Sunday, February 6, 2011

Express Lane: 20 Items or Less

Let me paint a scenario for you. You are late for a party or function but need to get a few last minute items from the store. You race in and grab the needed items in a timely manner only to get into the express line - you know the one that's for 20 items or less - and of course, like always, there are a couple of people in front of you who are clearly over the express line limit. What do you do? What can you do? Are you supposed to just to grin and bear it even though these people are blatantly breaking the express line rules? I don't get it. I mean, the rule is posted right on the light-up sign, "20 items or less." Can these people not read? Can't they count? And why does it always seem to happen when I'm in a rush? I'm tired of having to stand in line and angrily count each of the items of the people in front of me. I really shouldn't have to.

The biggest problem I have with this is people in our society are not being held accountable. So a store makes an express line in order to make it quicker for people to get in and out who are just buying a few items. The store clearly marks the lane with signs, stating it is an express lane and the number of items allowed. And people completely ignore the sign with absolutely no reprimand whatsoever for doing so. Where is the accountability? What are we teaching our children - that rules are made to be broken? I've seen fist fights started over less.

The thing that really irritates me is that most of the people doing it know full well what they are doing and I know it's not their first time doing it. In the criminal world we would call them repeat offenders. The other day there was an old woman in front of me with about 35 items. 35. That is 15 more than the posted limit. If she were going 15 over the speed limit she'd be pulled over and given a breathalyzer and a ticket for reckless driving. I don't care if you're old. I'll help you cross the street, but I'm not going to put up with you going over the express line limit. I've had enough of this blatant disrespect for the rules. This isn't a black, white, old, or young issue...rules are rules and we're all expected to obey them.

But I think I've come up with a way we can solve this problem easily enough. It wouldn't take much and after a few times of doing it I can almost guarantee we wouldn't have any more offenders. So what is this bright idea? Simple. We arrest them for breaking the rules. That's right, haul them off to the city jail. Let them spend 24 hours in the slammer and think about what they've done for a bit. I'll bet that would solve the problem.

It could be an easy sting operation. The cops could be undercover and just look like normal shoppers milling about the express lane. Then when someone over the limit on items attempts to go through the express lane. Whamo! You handcuff them and read them their rights.

Yes. Yes, I can see this plan working effectively. I can see it now: an old woman in the line in front of me. I'm getting very angry, almost to the point of saying something, when out of nowhere the undercovers spring into action and handcuff the woman, who puts on her best "whatever did I do?" surprised look. And I scoot forward in the line one shopper closer than before. And as the cop hauls her off to jail I can hear him saying, "Ma'm, you can just leave those items there. Store personnel will take care of that. You won't need this stuff where you're headed anyway."


Laura said...

I'm noticing a law-and-order theme on your posts recently, Jared. I wonder if it's on purpose or merely by chance.

Also, this old lady in front of you in line... How old was she? Perhaps her faculties would not extend to counting the items in her cart? Or maybe she didn't have the far-sighted power necessary to read the overhead signage? Just putting that out there. :)

Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your next post! said...

I like your approach but it's waste of time and money, especially in major citites where crime is needed. How about hiring a 400 pound bouncer to sit at the end with a fake plastic bird. If you go over teh limit, you get wacked with it. That will stop the people from doing anything. But as for arresting people, a big waste of resources...LOL

John said...

Embarrass them. Hook an alarm system with sirens and flashing lights and announcement to the register. When the 21st item rings in it will go off. It would be automatic. The attention would stop most of them. These people count on the fact that the person behind the register doesn't want to confront them, and they aren't paid enough to do so.

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously