Saturday, July 09, 2016

Meijer and the secret identity

maybe you've noticed by now that in a dozen or so of my 70 posts (this is post #71!), I mention using the u-scan. 

"mention" is wrong, more like detail my disdain, frustration and inner grrrr! for the malfunctioning lasers, the dirty glass, the temperamental scales and that grating/nasal computer voice! 

maybe you've asked yourself, "if she despises it, why in the name of all that is non-machine does she keep using the wretched u-scan?"

my life in the grocery store is all about get in, get out, as soon as I possibly can. hence, I generally base my machine cashier vs. human cashier choice on:

1. how short is the line?
2. how much is in my cart?

and that's it, 2 easy qualifiers for years... until sometime around late 2015.  

once upon a time...

I went on a big shopping trip. I had a list, a daily meal plan for the week and a very full cart. my hope and dream was to avoid stepping foot in a grocery store for a week. (haha, isn't that always the elusive dream?) 

I headed for the human. 

this was a cashier I was familiar with, nothing personal (of course), I rarely do personal with the superstore staff. however, I knew she was experienced, non-chatty, and she knew her produce

she did not disappoint, $108 later, shopping cart filled with plastic bagged groceries, I slid my card to pay. nothing happened. tried again, zilch. experienced cashier took my card, wrapped a layer of plastic bag around card and slid it through-- ta-da! the machine read my card. 

and that's when it happened. 

as the cashier unwrapped my card from the plastic, she noticed that instead of a signature on the back of the card, I had written in Sharpie, "CHECK I.D."

She flipped the card over, read my name and middle initial off the card, then said it; out loud.

"traci n..." 

my last name trailed off as her eyes lifted to mine and held me for 4 unnerving seconds. I'm suddenly alert-- was that recognition in her voice? 

softer this time she repeated my first name and middle initial embossed on my card. 

"traci n." 

another two seconds, then, 

"ms. traci... may I see some I.D.?"

knew that she knew, I just didn't know what would happen next. I gulped, the jig was up. my secret identity had been revealed. my heretofore "knack for observing the ridiculous" superpower was about to be... exposed to the superstore at the superstore! 

I pulled my license from my wallet, that government issued, betraying license (undeniable, glaring proof!) that revealed my first and full middle name: traci nell.

she read my name, "traci nell." then spoke it again as she looked at me. meanwhile, I'm inwardly screaming, "why didn't I buy that Incredibles mask for Halloween?!" 

I tried to play it cool, but was secretly calculating my own real life math word problem: 

traci has to run 150 ft pushing 80 lbs of groceries in a 50 lb metal cart with only 3 working wheels before the cashier sounds the alarm. how far will she get before she is caught, or before her racing, nervous heart explodes? 

as my brain was coming up with the correct formula (T = rϵwΔ), cashier gives me a meaningful wry smile as she hands off my I.D. and card. 

"I hope you had a good shopping experience today and found everything you needed."

have you ever heard me nervous-laugh? good, it is not pretty. 

I think I mumbled a mixture of three different languages as a reply, since my brain was still processing what just happened and simultaneously giving the order to abort the emergency "projectile vomit" distraction strategy.

and that, boys and girls, is why I voluntarily/grudgingly scan my own groceries and use apple pay at the blankety-blank(!) u-scan. 

oh, and also why I wear sunglasses (instead of a mask) in my profile pic. #secretidentitytricks

No comments:

Post a Comment