Domestic Snark

Since I no longer have any employment snark, I guess I will have to switch gears to domestic snark. To get things started, a trip to the grocery store.

I started out early, shortly after M. left for work. I hate crowds and the grocery store can be one of the worst places for social anxious people – aisles crowded with people and palettes – not the place for me. So, I went early. Of course there is no good way to avoid the palettes (it doesn’t seem to matter what time I go to the grocery store, they are always stocking shelves). But the other shoppers, you can kind of plan for that. That was my goal this morning: get there early and get out before the hordes start piling in.

That goal was accomplished. I arrived to almost completely empty parking lot. What I didn’t know is that I should have set an entirely different goal: avoid Chatty Pants Checkout Lady. Then again, that goal would have been a bit of a wasted time since only two checkout lanes were open and the other was the express lane. Since this was my biweekly grocery shopping venture, I definitely had more than the requisite 10 items for the express lane.

Despite the small number of other shoppers in the store, I was ready to get out of there by the time I got to the checkout lanes. I have a cold and sniffed my way up and down the aisles, muscles aching. Because of my current unemployment status and problems with unemployment income coming in (so far, I haven’t received any), I have to carefully review different brands and prices which practically doubles my time in the grocery store. I hate bargain shopping. My mother would be so disappointed. Yes, home was a desired place.

So I got in line. Didn’t seem too bad. The guy in front of me just had a small number of items (which he conveniently spread along the entire conveyor belt, leaving no room for me to start unloading my cart). But then Chatty Pants Checkout Lady started scanning his items. He was intensely watching the screen as each item came up and he disputed almost every price! “Ed, I need a price check on some cereal.”

Mr. Those Are 3-For-2 says, “Hey, I know Ed.” And then it begins. Chatty Pants and 3-For-2 begin discussing Ed. Ed likes to fish on the weekends. Ed went to high school with 3-For-2. Chatty Pants used to babysit for Ed and his sisters. Ed is just the best guy ever! I am able to slowly add my items to the conveyor belt one by one…

Finally, 3-For-2’s last item is scanned and his bill is totaled – a whole $27 took about 10 minutes to ring up. (Okay, 10 minutes may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it sure seemed like 10 minutes…) Chatty Pants and 3-For-2 chat it up about Ed and other bits while I try not to roll my eyes and sigh too often. Then, miraculously 3-For-2 is heading out the door and I can get checked out and be on my way home.

But no. Now that 3-For-2 is gone, Chatty Pants needs to talk to any available coworker within range. She needs to find out if she should go on break even though Alice has not arrived. (Maybe she could discuss her break after she checks me out?) Chatty Pants needs to get the details on the new gas discount program the store is offering. (Maybe that should have been figured out before she started her shift today?) Then Chatty Pants needs to work out the details of whether Paula should work her register while she’s on break or if Paula should use register number 5. Apparently, when Chatty Pants talks she cannot simultaneously scan items so my grocery items spent a lot of time hovering over the scanner while she figured out her break, among other things.

I did end up getting through the Chatty Pants line and out of the store. How, I am not entirely sure. I was in a fog of cold sniffles, aches, eye rolling, and deep sighs. I think it took me less time to unpack and put away my groceries than it did to get through the Chatty Pants line.

November 3rd, 2008: I survived the Chatty Pants Checkout Lady line!!

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