MODERN DAY CONUNDRUM – zuki discovers the express lane

Good Morning Disciples of Free Will,

It’s funny how we perceive the same event or series of events so differently. By some I was perceived as a daring hero risking it all to bend the rules. Yet by others I was seen as a cretin incapable of playing fair. I’m sure this scenario is played out wherever people gather to take turns. I was standing in a long line at the grocery store holding my basket of hunter-gatherer staples only because I failed to qualify for the 8 items or less line. There was only one other stand open, and three fat women with substantial loads of groceries blocking my way. God forbid management brings on another checkout clerk! However, things we’re progressing nicely and I was certain my inconvenience would be brief. Lost in my own thoughts, I was thinking about actually getting back into the world of exhibition when I was quickly brought back to the present. A call to the manager was voiced over the intercom; shit more time wasted.

Something was terribly wrong. I could sense it. Looking enviously back to the “Express Checkout” line, I noticed only one person finishing up their transaction. I was at a crossroads; do I risk jumping out of line only to be rebuffed because I was a mere five items over the limit? Or do I continue to be the obedient customer and wait it out? As I continued to stand in line, the Express checker seemed oblivious to my personal crisis (and isn’t it always about me?), as she was very busy wiping down her checkout area. I decided to risk it. I quickly pulled out of line and approached the freshly wiped stand offering my best smile and greeting.

Peggy was not amused. She had seen better days (haven’t we all) strictly referring to ‘mileage’ and judging from her demeanor suspect she hates her job. As I began putting the items on the conveyor belt from my basket, Peggy announced I was disqualified from participating as an Express Checkout customer. I knew this might be a contingency, but really hadn’t prepared for it, so I winged a reply, “I’m sorry, do you have something better to do”? If looks could kill I’d be at the very least paralyzed. About that time the recently summoned manager shows up at the long line of aggravated shoppers. Seeing this, Peggy begrudgingly began to scan my little order.

I’m always amazed how people utilize “the rules” to inject themselves into our lives even when it would be simpler to ignore the rules! There’s the spirit of the law, and there’s the letter of the law. In this case, if Peggy had her way, I’d have to return to the end of a long line VERY unhappy instead of the minute it took to handle my basket of goodies and leave a satisfied customer. This is why unions have outlived practicality and should just go away. Please join me in prayer that Peggy either dies of infected genital warts, or finds employment at 7/11’s graveyard shift; both would provide a customer-free environment and put her out of her misery.


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