Saturday, May 28, 2005

Down and Out
Here's a Happy Homemaker Word to the Wise: Don't do your grocery shopping on the first day of the month. (Notice, I did not say word from the wise).

Altogether oblivious to the date, Spencer and I headed over to the grocery store to pick up a few supplies. You know, chicken, fruit, bread, oatmeal, milk... the essentials. This particular store is usually known for fast service and short lines. Today, however, all the lines were full. Not only that, all the carts were full. In fact, I saw more than one customer with multiple carts. These are already the biggest carts in town, so these people were doing some serious shopping.

(Just as an aside, isn't it interesting to see what people are buying? Sometimes I think it might be interesting to be a checker and see what people buy. One lady had 30 packages of hotdogs, 30 packages of buns and a lot of ketchup (aka catsup) and mustard. One guy, who had two carts, had about 100 pound of meat in his basket (everything from brisket to chicken). When the woman in front of me ran out of food stamps, she took the juice bags but left the beans and the bacon.)

Anyway, it seems the payment system had stalled at the supermarket. Nothing was going through except cash, which nobody had. Not for $400 in groceries, at least. The manager was running from line to line taking credit card and check information to the service counter to call them in for approval. You can imagine how long that took. I guess I looked trustworthy because the checker just took my check and rang it in as cash so I could be on my way. Or maybe it is because I showed sympathy and joked around with her about her great day that she was especially nice to me. I bet they took a lot of grief today for something out of their control.

Just a few years ago (7? 8?) there was still a grocery store at 63rd and May with the old registers. You remember, the kind with prices on the keys like .50, .25, $2, $5. They pressed down like old typewriter keys. They made carbon imprints of credit cards and took their chances with checks. There wasn't a barcode in the store. It seemed slow compared to the scanners, but on a day like to day it would have been lightning fast. We are now slaves to electronics. If the system shuts down, nobody knows what to do! I doubt they could even open the cash registers! But if they could, they would have to count back change. GASP!


Blogger CGHill said...

And today there's no grocery store at all at 63rd and May: there's a car wash, two service stations (one of which is about to be auctioned off), and a strip mall with an AutoZone and a CompUSA.

I bet the Mayfair Market at 50th and May was a late adopter of scanners, too.

8:32 PM, June 01, 2005  

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