No, you can’t cut the line in front of me at the supermarket (opinion)
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No, you can’t cut the line in front of me at the supermarket (opinion)

Jul 07, 2023

Use it. (Tom Wrobleski/Staten Island Advance)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – I like to think I’m somewhat of a nice guy. I hold the door open for people. I let drivers in oncoming traffic make left turns in front of me. I’m kind to animals.

But there are limits. And I reach mine when it comes to letting people jump the checkout line in front of me at the supermarket.

You know how it goes: You’re on line, either placing your items on the conveyor belt or with the stuff already there when someone comes up behind you with just a handful of items.

They ask if you would mind if they got in front of you, seeing as they have so few items and you have so many.

My answer: Yes, I would mind a great deal!

Nobody likes to wait on line. And few of us look forward to the tedium of a trip to the supermarket, especially on the weekend. We’re all trying to get back to our lives as fast as possible.

If I see someone wandering from lane to lane with just a handful of items before I actually get on line, they can get in front of me. No problem.

But if I’m already in line? If my stuff is already on the conveyor belt? Nope. Find another fool. Unless you’re infirm and obviously struggling.

I’d sooner let someone jump the concession line in front of me at the ballgame. Or cut in front of me on line at a department store. Would you?

This is one of the very reasons why supermarket self-checkout was invented, so that people with only a few items don’t have to wait on line behind people with carts brimming with stuff.

Yes, I know that the self-checkout line can be a big time suck too. I know that some shoppers bring too many items to what used to be “express” lanes, gumming up the line. And there are shoppers who don’t quite have the hang of entering the codes for their fruits and vegetables.

I get it. Not my problem.

You can sometimes see folks with a handful of item going from line to line in the supermarket, looking for the right spot to make their ask. My thought? If you’re hale and hearty enough to carry your items from line to line, you’re good to use the self-checkout.

A while back, I saw on survey on Facebook or somewhere else online, a piece of clickbait that’s meant to drag you down into the rabbit hole of endless scrolling. It asked people whether they would let someone cut in front of them on the supermarket line.

The answers were almost uniformly yes. I frankly couldn’t believe that everybody else in the world was that nice except for me, though I guess it could be true.

The whole supermarket checkout question reminds me of the stories I’ve seen more and more lately about people who refuse to give up their pricey airline seats so a family can sit together.

I wouldn’t do it either. Someone else’s lack of planning isn’t my problem. Don’t try to shame me in order to make things more convenient for yourself.

Same thing with the self-checkout. If it’s too much of a hassle for you to use it, I don’t know what to tell you. And if you truly struggle with it, ask for help from the worker stationed there. Or wait on the regular line.

And if you don’t like waiting on lines, you can try to get to the supermarket earlier. Or you can have your groceries delivered.

Just don’t ask to get in front of me. I’m in a hurry too.

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