The Case of the Broken Conveyor Belt

If you saw me leave a certain discount store in a nearby town (that is not my hometown) today, and you noticed my shoulders heaving and tears running down my cheeks, it was not at all what it appeared to be.

I had just checked out at said discount store. That’s not what was so funny. There was a whole lot of touche going on in there.

What happened was this … I walked to the counter, which had a belt as many stores have. I had a handful of things and to keep my thing separated from the lady in front of me, I reached for the little plastic divider bar at the back of the belt. The checkout lady said, “Leave it there! I need it!!” I responded that I was planning to use it to separate our things, which is its normal purpose. Okay, so that may have been a little sarcastic. I said it nicely, though, in case it matters.

She said she needed it to stop the belt because the sensor wasn’t working correctly.

I said that I had just shopped somewhere recently and that the cashier had tried to combine my item with the person behind me which is why I wanted it. She responded that she had some years behind her and to give her a little credit for that, that she’s not some young, distracted thing that just does whatever they’re told. In other words, she is observant. She notices where people’s things stopped and started.

I was a little peeved but decided to let the subject drop. It really wasn’t that important to make a big deal out of the fact that she could’ve been a little more polite about explaining why she needed before commanding me to “leave it there!”

I proceeded to get my wallet out and wasn’t paying attention to the belt until I heard my sister who was right behind me say, “That’s mine!”as the cashier started ringing her things up with mine. The unexpected irony of the moment caught me off guard and I let out something between a snort and a cough. I think it’s called a snough, or a snorkel, or a chortle. I did my ultimate best to not burst out laughing, which, if you know me, you realize what at effort that took! Especially with my sister behind me trying her best not to laugh too.

I managed to make it out the door before I let out any more noises. And laughed and wiped tears all the way to my car.

So the moral of the story is to not be so sarcastic. Kind of. Mostly that good customer service goes a long way in helping your case. Or maybe the moral is that you should be careful what kind of “bright” comments you make – they may come back to bite you and leave someone snoughing or snorkeling.

Unfortunately, I know. Been there, done that myself.