Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Revolutionizing the checkout lane


My husband, R has theories about life. LOTS of theories. Some are about the big stuff, some the mundane, some are just ludicrous, but we'll keep those "inside the sanctity of the marriage".
Last night, while discussing one of his well loved theories, we began to expound and came up with a solution that we believe would revolutionize retail checkout. (Specifically, grocery stores and the Walmarts and Targets of the world) My love is invariably sent to the store at least once a day to pick something up for our house AND he is a man. Therefore, he wants to get in and out. No need for chit chat about the weather. You might say "use the electronic checkout" however, many of his purchases include age restricted items (see alcohol) and this now involves an employee to become involved....FAIL.
I will spare you the gender/class/race generalizations that led him to his original thoughts about choosing the employee "checker" and cut right to the chase.
Checkout lanes will no longer be classified into 10-20 items or less and Duggar style shopping.
Lane 1. The lane of shame: This lane is reserved for those buying tampons, condoms, hemorrhoid cream, and the inevitable combo purchase of batteries and KY. The employee in this lane is specially trained NOT to speak to the customer or even make EYE contact. This lane closest to the door, brown paper bags only and NO intercom price checks!
Lane 2. The common social pleasantries lane: This lane gives quick efficient service, while still maintaining an environment of basic social mores. The employee that works this lane is trained to be quick, smile, say "thank you" and move right along. (IMHO, all lanes at all stores should be this lane)
Lane 3. Building a relationship lane: I shop here often, I want the employee in this lane to acknowledge this fact, say hi to the kids and ask if I found everything okay. Maybe one time out of ten, ask me if I have any suggestions to make my shopping experience more pleasurable at this store.
Lane 4. The Shopping is my sole source of social interaction for the day lane: We live in Melbourne FL. Thus, the demographic of our neighborhood skews to this population. Skews HEAVILY. The employee in this lane is trained to eye your purchases, ask about the meal you are preparing with your items, and suggest new recipes based on, said items. The employee will also inquire about your health (see bowel movements) based upon the remedies placed upon the conveyor belt from the pharmacy isle, and perhaps a new hair color based on the items from the toiletries isle. All weather, sports, political, and religious conversations are to be held in this lane. All pictures of grandchildren and dogs are to be shown in this lane.
At this point, we were done, but in a nod to the reason the electronic checkout is a fail we created just one more.
Lane 5. The Intervention Lane: Excuse me Mr/Ms D, but I can't help notice that you are in here buying wine AGAIN.....

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