Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Encounters at the counter

There are times that fate really plays games with me. When I'm in the biggest hurry I always have to travel down my two-lane road behind a dump truck happy to be in 2nd gear. I have a knack for finding the slowest and longest of lines, or getting in a check out line that is being manned by someone who is volunteering at the register and has no clue what is going on or how to operate a register, it never fails.

Monday I had some shopping to do for a reception at the Preschool today (Boo-Hoo Woo-Hoo brunch) and ventured out to my favorite store, Target. I usually have good luck at this store and am always happy that they have a Starbucks in house (did you know they have clip on cup holders for the carts? oh yeah ask next time) for my slow browsing pleasure. I love looking at all the stuff and checking out the clearance items, so fun. I was able to pick up all the things I needed in a fairly short amount of time which is unusual for me since I get lost looking at all the new stuff or just looking period. I've never been one to get in and get out, I meander and wander, yeah even saunter through the aisles and the departments that don't have anything to do with my mission.

At the check out I hit a snag. The gal in front of me had made all of her purchases (can power bars and soy milk really make THAT much of a difference in our life?) and was ready to pay, "can I pay part of this in cash and put the rest on my card?" "Uhhh...sure...I think you much do you want to put in cash?" "$35 then the rest on the card." I'm patiently waiting when all of a sudden, "Ma'am the card was declined." Swipe. "Ma'am the card was declined." Swipe. "Ma'am the card isn't working, would you like to try another card?" "No, this one should work, I can't figure out what is wrong." "I'll try at my register." Swipe. "I"m sorry it isn't working." That is when the universe stopped. She just stood there contemplating her fate and wondering what her next move would be. "Well...try this one." Swipe. "Sorry ma'am." "This one." Swipe "NO." "Well, I don't know what to do." The clerk cancelled or suspended the transaction until the gal could get her act together and allow me to check out. By this time I had memorized all of the items on the last minute temptation rack. The gal went to an ATM close to the register and swiped that card at least 20 times. It was beginning to get funny.

"How are you today sir?" "Good and you." "Well..." Oh boy this person has obviously taken license to actually tell me how she is when all I really intended to say was, "Fine thanks. Here's my stuff I'm ready to go." "I'm so tired. room mate sprained her ankle and couldn't walk so....[my vision blurred and I was somewhat comatose] so we wound up at the ER from 11 until 6 and I had to be at work by 9 so that's why I'm really tired." " have to watch out for those ER's." "Are you getting ready for a social occasion?" Not only was this clerk a person who actually divulged all of the woes and burdens of her life upon the folks who just want to hear, "fine' and move on down the road, but she was a nosy checker at that. "Sort of I'm getting ready for a reception at my kid's preschool." "Oh great, how many kids do you have?" "Three." "Aw, how sweet. What kind of reception is it?" You would be proud of me because I at no point in this conversation spoke through my teeth although I wanted to. " A boy that's five, another two, and my daughter is 9 months." By then my stuff was checked and it was pay time. "Thanks have fun at your social." 'You be sure and get some rest...see ya."

I wasn't ten feet away from my lane when I heard, "Oh...I'm tired. See my room mate..." That woman had no idea what she had stepped into. Even if the Waste truck of fate has dumped it's payload on my lap and I've had the most horrible of days I always just say, "fine thanks." and move on down the road. It's really more of a courtesy than a concern for one's fellow man. Shouldn't we all just put on that happy face and move on down the road, "fine thanks."


sherri (Tied Up In Ribbons) said...

Glad to know others love to meander through aisles. I have friends who refuse to shop with me, because I must look at everything! Target is the best too, all end caps must be investigated. And all aisles, because treasures lurk where least expected.

Good thing you had your coffee before the check out experience....