Do not get me wrong I prefer Brookshire's to say Wal-mart or any of the other grocery stores in our area, because they are clean, well lit and have a nice mix of mostly well behaved patrons, but I hate the way they do business. This is where the "rage" starts.
Now you have heard of road rage and going postal, and shopping rage is not too far from this. I suffer from lack of patients, I readily admit that I do not like to wait, for anything. I especially do not like to wait in lines at stores, whether it is a fast food restaurant, department store or a grocery store. The grocery store is the worst, I believe that they have 12, 24 or even 36 lanes for "show" because they dang sure do not use them. I will not go into the cost saving measures and under staffing to stay in the black, I understand the bottom line to make money at the customers expense. I get that. What I do not get is the fact that several checkers will stand around with their thumbs up their rear, while you and sixteen other people wait in one of three lanes that are open, with at least one being a 12 items or fewer checkout.
This is where our story begins. Today, I was on my way home and the wife asked me to pick up a few items, no problem. I will just whip into the local Brookshire's on North Market and pick up the FIVE items I needed. Where did I put that list again?
So I enter at 5:34 pm and right away I know that the rage is about to spring out of me. I grab a wet buggy, as it is raining, remember, and apparently no employee can dry the buggies. At least Wal-mart will do this for you. So wet buggy in hand, I head to the necessary aisles to pick up milk, dog food, a mop, muffins and toilet paper. After side stepping the woman with four children with no home training and almost get run over by an employee, "price checking" an item, I secure all my items. The time is now 5:42, not bad, eight minutes and I am rolling.
Again, I position my buggy toward the front of the store and navigate the old woman with the walker, complete with tennis balls, picking over sliced cheese, trust me lady pay the extra for Kraft singles, they make better grilled cheese sandwiches, ask Lily and my wife. I also make it back around two of the previous four unruly children as they have found the cereal aisle, ugh. I make it to the front of the store to be greeted by four lanes open. Two are the 12 items or fewer and two are the regular lanes. Well after sizing up the other patrons and realizing that "12 items" is more of a guideline or suggestion, I fix my gaze on lane 6 and make my final approach.
As I step up, I count the buggies in front of me and what luck, I am number four! Not too bad, and everyone in front of me only has a few more items than me, great this should be a breeze.
Not so fast, my rage radar detects a "disturbance in the force". I see a lady, not much older than myself, with eight items and she is armed with a checkbook! OMG, who writes checks in public anymore! I know right away she is going to stall this line and raise my rage meter to hulk like levels. Four, three, two, almost, she WAITS until the transaction is almost completely rang up before she decides that she needs cigarettes, ugh, why does she do this to me, she knows about my rage, she has to! Well after the cancer sticks are secured, she then starts to fill out the check. Whew, in the clear, until the cashier, sensing my green tint, asks the lady for her loyalty card so she can save twenty-two cents on her purchase! The time is now 5:53.
Now it is my turn. I am poised and ready to break the sound barrier with the speed at which this transaction is about to take place. I set my keys on the counter, whip out the plastic. The cashier decides now is the time to strike up a conversation about the weather, come on, not now. I do not want to talk to you, you are wasting my time, either die or ring up my stuff, at this point I do not care. She grabs my keys, swipes my loyalty card, without asking and rings up my items. Swipe, four digit pin and bang, grab the bags and hit the door. Foiled again, the bagger boy has now loaded my items into a second wet buggy and wants to assist me with this huge load.
Now I am beyond green, I am going red, Incendiary Hulk maybe? This guy, who is probably a high school kid at best is lumbering behind me, dodging every rain drop as he pursues me to my Jeep. I pop the hatch, load my own groceries as he is just the buggy protector and wish him a good day and jump in and crank up the car. It is here that my rage level starts to subside as I listen to comedy on XM radio. My skin regains is natural color and I pull out of the parking lot at 6:02.
On the bright side, I did save $0.43 on my purchase. Aw, Brookshire's does care about me after all!