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Thread: On the grocery store conveyor belt

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    On the grocery store conveyor belt

    You ever take note of what other people are buying while waiting in line at the grocery store? Normally, nothing very interesting, particularly if they're doing major grocery shopping. If there is a time, though, that might cause you to do a double take it's when people purchase just a few items and the items might suggest (at least to someone with a vivid imagination) some sort of unsavory connection. For example, wouldnt you think 'hmmm' if it was Halloween and the guy in front of you was buying nothing more than a bag of apples and a package of razor blades? or a bag of candy and a bottle of rat poison?

    What might you infer if the person in line next to you had three items on the conveyor belt: a box of matches, a can of lighter fluid and a box of sympathy cards?

    How about at the campus convenience store when you see the young lady in front of you buying a six pack of Coors, a bag of chocolates, and a package of condoms?

    I'm seldom one to strike up a conversation with a stranger to begin with and keep my thoughts to myself at the grocery store, but one time I was front of this lady who felt it necessary to point out to me "You know that (junk food I was buying) is the worst thing for you. Processed sugars cause ADD, cancer, heart attacks, scurvey, strokes, STD's, Dengue fever, blah blah blah...." Anyone else ever had something like that happen to them?

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    The grocery store line is like the urinal. Keep discussions to a minimum and look away from the business.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Whenever somebody in front of me is buying an odd combination of items, I always think of this scene from The Simpsons:



    The clip cuts it out but when Homer gets home, Marge is going through the bag and says, "I don't know what your plans for tonight are, but count me out of them!"
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I don't ever say anything about other people's purchases. It amazes me how much convenience and pre-prepared food people buy though. Sometimes I get asked if I cook a lot since I rarely buy boxed or canned items. Once a guy asked me for advice on how to make a tasty meatloaf while we were standing in line.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I never say anything aloud in line at the store, but if some lady is buying: a cucumber, tube of KY and a 'Master & Commander' DVD I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't bust up laughing. (there's probably a better/funnier movie choice but that was the first that came to mind)

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    The previous post is rated R for the viewing public.



    I did scratch my head yesterday when the guy in front of me placed beer, poptarts and a tomato on the conveyor.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    It amazes me how much convenience and pre-prepared food people buy though.
    Me too. Often I notice people buying items in multiples: e.g., 6 Swanson TV dinners, 4 boxes of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese, and so on... and no fresh fruits or vegetables. Not much variety (but tons of sodium) in those diets.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    I don't ever say anything about other people's purchases. It amazes me how much convenience and pre-prepared food people buy though. .
    I am also amazed by that when i go to one of the major grocery chains (trader joe's included). I sometimes chat with the people in front of me due to the kids always up to something. Most times i am in line with students and will make some comment (usually on a friday) about a party, or drink they are going to make based on their bulk liquor purchase. Also I dish out wine advice on occasion to the student who has a price "point" because yellow tail or barefoot seems to be always consumed by this crowd, and quite frankly, these kids need help
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    I am also amazed by that when i go to one of the major grocery chains (trader joe's included). I sometimes chat with the people in front of me due to the kids always up to something. Most times i am in line with students and will make some comment (usually on a friday) about a party, or drink they are going to make based on their bulk liquor purchase. Also I dish out wine advice on occasion to the student who has a price "point" because yellow tail or barefoot seems to be always consumed by this crowd, and quite frankly, these kids need help
    Okay, I lied. I guess I have offered unsolicited comments on other people's purchases in line before. When it comes to beer I have complimented others on their purchases. "Lucid: the finest kolsch you'll find. That's the discerning beer drinker's choice for a hot summer day..."

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Shortly after I started dating my now wife, I went through a lane with a bottle of vodka and a bunch of roses.

    The guy comment "You either did something bad, or you're going to have a good night".

    It was pretty funny. But you had to be there.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    In college my roommate was not a nice person. We were at the convince store near campus and he had quite the selection of bottled liquor and beer. A very attractive woman behind us made the comment, “looks like you’re going to have a hell of a party.” His response was simply, “No, I am an alcoholic, but you are welcome to join me.”

    It followed with that awkward moment of vocal silence where her mind raced for an appropriate statement or witty comeback. Personally I did not know if I should laugh or hit him upside the head.
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I once went through the checkout with a bunch of bananas, a six pack, and some vaseline. They were all unrelated, but i'm sure it looked funny.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    Many moons ago I worked as a cashier at a Kroger store. It was a hard job, but the hours worked with my schedule, and they pay was decent.

    Most of the time, cashiers don't notice what's in the cart/going through the line. We're too busy trying to keep our items-per-minute rate up, separate the breads/mushable items from the rest, and remembering to ID for alcohol. I don't really care what you're purchasing, as long as it scans and doesn't break open.

    However, there were a few notiable exceptions. I certainly noticed when the meat department manager came through my line, drunk as a skunk, and tried to purchase some steaks and beer. He was more upset at me for backing away from his stench than he was with the store manager that kicked him out. And the time a (now former) Dallas Cowboy player wanted to purchase two 12 packs of beer with a $100 bill - right after I'd done a bill drop with the manager and couldn't make change. And as a topper, when the dad of a coworker came through my express line with condoms, a pint of ice cream and beer. That certainly made the wheels turn in my head, and my eyes still hurt!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Somehow I'm always in line behind the interesting carts. If it's evidently a party, picnic, or other big event, I'll get my fellow customer's attention and remind them, hey, I forgot your address? Usually we have a nice discussion about the occasion.

    One time, for a HS grad party, the mom decided that it would be a whole lot of teens and not much fun for her, and she was enjoying talking to me so much that she invited me! I declined, but it was fun to discuss.

    Since we have the infamous ten-center law, with bottle deposit machines that collect the empties, it's possible to have another fun discussion on Monday or Tuesday. (Takes a couple days to collect all the containers and bring in.)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    I'm a pretty friendly person and will talk to just about anyone... in line, at a restaurant, at a bar, at the beach, whatever, wherever.
    A fun game MW and I play on occasion is to try to guess what people are buying things for, similar to Maister's game here where you wonder about item combinations.

    I say we take this game up a notch and try to capture images of excellent conveyor belt combinations to compare!
    Occupy Your Brain!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    .......I say we take this game up a notch and try to capture images of excellent conveyor belt combinations to compare!
    Word!!! I'm all over this suggestion. Brilliant!! I'm on a mission. Cover me.

    Can anybody tell me if they have conveyor belts at macy*s?
    Annoyingly insensitive

  17. #17
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Word!!! I'm all over this suggestion. Brilliant!! I'm on a mission. Cover me.

    Can anybody tell me if they have conveyor belts at macy*s?
    No but the local Indian population seems to think it is Macy's: Let's Make a Deal. I once witnessed a group of Indian men trying to haggle with an exasperated clerk. She finally said "Listen this isn't Let's Make a Deal, you have to pay the price marked. Now do you want the item or not?"
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  18. #18
    Out here, we have conveyor belts that take your groceries from the check out area to a car pick up area. Ive always wanted to get in one of the bins and go for a ride. They have to be safe, after all, eggs make it through the trip intact.

    Would I pic of me riding the belt count?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Sometimes I see parents getting a big sheet cake from the bakery for a kid's birthday. And then they throw an18-pack of beer and/or a few bottles of wine on the belt.

    Guess they've figured out how to survive their kid's birthday fest.

    There are a couple old people (not together) at our usual store who always argue that something or other they have is on sale and wasn't rung up correctly. Like the clerks didn't figure them out years ago. They just pull out the week's ad and point out that that item is not on sale. Then the old people get huffy and it never works for them. Last week the mean/deranged-looking old woman wanted discounts on all her canned goods because every one was dented. My guess is she bashed them against the shelves herself. These are people who drive cars I could never afford and have no problem buying expensive steaks and deli items.

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