(And a few observations)
This is the sign over the door at the store where I work. I think it was nice of them to make it red so that I could use it for Ruby Tuesday, don't you?
Personality Types and Belt Loading Styles
I’ve taken a few personality type tests in my day, but I’ve noticed that maybe all that diagnosing could be done if a psychoanalyst stood at my cash register and observed the manner in which people load their groceries onto my conveyer belt.
Note: None of these styles is gender specific. Instead of using the cumbersome politically correct he/she, I used he in some parts and she in others.
The Angry Tosser: This person is angry about something – maybe got into a fight with the spouse before leaving home or stressed out from work or possibly the high price of groceries. Whatever it is, she takes it out on the groceries. She drags her cart into the lane rather than pushing it from behind, positions herself between the cart and the belt and then grabs items out of the cart and literally throws them onto the belt, so that they land with an angry thud. Some of these people bend over the cart and throw things backwards over their heads, giving extra punctuation to the sound of them hitting the belt – especially the frozen things. When finished unloading the groceries onto the belt, she stomps over to the cash register (leaving the cart behind for someone else to move) and glares at the cashier. She watches the screen behind the cashier with frown lines growing deeper with every beep of the scanner. When the total is announced, she lets a little puff of disgust escape her lips and starts digging in her purse for a debit card. She rips the card through the card scanner and punches in the PIN as if stabbing the life out of a pesky rodent.
And – what a surprise – neither the Angry Tosser nor the cashier feel any better for all this venting.
The Liner-Upper: This person likes the belt to be moving constantly. They place their groceries on the belt one at a time, in single file. You can imagine what this looks like when we have single-serve yogurts on sale at 20 for $10.00.
The Stacker: This is a person who has too much time on their hands. They can be found in line behind an elderly person who takes too long to write the check or needs help with scanning their debit card. While I (the cashier) am helping the first customer figure out how to scan the debit (or EBT) card the Stacker is arranging his groceries in tall stacks, sometimes in alphabetical order on the belt. He is determined to use only half of the length of the four foot belt, so he somehow manages to get $200 worth of groceries compacted into piles three feet high. The first stack contains apples, apricots and bananas. Next, they load a pile of cheese, cookies and crackers. The Stacker doesn’t usually create a problem until he reaches the soft drink category of his groceries. He likes to stack his three 24 packs of pop or beer in order: i.e. three cubes of Pepsi followed by three cubes of Budweiser followed by three cases of bottled water. At this point, the stacks of 24-packs begin to tower over my head, and become increasingly unstable with every movement of the belt. The stacks generally come crashing down before they get to me, thank goodness, or I might have to demand hazardous duty pay when faced with The Stacker. Sometimes I wish the Stacker would take lessons from the Liner-Upper.
The Plop & Finish: This person is in too big of a hurry to bother picking up a cart or basket on their way into the store, so she has to carry everything in her arms. She approaches the grocery belt loaded down with several boxes of mac & cheese, a bag of potatoes, a few pounds of hamburger and a couple bottles of condiments. She plops this collection on the belt – and then abandons it to get “a couple things I almost forgot.” By the time she gets back with another overflowing armload of stuff, the first collection is scanned and bagged and there are usually two or three people lined up waiting….and waiting…and waiting for her to finish her shopping.
So there you have it. Which one are you?