allowing me to move forward. I laughed it off, continued listening to my BBC World Report, and patiently waited for him to finish.

Now remember, my items are already on the belt ready to be scanned. The man in front of me then tells the cashier to wait as his wife went to grab something else. She waited for a good thirty seconds, the wife returned, and rang his last item. It was tin foil for those of you who are interested.

Now, the entire time she was ringing up his order, she neglected to bag anything. I am not sure it was on purpose or if she was just in a hurry to get everything scanned but she never once bagged a single item. Then, before I knew it, she had rang all of my items, told me my total, and asked for my credit card. You see, the credit card machine is actually at the end of the register, but since the guy in front of me was still bagging all of his items, I couldn’t get to it. She took the card from me, swiped it on her machine, and handed me that, my receipt, and a couple of coupons.

In the time that it took her to complete all of this, the man in front of me still wasn’t finished bagging his groceries. But since the cart was behind him, I couldn’t get out. I was stuck. Eventually I made my way past him and walked to my car.

But wait, there’s more. I headed back to my car, got in, sent a couple of text messages, and headed home. I literally live less than a mile away, so it’s not a far drive. And wouldn’t you know it… the same guy that was in front of me was behind the wheel of the SUV that was about to plow into the side of my Smart. He honked, I slammed on the brakes, and he has the audacity to get mad at me. He slammed on his brakes, and threw his arms up in absolute disgust. It was beyond him that he had nearly run into me!

Just when I thought this was all over and I could go home and enjoy my tasty salad (it was tasty, I just finished it) he stops a good twenty or thirty feet in front of the stop sign. And he sat there. He didn’t move for at least a minute. There was nothing coming from either direction. Of course, he didn’t have his turn signal on so I couldn’t tell which way he was going. Finally he turned, ran the stop sign just past the exit, and went on his merry way.

A few text messages later, and a couple of jokes from some close friends, I figured the best way to feel better about this was to write it down. I was never mad, just irritated with this whole situation. And its true, I do feel better having gotten this all out. The next time you are at the grocery store, and try to use the express lane, count your items. Target does not have a self-checkout lane, but if it did I would use that every time. Of course, the same guy could be in front of you trying to learn how to use the self-checkout rather that waiting in a normal lane like he should. Well, I feel better!

Do you count your items before going through the express checkout?