How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket

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    Sep 10, 2016 1:33 PM GMT
    NYT: You dash into the supermarket for a few necessities. You figure it will be 10 minutes — tops — before you are done and on your way home.

    Then you get to the checkout lanes and they are brimming with shoppers. Your plan for a quick exit begins to evaporate.

    But all is not lost.

    For anyone who has ever had to stand in line (or if you are a New Yorker, you stand on line) at a supermarket, retailer, bank or anywhere else, here are some tips from experts for picking the line that will move the fastest.

    - Get behind a shopper who has a full cart

    - Go left for faster service

    - Look for female cashiers

    - For more tips see the below link
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    Sep 11, 2016 2:19 PM GMT
    read the article, much more informative that what the deplorable people have done this week.
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    Sep 12, 2016 4:29 PM GMT
    Haha.. I like these mathematical studies on solving real world problems. Now they just need to design serpent lines properly.....
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    Sep 13, 2016 5:43 AM GMT
    Easy: self-checkout is fastest. Especially if you learn the codes for the produce you usually buy.
    Otherwise, look for a male checker with mostly men in line. Unless they're old guys wearing out-of-season hats.
    If all the lines lead out into the aisles, just leave and come back another day.
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    Sep 14, 2016 9:34 AM GMT
    My own guidelines include:

    - Don't get behind middle-aged women shoppers. They develop a myriad of problems on the line. My favorite is they wait until they're at the checkout to announce they couldn't find something. They wouldn't ask a floor clerk while shopping. The Publix supermarket policy is to have some employee go back and fetch the missing item(s). Meanwhile you're stuck behind this. And women are seldom ready to pay when the checker is finished. So now you've gotta wait some more while they hunt for their payment method.

    Second most common problem is they always have items that need a price check by a floor clerk. Third, they claim the checkout failed to ring-up a sales price. More checking back in the store where it's discovered she picked the wrong item off the shelf, a non-sale item. Or else they'll manage to come up with some novel problem I've never heard of before.

    - Avoid women with little kids in the cart seat. The mothers will spend as much time trying to control the child as pay attention to unloading their groceries. Plus the child may start yelling. That itself doesn't necessarily slow the process down, but makes having to stand nearby total torture.

    - Do get behind men. They typically have fewer items, unload them onto the belt more quickly, have their payment ready, and generate fewer problems with their items. And usually have plastic or cash that are handled faster, almost never write a paper check like many women use, that may require separate ID verification or other added steps for the checker. Contrary to myths, although a supermarket is commonly thought to be a woman's shopping domain, men are actually better organized, more efficient, and faster checking out overall. If they're anything like me they wanna get it over with as quickly as possible and just get the hell out of there.

    So while women may find a supermarket to be like their second home where they're content to linger with no rush to leave, my hating being there motivates me to wanna run away from "home" as soon as I can. Making for a faster and less frustrating checkout experience for the shoppers behind me.
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    Sep 14, 2016 10:34 AM GMT
    UMayNeverKnow said
    There should also be a dedicated checkout for those 65 and older.

    I remember some supermarkets that had those checkouts, with extra-wide lanes for easier wheelchair use. But I guess they weren't cost effective, and maybe caused too many scuffles among shoppers, because I haven't seen any in a while.

    One time I went to a regular check-out line, because the handicapped had no checker, and there was only person in this regular lane. I unloaded my things onto the end of the belt. While I waited a bit of a line formed behind me.

    Suddenly there was a commotion from the back of the line, as this loud, shrewish voice demanded, in a New York City accent unmistakable to me: "Let me go ahead of you, I'm old and disabled! I need to move up!" A woman who looked to be no more than 50s, with no cane or apparent mobility problem, was working her way up the line, as people got out of her way. No polite "May I get ahead of you, please? I'm disabled and can't stand in long lines like this."

    She finally got directly behind me, just as the checker was almost ready to ring up my items. She was carrying a plastic hand basket, her claimed disabled status not preventing her from doing that, either.

    "Get out of my way!" she barked at me. That was enough for me, I wasn't going to give this nasty bitch the satisfaction. "No, I'm next," I calmly replied. "What do you mean NO? Get out of my way! I'm old!" She neglected to mention the handicapped this time, nor had she aged 20 years since I saw her first start this farce at the back of the line.

    "If you have some handicap there's a special handicapped lane right over there," I responded, pointing at the lane. "But I'm old! Get out of my way!" she screeched, repeating her mantra. "Madame, I'm as old as you are, and I actually need a cane to walk," I replied, holding up my cane. "I'm the one who can't stand in a line easily."

    By now the checker was ready to take me. "Hello, how are you?" I said smiling. "I'm next, correct?" She looked a bit troubled by this situation, but answered: "Yes, sir, you are." "Good, thank you." And she started checking my items.

    "No, I'm next!" yelled the woman. "I'm complaining to the manager! I was next!" She continued to rant, more and more hysterically, the whole time my items were being checked. I wondered if she was gonna shove or hit me, but never did. The bagger reloaded my cart, and offered to push it out to my car for me. I usually don't have them do that, but that day I made an exception.

    Giving me the opportunity to say to him, loudly enough to be heard by the woman and others in the line: "Yes, thank you. My car's the first one out the right door exit, parked in a handicapped space." Stressing the 'handicapped'. For which of course I had an authorized blue handicapped placard, proving I had a genuine disability.
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    Sep 18, 2016 12:14 PM GMT
    If you can find a line with a really built man with tight pants and room to ogle....THAT will always be the fastest line. Trust me.
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    Sep 18, 2016 6:10 PM GMT
    A week ago my recently divorced sister was telling me that she so can't stand to even see her husband's name that, still in possession of joint checks with both their names on them, she crosses his name out whenever she has to use them, so she uses them sparingly if at all, and besides, "people on the go don't pay by check anymore."

    "No," I corrected. "One person on the go ALWAYS pays by check. And she's always in front of me in the check-out line."

    I elicited a rare laugh from my sister!
  • Apparition

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    Sep 19, 2016 3:28 AM GMT
    ...using cheques to you are amish or