Etiquette. That word used to only be associated with how ladies and gentlemen were supposed to behave while out with ton. (Yes, ton. I've been reading Jane Austen again. Get over it.) These days though, etiquette is usually the second half of a phrase describing a specific type of appropriate behavior. There's email etiquette, movie theater etiquette, mobile phone etiquette, etc....
Today, I want to talk about convenience store etiquette. Specifically, I'm going to give an example of BAD convenience store etiquette.
As I've mentioned before, I am not a morning person, and I require caffeine in the morning. And in the mid-morning. And at lunch. And in the early afternoon. And again around 3 pm. Anyway...
On this particular morning, I had no caffeine in my apartment. None. So I stopped at the convenience store down the street on my way to work. When I walked in, there was a guy diligently working at a pile of a scratch-off lottery tickets at the lottery kiosk. I got to the back of store where the rest of the caffeine-deprived zombies were shuffling around, getting their first fix of the day. I got my jumbo iced tea, added in just the right amount of Sweet N Low, took a big drink to "make sure I had the right amount of Sweet N Low" (aka to start flow of caffeine in my blood stream) and then topped it off with more tea.
By the time I got to the check out line, there were four people in front me. The lady directly in front of me had the biggest refillable coffee mug I've ever seen. It had to be 60 ounces at least. And it was fluorescent orange, pink and green. Frankly, I can't believe she'd need coffee to wake up after just looking at that godawful thing, but what do I know? In front of her were two guys with coffee and snacks. They looked like construction workers or some kind of workers who work outside and who probably should have already been at work by 8:30 am (judging by the way they kept looking at their watches). And then there was the guy at the front of the line. It was Mr. Scratch Off himself.
Apparently, Mr. Lotto man had managed to get a couple of winning tickets and wanted to cash them in right then. Now, if you've ever cashed in a lottery ticket, you know that it's not the quickest process. By the time the clerk had scanned them all, declared he had won $27, and dug that $27 out of the cash register, those of us behind him were getting antsy. We all kind of started to move forward at the same time assuming the line was going to start moving then. But no. Mr. I'll Keep Trying My Luck was REALLY going to try his luck. When the clerk tried to hand him his winnings, he said, "no, I just want to get some more tickets."
MORE #?*! TICKETS?!?
And he picked them out. One by freaking one. He asked how much every ticket cost, even though it's printed on every ticket and you can see it through the protective glass. Eventually, he got two of the $5 tickets and 17 of the $1 tickets. That's right. He spent four minutes (I counted) picking out lottery tickets while the line of not-fully-caffeinated, not-running-on-time-for-work and definitely-not-amused customers grew behind him.
One of the construction guys mumbled something about "late for work." I heard "so rude!" from somewhere in the line behind me. The woman with the jumbo hyper-color mug looked like she was ready to swing all 60 ounces of it at him. And me? I was eyeing the gas pump hoses out front and thinking "I'd like to see him scratch those tickets with his hands tied behind his back with those hoses."