When I woke up this morning, I didn’t suddenly decide, “Hey, I think I’m going to be an asshole today!” No, I seldom — dare I say, never — wake up with that intention in mind. But alas, the world is full of the types of people that will change your plans or sidetrack even the best intentions.
The local Kroger has one of these ‘Starbucks’ kiosks located near the front of the store where you can get a coffee to either drink while you shop or to pick up as you leave. I pass Kroger regularly on the way to and from work, so I usually just stop on the way home and pick up a few items at a time. I often stop at this kiosk on the way out of the store to grab a coffee and I found out they are considered a ‘regular’ Kroger register where you can ring up basic items — i.e. none that require price checks or weighing.
It is the weekend so I was getting a little more than usual today to hold me down through Monday but what I had still ended up fitting in one of those small hand-baskets. I noticed no one was at the Starbuck’s kiosk so I just decided to check out there even though I had a few more items than I would usually have when I hit their kiosk on the way out of the store.
The girl completes ringing up every item before anyone else even gets in line. The first person in line is some late-middle-aged woman with either her daughter or granddaughter.
The girl behind the counter asks her for her order as she starts bagging my stuff so the other girl can get started on making it while she is still bagging my 15 or so items — i.e. so the woman isn’t going to have to wait any longer than she would have if I hadn’t been there at all. As she gets started on filling the 2nd of three bags, I grab the now-empty basket and walk 30 yards or so to put it back in the stack of emptys near the door.
On my way back, I make a light-hearted comment half-apologizing saying “heh – when I came up here there was no one in line.” While I was putting the basket back, the girl took a third person’s order and the second girl started making it as well and they were still finishing the first woman’s coffee as my last bag was finally filled.
Just then, despite the fact I was now leaving the line and her coffee was on the way to the counter anyway, the middle-aged woman, with a rather annoyed look on her face and an obviously snide tone in her voice feels it necessary to chime in as a response to my remark:
“Well then MAYBE you should have gone to a NORMAL check out! This is… JUST… a Starbucks.”
It was such a nasty tone, and she paused between the last few words for added emphasis. This seemed to hit me right square on my ‘apathy-sux’ braincells and thus I couldn’t leave well enough alone.
As I was strapping the three bags over my right wrist so I could carry the coffee with my left hand I stepped part way aside so the girl behind the counter could start ringing her up. I made an obvious point to look around the entire bakery and deli area where the Kiosk was located. Then I added:
“Well… as long as you brought it up… it would appear this is not ‘just’ a Starbucks. It would appear we are in a Kroger store.” I then pointed at the Kroger branded registers and card scanners. “And this would appear to be a Kroger register. And a register is a register. Had I been buying deli, I would have checked out at the deli. If I was filling a prescription, I could have checked out at the pharmacy.”
“But seeing as how I already explained I only came here because the girls were standing idly behind the counter as I was walking by with my one small basket of items, and since I already apologized for any additional delay,” the girl set the woman’s now finished coffee on the counter and I paused so she could request the payment. “Of which it appears there is in fact none…”
I widened my smile and in the most congenial tone I could muster, I continued, “… but if I had known you were in such a hurry to get to your next dose of menopause medication, I would have happily let you ahead of me. Good day!”
The guy who was behind her in line was trying to hold back a burst of laughter, but I simply tipped my hat, grabbed my coffee and walked out.