by Brad Nelson 2/21/17
You know what’s annoying? Waiting in line to pay for something while the guy ahead of me takes five minutes filling out some stupid “club card.”
That’s what happened to me at Staples the other day. There was one cashier and about five people waiting in line. And the guy the cashier was attending had one item to purchase. That should have been smooth sailing. But he and the cashier seemed to be making a party out of filling out the application form for his Staples card. This cashier chick is smiling and engaging in pleasant conversation as if the only point of her being behind the counter was to help people fill out club cards and have a grand and slow time doing it.
In the midst of all this, some chick in her late 50’s or early 60’s cuts in front of the bunch of us who are waiting in the designated rope-off area and plants herself right behind the guy who is painstakingly filling out his club card application. To her credit, the cashier instructs this pushy woman (I didn’t buy for a minute that she was just confused) that she needed to go to the back of the line and wait her turn.
Well, another cashier finally opens up a second register to deal with the backlog. This cut-in lady immediately then cuts in again (she had never actually returned to the line but remained hovering around the front counter). I finally break the ice and say in a loud and slightly annoyed voice, “Go ahead lady. It’s so slow here it will make no difference.”
That snapped the neck of one of the Staples employees who was behind the counter looking busy who then opened a third register and took care of me. In regards to this whole episode, this cut-in lady was just amusing icing on the cake. I don’t mind having to wait in line and wait my turn…but not so some Staples cashier can delay things for over five minutes roping someone into filling out their club card and turning it into an excuse for a nice chat in the middle of the business day.
No wonder the brick-and-mortar stores are dying. It’s not so much the convenience of online shopping of not having to drive to the store and etc., although that is convenient. But many stores have made it all but impossible to buy anything from them in a reasonable amount of time. Online is the way to get around that. Perhaps the insane $15.00/hr and above minimum wages will be the final death knell to retail time-wasting. I don’t mind at all dealing with self-checkouts and computers.
The subtext to this story is that the Staples store I was in had recently reduced its retail space by half. I’m not surprised. They make it difficult to actually hand them your money.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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