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October 20th, 2004

Express Lane Abuse

So last night a quick trip to the grocery store was required. My wife and I traversed the aisles, found what we needed, and headed up to the lines… which were a bit long for the hour of night we were there. No matter – the express lane looked shortest, and it was. We got in line and waited.

A few moments later, Jeani shot me a look – one that said, “What is up with that?” I then noticed that the fellow in front of us, in the 15-item limit express lane, had about 50 items. (Okay, probably more like 25-30.)

I am genuinely curious: what’s the thought process that goes through that guy’s head? I think it goes something like this.

“Gee, I’ve got a lot of stuff. I’m late for that important event in my life! What am I going to do? The lines… shit, look at the lines. They’re long. Ah! The express lane! 15 items or less? Who cares. There’s just one woman in line, and she’s buying spaghetti and dog food. Nothing more. I’ll be in and out in a flash.”

And then, everything falls apart. I dislike it when people abuse express lanes. Stop it.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 11:08:06 am
The proper reaction in that situation is to speak loudly to no one in particular...I though this was the express lane, or something like that.

I do it all the time. If you can throw a little public shame on the offender it ruins the feeling they thought they would get by beating the system.

I'd pay extra to shop at a grocery store that actually enforced those rules.

Then again, I think food stamp recipients should be required to use a special lane, so we all know who they are. Maybe the public shame would get them off the public dole.

DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 11:11:45 am

FROM: Greg
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 11:16:56 am
Damn fingers aren't doing what I tell them to...

Chris - Why should you have to pay more for someone else's ignorance? If a person gets into a 15 item or less lane and their purchase contains more than 15 items, BAM! They get socked with a $5 "I'm a stupid moron that can't read or understand store policy" charge.

FROM: Joe Revees
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 1:17:29 pm
Around here, they say 'Around 15 items or less.' I guess the definition of around can vary...

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 2:00:40 pm
>>Then again, I think food stamp recipients should be required to use a special lane, so we all know who they are. Maybe the public shame would get them off the public dole.

I wish upon you days of hunger and uncertainty, worries that cannot be relieved no matter how hard you work, and illness without insurance.

But only for a little while, because no one deserves to live like that.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 4:59:20 pm

A fine is a great idea. I like it!


What's with picking on those who have nothing? My mother-in-law gets food stamps. She is educated and worked very hard every day of her life as a registered nurse, helping those in need while paying into social security until she went blind one afternoon due to double retinal detachment.

On top of that, she has advanced osteoporosis and broke her leg last week. After paying heavily into the system for years, Medicaid only paid for two days post-op and she'll only get two weeks in a physical rehab facility. Then, she's on her own.

There used to be money put away for her back when this country ran a surplus.

I'm sure she'd love to trade eyes with you so that she could return your judgmental stare. I bet she'd love to trade legs with you so that she could stomp on your stupid ass.
But she wouldn't because she's got a heart of gold. She could teach you something if you'd only listen and be more patient and generous with those who suffer life's misfortunes.

FROM: Terry
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 8:13:00 pm
I witnessed an offensive spectacle a couple of weeks ago in a Mexican grocery store. I was in an express lane, I think it was 15 items or less. In front of me, were a man and a woman, with a generously packed grocery cart. What happens, but the woman puts the first 15 items on the cart, completes the transaction, then the man puts the next 15 items on the cart, and he completes the second transaction. Ah, an express lane loophole! Has anybody ever seen this before? I hadn't. Of course, this is slower than if they went through together since it was two different transactions, two different pauses. I would hate to see this carried out to a more extreme level (big family with 6 kids all go shopping...).

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 9:57:36 pm
I believe that people paying with food stamps or any other form of assistance must be able to go through any lane so as to not suffer shame.

At Giant, they often have no Express Lane but expect you to use U-Scan, which my 74 year old dad will never try. Having him go through that lane would be more trouble and take far more time than waiting behind someone with a cart full of stuff.

FROM: Jeani
DATE: Friday October 22, 2004 -- 9:33:54 pm
Actually, I was annoyed with the guy, but for some reason I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He didn't seem like he was knowingly flaunting the limit. But, as Paul knows, usually I am not that merciful.

And, to Chris, forcing people with food stamps to use a different line is one of the worst ideas I've heard in a long time. Shame doesn't make people do anything other than perpetuate negative cycles.

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