Learning Hurts Me Not

"The constant happiness is curiosity" - Alice Munro

Lyle Elmgren

Lyle Elmgren
Saskatoon, Canada
July 20
Lyle Elmgren
Economist, University career, father, investor, researcher, history buff, silver life master at bridge, editor, author, cinephile, and dancer teacher/participant. I joined OS in July, 2012. My friends call me Encylopedia Elmgrenica.


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NOVEMBER 8, 2012 11:02AM

Checkout Line Jollies

Rate: 1 Flag

For most, grocery shopping is not an enjoyable activity. To minimize the time cost, customers usually have a well-prepared list and shop at a  familiar store.

Earlier in life, it annoyed Nathan Naive when a customer, aimlessly wandering around in the store, stepped into his path or crashed into him with their grocery cart. Now, he takes a different approach. When his space is invaded, Nathan says, "And how is your day going?" and then smiles. This seems to disarm the offenders, for they then understand our shared displeasure in doing a necessary chore.

Last week, Nathan picked the shortest checkout line. You know, the fastest one. Just ahead of him was a former professor of his and just ahead of the professor was a rather distressed looking woman.

She haughtily announced to the clerk that the flyer said the bag of carrots was listed at $1.99 and the price on the package is $2. Upon hearing this the professor exclaimed, "Call the police, lock the doors, there's been a robbery." The clerk enjoyed this comment and tried to suppress her amusement. The customer sighed.

When it came time to pay for her groceries, the woman reached into her suitcase sized bag and one-by-one pulled out about ten coupons. It turned out that only a few of them were not stale-dated.

When the final bill was announced, the woman just stood there with a blank look. Thereupon, the professor said, "Not planning to pay for your items, Miss?" Another favourable smile from the cashier and a look of disdain from the customer, as she fumbled around in her enormous bag to find her wallet. It turned out that she could not remember her credit card PIN, so off to the ATM she went for some cash.

The shortest line is not always the shortest.

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I can guarantee you that ANY line I enter will immediately come to a dead stop. And no matter which door I try to leave by, two or more people will stop in such a way as to completely block the exit, while they catch up on the gossip of the last 20 years.
Thanks Sky,

Such is life. Might as view shopping as social outing and find something funny in it.