The Express Lane: 10 Items or Less

I was going through the 10 item lane with 11 items.

I had 10 items, then I picked up a pack of gum while waiting in line… (I almost picked up a package of razors, too.)

The Cashier said, “I’m sorry sir, but you have 11 items.”

I said, “you actually counted?”

She said, “yes sir, this is the 10 items or less lane, you will have to go to the next lane.”

(I looked at the next lane, it was a long line)

I said, “seriously? I just grabbed this pack of gum, just now.”

She said, “it is still 11 items, sir.”

(Meanwhile during the banter, the ‘express 10 items or less’ lane was growing longer)

I said, “look, we could have already been done by now, could you just ring it up?”

She said, “I don’t make the rules sir.”

I said, “Stop calling me sir please. It doesn’t sound right. You can call me New Acquaintance. It’s a mouthful, but I think it is better than sir.”

The woman behind me wearing a large, printed blouse said, ” could we get a move on here?”

The Woman with a double chin behind Large Blouse said, “Just get to the other lane, you have too many items!”

I said, “I just picked up a pack of gum! IT’S GUM.”

The Man, unshaven, behind Large Blouse and Double Chin said, “it’s just a pack of gum! Ring it up!”

The Cashier said, ” I don’t make the rules, sir.”

(I put the gum back)

I said, “OK, I have 10 items again.”

(I noticed the slightest hint – almost imperceptible – grimace on her bland almost emotional-less face).

She began to ring up my stuff.

(I looked at the 12 people in the ‘express’ lane and shrugged my shoulders… the express lane people waiting in the express lane seemed exasperated.)

I looked at them sheepishly and said, “it was just a pack of GUM.”

Large Blouse behind me said, “you should obey the rules.”

I said, forcing a peace-loving smile,”it was gum! That is like less than half an item… it’s like I had 10 and 1/2 items. Maybe even 10 and a quarter items”

Double Chin said, “it is still more than 10.”

I said, “but it still has the number 10 in it.”

The Cashier said, “that will be 18.50, please.”

I asked, “do you get in trouble if you ring up more than 10 items? Are they watching you?”

(I looked to see where the cameras were)

She said, “I don’t know… I just follow the rules.”

(I gave her the 18.50 – Exact Change – you know, to save time.)

I grabbed my 10 Items (exactly) and got another 50 cents out of my pocket. I picked up the gum and asked Large Blouse “could you get this for me – here’s the money. I see you only have 7 items, this gum will make 7 and a 1/2 items which is still less than 10.”

(Large Blouse ignored me.)

I asked Double Chin. She only had 9 items.

The Unshaven Man behind Large Blouse and Double Chin spoke up, ” Christ, I’ll get your gum for you, pal.”

I said, “looks like you have about 10 items, though.”

He said, “damn, you’re right.”

We all looked at the Cashier.

The Unshaven Man put his razors back and grabbed my gum.

He said, “I didn’t need to shave today anyway.”

I walk out of the Store, gum in hand, triumphant.


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Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 4:14 PM  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey there friend, just roaming through the world wide web search data and discovered your site. I’m engraved with the blogposts that you own within this web page. This displays how good you grasp this specific issue. Bookmarked this web site, will certainly come back to get more detail. You, my buddy, Rock!!!

  2. hey paul where u @ now? in china still?im still in newhampshire and mom still at the same local…
    write to me ay email adress-
    or call me on my cell 1603-991-7371
    ikno some intersting charcters up here-
    some served in the miltary a littlle older one guy 69-
    he s nuts but ud like him,,hes rugid as hell..
    he fought bantum weight in the service-
    almost turened pro-
    im not into martial arts no mor e just –
    staying in shape- by working out-
    and at the club but i still no my shit-
    ok drop me a line or call my cell ladda-

  3. When Big Brother is always watching with his cameras, the peons working for him often get intimidated into mindless obedience. It matters not how pointless, stupid or ultimately self-defeating it is.

    For example, I live in a town where a gal actually got fired because she gave away ONE Timbit (aka donut hole) to the little girl of a regular customer. The real story behind it is that the management hated the employee and was just looking for any excuse to fire her. They monitored videotape of her until she finally made that one mistake. They fired her and told her she was lucky they didn’t charge her for theft.

    • Sedate Me! Greetings Comrade.

      Long time no see.

      That’s some BS right there… and you’re right on the mark with the self defeating. It is easier to control a People when they are afraid.

      • Yeah, I also know a guy who was fired after workplace video of an altercation with a co-worker (his brother) was selectively edited to make him look like the aggressor (and his brother agrees).

        His real crime was that he was attempting to get basic labour laws applied to the workplace. He wasn’t even considering forming a union, but they saw the chance to fire him and took it. He was actually one of their best employees who wanted to make that shit-hole a better place.

  4. hey paul whats up bud i kno what ur talking aobuut
    what store was that? walmart is a joke-they never
    waite on u in htere you gotta find shit ur self or just ask tell you find something its pathitic..
    u kno what i do when no one waites on you or u simply cant find what ur looking for? i move items around
    they never find out lol
    and wall mart is noutrous for perople not woking at there stations-
    so many times i go to the electrons section- and theres never harldy a cashir there- what r they doing out getting laid? lol
    alright- pal talk w /yea ldda- johnyd-

    • Walmart. I could publish a delectable diatribe about this corporation.

      Johnny D. Good hearing from you bro. If I get Stateside this year, I’ll look you up. It’s been too long.

  5. It’s this kind of thinking will keep her behind the checkout counter the next 20 years.

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