STEVE ASHMORE: Using the express lane? Be considerate of others

Steve Ashmore
Daily News Blogger
Walton Sun

I’ve spoken before on how self-serve and kiosks are replacing cashiers. I don’t mind companies keeping costs down, but I miss the interaction. Especially with those who enjoy their jobs and treat customers like friends instead of a duty. That said, most companies will never completely abandon the idea of having a real person available to handle transactions.

Most businesses are going to continue this type of service for a variety of reasons. As a convenience, they will also continue the practice of express lanes. The number of allowed items varies, but you can almost always find an aisle that allows for a faster checkout for customers with fewer items.

Even so, there are always those who push their full cart into the 10 items or less line. Have you ever been behind someone and thought, “Is this a math major who can’t read or an English major who can’t count?” No one is going to start a fight with you if you have one extra item, but even if you carefully count your items before you head to the rapid check out here are some things to consider.

If the lane is empty, most companies encourage their employees to invite waiting patrons to the express lane. After all, time is money. So, if a cashier invites you to bring your extra items, feel free – it’s generally company policy to do so.

Companies also discourage (even forbid) their employees from pointing out that customers are abusing the express lane. If you think you’ve put one over on an unsuspecting worker by loading your 28 items on the conveyor, you’re dead wrong. They are simply not allowed to tell you how inconsiderate you are.

Finally, managers generally do not assign baggers to the express lanes. It’s a cost-saving measure and the cashiers take on the extra responsibility. Those who push their full carts into this lane are not only inconveniencing other shoppers, but they also burden the staff by pressing them into double duty.

If you’ve already spent 45 minutes picking your groceries, what will 3 more minutes cost you? The express lane is a convenience, so use it as intended. By the way there are 12 eggs in a carton, so don’t try to sneak into the 10 items or less lane.

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