Checkout Ballet

Sometimes at the grocery store checkout, on all too rare occasions, customer and checkout clerk achieve an uncanny level of synchronization, to the point where the experience transcends mere checkout and becomes ballet.

It takes both a special clerk with exceptional organizational and perceptual skills, the right mix of groceries in the cart, and an unexpected gust of Gilbrethian economy.

Tonight was a night like that.

Sobeys Allen Street. Aisle 8. Clerk Kaitlyn at the helm; $178 of groceries in the cart.

Everything unfurled without a single hiccup: as soon as I placed items on the conveyor they were whisked into precision placement in one of my reusable bags. I could hardly keep up.

And then, before I knew what was happening, we were done.

I fumbled my Air Miles and credit cards out of my wallet. Scan. Swipe. Tap.

And I was off into the crisp autumn evening.


Laurent Beaulieu's picture
Laurent Beaulieu on November 14, 2017 - 13:08 Permalink

This is nice when it happens, but I seem to get stuck in the gossip with the clerk line which is another matter all together.

Bob's picture
Bob on November 16, 2017 - 10:14 Permalink

As a regular at the Allen Street Sobeys, I can attest to Kaitlyn’s quick hands and mercurial brain. She’s the best grocery cashier I’ve ever experienced. She will no doubt be running the world when she finishes school. And that’s a comforting thought.