Sunday, October 26, 2014

The man in Lane 10 ...

I have a favorite cashier at my local Big Box and it is, like, no contest. I'd guess he's in his 60s, nice face, white hair. He's charming, he's quick and he hasn't bought into that trend where he puts each item in its own separate bag. Also, he doesn't overcompensate for said trend and put everything in a single bag so it feels like I'm carrying a carnival prize to the car. He seems to get a kick out of my kid, so we have a ton in common.

He's the foil to some of the others:

1. The one who complains about back problems when there are heavy purchases to be scanned;
2. The one who is perfectly fine at her job, but always throws me off with skin-tone leggings;
3. The one who uses shame as a sales tactic, re: the store's credit card spiel.

So: Saturday afternoon I'm cruising toward the checkout and see that he's working Lane 10 and just as I'm about to ditch left to get into the line, one of those Greeters/Traffic Cops tells me that Lane 4 is open. But I don't want Aisle 4, I want Lane 10 with the Nice Man. So I speed up and ditch into women's clothing, where I perform a half-assed search for T-shirts.

I give it a minute and double back toward Lane 10 and once again, a beaming 20-something with an official-looking clipboard directs me toward Lane Not-10. I give her a (probably accidentally dismissive) smile and make toward Pet Supplies. There is a huge picture of a dog over there and The Girl likes to point at it and bark. So we made a few passes, she's a good kid, she deserves it.

Attempt 3: A group of like five teens, who probably won't even appreciate the goodness of Lane 10, just kind of lazily end up in front of me and, you guessed it, I'm redirected to another lane.

I sigh and face the facts: It just isn't going to happen with Lane 10. And, frankly, I'm starting to feel a little dumb. Like, I just spent an extra 12 minutes at the Big Box in hopes that I'd get the Varsity Squad cashier.

The new cashier doesn't even look at me. She autopilots her way through my purchases, pausing briefly as she considers whether the diapers are mine. I pay and leave without a single word exchanged. On the way out of the store, I overhear a cashier working the store credit card angle and I think:

"Hm. That girl didn't even try to sell me on the card."

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