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 182
    More: Interesting, traffic engineering, rational choice, waiting rooms  
•       •       •

8146 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2014 at 9:36 AM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all
 
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 32 of 182 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is 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