A New Low or the Dollar Rules?

Giant Line

“Dear PoPville,

Having been a regular shopper at the Park Road Giant for over four years, I thought I had seen it all. But today takes the cake. I was second in line on the self-service checkout line, with about twenty people behind me. A woman comes up, waves a wad of cash in the face of the guy in front of me, and tells him she is in the “worst hurry ever.” He takes the cash and she gets in front of him.

If he were the only one in line, that’s would be one thing. But what about the twenty-odd people behind him? Where’s their share?

I did nothing, as this is but a minor blip on the scale of world problems. But I’d appreciate the views of your sage readership as to whether I should have asked the manager to send this woman to the back of the line where she belonged.”

49 Comment

  • That’s surge pricing for the checkout line.

  • The guy that took the cash should have gone to the back of the line after “selling” his spot. Do you know how much he got?

  • Unpleasant though it was….maybe she had a legitimate need?

  • That sucks. In theory, he should have taken her place at the back of the line.

    • +1 exactly my thought. He sold his spot, so he should re-enter the line at the back.

      • justinbc

        Yeah, that would be consistent with the culture of TaskRabbit style paid-for-placement services. In those cases, the person who’s holding your spot in line leaves once you arrive, they don’t hang around and then go in after you.

        • justinbc

          (Although, realistically, if this happened to basically any of us we would not know how to react on the spot and make the perfect etiquette decision, because it’s such a rare occurrence. The judgmental view is great from up here though.)

          • Exactly my thought. There’s no Miss Manners advice column to consult for this. If the other people in queue were bothered, they had every right to speak up. Since they didn’t–ol’ boy now has a funny story to tell.

          • I guess another option would be for the guy to distribute his earnings among everyone in the line.

  • First, that is completely outrageous. I would not have put up with that were I behind the person in line. Second, why do people continue to shop there? It’s a terrible grocery store and there are a ton of stores within a mile: Adams Morgan Safeway, Adams Morgan Harris Teeter, Petworth Safeway, Petworth Yes, 14th Street Yes, plus all the smaller stores. It defies logic.

    • Because not everyone wants to walk a mile home with groceries? I hate that Giant but it’s two blocks away from my apartment so that’s where I shop. Unfortunately.

    • I shop there regularly on weekends but make sure I am out of there by 8:45 a.m. Down sides: not all stocking done yet, can’t buy wine/beer before 10:00a.m., and the deli is only starting to open. But plenty of parking and 2-3 person long lines.

  • Ask the manager?? Isn’t it obvious that no one is managing that store?

  • A guy offered to pay for my lunch at whole foods in exchange for my spot in the rapid checkout line. I took him up on his offer. Maybe added two seconds to the wait of people behind me in line.

    • This only works if you go to the end of the line.

      • In this situation, you’re doing a single transaction, so the only added time is the amount it takes the cashier to scan the extra items. I’m ok with this if it’s something like lunch (so it’s one or two items at most), but not if it’s two cart/baskets full.

      • Actually in this case it sounds like they were combining their purchases–because he bought her lunch. So I don’t know it actually took more time (well, the time required to swipe 1-2 more items?). That’s how it should properly work–you let me join you in line and I pay for your groceries, plus mine.

  • Hey, the reason she got away with it is because everyone in line behind the lucky dude decided to do/say nothing about it. *shrug* I for one, think that’s a pretty awesome story for the guy who got the cash! I ain’t mad at him LOL

  • That’s referred to as a “bribe” and of course it’s wrong. And you should say something.

  • maxwell smart

    I’m sorry. If you are in the “worst hurry ever” then you probably shouldn’t be at the grocery store. This isn’t a hospital, whatever it was she was buying I’m sure she could have lived without, and frankly her time management problems are not everyone else’s responsibility to shoulder.

  • I dunno when stuff like this happens, I think: 1. What a jerk! And go about my business; or 2. Meh. And go about my business. It’s the quick check out anyway and there are about 4-5 other kiosks.

    • Same here. It’s not like this is a normal occurrence, and in the grand scheme of things only adds another minute at most to the wait time. I’m more annoyed by things like the store not having enough checkouts to prevent long lines in the first place.

      • Right? That Giant usually has about 4 or 5 open, even though there are several more that could used also. That’s what would have ground my gears, not really the line cutter.

  • Egad

    That Giant was seriously out of hand yesterday! One guy (guy 1) threatened to fight another guy (guy 2) when guy 2 budged in line after the scanner broke down at his original check out line that guy 2 had been waiting at for 30 mins. Guy 1 threatened to break some bones. Guy 2 let guy 1 go ahead with his 12 pack of Milwaukee’s Best, but still slipped in front of everyone else. The manager then came over and chewed out guy 2 for cutting in line. It was not a good day to shop at Giant @ Park Rd for anybody!

  • Classic DC power move. I like the elegant solution suggested above — the gentleman who was paid off to head to the back of the line. In practice, I’d just chalk it up to bad manners and go on about my day.

  • Why waste energy ruminating on this? You decided not to say anything, and all three of you (you, the briber, and the bribee) have long since left the grocery store. How was the trajectory of your life changed by this tiny moment? Let it go, let it go…

  • This is some absurdity for which I would not have stood. If I was in the line I definitely would have said something. Despite what most of this city thinks, having more money than others doesn’t make you a more important person or your time more valuable. To quote Selina Kyle, “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

    • Lol at the people claiming they wouldve said something. I would like to know what everyone planned on saying in this situation that would’ve changed the outcome of this situation.

    • saying something in a situation like this is a good way to get your ass kicked especially at that location. then everyone would complain that it’s victim blaming to suggest you shouldn’t have gotten in someone’s face about line jumping.

    • The thought that a man who quotes catwoman (I had to Google it) on internet message boards is going to be the one person to speak up about line cutting at the Columbia Heights Giant had me literally falling out of my chair laughing. Literally. WTF is Catwoman? How does this even exist?

  • Sadly, after you’ve lived here long enough, you realize that almost everybody is in the “worst hurry ever,” and everybody’s time is more important than anyone else’s.

  • I would’ve taken the money and traded my spot or not budged from line, judgement call that I can’t say unless it did actually happen to me. If this is your worst experience at the Park Road Giant in CH then you should be pretty elated. There are regularly people who try to cut in line and play dumb or just continue their merry and ignorant way because nobody says anything, at least this person acknowledged and owned up to it.

    This Giant is many things but few of them are in the positive column, the staff is rarely helpful, generally friendly though, the (re)stocking of items is haphazard, most everyone who shops there is on another planet or acts like they’ve been doing whippets all day long or spent a little too much time in the sun and have never been in a store before. In short if you’re in the back of the line just understand that it won’t be moving quickly.

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