I played the percentages while choosing a checkout line at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Jersey City yesterday and lost, big-time.
The self-checkout lines are not an option for me, as I have proven time and time again to be thoroughly incompetent when it comes to using them, so my choices came down to a line with an elderly couple ahead of me, and a line with an Asian couple who looked to be in their early 50s. I generally have bad luck when stuck behind elderly people in checkout lines, as I always seem to wind up behind the ones who question the price of every single item and claim that the sales tax on a purchase of more than $100 is off by a penny, so I chose the line with the Asian couple.
The Asian couple had quite the haul of merchandise, but most people who shop at BJ’s wind up with similar stashes, so I wasn’t overly concerned. I overheard them chatting while waiting for the person in front of them to finish paying, and they spoke nearly flawless English, so I felt pretty good about my choice.
And then, the fun started.
First, the Asian couple proceeded to break up their purchases into four separate groups, each to be rung up and paid for separately. This added a good five minutes to my waiting time. Luckily, despite the complete lack of consideration and the perception that they were the only customers who mattered, I wasn’t in a hurry, so I sighed, rolled my eyes and decided it wasn’t worth saying anything or moving to another line.
Now, for the action that spurred my homicidal thoughts: After paying for the first two batches of merchandise in cash, the Asian couple attempted to pay for the last two with BJ’s gift cards that had no money left on them. The cashier was nice enough to try each card a couple of times, but they kept coming up empty. Suddenly, the people who were speaking perfect English moments ago were the victims of a shocking memory loss, as the ability to speak the English language was unexplainably removed from their memory banks and their communication with the cashier was reduced to a series of gestures and grunts. How convenient.
After two trips to the customer-service desk, during which the gestures became more animated and the grunts became louder, the situation was somehow resolved, and I was finally able to pay for my purchases after a 13-minute wait.
I had almost calmed down from the boiling point of my anger until the husband from the Asian couple turned around with a goofy grin and chose option No. 1 from the list of Asian stereotypes: “So solly!” I am dead serious and not trying to pass on a racist joke: The man actually said “solly,” not “sorry.” I am truly amazed that I resisted the temptation to unleash a right hook at his jaw.
I was the solly one – solly I chose that checkout line. I hate morons.