Saturday Discussions – Holding up Lines
Last weekend I was at Sears buying my son a suit for his first mock trial in magnet law class. (#proudfather) Anyway, at checkout I was trying to use a few thousand Shop Your Way Rewards points, a SYWR coupon and a Sears gift card to pay. (You know, typical stuff!)
For some reason the cashier applied the gift card first, which caused the Sears system not to allow the points. So she then had to go back and void the entire transaction and start over. In the mean time, the two older ladies behind me in line were getting inpatient.
After a couple of minutes of them inching closer and closer, one of them said to the other under her breath (but loud enough for me to hear), “Why doesn’t he just pay cash?” Keep in mind I wasn’t MSing, I was just buying a suit! Her comment really upset me and for the first time ever in a situation like this I decided to respond. I said, “There are a lot of other registers. You don’t have to be rude.”
I’m not sure if my reaction was appropriate, but I know hers certainly wasn’t. While it doesn’t really matter, her reaction got me thinking of all of the times I could feel the angry stares of people behind me in line when doing multiple/complicated transactions.
The Angry Mob
During the recent Smart & Final deal, I heard those “under the breath” comments often from people behind me in line. The thing is I would limit my transactions to a total of 4, which took a lot less time than their cart full of groceries. Of course that is obviously not something they cared about.
I also remember countless visits to Smith’s (Kroger) or Staples where my transaction required a manager override. Make people wait an extra 30
seconds minutes and they will turn on you. Sometimes I am shocked at how rude people can be. I have been behind “complicated” people in line and sure I have rude thoughts, but I would never say them out loud.
Which brings me to the topic of this week’s Saturday discussion. I am all about respecting the time of others, but sometimes holding up the line is unavoidable. In this hobby we often are working on the fringes of the system. What I mean by that is that we are taking advantage of transactions and deals in a different way than a lot of other customers. Sometimes this causes issues.
I generally always try to limit the number of transactions I am doing to four or less. In cases where each transaction takes a long time, sometimes I will only do one at a time. With that said, I am a customer too and have the same rights as others to complete my business, as long as I am not complicating things myself. (i.e. arguing, etc.)
In the Sears example I was simply trying to checkout. Just because I was using a coupon, points and a gift card doesn’t mean I didn’t have the right to my transaction. The holdup in that example was the Sears register and not me. I did nothing wrong and in my view the lady behind me was out of line.
So I would love feedback on the following:
- Is it ok to hold up a line while manufacturing spend? How many transactions are alright before you should go to the back of the line?
- On the flip side, is it ok to be rude to that “complicated” person in front of you in line?
- Finally, feel free to share your most memorable experiences of either holding up a line or being in a line that was held up by someone else!
Have a great Saturday!