But today, I found out that there’s such a thing as too much customer service.
I went to Trader Joe’s after work to grab something to cook for dinner. I was meeting some friends for drinks later, so I was slightly pressed for time. I had my items in my basket, and proceeded to the check out lines. There were about 6 registers open, and my next decision was crucial. My mission was to pick the quickest, shortest line so I could be on my way home as soon as possible. I was tired from a long day at work, not feeling terribly social, and more importantly, I was hungry.
*Rule of thumb: DON’T. FUCK. WITH. HUNGRY. JEN.
I sized up each line, and decided to roll the dice with a checker named Lonnie. I was confident in his abilities, as it was the shortest line, and he was almost done scanning all the items of the lady in front of me. All that was left was bagging. I was home free.
Lonnie was in no hurry for ANYTHING. I’d decided he must have been fresh off his 420 break when I got in his line, because that fool was 10 kinds of mellow. While it was true he was almost done scanning, he was taking his sweet time carefully packing away each item in a grocery bag at a snail’s pace, and had an interesting tidbit for every one of them to share with his customer. The customer seemed MILDLY interested, at best. Sometimes he’d pause in his already slow bagging (to my dismay) because he’d be so enamored with his story, that he had to make a point that couldn't possibly be made while doing any other activity. He seemed completely oblivious to the growing line of tired, grumpy people behind me waiting to check out.
I realized that maybe the reason his line was so short was that the other customers were wise to Lonnie before me, and therefore, chose any line but his. The basket in my hands was getting heavier, and my belly was feeling more and more empty. I started wondering how inappropriate it would really be to start gnawing through the box of Mango Mochi I was buying. At this rate, I don’t think I could wait until I got all the way home to start eating. *See rule of thumb above.
Finally, it was my turn. I’m praying I don’t have a similar exchange with dear Lonnie, that he just rings up my 6 items, and doesn’t tell me a tale about the journey my basmati rice made from a rice paddy in
Lonnie: Hi, how you doin’ tonight?
Me: Fine, thank you. (So far, so good…keeping the conversation light)
Lonnie: So, you making a little chicken and rice tonight?
Lonnie: Right on, right on! So, are you Cuban?
Me (looking at my pale-ass, freckled, Irish skin): Nope, just hungry.
NOTE: the other item in my basket was Yellow Curry Sauce. Why didn’t he ask me if I was Indian? Because clearly I look Cuban. Obviously, since ONLY Cubans would eat something SO outlandish as chicken and rice.
Then I felt bad for being short with him. Wrong. Should have stuck with the "Nope. Just hungry", and left it at that. But when I corrected him and told him I was Irish, he started babbling on about freckles, some sort of Irish food, and then started talking about some movie called Black Irish that I just had to see. I don’t really remember anything after that, because I blacked out.
SEE RULE OF THUMB. AGAIN.