Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Today I had approximately 17 minutes to buy the makings for hamburgers and get myself to the train station to catch the 7:14 Metra downtown. So I ran all over the Hyde Park Treasure Island, dodging children and slow people right and left, and collected all the necessary ingredients in about 3 minutes flat. I was in such good shape time wise, and subsequently feeling very proud of myself. No problem, I said. I'll be able to walk to the train station, I boasted inwardly. Then I got in what appeared to be the shortest checkout line. (She says with a rueful chuckle) Of course we all know the unnamed law of the universe that says the shortest checkout line is rarely the fastest, nay, it is often actually the slowest of all checkout lines ever. This checkout line was like a scene out of a movie. There were two people between me and a timely Metra appointment. The person who was attempting to pay when I walked up and put my three items on the belt was the oldest, most scrunched down and frail-looking old lady I have ever seen. She was handing the cashier one dollar bills one at a time, for something like a $50 tab. So, that in and of itself would have taken forever, did take forever, except for them she dropped what had to be about $17 worth of pennies, nickels, and dimes onto the floor of the supermarket. The lady in front of me shot a knowing glance and we both dove to the floor, scooping change by the handful to help the oldest, slowest, shakiest person on earth. The old lady, bless her heart, finallllly finished paying and thanked each of us individually for helping her. Which was very sweet and thoughtful and all but oh my god I have a train to catch are you trying to prematurely age me or something? I'm sprouting gray hairs as we speak! Gah. So the average-aged lady in front of me and I had a silent desperate-eyed agreement that we were both in a Royal Fucking Hurry and lo, I saw her tell me (with her eyes) that she was going to make this as quick and painless as possible. Except! The Random Underpaid Checkout Guy was not part of this agreement and thus vowed his own vow to go as slow as possible. And ring up the grapes as 7Up, thus needing to call his (apparently nonexistent) supervisor to the register to void that line item. This caused what seemed like a two hour long delay in Operation: Quickly Pay and Get the F*ck Out of There, so while he stared slack-jawed and open-mouthed at the computer screen, I silently had a heart attack. I truly did not want to wait another hour or more for the train, by myself, in the dark. Finallllly he decided to just charge this lady for 7Up instead of grapes, instead of fixing the dilemma, and we were good to go, back in business, on our way to paying and getting out of the store. Except! My eyeball glance-communicating friend betrayed me by suddenly and inconveniently becoming a Friend To The Environment instead, and trying to fit the 20+ items she bought into her postage-stamp sized purse. While that was going on, I tried verbal communication in the form of telling the checkout guy that I was IN A HURRY OH MY GAWDDD and he actually processed my three transactions rather quickly. Of course I had to run for the train station, Treasure Island grocery bag a-flailing in the crook of my arm as I cradled my laptop bag so as to minimize the damage during my mad dash, but dammit I made that stupid train. And then promptly learned that there was another train scheduled to depart from that very station in a mere 15 minutes. Poop.