Joan of Argghh! has another thoughtful post up about the NPR/Juan Williams issue - where she is preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned (AFAIC). But, she mentioned being in line behind someone in a ten items or less express checkout lane and the type of people who abuse that system. We all hate people like that, and I know I've often wished for the checker to intervene.
But, I have had that happen. Specifically, to me.
Back in the day, I used to smoke. I'm talking about cigarettes - even though I did smoke the left handed variety even further into the mists of time - you couldn't buy those at El Marto Del Wal. Regular garden variety cancer sticks - yes.
I'm sure you've all seen the tobacco "center" staffed by an associate with checkout duties at the local discount emporium. They staff an express lane and service smokers wishing to purchase the objects of their addictions. It used to be that one could purchase a carton of smokes at an adjacent line - the checker would fetch the desired product for you while you were purchasing your selections from the rest of the store. Well, at some point, that stopped. If you wanted cigs, you had to go through their line. OK, fine, I'll take my large wad of stuff over to that line, even though it's generally a fifteen or less line.
Which was OK for a period of time. I had to go through that line to get what I wanted to purchase - too bad if I happened to want to purchase more items than the "law" would allow. Or perhaps they'd rather I only purchased ten or fifteen items and went elsewhere for the rest of my groceries and other goodies?
But, one day, I was told I had too many items for that line. I said I was well aware of that, but since they didn't allow me to purchase cigarettes in any other line, they could sure check me out here. Nope, if I wanted cigarettes, I could go to another line, check out and come back, or just reduce my items for this line. New management decision. Nothing they could do. The checker manager confirmed this.
So, if I wanted cigarettes in WalMart - I had to buy my regular stuff in one line - waiting for ten or fifteen minutes in line, then take my now paid for cart to the cigarette express line, wait for another ten or so minutes just to get a carton of cigarettes. I told them that if their management couldn't keep enough checkers in place to service customers as they came, so I didn't have to wait for long periods of time, then they didn't need my cigarette business. Or, they could pay me or give me a discount for my time waiting, which for some reason didn't fly. I wasn't going to stand in two lines for a major portion of an hour just to get out with my purchases. There were actually cheaper places in town that sold the evil cancer sticks, even though it wasn't as convenient. So, I checked out at an adjacent line and left without any cigs.
It might have been more inconvenient, but I never did buy a single cigarette at a WalMart for the rest of my smoking career.