10 Items Or Less

I had to pop out to the supermarket earlier. I only needed fresh bread, some of Ollie’s treats, and a packet of bacon. So I went to the nearest supermarket, not the one I regularly use.

It’s always busy on a Saturday afternoon of course, but that doesn’t bother me. I haven’t been out of Beetley since Monday, so a short afternoon drive is a welcome change.

The queue to get in was unusually long. Even with the pandemic restrictions, there have rarely been more than a few people in front of me. But today it stretched the entire width of the large car park.

Luckily, it moved quite briskly, and when I got to the front, I mentioned ot the security guard that it was unusually busy. He nodded. “Mother’s Day tomorrow, always packed out the day before Mother’s Day. Flowers, chocolates, presents and cards. You know they leave it until the last minute”.

Inside, the store was much busier than I had expected. But as I only had four items in a basket, the long queues at the checkout didn’t concern me, as they have a ’10 Items Or Less’ counter right at the front. As I approached that checkout position, a woman aged about thirty suddenly swept in from the side, pushing a trolley full of groceries. She sneaked in front of me, and began to quickly unload her items onto the belt.

Ignoring her rudeness, I did however become quite annoyed when I saw just how many items she was unloading. I started to count them as she placed them down, and stopped at 27. Then she added some more, including a huge box of bottled beer. Catching her eye, I said “Did you leave school very young?” She looked puzzled, and mumbled “Sorry, what did you say?” “You must have left school before they taught you how to count”, I continued, pointing at the huge sign above the checkout. ’10 Items Or Less Only’.

Blushing red under her small face-mask, she ignored me, and loaded her things into bags. When she had paid and left, I asked the checkout lady why she hadn’t challenged someone who had more than three times the number of items. “Not allowed to, sir. Besides, for what I get paid, it’s not worth my while getting stressed out arguing with customers”.

You had to see her point.

70 thoughts on “10 Items Or Less

    1. It is not unusual to see this here, but that woman was one of the most blatant I have ever seen. Some shops have ‘Baskets Only’ checkouts, but you would be surprised what some people can cram into a small hand-basket. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happens all the time, here – sometimes on ‘purpose’ and sometimes, just a choice made by a happless, stressed out soul that is just looking for the ‘shortest line’ to get in and out and off to the next thing of their overpacked, busy life – for me? I truly get peeved with my mom, who is retired, and who visits here, when she shows all signs of impatience with lines, actions, etc. I say, “I have the cart/can pay, want to go sit? run to the bathroom?” and she says, “no, I don’t need to BUT you need to be home for work things you wanted to do today…” even though, I told her, umpteen times, “I don’t have to work for someone else AND my own biz anymore – – I’d LIKE to work when I get home, but, the trip to town will take as long as it takes…” – – I go shopping once in awhile with my step-daughter now – she, too, has plenty of irons in the fire, but she, too, is solely self employed, and I see within here, her anxiousness, impatience, ‘hurry, hurry, hurry” and well, for me? hurry causes car wrecks – hurry causes poor decisions – hurry causes hurt to others – – if nothing else in the world, I hope that I can continue to run my biz, operate my affairs in a way that i just don’t ever get upset or hurt, when someone else is ‘in a hurry’ for their various reasons – that’s my quest, not yours – and just sharing – but been doing it long enough now? I’m starting to see and connect with other souls that think, “takes as long as it takes” and the shared smiles, nods, short conversations (such as yours with the clerk) MORE than make up for my irritation with those who plow through, intent on ‘their path to do’ and completely oblivious of the 5 foot sphere around them – I actually, now adays? Feel pity and sadness for them and wonder…’what systems and cultural norms need to change to break them free of such horrific things???” – – :D. But that makes me, here, an ‘entitled/don’t get it!” personage – thus, no matter how one approaches Life, there are always those who criticise such ways of being – LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am usually very patient, as I only go shopping when I have nothing else to do. I even enjoy the break from my routine around the village. But I felt something should have been said to that woman, because of her entitled attitude.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I have felt the exact same way so many times in my life – in the line at store, in the line at ‘have to do’ government lines – while driving… I’ve observed, within myself, as years change my life, my roles held, the demands upon my time from others, it becomes easier and easier for me to ‘gird my loins’ to go forth into these situations with a more tolerant (perhaps so tolerant my actions mistakenly becomes ‘assent through silence’?) but, if it’s just me that is affected an I’ve decided it just takes as long as it takes, I find myself not even getting irritated internally. that said, I have yet to have stifled my angst when such actions affect others and that ‘offend’ my sense of right/wrong – I once traded spots with the young mother, right behind me, who had more items in cart than I did, but who also had a small child that had expended it’s limits on hunger, thirst or tiredness. The MAN BEHIND that mother, took me to task for changing places with her, even though – checkout time for me and her remained the same – and he was still in line – I had fewer items than he did, but while I realized the illogical statement he made as how he ‘had gotten cheated’, I looked at his actions, his dress, his frequent looks at phone and time checks – and well, I said, “you want to go next? Looks like you’re on your lunch break from work – and in a hurry….” – funny, but once I offered, he chilled right out, looked at my basket and his cart and said, “no, you have fewer items and you already gave up your place once – ” and we ended up visiting about the rigours of working a 60 hour week and TRYING to run errands during a short lunch break – I don’t know – I have lost my temper, cursed and yelled obsenities at other drivers, often during my life – mainly when i was so overloaded on so many other areas, I just couldn’t bear one more person thinking their needs more important than mine – that is, in the end, I guess, for me, the only reason why I’ve gotten better at ‘remember when?” as I get older – that said I don’t remember ever consiciously cutting in line or not ‘following’ the rules posted, either – because, well, I never got away with such things at a young age, no reason to believe I would later or now – – – LOL

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very glad to hear that, Robbie.
      Years ago, I used to go to a supermarket in Harrow where it was rigidly enforced. The checkout operator would make me leave one item behind if I arrived with eleven things in the basket.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. I was reading the other day about the huge increase in abuse of shop assistants by customers so I can understand the checkout person ignoring it. But there should be supervisors around to guide people to the appropriate queue.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s my feeling, Mary. There was a supervisor nearby, but she was chatting to a colleague and both of them were not helping customers. Better to have put both of them on the tills to cut down the queues.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Agree. Where I usually shop they’ve had a full-time security guard there for the past two or three years. They and all the cashiers wear a discreet open-channel earpiece with a microphone, so they’re all in constant contact with each other around the shop. The first time I saw it I thought the lady behind the till was talking to herself but she must have been responding to another cashier asking the price of red cabbage or similar!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Perhaps they could come up with a system whereby the actual belt started beeping when a higher number than those allowed were unloaded. There are places where they are stickler for rules, but there are many where they don’t bother. I think here it tends to be baskets only in some places, but it’s incredible the amount of items some people can fit into a basket…
    Annoying for sure, Pete. Here, Mother’s day is in May, although we have Father’s Day on the 19th of March. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They got rid of ‘baskets ony’ when some people managed to cram 40 items into a heavily-laden basket. But the ‘Ten Items’ is NEVER policed by staff. Every now and again, that really upsets me.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. I had to do some shopping at Morrison’s three days ago and was amazed how the number of customers had increased – because of Mother’s Day … 😳 I got so fed up with the queues that I went for the self check out for the first time. Aaaah, what a pain, I had two bottles of beer in my cart and the scale can’t read your age so you need an assistant to confirm you’re over 18 …
    I’ll make sure I get everything I need online next. I wonder how we will cope with normality after the pandemic?
    Best wishes from Cley – we’re off to a virtual exhibition in Berlin now
    Dina and the rest of the gang, with a big pat for Ollie Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting that they have the self-checkouts open – where I live they’re all sealed off. As you say, self-check-out only works until something goes wrong or if you’re buying alcohol, when an assistant has to come up and help. Not having those perspex screens erected at the self-checkout points seems to make using them a no-no.

      But I’m with everyone else on the lady who pushed in – there’s always one. Poorly handled by the cashier, too, they shouldn’t be setting precedents by letting people simply get away with it, no matter what they’re paid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, HC.
        My regular huge supermarket seems to be trying to force people to use self-scanning checkouts. They have less normal checkouts open, and a young lady who walks the queues suggesting it would be easier if we use the self-operated ones. As I am never in a rush, I refuse, and tell the young lady that I am trying to save the jobs of her colleagues.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. She had my sympathy, Molly. But I really cannot see the point of having rules that are not enforced. The guard outside had already turned away a man for refusing to wear a mask, so why allow shoppers inside to flout different rules? There should be a supervisor tasked with that job, so the checkout lady is not under pressure.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t usually concern myself with how many items they have, but that lady brought out the Meldrew in me by sneaking in from the side. She knew full well what she was doing.
      Cheers, Ian.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. I thought supermarkets had done away with 10 items or fewer (as it should be) because people were putting things back in order to qualify. But it is annoying if they have a rule but don’t stick to it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My usual Tesco has closed theirs down for the duration of the pandemic. I was told it was to release checkout staff onto the busier positions. But all the other shops in the nearby town still have them.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  6. “10 Items Or Less”
    I’m surprised that it’s the same grammatically incorrect sign in GB as it’s here. Why can’t the supermarkets grasp that it should be “fewer” and not “less”? And it’s also the same that the cashiers don’t even admonish people who have (way) more than 10 items, let alone refuse to check them out.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Oh yeah, the apostrophe. Some people seem to just gather a few and let them drop wherever they fall. 😉 Maybe in the future it will be “sometime’s”. 😀

        Liked by 4 people

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