You would think with everyone having a phone to occupy their brains that we, as a society, would have gotten better about waiting in line. There are emails to answer and the universe of social media to peruse. But for some reason it seems like we’ve gotten even more impatient. And by we, I mean, me.
I have become so impatient that the other day at the Nordstrom Rack I had to do some soothing inhales and exhales. What has happened to me that I think I’m too good to wait in line? Correction: Too good to wait in some lines because I’m still processing why in July of 2014 in a Florida heat wave (Wait, it that an oxymoron?) with a humidity level that was so miserable I felt like I was swathed in wet towels that had been soaked in Dollar Tree mayonnaise I stood in a line at Disneyworld for 93 minutes to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which ended up being the lamest ride in the history of theme parks).
So, why was I okay enduring the misery of standing in that line and yet I was having a mental health crisis at the Rack? Needing human interaction and because I love chatting up strangers, I asked a woman standing next to me in line that very question. To her credit she didn’t look scared about my sudden and unasked for true confession wrapped in an inquiry and gave it some serious thought.
Her three-word response was “self-checkout lanes.” Could that be it? Had the efficiency of checking ourselves out upped the irritable factor as we were forced to wait in line for a human to do what we’re totally capable of doing ourselves?
I will share that, at first, I wasn’t a fan of self-checkout. It seemed like another chipping away of customer service. But it didn’t take long for me to get on the self-checkout band wagon. It was so fast, and I got to bag my groceries just how I liked them. Even better no chit-chat with the checker.
It’s not like I don’t like chit-chat (see the former paragraph where I divulged my love of talking to strangers). It’s that I don’t like comments about my grocery purchases. Hello, Trader Joes and your super skinny cashier that made a sarcastic comment about me buying waffles and maple syrup at 7 pm and asking if “that’s what I’m calling dinner?” Because my answer is yes that was my dinner and it was delicious.
My new “friend” standing in line with me soon began to open up sharing that Sam’s had ruined her in regards to checkout experiences because at Sam’s you just use your phone to checkout. You don’t even stand in line. When she told me this, I got goose bumps. I was that excited.
But not so excited I wasn’t doing a mental overhaul of the Rack and it’s three open checkout stations. They used to have a separate stand for people just using credit cards but when I first walked over there the cashier told me his “devices weren’t working” which I think is code for they need to be charged. Also, why isn’t there a separate area for returns only? I was timing it and the average return was taking seven minutes or more and sadly most of the people in line were returning. Where was the love for the person buying?
That got me all riled up again requiring more deep breathing leading me to the conclusion that I was perhaps not even a self-checkout girl but worse – a dedicated on-line shopper. I’m afraid once you can buy 36 rolls of Charmin 3 ply on-line and get free next day delivery it changes you – forever.