March 13, 2008

Target is a great store. Got almost everything you would ever need at decent prices. But I always wonder why they have 30 checkout aisles when there are never more than 6 employees working at the registers.

Whenever I have to wait in a checkout line at stores, I pick which line I go to based on 4 rules.

1. A clearly defined shortest line always win. If the difference is minor, such as one line has 4 and the other has 5 (or in the case at Costco 12 and 13), I go to rule 2.

2. Pick the line with best looking checkout girl. If you're going to wait, might as well have a little prize at the end. Not that I've ever managed to score a date at Safeway or Target. But someday instead of asking 'ATM or credit?' they might ask 'Can I buy you dinner?' If nothing catches my eye, then I move to rule 3.

3. Pick the line with the best looking people waiting in line. Similar to rule 2. Lots of stupid conversations like 'Hey, I drink Pepsi too!' and 'Wow, that's a lot of dog food!' Nobody has offered to buy me dinner through this rule yet either.

4. This is the rule most people use first, which is to find the line with the most potential to move fast. At this point, I just want to pay and leave. Stay away from waiting behind older folks who might have to dig for exact change. Scout the checkout clerk to see who chats it up and who just speeds things along.

I hate waiting in line, but I only use the self-checkout lanes when rule number 1 is in effect. I feel I'm not getting my money's worth from the store if I do my own checking and bagging. I hate it when the self-checkout line requires you to stop and wait for assistance from an store employee. I can't stand it when the automated voice tells me to keep placing the scanned item in the bagging area over and over again. Although Home Depot Lane 2 did offer to take me to the Burger King across the street last time I went to pick up some PVC pipe.

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