Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sometimes the Angry One, Sometimes the Fool

Normally I speed through self check-out at Safeway.  I know the procedures, I've memorized the numbers I need to enter and I learned long ago that I should only take small orders to these desks.  I am not eager to take on self-check out in stores I don't know because I can be, oh, a little awkward when learning new things but at Safeway I know what I'm doing.  You would want me to be behind me in line.

My proficiency in this one activity (everybody has at least one special talent - this is mine) makes me rather cranky at times.  I don't have a lot of patience when people appear baffled or take too long or otherwise slow me down.  Of course no one would know any of this because I still stand there, quietly, but I do rage inside.. 

Today, however, the tables turned.  My check-out routine fell apart.  I confused my Air Miles number with my parents' phone number and then, even when I had figured out the correct number, I didn't know how to backtrack and fix my mistake.  Then when I looked for the card I wanted to use, I couldn't find it so chose to use another.  I questioned the PIN for that card but managed to come up with the right one.  All of this was for a two item order.  That makes it more sad.

I was disappointed in myself as I stumbled through this experience..  Somehow, though, I was unaware that there were people behind me, waitng for a checkout line to open.  And from what I saw, in one horrifying glance backwards, they were well aware of what I had been doing and the fact that I was slowing them down.  I had become one of those people at whom I direct my rage.

In the grand scheme of things, none of this really matters.  Nobody gets delayed in line that long and we should all relax and take a breath.  For me, though, this experience reminded me that we're all humans, we're all fallible, we're all simply trying to buy our groceries and go home.  We're all ok after all.

I will try to be more organized the next time I go to the self check-out line.  And I will probably continue to avoid those lines in stores I don't know.  I will also keep in mind that nobody is trying to torture me by getting confused about what type of tomatoes they're buying.  There are a lot of different tomatoes out there.  It could be confusing.



  1. I love this post, because I was just thinking about how I too, rage inside over things like this and how it adds needless stress to my day to obsess and get upset over people who are inconsiderate or don't follow rules....but also this kind of thing. You're right, no one WANTS to take a long time buying something. Why do we get so mad over that kind of thing? Great post!

  2. Thank you so much Kim. I'm glad that I was the confused one in the store that day. I hope I am more patient in the future. It really isn't worth all that rage after all, I suppose. But it is still so easy to feel it!