Held up in Supermarket

I've just got back from "a quick trip to a supermarket".

But it's never quick is it?

3 things hold me up:
  • meeting people I know
  • dithering over so much choice
  • all the goods have moved since my last visit
  • the shortest queue at the checkout turns out to be slowest
Wikihow has a rather boring article 'How to Practice Supermarket Checkout Etiquette'.  It has 8 'Steps'. I won't bore you with the details, but here's the headings:
  1. Obey the express lane limit.
  2. Avoid standing in the walkway.
  3. Double check on your groceries.
  4. Have membership cards and coupons ready.
  5. Bag your own groceries.
  6. Relax and have patience.
  7. Respond to the cashier in a positive manner.
  8. Be sure to allow ample room between your cart and the person in front of you.
Step 6 'Relax and have patience' is the hardest for some people. I'm usually patient in a queue - partly personality, but also due to my tried and tested strategies for passing the time. Some are more fun than others. Here's what I do - never all at once:
  1. Thank God for the chance to do nothing. (If you're an athiest then savour the pause moment.)
  2. Practice pelvic floor exercises.
  3. Make up a story about the person in front, based on the contents of their shopping trolley.
  4. Smile at and say something pleasant to other people in the queue.
  5. Eavesdrop on other people's conversations. If someone's speaking on their mobile, imagine the replies or the appearance of the person on the other end of the call.
  6. Stand tall and try to breathe from my navel - yes, I do mean navel.
  7. Increase bone density. Bounce quickly on heels. Try to do 100. This is difficult.
  8. Listen very carefully. Identify all the variety of sounds around, including all the instruments in whatever music is playing.
Anyone any better suggestions?


  1. you must spend a lot of time in supermarket queues! my advice - get it delivered, it avoids most of the above!

  2. Good advice Red about getting stuff delivered. Actually I don't spend much time in supermarket queues nowadays. I go at the quietest times if I can. I just have many years of experience - hence the collection of strategies.


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