Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Wired)   Why you always choose the slowest line in the supermarket. Turns out math hates you as much as the grocery store does   (wired.com) divider line 180
    More: Interesting, traffic engineering, rational choice, waiting rooms  
•       •       •

8166 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2014 at 9:36 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



180 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2014-07-15 09:04:51 AM  
The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process. Often they will ask the cashier whom to make the check out to, even if they're at a Target where there are approximately 18,000 Target logos within their line of sight at all times.

You want to check out behind parents who brought their kids. The kids may be acting up, but that's why the parents want to GTFO of the store ASAP, so they'll be swiping their credit cards and not farking around. If the kids are actually helping bag groceries or otherwise making themselves useful, so much the better.

But the presence of the purse trumps the presence of the kids. Any woman who pays by check while shopping with kids is an oblivious imbecile.

The only time I have ever seen a man pay by check at a grocery store is in the opening of "The Big Lebowski."
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-15 09:37:33 AM  
This is what they do at most banks, Trader Joe's, and some fast-food places.

Every Trader Joe's I have been to(*) uses separate lines for each register. My local store is good about adding cashiers to keep lines short.

(*) West Newton, Acton, Pasadena, Sunnyvale, and I think Cambridge but it's been a while.
 
2014-07-15 09:39:23 AM  
Self check out when available, or just look for the shortest lines.
When I have to shop at Walmart, check out is either the garden center or electronics
 
2014-07-15 09:39:45 AM  
Best lesson the Simpsons taught me: choose the line with single males even if longer.
 
2014-07-15 09:40:49 AM  
I look for the best mix of:

1. Age of customers in line.
2. Items per customer.

Grandma with one item might write a check and take longer than a 30 year old with a cart full who will pay with a credit card.
 
2014-07-15 09:41:37 AM  
The place that drives me up the wall with this is Aldi's, they will have one register open with 10 people in line that all have entire carts filled to the brim, then they will open a second register on the opposite end and allow people who haven't been waiting at all to check out right away.
 
2014-07-15 09:42:43 AM  
I intentionally choose the line with the Nigerian cashier because he sounds like Dikembe Mutombo and I'm trying to figure out a way to get him to say "Who want to sex the Mutombo!?"
 
2014-07-15 09:43:12 AM  
I shop at Publix, and they usually have enough registers open.  There are rarely lines.
 
2014-07-15 09:45:47 AM  

Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process. Often they will ask the cashier whom to make the check out to, even if they're at a Target where there are approximately 18,000 Target logos within their line of sight at all times.

You want to check out behind parents who brought their kids. The kids may be acting up, but that's why the parents want to GTFO of the store ASAP, so they'll be swiping their credit cards and not farking around. If the kids are actually helping bag groceries or otherwise making themselves useful, so much the better.

But the presence of the purse trumps the presence of the kids. Any woman who pays by check while shopping with kids is an oblivious imbecile.

The only time I have ever seen a man pay by check at a grocery store is in the opening of "The Big Lebowski."


I saw an older woman in front of me count out 97 cents. It took her more than five minutes in the express lane. She had two items.
 
2014-07-15 09:46:33 AM  

thecpt: Best lesson the Simpsons taught me: choose the line with single males even if longer.


This. It has served me well. My wife thinks I'm a genius when she sees the ostensibly shorter line go kerflooey as some housewife starts arguing with the clerk about her 9 coupons and the relative merits of each item she is buying/returning.

Corollary shown in another episode: Old men like to chitchat with the clerks, plan accordingly.
 
2014-07-15 09:46:46 AM  
It helps to know the checkers.  And avoid the coupon clippers and old ladies paying with pennies.
 
2014-07-15 09:47:33 AM  

ZAZ: This is what they do at most banks, Trader Joe's, and some fast-food places.

Every Trader Joe's I have been to(*) uses separate lines for each register. My local store is good about adding cashiers to keep lines short.

(*) West Newton, Acton, Pasadena, Sunnyvale, and I think Cambridge but it's been a while.


Same here for Trader Joe's. If the line is more than two deep, they call cashiers up front until every register is manned. They have changed things so that the cart goes on the cashier side instead of on the customer side. This also sped things up.
 
2014-07-15 09:48:25 AM  
1. Self-checkout should be reserved for those who used to be grocery store cashiers. They're much more efficient at scanning and bagging, and many of us still remember the most popular produce codes.

2. Look for the surly teenager who will check people out quickly. But remember that there's a very subtle difference between "just wants you to leave" and "doesn't care at all; will scan one item every 15 seconds."

3. Don't get in the chatty cashier's line.
 
2014-07-15 09:48:45 AM  
Every single time.
I get in the shortest line and guess what?
Something farks up.
The register is out of tape and the new employee needs a manager with a key to change it.
The lady in front of me is digging for an expired coupon.
The lady in front of me is writing out a check, and marking her balance in her checkbook.
Some item must be PLU'ed by a manager.

I purposefully pick cashiers with downs because they don't goof off, too.
 
2014-07-15 09:49:14 AM  

DrunkenYodaZen: I saw an older woman in front of me count out 97 cents. It took her more than five minutes in the express lane. She had two items.


I would also wager that she did not begin her search for payment until the clerk informed her that she did in fact have a balance due, and then it took her a moment to recover from the shock.  Only then did she begin digging for her change purse.

It's a good thing she had enough change on hand.  I've seen them stop mid-way and decide to write a check instead.  GAahhhhh
 
2014-07-15 09:49:18 AM  

Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process. Often they will ask the cashier whom to make the check out to, even if they're at a Target where there are approximately 18,000 Target logos within their line of sight at all times.


You can still pay for groceries with cheques? I haven't seen someone pay for anything in a retail store with a cheque in years. Then again I live in Canada where debit card use is supposed to be higher than in most countries. I am not even sure my grocery store takes cheques. Then again my wife does most of the shopping. Although back in my single days it was easy to choose a line at the store, pick the one with the cutest cashier.
 
2014-07-15 09:49:27 AM  
I always choose the lane with the person ahead of me with the least amount of shiat.  Of course, this person will bumble around for coupons and/or pay with a check, thus, holding up the line for another 15 mins.
 
2014-07-15 09:49:48 AM  
I get behind the person with the 5 Link cards (Food Stamps) and the Well Infant Child food voucher.  It's my taxes, I might as well enjoy the show.

"John down at the welfare office says I can put this bourbon on my link card.  Call him and ask him"
"There is over 500 dollars on that card.  What did you do with my money?  This is an indignaion!"
The Well Infant Child Voucher allows the holder to get certain items.  Sometimes, it seems really defined like a 6.5 ounce bottle of MinuteMaid OJ.  But an effort is made:
"I can substitute Pepsi Cola for whole milk.  My baby likes Pepsi Cola!"

I have heard all of these and many, many more.  "If I tell all my friends that Shop 'n Save is racists - RACIST! We'll go someplace else and you'll be out a job!"
 
2014-07-15 09:50:14 AM  
I choose the line with the hottest chick, whether she's a customer or employee.

Then I don't care if the line moves quickly or not.

True story.
 
2014-07-15 09:50:49 AM  
"Queuing Theorists??"  Does our society really need such a profession?  Apparently so.
 
2014-07-15 09:50:56 AM  
The calculation and conclusion that one line that disperses to the different counters is more efficient is an engineering school staple.  All engineers were taught this.  The effect is that engineers spend the rest of their lives frustrated because most places don't do their lines that way.

The fact that the world is not made up of engineers is evident at the airport baggage check.  Simple logic, no calculation necessary, would tell you that it would work so much better if everyone would just stand back and go forward to get their bag when they see it.  But no, everyone stakes out a spot pressed against the belt so you have to wait until your bag comes around to your exact spot and then try to work your bag through the jam of people who won't move.

I'm a very tall and large fellow.  Most of my travels that involve baggage checking are to and from Asia (where the people tend to be smaller).  These days I stand back and when I see my bag I say "excuse me" and push through, grab my bag, hoist it over everyone and leave.  No objections yet.
 
2014-07-15 09:51:34 AM  
I try not to get behind anyone who looks poor, because they will slow down the lane with their WIC check, or they picked up a juice brand that isnt covered.
 
2014-07-15 09:52:08 AM  
I thought it was just the idiots ahead of me who wait until their purchases are all rung up to start fishing out their debit card.  Seriously, people, you can swipe your card and enter your PIN while the cashier is ringing up those pork rinds, the POS system will handle it.  Also, put your cell phones away.
 
2014-07-15 09:52:33 AM  
"Mrs. Simpson, the express line is the fastest line not always. That old man up front, he is starved for attention. He will talk the cashier's head off. Let's go to...that line. "
"But that's the longest."
"Yes, but look: all pathetic single men. Only cash, no chitchat."
 
2014-07-15 09:53:22 AM  
Don't most stores use the Telecheck machine now where all the person has to do is sign the check?
 
2014-07-15 09:53:32 AM  
I vote we demand all retailers have one lane that's staffed every second the store is open with the following sign:

20 ITEMS OR FEWER

NO COUPONS

CASH/DEBIT/CHARGE ONLY

NO BULLSHIAT ARGUING OVER SOMETHING THAT RANG UP FOR A NICKEL MORE

IF IT DOESN'T SCAN, FORGET IT.

DON'T EVEN THINK OF ASKING THE CASHIER TO SEND SOMEONE TO FIND A THING YOU COULDN'T

THANK YOU, COME AGAIN

 
2014-07-15 09:53:34 AM  

DrunkenYodaZen: Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process. Often they will ask the cashier whom to make the check out to, even if they're at a Target where there are approximately 18,000 Target logos within their line of sight at all times.

You want to check out behind parents who brought their kids. The kids may be acting up, but that's why the parents want to GTFO of the store ASAP, so they'll be swiping their credit cards and not farking around. If the kids are actually helping bag groceries or otherwise making themselves useful, so much the better.

But the presence of the purse trumps the presence of the kids. Any woman who pays by check while shopping with kids is an oblivious imbecile.

The only time I have ever seen a man pay by check at a grocery store is in the opening of "The Big Lebowski."

I saw an older woman in front of me count out 97 cents. It took her more than five minutes in the express lane. She had two items.


Yep, people using a check don't have to take a long time (although I haven't used on in close to 20 years). Just fill out all the information and write in the amount when it rings up. Cash, however, seems to slow things down. Either the customer is counting things out to the penny (often because they are on a fixed budget), or the cashier is thrown by having to make change. The worst, though, are the ultimate couponers. If you see a stack of coupons, run as fast as you can to another register. At least some of those coupons will be expired, some will be for some combo that the shopper hasn't really met (buy 3 of x and get y 75% off), and she will argue about every single coupon.
 
2014-07-15 09:54:35 AM  
Protip: When they open up another lane, unless you can be the first one in it, is rarely worth it, as it seems people have to adjust to the shock of being in another lane and are not prepared for the new scenery, thus slowing things down*

*statement void if you are currently several carts back from the person causing a holdup. Then decide on a case by case how quickly their bullshiat is being resolved, especially if managers are being called over or people being dispatched to get things from the back during the delay.
 
2014-07-15 09:54:47 AM  
It needs to be like a Bank or the DMV or a big print shop - push to 1 giant queue, have multiple registers service a single queue.   You'll have 1 long queue, but the average wait time for everyone in the queue will be minimized.
 
2014-07-15 09:55:13 AM  

thecpt: Best lesson the Simpsons taught me: choose the line with single males even if longer.


"shakes tiny fit"

/I searched the thread for this before I posted
//just not with it today
 
2014-07-15 09:56:25 AM  

MattyBlast: "Queuing Theorists??"  Does our society really need such a profession?  Apparently so.


I'm a queuing conspiracy theorist.  The whole idea of lining up is the result of a Zionist plot to control time itself.
 
2014-07-15 09:56:43 AM  

WanPhat: The fact that the world is not made up of engineers is evident at the airport baggage check.


I meant baggage claim.
 
2014-07-15 09:58:35 AM  
I don't understand people who use self checkout with a cart filled with items, especially if they're with a spouse or child, where one hands the items to the other, debates or questions the items, then takes several tries to scan it. It must take them near thirty minutes whereas a cashier would get them done in less than ten.

It is amusing sometimes to note each person's different style of passing things by the scanner. They've all go their magic way of waving the item so that the machine recognizes it.

My biggest gripe that here (Quebec) for possibly old-timey religious reasons or something else I'm missing, after certain hours and on weekends they are allowed only a maximum of four people to staff the supermarket.

Surely with more people the checkout times would be less but as usual, if a company can get away with cheaping out and still receiving the customer's money they'll do it. Bastages.
 
2014-07-15 09:58:53 AM  

Imperialism: 1. Self-checkout should be reserved for those who used to be grocery store cashiers. They're much more efficient at scanning and bagging, and many of us still remember the most popular produce codes.



In my experience, the self-checkouts take longer. I do as much as i can to help. I have my store card out already in my hand as i approach. I have all my items in my basket with the UPCs facing up at the ready, and i have no coupons.

Yet i still find myself "waiting" for the machine to accept produce weights, have to wait for the conveyor to move the single item down the line before it can accept another scan, have to wait for it to "think" about what it wants to do do next, etc.

And if im buying Beer, or medicine, or anything else that 20% of the items in the store require overrides, you are farked and have to waive down one of the minions.

Most of the time, you are still better off going to a human checkout lane, because there there is no computer that has to 'confirm' everything at each step. It just assume the cashier is doing the right thing.

I like the idea of self-checkout, it just hasnt been fully developed yet.
 
2014-07-15 09:59:10 AM  

markie_farkie: NO BULLSHIAT ARGUING OVER SOMETHING THAT RANG UP FOR A NICKEL MORE


This is why I like to keep some spare change in my pocket...

...To throw it at the idiot arguing with the cashier over the price of an item.
 
2014-07-15 10:00:22 AM  
I just pick the line with the cutest checker and/or customers Then I leer at them in a disconcerting way which induces them to get the groceries checked/bagged/paid for so as to get me away from them.
 
2014-07-15 10:01:16 AM  
I got caught behind an extreme couponer a few weeks ago. They were arguing over $0.50. I offered them a dollar bill, and said "my time's worth more than this". They wouldn't take it. The principle of the coupon was worth more to them than actual cash.

I ended up going to a different lane to check out. They were still arguing with a manager when I left.
 
2014-07-15 10:01:16 AM  
Seven years in high school and college working a cash register and running a front end at a grocery store taught me many things. How to read a cashier and queue of customers to find the quickest line is just one of them.

A full conveyor belt of groceries is not a bad thing. Profile the line of customers as others have mentioned, but also take note of how many customers there are. Two medium orders may take longer than one large order. And take a gander at how quickly the cashier is scanning and bagging. That makes a huge difference in how quickly you'll get out of there.
 
2014-07-15 10:01:16 AM  

tricycleracer: I look for the best mix of:

1. Age of customers in line.
2. Items per customer.

Grandma with one item might write a check and take longer than a 30 year old with a cart full who will pay with a credit card.


also, beware of EBT shoppers.  they will have problems, managers will be involved.

basically, I ran a gamut.

1) number of items in the line, and whether scannable items or PLU entered individual items

with the following special considerations:

2) age,
3) social status (hate to be a jerk, but the homeless guy will take longer, he's paying in pennies -- and like i said, you want to look out for potential EBT shoppers -- and don't get sassy about my grocers, i've seen them at whole foods -- also, hippies take longer, it's a point of pride, but hipsters are ok, they only have pride when in their own company, they are neutralized by the general public),
4) demeanor (do they look annoyed or angry; annoyed is good, anger means a manager is going to get involved)
5)  finally, examine the clerks.  how fast are they checking out items.

/ i try to avoid the intellectual pitfall of falsehood that is the number of people in the line.  it is a deception, trust not the number of people.
// i didn't realize the article was just a real life monty hall problem.
 
2014-07-15 10:01:41 AM  
Porous Horace:if a company can get away with cheaping out and still receiving the customer's money they'll do it. Bastages.

The health food store we used to go to seemed to have more workers and checkers than customers and you never had to wait.  That's probably why their food cost twice as much.
 
2014-07-15 10:01:56 AM  
WanPhat:

The fact that the world is not made up of engineers is evident at the airport baggage check.  Simple logic, no calculation necessary, would tell you that it would work so much better if everyone would just stand back and go forward to get their bag when they see it.  But no, everyone stakes out a spot pressed against the belt so you have to wait until your bag comes around to your exact spot and then try to work your bag through the jam of people who won't move. when you consider that people still have sex and engage in pleasant, personal conversations.

FTFY
 
2014-07-15 10:03:24 AM  

MemeSlave: It needs to be like a Bank or the DMV or a big print shop - push to 1 giant queue, have multiple registers service a single queue.   You'll have 1 long queue, but the average wait time for everyone in the queue will be minimized.


I guess you didn't read the article.
 
2014-07-15 10:04:04 AM  
Researchers have noted that some customers balk at serpentine lines, which can stretch much longer than the more traditional approach, preferring their chances of winning the lottery with multiple lines.

The same people also believe that they will be rich someday.
 
2014-07-15 10:04:10 AM  
And I firmly believe self-checkouts should be limited to those who have run a cash register before. Bonus points if you did it in a grocery store and remember some of your produce codes.
 
2014-07-15 10:04:22 AM  
LemSkroob:
I like the idea of self-checkout, it just hasnt been fully developed yet.

The self checkouts are getting better and/or I'm getting better at it.  If I have a moderate amount of groceries and not much produce, it's much faster.
 
2014-07-15 10:05:25 AM  

Pontious Pilates: And I firmly believe self-checkouts should be limited to those who have run a cash register before. Bonus points if you did it in a grocery store and remember some of your produce codes.


My biggest complaint with those is the fact that you have to verify ID to buy so many random things (spray paint, certain glues, etc) and they don't have a thing for me to just slide my license through, no a clerk has to come over and do it thus defeating the whole purpose of a self checkout.
 
2014-07-15 10:05:39 AM  
Pro tip, don't stop at the first check out lane you arrive at. Go to the middle ones.
If the checker tells you to go to either express or self check out, go there. I don't care if you don't want to move, just go
 
2014-07-15 10:06:58 AM  
I'm pretty sure you've all been in front of me in a supermarket line, and you're all idiots simply because you're in front of me.
 
2014-07-15 10:07:18 AM  

Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process.


Yeah, I think payment method is the biggest slowdown, and it's obviously impossible to know how people will pay.

Also, if stores are not going to do serpentine lines, then how about registers that are credit card only, and only having one that accepts check.
 
2014-07-15 10:10:20 AM  

texdent: Pro tip, don't stop at the first check out lane you arrive at. Go to the middle ones.



Costco is the worst for that. The way the aisles of the store are set up they feed you to the check out lanes at either ends of the row. So those ones are usually super long. But if you take a few steps and walk over to the ones in the middle they are much shorter.
 
2014-07-15 10:11:26 AM  
My favorite observation is the impatient, rolling of eyes person who's shopping in primetime at the market who's angry that there is a line. Yet people stand in line for hours/days to get a phone.
 
2014-07-15 10:12:47 AM  
Why you always choose the slowest line in the supermarket.

That's not what TFA says. It just says you're most likely not going to be in the fastest line. Unless you do in fact always choose the slowest line, in which case the common denominator is probably you.
 
2014-07-15 10:14:11 AM  
Here in Illinois, store clerks under 21 can't ring up alcohol - they have to get a manager or older cashier to ring up the item, because that bottle of bourbon or 12-pack of beer emits Evil Alcohol Rays™ that will turn them into raging drunks or something. Or, more likely, they can't be trusted not to ring up purchases for their underage buddies.
 
2014-07-15 10:14:56 AM  
I have certain checker faves. They're faves because they are fast, efficient, honest and friendly. Know em by name.
 
2014-07-15 10:15:29 AM  

CarnySaur: I'm pretty sure you've all been in front of me in a supermarket line, and you're all idiots simply because you're in front of me.


I actually laughed out loud at that. Thanks.
 
2014-07-15 10:16:38 AM  
Also, on a tangent, fark the people buying lottery tickets at the convenience store. Their bullshiat holds up the people just buying a soda or a pack of smokes. Especially when they are trying to determine with furrowed brow which scratch ticket is the best one that they want.
 
2014-07-15 10:17:45 AM  
Solution: Overestimate how long you think it'll take you to get through the line. A few extra minutes waiting probably won't kill you, and will give you some time to think about various things you've done over the day and reflect on them. Relax, and remember one day you might be the one holding up the line due to something going wrong. Calm down.
 
2014-07-15 10:19:07 AM  
I can answer this without RTFA.

Because the people in front of you in line are the same people who meander through the store at snail's pace, parking directly in front of popular items to stare blankly at them for two or three minutes while people scoot around them to grab what they need.  Inevitably they always manage to take the longest in line somehow even if they have exactly four items.

You're welcome!
 
2014-07-15 10:19:08 AM  
And if you really want to get out there quicker, help bag your groceries. Especially if you have a full cart.
 
2014-07-15 10:20:25 AM  
Why not just do what I do, and shop at 7am on Saturday? No one else in the damn store.

I hate lines, and am a morning person, so it works great for me. Produce is usually decimated sat/sun afternoon so there's still a great selection.
 
2014-07-15 10:20:44 AM  

spman: Don't most stores use the Telecheck machine now where all the person has to do is sign the check?


Put an old person in that line and see how long the automated transaction takes.

"I put the check in where?"
"How does it know what I want to write?"
"Is that thing going to steal my money?"
"That doesn't cost extra, does it?  I'm not paying extra."
"I bet my grandson could make a machine like that!  He's sharp as a whistle. He's going to attend East Dakota State next year."
"Let me see that check so I can enter it in my register."
"You sure that thing isn't going to steal my money?  I heard last night on Fox that Obama..."
 
2014-07-15 10:21:06 AM  
You don't ALWAYS pick the slowest line. You just don't remember the dozens of uneventful, smoothly run transactions the same way you remember the few bad ones. Our brains are wired to put the bad stuff (where did I get jumped by the sabre-toothed cat the other day?) at the front. Same reason I can't remember what I had to eat at my 6th birthday party, but I remember we had hot dogs at my 7th birthday party, because I also fell out of a tree and broke my arm that day. "Stumbling on Happiness" is a cool book that covers this better.
 
2014-07-15 10:21:14 AM  

Mad Scientist: I shop at Publix, and they usually have enough registers open.  There are rarely lines.


Same here. Plus they all know me and will often temporarily open a line for me on the odd chance that I'd have to wait.. I love my Publix and they love me.
 
2014-07-15 10:21:31 AM  

WanPhat: The calculation and conclusion that one line that disperses to the different counters is more efficient is an engineering school staple.  All engineers were taught this.  The effect is that engineers spend the rest of their lives frustrated because most places don't do their lines that way.

The fact that the world is not made up of engineers is evident at the airport baggage check.  Simple logic, no calculation necessary, would tell you that it would work so much better if everyone would just stand back and go forward to get their bag when they see it.  But no, everyone stakes out a spot pressed against the belt so you have to wait until your bag comes around to your exact spot and then try to work your bag through the jam of people who won't move.

I'm a very tall and large fellow.  Most of my travels that involve baggage checking are to and from Asia (where the people tend to be smaller).  These days I stand back and when I see my bag I say "excuse me" and push through, grab my bag, hoist it over everyone and leave.  No objections yet.


You dont need to be an engineer to figure out the benefits of a single line, but every time I've been in one people have tried to cut in front of others and start their own lines. There are rational benefits to cutting to the front of a ten person line, but leave the single line alone! It works and no one will kick your ass for being a douche bag.

*once saw two ladies get into it at CVS on account of line cutting*
 
2014-07-15 10:22:53 AM  
Article gets to "supermarkets don't have enough physical space" and that's where I stop reading. Walmart will have 30 lanes, 150 people waiting, and 4 cashiers. And it's not even that they won't staff it, they simply won't pay well enough to attract people capable of working the registers.
 
2014-07-15 10:22:53 AM  

thornhill: MemeSlave: It needs to be like a Bank or the DMV or a big print shop - push to 1 giant queue, have multiple registers service a single queue.   You'll have 1 long queue, but the average wait time for everyone in the queue will be minimized.

I guess you didn't read the article.


And I know you didn't:

Now, queueing theorists have come up with a good solution to this problem: Just make all customers stand in one long snaking line, called a serpentine line, and serve each person at the front with the next available register. With three registers, this method is about three times faster on average than the more traditional approach. This is what they do at most banks, Trader Joe's, and some fast-food places. With a serpentine line, a long delay at one register won't unfairly punish the people who lined up behind it. Instead, it will slow everyone down a little bit.
 
2014-07-15 10:23:17 AM  
Why the fark do people that have been retired for thiry years still wait until Saturday and Sunday to go grocery shopping!?!?
 
2014-07-15 10:23:33 AM  
Don't get behind poors or olds and you're fine.
 
2014-07-15 10:24:08 AM  

markie_farkie: I vote we demand all retailers have one lane that's staffed every second the store is open with the following sign:

20 ITEMS OR FEWER NO COUPONSCASH/DEBIT/CHARGE ONLY NO BULLSHIAT ARGUING OVER SOMETHING THAT RANG UP FOR A NICKEL MORE IF IT DOESN'T SCAN, FORGET IT. DON'T EVEN THINK OF ASKING THE CASHIER TO SEND SOMEONE TO FIND A THING YOU COULDN'T THANK YOU, COME AGAIN


I'm one of those people who will argue about something scanning at a higher price than what was displayed.  Why?  Several reasons: first, it's MY damn money and I know what an item is supposed to cost. If you want to give your $ away, please let me know and I'll come over with my hand out!

Second, at least at Kroger, they have a policy that if the item scans up incorrectly, you get it for free.  They used to have stickers on the checkout lanes saying this, but removed them.  You have to ask for the freebie now.  And I've gotten quite a few things free that way.
 
2014-07-15 10:25:20 AM  
What's the formula for which lane to be in traffic?  I ALWAYS pick the wrong one.  If i get into the left, it slows the mother fark down and I'm no longer moving.  If I pick the right the same farking thing.  If I use reverse psychology and not change lanes, I get farked.
 
2014-07-15 10:25:45 AM  

wildcardjack: Article gets to "supermarkets don't have enough physical space" and that's where I stop reading. Walmart will have 30 lanes, 150 people waiting, and 4 cashiers. And it's not even that they won't staff it, they simply won't pay well enough to attract people capable of working the registers.


Those lanes exist for christmas season and christmas season only. They could honestly give less of a shiat how long you have to wait, you're not going to leave your shopping cart full of shiat behind to go fill up one at a different store and they know it.
 
2014-07-15 10:25:53 AM  

Gulper Eel: The only time I have ever seen a man pay by check at a grocery store is in the opening of "The Big Lebowski."


Don't forget little old ladies (and men) pulling out a pile of pennies and going, "sixty-six..............sixty....seven.....................sixty...... eeeeeiiiiiggggghhhht........."
 
2014-07-15 10:26:25 AM  

nekom: My biggest complaint with those is the fact that you have to verify ID to buy so many random things (spray paint, certain glues, etc) and they don't have a thing for me to just slide my license through, no a clerk has to come over and do it thus defeating the whole purpose of a self checkout.


Some days I need a smoke.  Like this morning

So, I go over to the grocery store, and wait in line at the counter.  The cashier hands me a pack, and grunts "You scan."  I guess his register didn't work.

So, I go to the self checkout, and scan the pack.  It requires ID, and the self-checkout cashier is busy not understanding someone else's problem.  I wait a while, she comes over, asks for my ID.  I'm 35, but, hey, OK.  She takes my ID back to her screen, comes back, great, I can proceed.

Do you have any items under your cart?  No.  No cart.
Do you have any coupons?  No.
Do you have a store bonus card?  NO.
Would you like to apply for a store bonus card NO!
Would you like to donate $5 to charity?  FFS.

Please select method of payment.  OK, great.  Finally.  Credit card.
Please follow instructions on the PIN pad.

Cash or credit?  Credit.  I already pressed credit on the other screen.
Please wait, authorizing.  OK
Authorizing.  Yeah, I got that.
Is the amount OK?  Yes.  it's fine.  Everything's fine.

It took ten minutes to use the self-checkout.  And, since it's a grocery store, cigarettes cost $2 more than at 7-11.

After that, I REALLY needed a cigarette.

/don't expect sympathy
 
2014-07-15 10:26:49 AM  
FarkingReading: I choose the line with the hottest chick, whether she's a customer or employee.

Then I don't care if the line moves quickly or not.

True story.


QFT BFE
 
2014-07-15 10:28:00 AM  
It's all about the pretty cashier, ugly bag boy ratio.  The pretty cashier always has someone to sack the groceries.  If he's ugly, she won't actually chat with him and slow down the process.

/I'm a volunteer driver for the local senior center.  I took one lady on errands, she balanced the checkbook after paying by handwritten check "Oh Dear, I'll forget to do it otherwise."  She tried to engage the cashier in small talk, who thankfully wanted no part of that.  She wanted her gallons of bottled water individually bagged because she needs the plastic bags.  She asked if she could keep the cashier's pen.  While she was in line, she sought out a manager to point out a "safety issue."
 
2014-07-15 10:28:02 AM  

Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process. Often they will ask the cashier whom to make the check out to, even if they're at a Target where there are approximately 18,000 Target logos within their line of sight at all times.

You want to check out behind parents who brought their kids. The kids may be acting up, but that's why the parents want to GTFO of the store ASAP, so they'll be swiping their credit cards and not farking around. If the kids are actually helping bag groceries or otherwise making themselves useful, so much the better.

But the presence of the purse trumps the presence of the kids. Any woman who pays by check while shopping with kids is an oblivious imbecile.

The only time I have ever seen a man pay by check at a grocery store is in the opening of "The Big Lebowski."


As someone with three young'ens, I can certainly add validity to your "get behind the lady with kids" theory. We want to be out of those checkout lanes ASAP before one of our kleptomaniac kids swipes another candy bar from the pre-checkout "hey kids...CANDY!!!!" display - as to avoid stage five melt-downs ("I WANT A CANDY BAR - I WAS GOOOOOOOD") we'll often hurl our items at the register and pay whatever comes on screen...trust me, when my daughter is screaming about sweet-tarts, I'm not going to challenge whether or not the $.99 pasta was buy-one-get-one free. I just want the fark outta' there.
 
2014-07-15 10:29:23 AM  
MythDragon's rules for the express lane.

You are allowed to go 20% over the limit without incruing any face punches.

For example if the limit is 10 items you may have 12.
If it's 20, you may have 14.
If the limit is 12, you can only have 14, because you always have to round down. If your excess limit number is 2.9, it becomes 2.

Definition of 'Item':

An item is something in a container of any sort. A box of cerial is one item. A bag of loose fruit is one item. Individual un-bagged fruit (or similar edible items) is one item each, as it comes in it's own natural container (ie, the skin or rind)

2 for 1 priced items still count as two items. You are getting two items for the price of one item, but refer to the first 5 words in this sentance.

Items secured together (by the store or manufacturer only.) count as one item. For example like how Costco will have two gallons of milk secured together by that plastic thing and are sold as a set....that is one item.

Similar items are still seperate items. If you have 5 boxes of Swanson turkey neck and chitlins frozen dinners, even though they are the same brand and type, they are 5 items. This prevents people from trying to abuse the system and bring 8 shopping carts of the same thing and claim it as one item.

Compainion items that are not priced do not count towards your item limit. For instance if you get a box of salad from the salad bar, and it comes with dressing packets, those packets do not count toward the limit. If they are priced, this does become a grey area. Generaly it will be tolerated as long as it is not abused and understood to be necissary to go along with your inital item. You can't enjoy your salad for lunch without dressing, so it is allowed a pass. If you are buying supplies for a cookout, however, the rules remains in strict effect. Yes you need ketchup and mustard and buns for your hotdogs and hamburgers, but if you are over the limit, carry your ass to the slow lane.

Additional rules:
No coupons unless you are the only one in line. If you have already begun the checkout process and someone comes into line. You've got 5 coupons to wrap that shiat up.

No checks. Seriously, why are you writing a check for 10 items? Get with the damn 21st centuary and use your debit card. Hell, get some cash back for the next time you hit the express lane and save everyone some time.

Have your cash or card ready or at least easily accessable. After your purchases have been totaled and bagged, and the cashier is now looking at you like she expects some sort of action on your part is not the time to be digging through that overnight bag you call a purse to find your debit card which you leave rolling around loose somewhere on the bottom with your chapstick, tampons, perfume, panties that got dirtied the night before whilst banging your boss, lipstick, 4 bottles of water, flax seed bars, old corroded pennies and all the other crap you keep in there.

We understand that sometimes you can't math, and might exceed your allowable overage by another item or two. This will be judged on a case by case basis. This is judged strictly on a whim and can be affected by how bad a mood the person behind you is in, how quickly everyone needs to be at work, how hot you are, and other various factors. You may get off with a warning, you may get a face punch. It's one of the risks you will have to be ready to accept.

These are the rules that have now been set forth. I expect everyone to abide by them.
 
2014-07-15 10:29:28 AM  

FarkingReading: I choose the line with the hottest chick, whether she's a customer or employee.

Then I don't care if the line moves quickly or not.

True story.


[brilliant.jpeg]
 
2014-07-15 10:29:29 AM  

LemSkroob: Imperialism: 1. Self-checkout should be reserved for those who used to be grocery store cashiers. They're much more efficient at scanning and bagging, and many of us still remember the most popular produce codes.


In my experience, the self-checkouts take longer. I do as much as i can to help. I have my store card out already in my hand as i approach. I have all my items in my basket with the UPCs facing up at the ready, and i have no coupons.

Yet i still find myself "waiting" for the machine to accept produce weights, have to wait for the conveyor to move the single item down the line before it can accept another scan, have to wait for it to "think" about what it wants to do do next, etc.

And if im buying Beer, or medicine, or anything else that 20% of the items in the store require overrides, you are farked and have to waive down one of the minions.

Most of the time, you are still better off going to a human checkout lane, because there there is no computer that has to 'confirm' everything at each step. It just assume the cashier is doing the right thing.

I like the idea of self-checkout, it just hasnt been fully developed yet.


I will say that I like and don't like self-checkouts.  It's great when I have two or three items; I'm in and out pretty fast, no issues.

Although the problems that you mentioned are valid, I more often than not see another issue with the self-checkouts.  The ones I'm familiar with, make you put your stuff on one side of the checkout and then you scan the item and place it in the bag.  Heaven forbid that you either move stuff around in the 'bin' next to the checkout and/or move stuff around in the bag checkout.

checkout pc:  "Please put the item back in the bag!"
me:  "uh, it is, I just moved it around...can I scan my next item please?"
checkout pc:  "please put the item back in the bag!"
me:  *facepalm*
checkout pc:  "please put the item back in the bin and re-scan it!"

Sometimes it's not too bad and if it does get stuck in that routine, I just wait 5-10 seconds for it to "settle down" and then I can start scanning again.


There really needs to be a lane for credit/debit card ONLY.  Cash only lanes too...but NO COINS and no checks!
 
2014-07-15 10:30:21 AM  

thornhill: Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process.

Yeah, I think payment method is the biggest slowdown, and it's obviously impossible to know how people will pay.

Also, if stores are not going to do serpentine lines, then how about registers that are credit card only, and only having one that accepts check.


Then you'll get clueless people who make it all the way to the end of checkout before realizing they were in the wrong line the whole time...

kroonermanblack: Why not just do what I do, and shop at 7am on Saturday? No one else in the damn store.

I hate lines, and am a morning person, so it works great for me. Produce is usually decimated sat/sun afternoon so there's still a great selection.


The person behind you buying only a jug of milk will love you and will come to biatch on fark about their shiatty luck at grocery store lines. I used to shop Monday nights and would have a bunch of people with like two items pile up behind me with sneers after the cashier started to ring me up. Also, in that situation you feel obligated to let people go ahead of you (before they start ringing you up of course). After letting two about ppl ahead of me, I'd usually give up out of exhaustion and selfishly go ahead as it was late and I wanted to go home. Grocery shopping is never that great of an experience.
 
2014-07-15 10:31:07 AM  
Avoid welfare people.  You can spot them easily by the contents of the cart.  They're the fat ones with all the junk food.

Avoid immigrants from India, Pakistan or the Phillipines, They're a pain in the ass to everybody.

Avoid old people.  They love checks.

What you want to find is the good looking people buying healthy food.  They have their shiat together.
 
2014-07-15 10:31:39 AM  

WanPhat: The calculation and conclusion that one line that disperses to the different counters is more efficient is an engineering school staple.  All engineers were taught this.  The effect is that engineers spend the rest of their lives frustrated because most places don't do their lines that way.

The fact that the world is not made up of engineers is evident at the airport baggage check.  Simple logic, no calculation necessary, would tell you that it would work so much better if everyone would just stand back and go forward to get their bag when they see it.  But no, everyone stakes out a spot pressed against the belt so you have to wait until your bag comes around to your exact spot and then try to work your bag through the jam of people who won't move.

I'm a very tall and large fellow.  Most of my travels that involve baggage checking are to and from Asia (where the people tend to be smaller).  These days I stand back and when I see my bag I say "excuse me" and push through, grab my bag, hoist it over everyone and leave.  No objections yet.


I stand back, loudly say "excuse me," push my way through, then swing the bag sideways taking out the campers mumbling "what kind of an idiot stands within a foot of the carousel?"
 
2014-07-15 10:32:41 AM  

MattyBlast: "Queuing Theorists??"  Does our society really need such a profession?  Apparently so.


I took a semester of Markovian Queuing theory in grad school.  Fascinating subject.  It made Quantum Physics seem simple and uncomplicated in comparison.  The prof would start most lessons by asking "using common sense, what do you think the answer to [insert question here] would be?" and then go on to show mathematically how common sense got it completely wrong.

Sadly, being able to model a grocery store checkout with queuing theory has never helped me get through the line before my ice cream melted.
 
2014-07-15 10:33:31 AM  
People are animals.
Everything in this thread proves that it's better to be rich so you can avoid them/these places entirely. See also: public transport.
 
2014-07-15 10:34:41 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: wildcardjack: Article gets to "supermarkets don't have enough physical space" and that's where I stop reading. Walmart will have 30 lanes, 150 people waiting, and 4 cashiers. And it's not even that they won't staff it, they simply won't pay well enough to attract people capable of working the registers.

Those lanes exist for christmas season and christmas season only. They could honestly give less of a shiat how long you have to wait, you're not going to leave your shopping cart full of shiat behind to go fill up one at a different store and they know it.


I've abandoned carts full of thawing frozen food because I knew it would be ruined before I could get it home.

/on purpose
 
2014-07-15 10:36:09 AM  
I like seeing tight-asses get all worked up waiting in lines. The impatient, raging alcoholic is my favorite specimen - he'll put down his 12 pack of "old mutton twat" and stomp off while calling some random female a coont... then there is the self-entitled soccer mom who cuts off several people without asking because she's only buying one thing. The scenario I am waiting for though, is having the soccer mom cut in line in front of the raging alky... that display will be a total divide by zero of people watching.... unless, of course, you can come up with a better vignette, I'd love to hear it...

I just like to watch people and judge them while in checkout lines.
 
2014-07-15 10:36:50 AM  

MemeSlave: thornhill: MemeSlave: It needs to be like a Bank or the DMV or a big print shop - push to 1 giant queue, have multiple registers service a single queue.   You'll have 1 long queue, but the average wait time for everyone in the queue will be minimized.

I guess you didn't read the article.

And I know you didn't:

Now, queueing theorists have come up with a good solution to this problem: Just make all customers stand in one long snaking line, called a serpentine line, and serve each person at the front with the next available register. With three registers, this method is about three times faster on average than the more traditional approach. This is what they do at most banks, Trader Joe's, and some fast-food places. With a serpentine line, a long delay at one register won't unfairly punish the people who lined up behind it. Instead, it will slow everyone down a little bit.


Good to see that you went back and read the article and saw that it covered your suggestion.
 
2014-07-15 10:38:29 AM  
You, with 5 items, will head to the express line of 10 items or less. There you will queue behind Orca, the Killer Couponer. She has 15 items for which there are 20 coupons. Some of those will be 25 days expired and they will argue for 30 minutes all for saving 35 cents. You will wish 40 days and nights of plague upon her and end up being 45 minutes late getting home. After another 50 minutes you will realize that you forgot something that you need because dinner has to be started in 55 minutes and everyone else will be home in an hour.

/just don't get behind the old lady with a stack of old gift cards that all just have 'change' on them
//or the one with the tardis purse that holds everything in the known universe... EXCEPT her wallet
 
2014-07-15 10:38:47 AM  
I usually use self-checkout.  Usually there's a line, but I use the wait to silently judge the relative intellect of the people trying to use the things.  It provides great amusement.
 
2014-07-15 10:42:29 AM  
Usually no problems at Walwart, unless the line is short on nonexistent I'll wait.
We don't have a lot of shopping choice in my village, but I never use them for groceries. Their ads for "Price matching" are apparently unknown to some of their employees. Every once in a while, I'll get stuck behind some retired person with a month of groceries, trying to use the express or speedy checkout.I don't mind a couple items over the max, but I'm vociferous about that.
 
2014-07-15 10:42:54 AM  

Fubegra: Here in Illinois, store clerks under 21 can't ring up alcohol - they have to get a manager or older cashier to ring up the item, because that bottle of bourbon or 12-pack of beer emits Evil Alcohol Rays™ that will turn them into raging drunks or something. Or, more likely, they can't be trusted not to ring up purchases for their underage buddies.


This is the biggest reason for delays at my local store. I'll go up and down all the aisles looking for the kid that might be old enough to ring up a couple bottles of wine. There's only one lady that's a checkout person that is over 21, otherwise, they have to get a manager. I've waited 5 minutes or more for someone to grab the bottle and run it over the scanner, then move on to the next lane and do the same thing with their beer, etc. Hopefully no one wants cigarettes, because that's another delay while someone runs to the back counter to get them and bring them back to the lane. To make it worse, they've eliminated all self-checkouts to provide "better customer service".

TJ Maxx/Marshalls does the serpentine line in a great way. It moves fast, and they have tons of random things to "shop" for while waiting. I bet they sell a lot of additional items just by having a line in that manner.
 
2014-07-15 10:43:07 AM  
(csb) Best person I ever checked out behind was Barney Martin...the guy who played Morty Seinfeld.

He lived in my home town for a while and could line up his groceries by weight and by type (produce/perishable/frozen/other), help with the bagging as needed AND have his credit card swiped and back in his wallet, leaving him time to make silly faces at my infant daughter and make her giggle, which in turn enabled me to get my groceries lined up the right way.

Rest in peace, bonnie prince Barney.
 
2014-07-15 10:47:34 AM  

Disaster Transport: Fubegra: Here in Illinois, store clerks under 21 can't ring up alcohol - they have to get a manager or older cashier to ring up the item, because that bottle of bourbon or 12-pack of beer emits Evil Alcohol Rays™ that will turn them into raging drunks or something. Or, more likely, they can't be trusted not to ring up purchases for their underage buddies.

This is the biggest reason for delays at my local store. I'll go up and down all the aisles looking for the kid that might be old enough to ring up a couple bottles of wine. There's only one lady that's a checkout person that is over 21, otherwise, they have to get a manager. I've waited 5 minutes or more for someone to grab the bottle and run it over the scanner, then move on to the next lane and do the same thing with their beer, etc. Hopefully no one wants cigarettes, because that's another delay while someone runs to the back counter to get them and bring them back to the lane. To make it worse, they've eliminated all self-checkouts to provide "better customer service".

TJ Maxx/Marshalls does the serpentine line in a great way. It moves fast, and they have tons of random things to "shop" for while waiting. I bet they sell a lot of additional items just by having a line in that manner.


Generally the whole 'not being able to buy liquor in grocery stores in NJ' thing is really annoying but that just sounds insane.
 
2014-07-15 10:47:44 AM  
Just relax, wait your turn, pay, and leave.  You haven't got anywhere too important to go.  People get aggravated over trivial stuff.
 
2014-07-15 10:48:46 AM  
I will say that the number one issue that I've seen (especially in big stores like Walmart or Target, etc...) is that there are always lanes that have no one at the register.  Just hire more people and have all lanes open at all times (especially during busy seasons).


The other thing I remember now is that the last time I went shopping to Sam's Club with my parents (years ago), they had separate lines but Sam's actually had employees at the 'start' of the line to the lane/register and that person actually scanned your membership card and then all your items so that by the time you actually got to the register, just pay for it all and wa-la, you're done.

Thought that was really nice and worked well enough!
 
2014-07-15 10:48:58 AM  
My wife was nearing her due date with our second baby, in the middle of summer in Florida, with sore feet and a back ache when this little old guy slips in front of her in line. She fumed and huffed and puffed but didn't say anything. So he checks out and leaves, my wife checks out and leaves and finds this same little old guy jogging from his car toward her motioning to her. She's pissed, furious, exhausted, pregnant, hormonal, hot, and ready to flip her shiat but before she could say anything, the guy hands her a little framed plaque with an inspirational message for expectant mothers. It was obvious that he made it himself. Apparently he keeps a few in his car and gives them to pregnant women that he encounters. If you've ever spent time with such a pregnant hormonal woman, you can imagine how fast her anger turned into great big sobbing tears.

Hearing about this, I still say it was a dick move that he cut her in line, but she disagrees and tends to give jerks the benefit of the doubt from now on.
 
2014-07-15 10:49:00 AM  
I must be lucky, because I almost always wind up in a fast line.  Except for yesterday the the dumb [male] cashier was so busy jawing with other co-workers it took forever to get out - all because of him.

/Hear that Kroger's?
 
2014-07-15 10:50:41 AM  

markie_farkie: I vote we demand all retailers have one lane that's staffed every second the store is open with the following sign:

20 ITEMS OR FEWERNO COUPONSCASH/DEBIT/CHARGE ONLYNO BULLSHIAT ARGUING OVER SOMETHING THAT RANG UP FOR A NICKEL MOREIF IT DOESN'T SCAN, FORGET IT.DON'T EVEN THINK OF ASKING THE CASHIER TO SEND SOMEONE TO FIND A THING YOU COULDN'TTHANK YOU, COME AGAIN


Back when Phar-mor (A pharmacy with a very shiatty VHS rental service) was going out of business, they were liquidating everything (even the shelves). I stopped in because I needed an item of some sort. The guy in front of me decided this was the day to get in a pointless arguement. He was buying a birthday card. The cards were marked 30% off.
The cashier takes off 20% and then 10%. The guy starts flipping his shiat about how 20% and 10% off is NOT the same as 30%. The cashier is trying to figure out how to refund and do it 'right' and having problems.
I look at the guy and sat 'Are you farking serious? Yes, 20 and 10% is not the same as 30%. But we're not talking about a car or plane ticket here. It is a single Goddamn birthday card that costs $1.49. The company is out of business, this lady is out of a job in a few days, and this is what you want to make a big deal out of? It is a couple of farking cents here. You are costing yourself more time than what a few pennies are worth. You are definately costing *ME* more time than what 3 pennies are worth. Tell ya what, I'll make this simple *thows nickle on counter in front of him* Bam! Problem solved. You've even made  a net profit. Now take your farking card and carry your ass out of the store"

/The guy was a rather meek looking guy who was not bigger than me, so I felt safe in showing my ass
//The cashier told me I was her hero.
///But not hero enough for her to offer to sex me, apparently
 
2014-07-15 10:51:31 AM  
FTFA : During a queueing theory conference, Larson said that a hotel lobby was once clogged with queueing theorists attempting to check in to their rooms. The mathematicians decided to take matters into their own hands and form a serpentine line to handle the volume.

thebrotherhoodofevilgeeks.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-07-15 10:58:49 AM  
Stay away from lines with the elderly, foreigners, any mom that is alone or with her mom and has at least 4 kids.
 
2014-07-15 11:00:13 AM  
Self checkouts are for like a drink and a candy bar.  Five items or more, get in the regular line.
 
2014-07-15 11:01:11 AM  
There seems to be a large unwrapped fish in that woman's cart...just sitting there.

/That aint normal.
 
2014-07-15 11:04:20 AM  
Do not go to Walmart on the 1st. Ever.
 
2014-07-15 11:07:02 AM  

MattyBlast: "Queuing Theorists??"  Does our society really need such a profession?  Apparently so.


Absolutely. Queuing theory applies heavily in mass production of stuff, especially when certain processes affect other process. Example: widget a takes 4 minutes, widget b takes 3 minutes and 30 seconds, but they combine into widget C, which is needed to combine with widget d and so on. So how do you minimize downtime with a limited number of machines?

Queuing theory even applies in computers. Your processor runs at X megahertz, but your Front Side bus, video card, RAM and HDD all run at other frequencies. How do you set this up to maximize processor time without making it wait longer than absolutely necessary?
 
2014-07-15 11:07:32 AM  

Gonz: I got caught behind an extreme couponer a few weeks ago. They were arguing over $0.50. I offered them a dollar bill, and said "my time's worth more than this". They wouldn't take it. The principle of the coupon was worth more to them than actual cash.

I ended up going to a different lane to check out. They were still arguing with a manager when I left.


God, I HATE those people.  They make me feel homicidal.
 
2014-07-15 11:08:07 AM  
Maybe you do subby but long ago I learned to count the cart content and how fast the cashier is going and not the length of the line via people.
 
2014-07-15 11:08:23 AM  

Calypsocookie: Do not go to Walmart on the 1st. Ever.


Oh, but DO go to Walgreen's on Christmas Eve toward midnight... the people shopping there are the living dead. Most are just shuffling into each other while holding a chia pet.

It's amazing.
 
2014-07-15 11:08:54 AM  

stonicus: Self checkouts are for like a drink and a candy bar.  Five items or more, get in the regular line.


I learned the PLUs of most produce explicitly so I can use the self checkout line. 20 items, 1 minute. The only thing that slows me down is the computer which is throttled for the idiots/elderly.
 
2014-07-15 11:12:20 AM  

Gulper Eel: female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check


This is not 100% accurate.  my wife keeps her purse up there and always pays with a card.  your mileage may vary.

This also seems appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Ri_HhziI0&list=UU2bkHVIDjXS7sgrgjFt z OXQ
 
2014-07-15 11:12:34 AM  

MythDragon: No checks. Seriously, why are you writing a check for 10 items? Get with the damn 21st centuary and use your debit card. Hell, get some cash back for the next time you hit the express lane and save everyone some time.


Smeggy Smurf: Avoid old people. They love checks.


Seriously... I need to know the answer to this. Need to know.

Why do people use checks in grocery checkout lines? There's not one bank near me that doesn't offer free debit cards. Do they not trust technology? Are four digit PINs too hard to remember? Are they too scary? Why? I think they run the routing number right there at the cashiers station... so there's no chance they can float because they're short on funds. So why? Why do they do it...? <sobbing> Will someone, for the love of all that is Holy tell me why!???
 
2014-07-15 11:14:14 AM  

tricycleracer: I look for the best mix of:

1. Age of customers in line.
2. Items per customer.

Grandma with one item might write a check and take longer than a 30 year old with a cart full who will pay with a credit card.


America? Sounds like the dark ages of banking. Last time I saw checks used at a supermarket (Australia) was back in the mid 80s.
 
2014-07-15 11:14:37 AM  

Destructor: MythDragon: No checks. Seriously, why are you writing a check for 10 items? Get with the damn 21st centuary and use your debit card. Hell, get some cash back for the next time you hit the express lane and save everyone some time.

Smeggy Smurf: Avoid old people. They love checks.

Seriously... I need to know the answer to this. Need to know.

Why do people use checks in grocery checkout lines? There's not one bank near me that doesn't offer free debit cards. Do they not trust technology? Are four digit PINs too hard to remember? Are they too scary? Why? I think they run the routing number right there at the cashiers station... so there's no chance they can float because they're short on funds. So why? Why do they do it...? <sobbing> Will someone, for the love of all that is Holy tell me why!???


Mostly habit I assume.
 
2014-07-15 11:16:06 AM  
To determine the optimal number of each type of representative, a call center can use Erlang's findings and not, as is commonly believed, a random number determined by the prince of darkness.

This got a small chuckle out of me.
 
2014-07-15 11:17:29 AM  

LiberalConservative: tricycleracer: I look for the best mix of:

1. Age of customers in line.
2. Items per customer.

Grandma with one item might write a check and take longer than a 30 year old with a cart full who will pay with a credit card.

America? Sounds like the dark ages of banking. Last time I saw checks used at a supermarket (Australia) was back in the mid 80s.


Not just America.  Florida.
 
2014-07-15 11:21:17 AM  
Go after midnite, preferably about 3 or 4 - I hardly ever even see other customers.

If you must go during the day, do not go between 3 PM and 8 PM  and do not go on Saturday.

Daytime, it's best to go as early as possible and know what you want and where it is.  I spent a whole 8 minutes in the grocery store this morning.  No self-checkout, but no line either.  I got there 15 minutes after it opened.

Don't even think about going during the day within a week of Thanksgiving or Xmas.
 
2014-07-15 11:24:24 AM  
I don't look for the shortest line, I look for the line with the least total  number of items in the lines' carts.  If there's 5 people in line with only 3 things in each of their carts, that line will motor compared to the line with people doing their monthly shopping trip of $400.

Or choose the cutest cashier and enjoy the wait.
 
2014-07-15 11:24:47 AM  

gfid: Go after midnite, preferably about 3 or 4 - I hardly ever even see other customers.

If you must go during the day, do not go between 3 PM and 8 PM  and do not go on Saturday.

Daytime, it's best to go as early as possible and know what you want and where it is.  I spent a whole 8 minutes in the grocery store this morning.  No self-checkout, but no line either.  I got there 15 minutes after it opened.

Don't even think about going during the day within a week of Thanksgiving or Xmas.


This is assuming you live in an area where the grocery stores are open that late. Where I am in Connecticut, I think there might be one grocery store about 10 miles away that is open after 11pm.
 
2014-07-15 11:28:40 AM  
While at an Auchan in France, I saw these bad boys (or something like it):

rubberslippersinitaly.files.wordpress.com

Insert loyalty card
Scan items as you put them in your cart
Go to checkout kiosk, point scanner, push button, pay
Drop off scanner, walk out.

I am sure they have their own issues, but it seems like a good idea to combat the long lines at the checkout.
 
2014-07-15 11:30:15 AM  

Big Beef Burrito: Big Beef Burrito: Why the fark do people that have been retired for thiry years still wait until Saturday and Sunday to go grocery shopping!?!?



Two reasons:
1) We often don't know what day it is as we just don't care.
2) Just to get in line in front of you so we can watch you squirm.  Cheap entertainment.
 
2014-07-15 11:36:00 AM  
CSB:

Lady is in line on the 1st of the month (Avoid shopping on the 1st if you can) with her EBT card and cart full of soda, frozen TGI Friday's chili poppers, bags of lay's chips and several packet's of Satan's Sack Sweat flavored beverage mix (The off-brand off-brand Kool-aid mix for the crotch goblins. grape of course). In addition to all the crap she's buying, she lay's *one* healthy thing on the belt. A bag of cherries. Upon being informed the cherries are 6 bucks, she promptly freaks the hell out. "Dem cherries ain't no 6 dollahs, dat sign dere said dey was 3 dollahs!" The cashier tried to explain that the price was 3 dollars a pound, and she had a 2 pound bag. The lady takes the cherries, and places them in the spot unwanted groceries go. Namely on top of the box of Snickers on the candy shelf, were they automatically become someone else's problem. She says "Hell naw, I ain't gettin' ripped off on no cherries when dat sign said dey were 3 dollahs. You ain't takin' MY money. You can keep dem shiats fo' 6 dollahs."

So as she is grabbing her bags o' crap I look at her and say "You're welcome" She just stares at me for a second and says 'Fo' what?'. I say "For those groceries my tax money paid for" She huffs and says something about "Whatevah, I'll kick yo cracker ass motherfarker talk to me about 'welcome' for some damn groceries man fark that nubian cracka ass he don't...." But by then she was out the door and I couldn't hear her any more.
 
2014-07-15 11:36:43 AM  
Not trying to white knight poor people, but where the fark do some of you live or shop? It reminds me of how my dad and brother always have a story about being behind some lowly poor person buying items they deem too good for them, despite them never doing grocery shopping in a poor neighborhood. I live in a run down hipster neighborhood sandwiched between a poor area and an affluent area across the river. I've shopped in the poor area many times and have yet to see things such as arguing over what you can buy with EBT cards. Most people know exactly what they can and can't buy with their EBT card. The only slow poor people I've been stuck behind are the ones that decide to shop and add items to their pile while still in line, or need the extra time to double bag their groceries because they have to walk to the bus stop with them.

I also do weekly shopping for an elderly neighbor and sometimes need to use his EBT card. That thing is just as fast as a debit card; swipe > select EBT > select EBT Food. Done.
 
2014-07-15 11:39:13 AM  

MythDragon: CSB:

Lady is in line on the 1st of the month (Avoid shopping on the 1st if you can) with her EBT card and cart full of soda, frozen TGI Friday's chili poppers, bags of lay's chips and several packet's of Satan's Sack Sweat flavored beverage mix (The off-brand off-brand Kool-aid mix for the crotch goblins. grape of course). In addition to all the crap she's buying, she lay's *one* healthy thing on the belt. A bag of cherries. Upon being informed the cherries are 6 bucks, she promptly freaks the hell out. "Dem cherries ain't no 6 dollahs, dat sign dere said dey was 3 dollahs!" The cashier tried to explain that the price was 3 dollars a pound, and she had a 2 pound bag. The lady takes the cherries, and places them in the spot unwanted groceries go. Namely on top of the box of Snickers on the candy shelf, were they automatically become someone else's problem. She says "Hell naw, I ain't gettin' ripped off on no cherries when dat sign said dey were 3 dollahs. You ain't takin' MY money. You can keep dem shiats fo' 6 dollahs."

So as she is grabbing her bags o' crap I look at her and say "You're welcome" She just stares at me for a second and says 'Fo' what?'. I say "For those groceries my tax money paid for" She huffs and says something about "Whatevah, I'll kick yo cracker ass motherfarker talk to me about 'welcome' for some damn groceries man fark that nubian cracka ass he don't...." But by then she was out the door and I couldn't hear her any more.


Eskimos, man. What can you do?
 
2014-07-15 11:41:29 AM  

MythDragon: CSB:


Ohh....this should be good
*grabs popcorn*
 
2014-07-15 11:42:45 AM  

robbiex0r: I don't look for the shortest line, I look for the line with the least total  number of items in the lines' carts.  If there's 5 people in line with only 3 things in each of their carts, that line will motor compared to the line with people doing their monthly shopping trip of $400.

Or choose the cutest cashier and enjoy the wait.


I stand inappropriately close to the person in front of me, brush up against them, breath heavily and mumble vaguely sexual terms under my breath.  When the person flees, rinse and repeat.
 
2014-07-15 11:50:42 AM  

Burr: While at an Auchan in France, I saw these bad boys (or something like it):

[rubberslippersinitaly.files.wordpress.com image 500x364]

Insert loyalty card
Scan items as you put them in your cart
Go to checkout kiosk, point scanner, push button, pay
Drop off scanner, walk out.

I am sure they have their own issues, but it seems like a good idea to combat the long lines at the checkout.


Those are in Sweden too.  There's a big wall of portable scanner doohickeys when you first walk into a supermarket.  I forget what chain.
 
2014-07-15 12:04:15 PM  
Dammit, I waited in line so long to post in this thread I forgot what I was going to say!! **cockpunches for everybody**
 
2014-07-15 12:05:09 PM  

HK-MP5-SD: robbiex0r: I don't look for the shortest line, I look for the line with the least total  number of items in the lines' carts.  If there's 5 people in line with only 3 things in each of their carts, that line will motor compared to the line with people doing their monthly shopping trip of $400.

Or choose the cutest cashier and enjoy the wait.

I stand inappropriately close to the person in front of me, brush up against them, breath heavily and mumble vaguely sexual terms under my breath.  When the person flees, rinse and repeat.


Man, that just creeped me out.  But I still laughed.  Good for you.
 
2014-07-15 12:05:57 PM  

Gulper Eel: The secret: watch the registers where there are female customers whose purses are in the top section of the cart. They will be paying by check and jamming up everybody else's lives in the process. Often they will ask the cashier whom to make the check out to, even if they're at a Target where there are approximately 18,000 Target logos within their line of sight at all times.


No.

The secret is pick a hot cashier and / or hot people in line so you don't mind waiting a bit and have something nice to look at.

/Works better at Target than at Wal-Mart
//Results may vary by state.
 
2014-07-15 12:06:20 PM  
No matter which line you choose, the other lines always move faster.
 
2014-07-15 12:13:04 PM  

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: I can answer this without RTFA.

Because the people in front of you in line are the same people who meander through the store at snail's pace, parking directly in front of popular items to stare blankly at them for two or three minutes while people scoot around them to grab what they need.  Inevitably they always manage to take the longest in line somehow even if they have exactly four items.

You're welcome!


*sad trombone*

Thanks for playing - parting gifts are to the left...
 
2014-07-15 12:21:40 PM  
Proof that there is an XKCD for everything:  XKCD on Consecutive Vowels (NSFW word)
 
2014-07-15 12:22:38 PM  

Cotton Rinkenbolts: Not trying to white knight poor people, but where the fark do some of you live or shop? It reminds me of how my dad and brother always have a story about being behind some lowly poor person buying items they deem too good for them, despite them never doing grocery shopping in a poor neighborhood. I live in a run down hipster neighborhood sandwiched between a poor area and an affluent area across the river. I've shopped in the poor area many times and have yet to see things such as arguing over what you can buy with EBT cards. Most people know exactly what they can and can't buy with their EBT card. The only slow poor people I've been stuck behind are the ones that decide to shop and add items to their pile while still in line, or need the extra time to double bag their groceries because they have to walk to the bus stop with them.


In their fevered, bigoted imaginations, surrounded by strapping young bucks buying T-Bone steaks and single mothers using their welfare money to load up on lobsters. The fact that someone can claim to have personally witnessed five or six totally different utterly implausible wing-nut tropes in the store where he shops should tell you they're full of shiat
 
2014-07-15 12:26:54 PM  

sxacho: My wife was nearing her due date with our second baby, in the middle of summer in Florida, with sore feet and a back ache when this little old guy slips in front of her in line. She fumed and huffed and puffed but didn't say anything. So he checks out and leaves, my wife checks out and leaves and finds this same little old guy jogging from his car toward her motioning to her. She's pissed, furious, exhausted, pregnant, hormonal, hot, and ready to flip her shiat but before she could say anything, the guy hands her a little framed plaque with an inspirational message for expectant mothers. It was obvious that he made it himself. Apparently he keeps a few in his car and gives them to pregnant women that he encounters. If you've ever spent time with such a pregnant hormonal woman, you can imagine how fast her anger turned into great big sobbing tears.

Hearing about this, I still say it was a dick move that he cut her in line, but she disagrees and tends to give jerks the benefit of the doubt from now on.


If he hadn't cut in front of her, he wouldn't have been able to get out to the parking lot to get the plaque to give to her.

Still usually an asshat move to cut in line, but possibly this was his intent...
 
2014-07-15 12:29:05 PM  
Based on personal experience, I try to avoid getting line behind people with the following items

1. Jumbo packs of toilet paper.  For some reason, this items seems to result in disputes. I think it's because those who buy those huge packs of TP are cheapskates and feel the product is overpriced

2. Kid's clothing. They are often missing their tags because they tend to fall off or it was a return and the shelf-stockers are too lazy to re-tag the item.  And again, people who buy kids clothing in supermarkets are cheapskates and more inclined to dispute a price.

3. Nothing but generic items.  Again - more often than not - cheapskates willing to dispute prices.

4. A bunch of competitor's specials flyers where the store has a "we will not be undersold" policy. Some clerks really take their sweet time verifying the lower price is really the right size, flavor, color, etc.

More often than not I'm right.
 
2014-07-15 12:32:02 PM  
I was actually curious about the photo accompanying TFA. The Asian shoppers are standing in line with their carts perpendicular to the line, presumably to allow more people to cram into the line. Seems it would be kind of a minor pain in the ass to turn the cart, move it forward, stop, then turn the cart again with each advance in line.
 
2014-07-15 12:37:52 PM  
At Stop & Shop they have these handheld scanners. If you know what you're doing, you do it like this:

1. Bring in your own bags
2. Get scanner
3. Scan and bag as you go
4. At the end, scan the end-of-file barcode, scan your loyalty card, it brings up your whole order, you whip out your credit card, pay and GTFO.

Step 4 ought to take around 60 seconds, tops.

In practice, I go through steps 1-3, and then the following happens:

- I get in line behind some old person who can't figure out the self-checkout. IF YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF INTERACTING WITH A COMPUTER TO CHECK OUT YOUR OWN GROCERIES, THEN FOR GOD'S SAKE GO TO A LINE STAFFED BY A HUMAN BEING. Yesterday I wound up behind some old woman who was laboriously scanning eleventy produce items, trying to find them all, then couldn't find the barcode on her ground meat despite the fact that it was RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE PACKAGE. And then she was bamboozled by the payment method section. JUST GO TO A HUMAN-STAFFED REGISTER IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE CHECKING OUT YOUR OWN GROCERIES.

- The receipt printer runs out of paper.

- I get picked for one of those audits to keep everyone honest, requiring a human being to come over and scan my groceries and then say, "Yep, they're all accounted for." Sheesh.

- Somewhere the server garbles my order and it says NOPE, TAKE YOUR SCANNER AND YOUR GROCERIES AND SEE A HUMAN BEING, DO NOT PASS GO, GOOD DAY.
 
2014-07-15 12:38:30 PM  

Harry Freakstorm: I get behind the person with the 5 Link cards (Food Stamps) and the Well Infant Child food voucher. It's my taxes, I might as well enjoy the show.


I hate WIC.  I used to be a checker and it took forever to process.  In fact, most checkers just called the manager over to do it.  If you see someone with a WIC voucher, move lines.
 
2014-07-15 12:41:14 PM  

buckler: I was actually curious about the photo accompanying TFA. The Asian shoppers are standing in line with their carts perpendicular to the line, presumably to allow more people to cram into the line.


Yes, that's exactly why. I've only ever seen it in small, but very busy grocery stores. In fact, I've only ever seen it in popular, tiny Asian markets. Combined with the pic in the article, it's tempting to think of it as some kind of Asian thing, but I dunno

Seems it would be kind of a minor pain in the ass to turn the cart, move it forward, stop, then turn the cart again with each advance in line.

Not as much of a pain in the ass ass shopping in a store where one or two of the aisles were crammed completely  full of people waiting in a more traditional line setup
 
2014-07-15 12:46:12 PM  
This is why I hired a personal shopper.

I also have a personal Fark representative to post mocking things on here for me.

In fact, I haven't even personally visited Fark in three years.
 
2014-07-15 12:46:56 PM  

MythDragon: CSB:

Lady is in line on the 1st of the month (Avoid shopping on the 1st if you can) with her EBT card and cart full of soda, frozen TGI Friday's chili poppers, bags of lay's chips and several packet's of Satan's Sack Sweat flavored beverage mix (The off-brand off-brand Kool-aid mix for the crotch goblins. grape of course). In addition to all the crap she's buying, she lay's *one* healthy thing on the belt. A bag of cherries. Upon being informed the cherries are 6 bucks, she promptly freaks the hell out. "Dem cherries ain't no 6 dollahs, dat sign dere said dey was 3 dollahs!" The cashier tried to explain that the price was 3 dollars a pound, and she had a 2 pound bag. The lady takes the cherries, and places them in the spot unwanted groceries go. Namely on top of the box of Snickers on the candy shelf, were they automatically become someone else's problem. She says "Hell naw, I ain't gettin' ripped off on no cherries when dat sign said dey were 3 dollahs. You ain't takin' MY money. You can keep dem shiats fo' 6 dollahs."

So as she is grabbing her bags o' crap I look at her and say "You're welcome" She just stares at me for a second and says 'Fo' what?'. I say "For those groceries my tax money paid for" She huffs and says something about "Whatevah, I'll kick yo cracker ass motherfarker talk to me about 'welcome' for some damn groceries man fark that nubian cracka ass he don't...." But by then she was out the door and I couldn't hear her any more.


1/10
Trying too hard
 
2014-07-15 12:47:26 PM  

LZeitgeist: If he hadn't cut in front of her, he wouldn't have been able to get out to the parking lot to get the plaque to give to her.

Still usually an asshat move to cut in line, but possibly this was his intent...


Yeah. That's what we figured. I'm guessing the guy hasn't had a lot of luck asking pregnant women to come over to his car so he can give them something special.
 
2014-07-15 12:48:29 PM  
Just don't ever expect short lines when the news is calling for bad weather (ice, snow) the next day.
 
2014-07-15 12:50:25 PM  
img.fark.net

It would be more efficient.
 
2014-07-15 12:52:20 PM  

Destructor: MythDragon: No checks. Seriously, why are you writing a check for 10 items? Get with the damn 21st centuary and use your debit card. Hell, get some cash back for the next time you hit the express lane and save everyone some time.

Smeggy Smurf: Avoid old people. They love checks.

Seriously... I need to know the answer to this. Need to know.

Why do people use checks in grocery checkout lines? There's not one bank near me that doesn't offer free debit cards. Do they not trust technology? Are four digit PINs too hard to remember? Are they too scary? Why? I think they run the routing number right there at the cashiers station... so there's no chance they can float because they're short on funds. So why? Why do they do it...? <sobbing> Will someone, for the love of all that is Holy tell me why!???


I've tried to convince myself that the reason women wait until the last second to pull out their checkbooks is that if the total was less than $30 dollars, say, they had enough cash but it turned out to be $30.13 and so they both didn't know and can't math watching the total ringing up to know that they are going to be short.

Even when I shopped at Sam's Club which doesn't take cards, I'd have the check already signed and ready for them to put in the printing machine. If I can, I usually put items on the conveyor belt in bagging order so that the bag boy can easily put everything away too.

I try to be considerate to others, but it's a two way street and I expect that other people should try to be considerate too.

/m'lady
 
2014-07-15 12:59:23 PM  

onzmadi: [img.fark.net image 511x444]

It would be more efficient.


At the New Seasons market near me, the express lane works precisely that way, with that exact setup.
 
2014-07-15 01:23:52 PM  

onzmadi: [img.fark.net image 511x444]

It would be more efficient.


I try that at fast food places sometimes, to varied effect.

Like if there is one person at all three registers I'll hang out a few paces back in the middle, so I can get the first one that opens. Often people will catch on and form a line  behind me. But then you always have that one bastard who will walk right by everyone as if they all just decided the middle lane was the place to be and go stand behind one of the other registers.
 
2014-07-15 01:27:56 PM  

Fano: Destructor: MythDragon: No checks. Seriously, why are you writing a check for 10 items? Get with the damn 21st centuary and use your debit card. Hell, get some cash back for the next time you hit the express lane and save everyone some time.

Smeggy Smurf: Avoid old people. They love checks.

Seriously... I need to know the answer to this. Need to know.

Why do people use checks in grocery checkout lines? There's not one bank near me that doesn't offer free debit cards. Do they not trust technology? Are four digit PINs too hard to remember? Are they too scary? Why? I think they run the routing number right there at the cashiers station... so there's no chance they can float because they're short on funds. So why? Why do they do it...? <sobbing> Will someone, for the love of all that is Holy tell me why!???

I've tried to convince myself that the reason women wait until the last second to pull out their checkbooks is that if the total was less than $30 dollars, say, they had enough cash but it turned out to be $30.13 and so they both didn't know and can't math watching the total ringing up to know that they are going to be short.

Even when I shopped at Sam's Club which doesn't take cards, I'd have the check already signed and ready for them to put in the printing machine. If I can, I usually put items on the conveyor belt in bagging order so that the bag boy can easily put everything away too.

I try to be considerate to others, but it's a two way street and I expect that other people should try to be considerate too.

/m'lady

i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2014-07-15 01:57:21 PM  
pute kisses like a man: ...
5)  finally, examine the clerks.  how fast are they checking out items.
...

This is the single most important factor IMO.  A good checker will keep the line going regardless of what gets thrown at them.

I used to go to the shortest line (and by shorter I mean like 1/2 of the other lines) until I realized they're shorter because the people there know the checkers and purposely don't go to them.
 
2014-07-15 02:07:35 PM  
We shop twice a month - just after they open in the am -and usually with the same cashier

Yes, I coupon - setting aside the cash saved resulted in just over $1000

No check writing
No expired coupons
I don't mind your children (been there)
If you are obviously in a hurry, I can wait - hell, cut in line if you are in extremis and can't find the express lane
I am happy not to be seeking food in Best Korea OR paying in pennies for premium alpo
 
2014-07-15 02:19:08 PM  

MythDragon: onzmadi: [img.fark.net image 511x444]

It would be more efficient.

I try that at fast food places sometimes, to varied effect.

Like if there is one person at all three registers I'll hang out a few paces back in the middle, so I can get the first one that opens. Often people will catch on and form a line  behind me. But then you always have that one bastard who will walk right by everyone as if they all just decided the middle lane was the place to be and go stand behind one of the other registers.


it's the same bastard who screws up merging in traffic I'll wager.
 
2014-07-15 02:52:08 PM  
My cashiering career was cut tragically short due to a scanning error, but here's my .02 from working in a thrift store and dealing with the public and very long lines each and every day:

Thrift stores are never not busy. Neither is Wal-Mart. Accept the reality of it. As a customer, just understand that these places are always swamped and are understaffed because it sucks working there for minimum wage.
We were never allowed to have more than 3 people in line before calling for another register to be opened
(no, not nice, but based on my observations only) Do not get into a line with immigrants from certain countries.  It probably varies nation wide, but there are a lot of folks who immigrate here and were accustomed to a bartering/arguing sort of culture.  It's an unholy version of The Price is Right and takes a lot of time to work through especially with language barriers. It would be nice if they would adapt, but that takes time when you're from somewhere completely different and I can understand-I just won't get in line behind you anymore.
Single guys get through the lines a lot faster. They typically do not argue, know how much money they're spending and just want out and away from the chaos.
Look out for single, middle aged women.  They are probably some of the worst offenders and are usually clutching a stack of coupons.  A big stack.  They will take the longest and probably argue to most, even in comparison to the bartering culture folks.

I like King Soopers.  They have great cashiers and are almost always staffed to handle capacity.  Wal-Mart and their ilk (dollar and thrift stores, mainly) expect to wait a while. I have had panic attacks in Wal-Mart before and it's not fun.  These days, I have learned how to just stay calm, remind myself where I am and that it is not the fault of the person at the register or really even the other customers.  Yes, many of them suck, but you get what you pay for when shopping in certain venues.
 
2014-07-15 02:53:25 PM  

tricycleracer: I look for the best mix of:

1. Age of customers in line.
2. Items per customer.

Grandma with one item might write a check and take longer than a 30 year old with a cart full who will pay with a credit card.


Pretty much what I look for. And to answer the poster above you... I bring my kid AND keep my purse in the top part of the cart, but I pay with a card. The kid thing is accurate. I'm looking to get out of there ASAP.
 
2014-07-15 02:55:57 PM  
A lot of supermarkets don't take cheques (or checks) any more, but it doesn't really help. Those same people are now using debit cards, and acting like it's nuclear physics. Look, the damn machine tells you what to do. If a chimp could read, he could do it! All you have to do is remember your damn PIN.
 
2014-07-15 02:56:57 PM  

stonicus: Self checkouts are for like a drink and a candy bar.  Five items or more, get in the regular line.


Unfortunately stores have seized on this as a way to reduce staffing again.  My Safeway (generally a good store, well run until the last year or two) shifted 6 lanes to 8 self-serve lanes.  Which is fine except the damned things never work right.  And instead of having four cashiers plus a manager up front, they now have ONE cashier plus one watching the 6 self-serve lanes (two are always not working or not used).

The reason we're in bad shape is because we, as a nation, would rather save 20 cents on a box of cornflakes than ensure employees are paid decently. And because we let corporate douchebags pass this stuff off as "savings" when it really just benefits shareholders and execs.  All those cashiers are now looking for work...and all the stores are doing it now.

hell, even 15-20 years ago understaffing was a serious problem in retail nationwide. At a busy waldenbooks we  were routinely forced to operate for stretches with manager plus one, and occasionally with a single employee on duty, for hours at a go. Especially midweek.  The rule went from "One at cashwrap, one shelving/stocking" to "do what you can".....and eventually "I give up".  You get blasted for losses but have insufficient employees to serve the customers and stock the store.  But no, we'll continue to shop at whoever gives us an extra nickel off, then complain about unemployment and bad service.

....then i go to japan and see efficient, clean, wellstocked 7-11s with edible fresh food and smiling workers who do a serious job and I wonder what the hell -- it doesn't actually cost that much more, but you know what? they actually pay a living wage and it's not considered "beneath you" to do such work.
 
2014-07-15 03:05:48 PM  

Disaster Transport: Hopefully no one wants cigarettes, because that's another delay while someone runs to the back counter to get them and bring them back to the lane.


The smokes always seem to be only available at one or two of the 25 registers.

I will always avoid a lone individual getting alcohol. Especially if they look ragged out, near death. Woman buying a bottle of wine or man buying a six pack of beer. It seems like 90% of the time they also need smokes. But, naturally, the addicts did not get in the line where they are located.

So, the cashier gets an elaborate description of the very specific brand, type, etc. that the addict needs. Cashier returns and, naturally, they selected some minor variance from the addict's detailed specifications. So the cashier leaves again because the packaging was wrong or some other ridiculous requirement.
 
2014-07-15 03:16:52 PM  

sendtodave: nekom: My biggest complaint with those is the fact that you have to verify ID to buy so many random things (spray paint, certain glues, etc) and they don't have a thing for me to just slide my license through, no a clerk has to come over and do it thus defeating the whole purpose of a self checkout.

Some days I need a smoke.  Like this morning

So, I go over to the grocery store, and wait in line at the counter.  The cashier hands me a pack, and grunts "You scan."  I guess his register didn't work.

So, I go to the self checkout, and scan the pack.  It requires ID, and the self-checkout cashier is busy not understanding someone else's problem.  I wait a while, she comes over, asks for my ID.  I'm 35, but, hey, OK.  She takes my ID back to her screen, comes back, great, I can proceed.

Do you have any items under your cart?  No.  No cart.
Do you have any coupons?  No.
Do you have a store bonus card?  NO.
Would you like to apply for a store bonus card NO!
Would you like to donate $5 to charity?  FFS.

Please select method of payment.  OK, great.  Finally.  Credit card.
Please follow instructions on the PIN pad.

Cash or credit?  Credit.  I already pressed credit on the other screen.
Please wait, authorizing.  OK
Authorizing.  Yeah, I got that.
Is the amount OK?  Yes.  it's fine.  Everything's fine.

It took ten minutes to use the self-checkout.  And, since it's a grocery store, cigarettes cost $2 more than at 7-11.

After that, I REALLY needed a cigarette.

/don't expect sympathy


I would say you're an idiot, but then I remember that there are self-checkout that don't let you skip those questions. I scan my card as soon as I'm done at Wal-mart and it automatically skips all those questions.
 
2014-07-15 03:18:58 PM  

jvowles: stonicus: Self checkouts are for like a drink and a candy bar.  Five items or more, get in the regular line.

Unfortunately stores have seized on this as a way to reduce staffing again.  My Safeway (generally a good store, well run until the last year or two) shifted 6 lanes to 8 self-serve lanes.  Which is fine except the damned things never work right.  And instead of having four cashiers plus a manager up front, they now have ONE cashier plus one watching the 6 self-serve lanes (two are always not working or not used).

The reason we're in bad shape is because we, as a nation, would rather save 20 cents on a box of cornflakes than ensure employees are paid decently. And because we let corporate douchebags pass this stuff off as "savings" when it really just benefits shareholders and execs.  All those cashiers are now looking for work...and all the stores are doing it now.

hell, even 15-20 years ago understaffing was a serious problem in retail nationwide. At a busy waldenbooks we  were routinely forced to operate for stretches with manager plus one, and occasionally with a single employee on duty, for hours at a go. Especially midweek.  The rule went from "One at cashwrap, one shelving/stocking" to "do what you can".....and eventually "I give up".  You get blasted for losses but have insufficient employees to serve the customers and stock the store.  But no, we'll continue to shop at whoever gives us an extra nickel off, then complain about unemployment and bad service.

....then i go to japan and see efficient, clean, wellstocked 7-11s with edible fresh food and smiling workers who do a serious job and I wonder what the hell -- it doesn't actually cost that much more, but you know what? they actually pay a living wage and it's not considered "beneath you" to do such work.


So much this, your post is full of win.  If only cashiers, who do everything else too while not on a register, were paid a living wage it might help a bit.  If only we could simply get people through our lines without having to type and then pick up the intercom to call for another one before being written up, and no, it all has to be done at the same time. Add to that the resentment most service workers harbor for management and there you go, perfect storm and that's why they quit and why retention is so poor.  I have always had a healthy respect for service workers, but recently my respect has gone up 1000% and more.  Practically everywhere I go is understaffed, and now as having been one of the members of the understaffed, I understand.  These people are yelled at every day, sometimes several times an hour to hustle/step up/hurry/etc.  It is why I declined a management position; I am not going to bark at people all day who are already doing their best.  You can only step so fast, I've found out. Retailers would be smart to re-think their staffing, but I haven't seen one yet who has possessed the wit and/or wisdom to do so.
 
2014-07-15 03:24:26 PM  

whatsupchuck: I thought it was just the idiots ahead of me who wait until their purchases are all rung up to start fishing out their debit card.  Seriously, people, you can swipe your card and enter your PIN while the cashier is ringing up those pork rinds, the POS system will handle it.  Also, put your cell phones away.


One of the stores here can't. I've screwed it up enough by swiping early.

I always get stuck with the cashier who makes Peter Griffin look like a genius. Bill comes to $9.80 and I give them $10.05 and they will stand there staring at it stupidly trying to figure out how to enter it in the register. Then 9 times out of 10 they do it wrong and I have to tell them what the change should be.
 
2014-07-15 03:41:39 PM  
Ways to avoid extreme couponer wannabees, by the way. If you notice any of the following, go to another line:

1. Multiple carts. This one is obvious, but since stores usually have purchase limits, they'll tend to have one person per cart and will likely be splitting the purchase. You'll likely get the same arguments you get with most couponers, only multiplied by however many carts they have. They're the worst of the worst.

2. A prominently displayed trapper keeper. For those who stick to one cart. These are usually not too bad if it's the only thing you notice, but there's always the one...

3. Most or all items in the cart are items you saw in the circular, and they're in multiples of 2s and 3s or more. This is for the ones who not only stick to one cart but also don't organize their coupons ahead of time. They'll likely dig through hundreds of coupons they won't use to find the four they will use.

I'll note... Not all people using coupons are bad. Most of us have it sorted ahead of going to the register and will just hand them over. If one doesn't ring up, it's no big deal. But like I said, there's always going to be that one person who holds up the entire line over a $0.25 coupon that expired over a month ago. You can usually avoid them by going the day after the sales hit or by going later in the day. They usually will hit when the doors first open on a new sale cycle. By lunch time, most of the worst ones are gone.
 
2014-07-15 04:01:54 PM  
An Asian that doesn't support queuing... I'm SHOCKED!
 
2014-07-15 04:04:43 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: Why the fark do people that have been retired for thiry years still wait until Saturday and Sunday to go grocery shopping!?!?


That's my gripe. They should only be allowed to shop Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm. Old bastards.
 
2014-07-15 04:27:05 PM  

specialkae: Retailers would be smart to re-think their staffing, but I haven't seen one yet who has possessed the wit and/or wisdom to do so.


Costco. Staff heavily, pay great wages, offer good benefits, and retain workers like mad.
 
2014-07-15 04:29:10 PM  

Gonz: specialkae: Retailers would be smart to re-think their staffing, but I haven't seen one yet who has possessed the wit and/or wisdom to do so.

Costco. Staff heavily, pay great wages, offer good benefits, and retain workers like mad.


Too damn bad there isn't one in my neighborhood, I may qualify based on previous experience, "Welcome to Costco, I love you."

/Costco is a good business and I would shop there, but as I mentioned, not a single one near to my neighborhood
 
2014-07-15 04:31:23 PM  
I usually go to the store early on saturday or sunday mornings. Its mostly me and the old ladies and they are scared of the self checkout stations.
 
2014-07-15 04:55:04 PM  

Fano: Also, on a tangent, fark the people buying lottery tickets at the convenience store. Their bullshiat holds up the people just buying a soda or a pack of smokes. Especially when they are trying to determine with furrowed brow which scratch ticket is the best one that they want.


Oh. Thank you for that observation.
Nothing pisses me off more than some asshole holding everything up while he does his banking via the farking lottery.
 
2014-07-15 05:08:24 PM  
If there are 12 lines, you have a one in twelve chance of being in the fastest line. (math) You will notice a line moving faster than yours (bias), but not the lines moving slower than yours. Therefore it seems you are always in the slowest line, when in reality you are usually in one of the middling lines (not the slowest, not the fastest).

People will join lines that are slower because they are shorter. They will avoid lines that are moving swiftly because they are long. They will not find a line that is both short and moving swiftly unless it is the one marked 8 items or fewer. In short, no matter what line you pick, you are almost certain to avoid the fastest line because it will also be the longest line before you get there.

Self check out lines are often longer and if you are like me you are not an efficient cashier, so they will take longer.

Another fact that plays against you is that the cashiers who are more efficient will find more people waiting in their lines and they will get tired and slow down. You can never be sure what sort of accident (including people paying with pennies, people writing cheques, people asking questions or debating prices or waiting for a fellow shopper or clerk to return from the far end of the store) will happen after you join a line or has invisibly joined a line before you.

In short, you will always be disappointed because there will be at least one line that seems to be moving swiftly, while it is almost never yours. When it is yours you are happy but you forget the next (because of confirmation bias in favour of the believe that you just can't win).

So there is a complex web of mathematics, sociology, psychology and human nature generally working against you almost all of the time. But you are not in the slowest line. You are in the fifth slowest line.
 
2014-07-15 05:22:42 PM  
Avoid stores and banks on paydays and cheque cashing days such as the day old age pensions and welfare payments are paid out. Old people can't bear the thought of an uncashed cheque and poor people are eager to get back to eating again for the next week or two at least.. The old ladies love to chat and the welfare people will block the aisles for hours as they have nothing better to do than look for dented cans or old stock at a lower price.

Avoid stores after work and during lunch hours. These are convenient times to pick up a few things and a few things means a few carts of things you don't need. Everybody has the same idea, always.

If you know of an all night store, go there if you are a night owl. At 3:00 a.m. When I was a university student, there was an excelllent A&P store that was open 24-7 and had great meat and lots of exotic fruit and stuff because it was in a wealthy university town full of students and professors during the school semesters. And the store was nearly empty between the Witching Hour and the Night to Day Shift Change Hour.

It is often worth while to pay a higher price for time and convenience.

Avoid coupon days unless you are a coupon clipper at a near-pro or pro level.

Avoid the days when they put out the free food, days before a holiday, and any other peak seasonal or weekly crush.

Avoid the stores where they could service the crowds from theTaylor-Burton  Cleopatra  movie but never have anybody working.

Avoid tiny stores which are frequented by the type of people who really, really like to their their butcher and their grocer personally.

If you are going for one item, keep your purchases down to the number allowed in the express checkout lane and don't expect it to take less time than one of the regular lanes--you are very often wise to take the beaten path because the cashiers on the express lanes may be new and slow or called in to make up for a freak rush and thus unhappy to be there unexpectedly. The best cashiers are probably near the middle and they may have check out boys or girls.
 
2014-07-15 05:41:54 PM  

Destructor: MythDragon: No checks. Seriously, why are you writing a check for 10 items? Get with the damn 21st centuary and use your debit card. Hell, get some cash back for the next time you hit the express lane and save everyone some time.

Smeggy Smurf: Avoid old people. They love checks.

Seriously... I need to know the answer to this. Need to know.

Why do people use checks in grocery checkout lines? There's not one bank near me that doesn't offer free debit cards. Do they not trust technology? Are four digit PINs too hard to remember? Are they too scary? Why? I think they run the routing number right there at the cashiers station... so there's no chance they can float because they're short on funds. So why? Why do they do it...? <sobbing> Will someone, for the love of all that is Holy tell me why!???


There are old people, there are bold people but there aren't any old and bold people.  Checks are safe, those newfangled debit cards frighten and enrage geezers.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-15 06:04:19 PM  
In the Boston area, if you are aware of the long range forecast avoid the two days before the annual Storm of the Century.
 
2014-07-15 06:23:40 PM  

Destructor: Why do people use checks in grocery checkout lines? ... Will someone, for the love of all that is Holy tell me why!???


Two reasons. One, their husband grabbed their debit card to put gas in the car and forgot to put it back in their purse, and they didn't realize it until they were checking out, and thank god they had the checkbook with them, because a cart full of food and two kids was more than enough... or maybe that's just my wife, once. And I may have heard about it once or twice since.

#2, though? The Great Depression. Seriously, the current crop of old people were raised by folks who had lived through the Depression. What's in the back of the checkbook? The ledger. You make your transaction, you've not only got a paper trail of where your money went, you've also got a running total of your remaining cash on hand, down to the cent.

I'm totally comfortable using a debit card and whipping out my phone to check the bank's app. My mother's 76. She's not. She's going to write her check, and mark her checkbook in her perfect, era-specific handwriting. Because her father, born in 1910, taught her how to manage her money, and being 18 when the market crashed made an impression on him.
 
2014-07-15 08:06:47 PM  

elysive: The person behind you buying only a jug of milk will love you and will come to biatch on fark about their shiatty luck at grocery store lines. I used to shop Monday nights and would have a bunch of people with like two items pile up behind me with sneers after the cashier started to ring me up. Also, in that situation you feel obligated to let people go ahead of you (before they start ringing you up of course). After letting two about ppl ahead of me, I'd usually give up out of exhaustion and selfishly go ahead as it was late and I wanted to go home. Grocery shopping is never that great of an experience.


I'm usually the only customer in the store.  Bear in mind, this is a 'whole foods' style store (but with reasonable prices. Sort of a knock-down trader Joes?) in a college area, so the soccer moms aren't up, the kids are still drunk, I'm a single pathetic 30 year old guy who does his shopping for a 5ish day period.

Plus I never feel 'obligated' to let someone go in front because they have 1 item. I have a hand-basket, 20 items or less, and pay with a card. It's not like it takes an appreciable amount of time to ring me up.
 
2014-07-15 09:52:59 PM  

kroonermanblack: elysive: The person behind you buying only a jug of milk will love you and will come to biatch on fark about their shiatty luck at grocery store lines. I used to shop Monday nights and would have a bunch of people with like two items pile up behind me with sneers after the cashier started to ring me up. Also, in that situation you feel obligated to let people go ahead of you (before they start ringing you up of course). After letting two about ppl ahead of me, I'd usually give up out of exhaustion and selfishly go ahead as it was late and I wanted to go home. Grocery shopping is never that great of an experience.

I'm usually the only customer in the store.  Bear in mind, this is a 'whole foods' style store (but with reasonable prices. Sort of a knock-down trader Joes?) in a college area, so the soccer moms aren't up, the kids are still drunk, I'm a single pathetic 30 year old guy who does his shopping for a 5ish day period.

Plus I never feel 'obligated' to let someone go in front because they have 1 item. I have a hand-basket, 20 items or less, and pay with a card. It's not like it takes an appreciable amount of time to ring me up.


Try Wednesdays.  those are the least busy, don't feel obligated, but.

If not to let the person behind you go for a personal reason, they will and do take it out on service personnel.  If you're not in a rush, just let 'em go.  We'll hustle them through twice as fast for your courtesy and will give a big smile and thankyee for doing so.
 
2014-07-15 10:01:48 PM  

brantgoose: If there are 12 lines

it's Thanksgiving week.


Fixed.
 
2014-07-15 11:26:50 PM  

Ker_Thwap: It's all about the pretty cashier, ugly bag boy ratio.  The pretty cashier always has someone to sack the groceries.  If he's ugly, she won't actually chat with him and slow down the process.

/I'm a volunteer driver for the local senior center.  I took one lady on errands, she balanced the checkbook after paying by handwritten check "Oh Dear, I'll forget to do it otherwise."  She tried to engage the cashier in small talk, who thankfully wanted no part of that.  She wanted her gallons of bottled water individually bagged because she needs the plastic bags.  She asked if she could keep the cashier's pen.  While she was in line, she sought out a manager to point out a "safety issue."


I didn't want this to go unconfirmed. I worked grocery in the mid-to-late 90's (15 -19 yo). I started out as a bagger, and there was always a bag-boy camped out at the hot girl's register, whether she needed it or not. Meanwhile, the older, unattractive women had backups because they didn't have any help. When I walked in from fetching buggies, all things being equal, I would bag for the unattractives -- because fark the pretty 16 yo biatches with their flock of drooling, mindless minions. As it turned out, these older women were some cool broads.

But yes, attractive cashiers almost always have ample help.

/still have dreams that I am bagging groceries
 
2014-07-15 11:29:24 PM  

MattyBlast: "Queuing Theorists??"  Does our society really need such a profession?  Apparently so.


Definitely so.

Queueing theory is needed to keep telephone systems working, to determine how many taxi cabs a city needs, how many beds a hospital or hotel can or should provide, and more, in addition to the more obvious uses (operations research, modeling how a business or public service organization, like a hospital, can serve customers more efficiently) and less obvious uses (some interesting stuff in biology and mathematical finance).  The math is actually really interesting, and it's similar enough to a lot of other useful math that people who can do queueing theory are probably qualified to do a bunch of other useful things for business and government.
 
2014-07-16 12:07:03 AM  

pute kisses like a man: tricycleracer: I look for the best mix of:

1. Age of customers in line.
2. Items per customer.

Grandma with one item might write a check and take longer than a 30 year old with a cart full who will pay with a credit card.

also, beware of EBT shoppers.  they will have problems, managers will be involved.

basically, I ran a gamut.

1) number of items in the line, and whether scannable items or PLU entered individual items

with the following special considerations:

2) age,
3) social status (hate to be a jerk, but the homeless guy will take longer, he's paying in pennies -- and like i said, you want to look out for potential EBT shoppers -- and don't get sassy about my grocers, i've seen them at whole foods -- also, hippies take longer, it's a point of pride, but hipsters are ok, they only have pride when in their own company, they are neutralized by the general public),
4) demeanor (do they look annoyed or angry; annoyed is good, anger means a manager is going to get involved)
5)  finally, examine the clerks.  how fast are they checking out items.

/ i try to avoid the intellectual pitfall of falsehood that is the number of people in the line.  it is a deception, trust not the number of people.
// i didn't realize the article was just a real life monty hall problem.


So how long does it take to analyze all this? Do you walk up and down the aisle noting who is at each register? Stop and watch how fast the cashier is? I just get in line and be done with it. Most of the time I have less than 15 items and if there is a long line there I take a quick glance around and move on with my life.
 
2014-07-16 05:32:25 AM  

kroonermanblack: Why not just do what I do, and shop at 7am on Saturday? No one else in the damn store.

I hate lines, and am a morning person, so it works great for me. Produce is usually decimated sat/sun afternoon so there's still a great selection.


I used to do this only the other way around (back when I had a grocery store nearby that stayed open really late). Once a month, usually on the first Sunday of the month when people are wiped from the weekend and were sleeping it off to go back to work, I'd go shopping at about 10:30 pm or so. I'd buy everything except produce (not a hard and fast rule but if it wasn't potatoes, onions or something else that freshness didn't matter all that much, usually what was left on the shelf was crap because it had already been picked through).

In and out in less than 20 minutes. No people in the way as I went from aisle to aisle (other than the stockers who usually made it a point to be off to the side anyway), nobody, or maybe one other person, at the checkout. Then again I pretty much knew what I wanted before I walked in through the door and knew where what I wanted was (well, approximately). I'd hit every aisle too just in case I forgot something or something caught my eye. And that's with a cart full of items.
 
2014-07-16 05:44:30 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: Those lanes exist for christmas season and christmas season only.


Pretty much. It wouldn't be cost effective to have a cashier standing there waiting for a customer to come by. It's not the early 20th century at Selfridges or even the makeup\perfume counter at Macy's in the 21st century, it's a big box store that deals with high volume once a year. The rest of the time the registers sit there collecting dust.

3-4 deep is acceptable in places like that because that's usually the most that they get even on a "Busy" day that's not shopping season.
 
2014-07-16 11:06:54 AM  

wildcardjack: HotWingConspiracy: wildcardjack: Article gets to "supermarkets don't have enough physical space" and that's where I stop reading. Walmart will have 30 lanes, 150 people waiting, and 4 cashiers. And it's not even that they won't staff it, they simply won't pay well enough to attract people capable of working the registers.

Those lanes exist for christmas season and christmas season only. They could honestly give less of a shiat how long you have to wait, you're not going to leave your shopping cart full of shiat behind to go fill up one at a different store and they know it.

I've abandoned carts full of thawing frozen food because I knew it would be ruined before I could get it home.

/on purpose


I've abandoned somewhere around 2,000 dollars worth of electonics at a Best Buy on the principal that when you get to more than 5 people in a line, open another one, and don't have a special line for that one guy who's your buddy who's buying about 60 bucks of stuff, and then close it again.

Granted I was able to wait a few days to get it cheaper in the mail, so I guess I should thank them for their idiocy.
 
2014-07-16 06:08:03 PM  
i avoid lines where people have brought clothing items to the grocery section.
They pull off the tags so they are hoping to get their clothes cheaper.
It never works, the cashier sends for help from the clothes dept, a full 1/4 mile away... while everyone waits.
I quickly depart with a quip about people trying to get a good deal by pulling tags off clothes LoL

If someone has coupons or food vouchers, i choose another line.
 
Displayed 180 of 180 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report