Next In Line

My understanding is that there are now more than 1 million people in the state of Hawaii. That can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. Traffic — bad. Tax revenue — good. Ron Nagasawa — bad, because that makes me the only one in the state, and possibly the world, who has the following reoccurring problem.

Whenever I have to get in a line for checkout, for tickets, for gasoline, etc., I always choose the wrong line. Here is what happens every time. And I mean EVERY time.

The other weekend I was at a store that had all of its checkout stands open. I spotted one that was only one-person deep. I flew over there and stood behind a woman, thinking that I truly scored. I looked at the two registers next to me, and they had a line of about six people each.

The woman in front of me had only two items to pay for. When she got to the cashier, the bar code scanner could not pick up the code from one item. In fact, it was a clearance item and it was repackaged, so the formal product name could not be entered into the scanner.

I looked at the other lines, and the last persons in line a few minutes ago were now next to be checked out. When the register to my right was down to one person, I jumped into that line. Suddenly, it was made known that the guy in front of me had an item that would not scan. The woman at the line I just left was able to get her clearance item and now she was out the door.

I, on the other hand, was now in a new holding pattern while all the other registers were processing people left and right. Do I dare move to another line? They finally found the price and I advanced to the register. That’s when they decided it was time to switch out cashiers. I objected and politely asked if they could process my purchase first.

Of course they would, but then they discovered that the register ran out of paper.

Next time I’m using the self-checkout register. Then again, you know how that saying goes, “The man who uses a self-checkout register has a fool for a cashier.”