Tuesday, April 27, 2004

How NOT to Get Favors From Me

I was in my friendly neighborhood Shaw's this morning, picking up some groceries so Sean and I would not be forced to subsist on lo-carb pasta and frozen peas. Not that lo-carb pasta and peas are necessarily a bad thing, but when combined with each other and nothing else, quite less than delish.

But I digress. Since it was still rather early, only a couple check-out lines were open. I waited for a bit, then began loading my things onto the belt. I had gotten through the buy-one-get-one-free turkey burger, the bags of salad mix, the buy-one-get-two-free strawberries (which is a fuckload of strawberries, to be sure), the cage-free eggs, the organic 1% milk, the various kinds of yogurts...in short, I had most of my stuff on the belt. It was then that I happened to notice a small ruckus occuring over at the express lane. Now the express lane, generally being for customers with 10 or fewer items, sometimes can have quite a line going. But it usually does move more quickly than the others.

Apparently, a man had grown sick of waiting and stormed away from his line and over to mine. He had in his possession a single bag of pita bread. Portuguese pita bread, which I never even knew existed.

Now, at this point, Pita Bread Guy was right behind me in the line. Although I was almost finished unloading my groceries, the cashier had yet to start ringing me. Let's review the different steps Pita Bread Guy could take at this point in order to persuade me to let him jump in front of me in line. There's:

A. Politely asking: "Excuse me, ma'am, I hate to bother you; but could I please go in front of you? I am in a bit of a hurry, and would really appreciate it."

B. Smiling and engaging me in conversation in the hopes I would offer to let him go ahead. "Wow, that express lane sure is busy! It always seems to happen when I'm in a hurry. By the way, I can't help but notice that you are lovely as well as poised."

C. Coughing or otherwise trying to draw attention to his plight in the hopes I would offer to let him go ahead.

D. Countless other polite options.

As you may have imagined, Pita Bread Guy chose to exercise none of these options. Instead, he flung his Portuguese pita bread on the belt with a force that made the cashier jump, looked at me pointedly, and heaved an exasperated sigh while glaring right at me.

This is not a nice way to ask to go in front of me in line. In fact, I thought it downright rude.

I shot Pita Bread Guy a pointed look, raised one eyebrow, and resumed loading my groceries on the belt. One item at a time. With the utmost care and consideration for the safety of my foodstuffs. And as if that weren't enough, I couldn't seem to locate my Shaw's card. Or my $3 off coupon. Or my debit card. And then I entered my PIN wrong.

I was still putting my cash withdrawl in my wallet when Pita Bread Guy pushed past me, literally shoving me out of the way and stepping on my foot as he sought his egress. I yelped involuntarily and was thrown back by the force of the impact. Rent-A-Cop Cop Guy was watching by the door. He didn't seem to like that so much.

As I wheeled my cart out the door, Pita Bread Guy and Rent-A-Cop Cop Guy were still deep in discussion.

Pita Bread Guy would have been better off in the express lane.

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