November 1st is probably as good a time as any for a retail themed post. I am this blog's resident retail expert, so this task falls to me.
The other day I overheard a woman who was annoyed about how long she had to wait in line. Five of the six registers were running. The sixth probably would have been open, but, what people don't seem to understand, is that there probably wasn't a person to run that one. Many reasons can account for that; if everyone is pulled on to register, then no one is on the floor to help you (lady who would probably complain about not finding anyone on the floor); scheduling tools use the previous year's sales to determine the staffing for the current year, so if last year was dead and the current week hasn't been unusually busy, chances are the store wasn't planning on things being busy; and, maybe, just maybe, that register has experienced the blue screen of death.
Anyway, this whole thing just got me thinking, "What the fuck is wrong with waiting in line?" If you are so tightly scheduled, maybe running in for clothes isn't something to try to squeeze in...like those jeans... After all, Murphy makes the law and he gives no fucks. You're in a hurry to get that sweater? Well, according to statute 101c of the Law of Murphy, rushing to by a sweater is punishable by a full system crash and need for reboot. Decided to make a quick stop to grab a couple of your favorite tank tops? Not without paying the penalty of cranky-customer-holding-up-the-line-to-berate-16-year-old-cashier-who-obviously-makes-all-policies. Like I said, Murphy has not one fuck to give.
So, here are some things you can do with your line time.
See that kid you brought with you? The one watching the world for cues on how to behave in a store? Interact with your kid. Teach him/her patience through your example. Have a conversation, even if you have a baby with you. Embrace the moment and connect with your tiny human.
Pretty self explanatory, I believe.
Instead of getting to the register, having the cashier scan everything, and then deciding that you don't want something, do it in line. This doesn't mean that you dump the stuff you don't want some random place along the way through the line. Simply give the items you are opting out of to the cashier. Crazy, right? I mean, who would think of doing something like that? Yep, I'm a genius, a genius of manners and courteous behavior.
Here's something I learned from my parents. Use your line time to get things ready to be checked out easily. This can be something like taking clothes off of the hangers. Another is to get the tags out of whatever little places they got themselves tucked. I learned how to prep greeting cards for the cashier from watching my dad. Once he selected a card, he grabbed the envelope, slid the card upside under the flap so that the bar code was exposed for the cashier. I've even heard cashiers thank him. Such simple things.
Strike Up A Conversation
This makes me shudder, but some people don't mind striking up a conversation with strangers. I can't do it, I don't want it done to me, but others don't think that way. I'm just throwing this out there.
There's An App For That
Use your smartphone for good. Find an app that calms you. Not a Facebook or Twitter, but something to slow you down, to keep you from stressing out. There are coloring apps because of the new trend in adult coloring for calm and peace and zen and whatever. I find crossword puzzles to be a nice distraction.
If you do prefer to use a social media app, perhaps consider posting a selfie of yourself patiently waiting in line. #patienceisavirture #thisiswhatpatiencelookslike
So, just remember that lines happen and that's not a bad thing.