15 Items or Less.....Or More....Who Really Cares

I hate grocery shopping. I know this is something people really don’t LIKE to do, but I hate it more than most.

Why do I hate it so much? Well, other than it is a chore that requires me to get out of bed and not watch TV, it is an endeavor that requires me encountering the most annoying types of people in our society, self-important parents who insist on bringing their kids to help get in the way of everyone and people who can’t count.

The parent thing is something I just have to accept. Yes, the human population has to live on and these are the shitheads that are doing it. They love parading their ugly little fuckers around the store, be it by strap-on baby holder that faces the baby right nest to their face or by little fake car that is attached to the cart where the kid has the stupid illusion that they are in control. Yes, I hate it. But yes, I know it is inevitable.

But what I will NOT accept are the people who cannot count.

There are two types of shoppers: ones who buy a lot of stuff and stock up and the ones that just need to get in and out with fewer items….say less than 15 items. The grocery stores, to their credit, have figured this out over the years and have created two distinct lines; the regular line and the 15 items or less line. Other than the fact that it should read ‘15 items or fewer’, this is a great idea in theory.

In theory.

In practice, this law of 15 items is violated all the time. For example, on April 1st 2017 at the Admiral Way Safeway, there was a woman in front of me with 22 items. 22>15. ‘15 or Less’ means ‘15 or Less’. An item is a unit that is scanned. For example, a bunch of bananas is one item due to one weigh and one scan. BUT….just because you are buying 10 cat food cans does NOT make it 1 item. That is 10 items. But not to this white-trash, burnout who reeked of urine and Pine-Sol. Oh no. She is so goddamn fuckin’ important not only she didn’t feel the need to pass remedial math part when she failed her GED, she probably didn’t even care about anyone else around her and just proceeded to the shortest line.

Yes, this woman is a stain on our culture and probably represents a good 10% of the population. Yet this is only half the problem. The other half is that we as a society cannot wash out this stain alone. We need the help of the grocery store clerk. This person has the leverage in the situation to tell this meth-head to go to another line is the clerk. It is not me. It is not the customers of the store. It is the clerk and only the clerk.

So why do they rare do this simple act of re-enforcing the rules? Well, they are probably afraid of conflict and maybe afraid of losing business. But here is a message to Safeway, QFC, and all other grocery outlets: there is a silent majority here that are having their rights violated. It is always so frustrating to feel the victim when you are the one following the rules. It should be the ones NOT following the rules that should feel bad. But this is rarely the case.

I am not sure what the answer is to this. We cannot just boycott Safeway, QFC, etc because….well….we need food and they have such great deals. But maybe we can start something on the grassroots level. Maybe something like a ‘strongly-worded’ letter campaign. If we all write to our local grocery store managers or attend our local grocery store town halls and voice our displeasure, maybe something can be done about this.