Business: Supermarket: Checkout
Checkout Lanes for the Indecisive   (+6, -5)  [vote for, against]
I'm not sure how to summarise this one

As is mentioned elsewhere in this site, queuing in supermarkets is a cause of much stress and strife. Lots of people (men) know exactly what they want in the 3 minutes they're allowed out of the office for. It is therefore streemly annoying for said people to be caught behind person who isn't sure whether to pay by cash or card, decides card then isn't sure how much cash they want back and, oh, did they get the butter?

I propose that each supermarket advertises two (yes, two) lanes for indecisive people. This should free the other lanes for people who know where they want to go.
-- PeterSilly, Oct 02 2002

I'm not sure which lane to use...
-- pmillerchip, Oct 02 2002

I can't seem to make up my mind if this is a thinly disguised rant, or if it's a rant that's in need of a thin disguise.
-- blissmiss, Oct 02 2002

Nice idea. Will buy you 1 Croissant. Pay cash, have right money ready.

Maybe the idecisive ones can be "marked" by swiping their loyaty scheme cards, then later on, teams of trained thugs can track them down and beat them to a bloody pulp with pickaxe handles. And film the event , to be replayed on screens in-store "pour encourager les autres".
-- 8th of 7, Oct 02 2002

Yep. Exact Money Only lane.
-- General Washington, Oct 02 2002

Work out the bugs in your design, ¯PeterSilly, and then contact the state of Florida election commission offices with your breakthrough.
-- reensure, Oct 02 2002

I'm not sure how to vote on this one. I mean the -1 is next to "for" and the +2 is next to "against". Maybe I shouldn't vote at all and/or delete this anno, whatever.
-- FarmerJohn, Oct 02 2002

PS, I'd like to give you a croissant for this. Gosh, the croissants have looked better than they do today ... how about a nice muffin instead? No apple cinnamon, just blueberry? Hmm ... perhaps a mocha, with whipped cream on top. And what are those things in the little tins? Chocolate mints? And one of those too, I guess.

Ooops; seems I'm out of cash. Do you take VISA, or -- wait. Is there even any money left on the VISA, or did I spend it all at Lipsticks R Us? What's your policy on personal cheques? Well I don't have a photo ID on me at the moment, as my drivers' license has expired and the new one isn't due to arrive in the mail for weeks ...
-- 1percent, Oct 02 2002

"If you like, we'll help pull your head out of your ass"
-- thumbwax, Oct 03 2002

Thumbwax: No, the team of highly trained thugs are there do do EXACTLY the reverse of that.

Oh, and [FarmerJohn] - don't walk down any dark alleys for a while ........

I really like [General Wahington]'s idea for a "Blokes with only three items and the exact money ready" lane.
-- 8th of 7, Oct 03 2002

Problem with the last one is that it falls foul of sex discrimination laws here in the good ole' U of K.

Providing two such lanes for the indecisive means that we would probably also need a large pooling area where the indecisive gather to work out (a) does the sign relate to them and (b) which of the two lines to actually take. Gathering in this pool implicitly bars you from using any other checkout lanes.

btw - bliss - it wasn't actually a rant. My local lunchtime supermarket is generally quite excellent with a maximum of 2 ahead in any queue. If you want a rant...
-- PeterSilly, Oct 03 2002

"Blokes with only three items and exact money ready"...

Bloke is at checkout. The girl working at the checkout passes through his shopping...
Beep: 1 carrot
Beep: 2 pork chops
Beep: 1 Individual fruit trifle
Beep: 1 small box or teabags

The shopping is paid for. The checkout girl then raises her head and asks:
"You don't have a girlfriend do you?"
"No...How did you? oh, you can tell be the shopping!" replies the bloke
" an ugly b*%$+£d!"
-- Jinbish, Oct 03 2002

whats with the

"Lots of people (men) ...."

comment? Was that really neccessary? I do not think so. Gah. stereotype, much?
-- eris, Oct 03 2002

Exact money is fine, except then we'll have to contend with the "Exact Money Loyalty Card". Pay with exact money 10 times, get your next encounter with the thugs waived for free!
-- squatch, Oct 04 2002

eris - granted, it does appear stereotypical. However, my observations do indicate that men tend to swoop into stores, barrage around and then huff and puff at the checkout. Mrs Silly does exactly the same, hence "lots of people (men)" rather than "lots of men". Conversely, some of the slowest people I've seen in supermarkets are old men, not necessarily old women.
-- PeterSilly, Oct 04 2002

It might be good for me. I do have terribly low blood pressure.
-- RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2002

UB - my wife actually hates shopping, especially for clothes. She tends to buy most of her stuff mail order.
-- PeterSilly, Oct 04 2002

me = girl actually hates shopping too - for groceries and clothes. any anything else really, with the exception of some electronics. its a good idea as it would get all of those indecisive people out of my way because the faster I can get in and out, the better.
-- eris, Oct 04 2002

Indeed. People are always handing items to the cachier and saying, "I've changed my mind." Whole piles of these mind-changed items accumulate at the tills, requiring employees to scoop them up and restock them. It's so tacky. Instead, they should leave half of the items there and, at random intervals, hand them to customers and require them to buy them. Seems only fair.
-- Ander, May 08 2003

There is more to it than exact change and indeciveness. I'm talking about people ahead of me that wait for the cash register total, then try to find a pen, then begin writing their check ... let's see, what is today's date? Then before handing it to the cashier they need to make a note of it in their checkbook. Then the cashier starts with her procedure, getting driver's license, running the check through her little machine etc. etc... and the check was only for $1.21.

Yes, I have learned to be patient but there are limits.

Sometimes the people paying cash are even worse... looking for their change, trying to count it, trying to find some more.
-- maniacr, May 08 2003

I think that this idea is actually baked. In all the supermarkets that I go into there are lanes provided for 'baskets only', 'three items or less', 'cash only', 'cash and cards only', 'wide lane' etc. Loads of options for people who know where they are going. All the other lanes are there for the express purpose of catering to the indecisive. That's why there are so many of them, so that people can give full rein to their indecisiveness.

On a slightly different tack, it obviously costs money to have all these lanes in operation and this cost is passed on to the customers in the price of the items purchased. How would it be if, instead of doing it that way, each checkout operative was supplied with a meter, similar to the ones that taxi (cab) drivers use, and you were charged for the time that you actually spent at the checkout?
-- DrBob, May 08 2003

We need a supermarket managed by the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, is what we need.

"No groceries for you! Get out!"
-- friendlyfire, May 08 2003

Which lane do you use, [DrBob]?
-- PeterSilly, May 08 2003

The one with the slowest moving queue normally.
-- DrBob, May 08 2003

random, halfbakery