Annual "Not Enough Lines Open Thead"

Now I am not one who cares about standing in lines. I know it bugs a lot of people. But I’m the type of person that if the line is too long, I just either accept it or just put down my stuff and walk out of the store and come back later.

I noticed today I had to go to Walmart to pick up my meds. And that line was short, but I noticed on my way out Walmart only had three registers open. This was 2pm on a Saturday (12/12) right before Christmas, so I figured, “OK this can’t be good.” Of course I could hear many people not happy.

Of course since I applied at Walmart for Christmas help and they didn’t hire me, “Tough on them” :slight_smile:

Then I went to the Chicago Public Library to pick up my book I put on hold and they only had one person working the desk, and line was doubled up. It would’ve went out of the library into the street, but they opened up a reading room for people to stand.

It took me 35 minutes to get my book. But like I said, I don’t care, as I flicked on my walkman and listened to my audiobook while in line.

So I just thought I’d start a thread about this?

Have you noticed stores or other places cutting back on their lines? I thought maybe with the economy such as it is, they weren’t hiring people figuring, “Let the people wait.”

The post office was crowded too, but my local post office never has more than two lines open regardless of how busy it is or isn’t

So what are your feelings about long lines at Christmas? I am referring to standing at lines at Christmas specifically but feel free to chime in at other times too

I’ve learned to always carry a book or magazine around with me so I just read. The lines are annoying but at least I have something to do.

I have a bad knee and standing in long lines gets painful, so I do get impatient sometimes. Especially when I just want to get in, get my five or six items and get out. But at least the stores here don’t “deprive cashiers of a job” by having self-checkout lanes. Nope, all three or four cashiers have job security here at Walmart. With about 20 lanes for them to choose from, too.

Lines don’t bother me as long as the people on either side of the counter are competent.

When either side is clueless…sigh.

When BOTH are…sigh sigh.

I figure life is too short to stress about waiting on line. I take the time as forced down-time and just…wait. Usually I pull out my phone and browse the dope while waiting. No, really. :slight_smile:

Are you being sarcastic about the self-checkout lanes? I hope so, because they are wonderful. Of course, it takes a while for people to learn how to use them, but they are far more efficient then the standard lane. I laugh to myself at the grocery store when I see people waiting in line when I arrive, and still waiting in line when I leave with my items.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure you are being sarcastic. Wanna race in the self-checkout lane? :stuck_out_tongue:

I hate standing. Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate it. I’d rather walk an hour than stand 15 minutes. At the train station, when all the seats are full I’m the one walking up…and down…and up…and down the platform because I can’t bear the five-minute stand.

So all those situations I would have found pretty much excruciating … especially the library. I wouldn’t have stood (ha!) it for a minute - I’d be bookless tonight.

Christmas / not Christmas … pretty much doesn’t matter. It’s just the standing.

There must be some profitability in long lines, at least up to a point before they get ridiculous. When stores routinely don’t have enough checkers on hand, I assume some deliberate cost-saving is going on, if nothing else.

There are times that I’ll actually choose a store based upon how quickly I can get in and out. A big part of this is the average wait time in the checkout.

Even though selection is somewhat more limited and often times the price is higher, if I’m pressed for time, Al’s Foodland, Dollar General, Walgreen’s or even the gas station is where I’m going to pick up whatever widget I need, if that is all I’m shopping for.

I can plan on spending a minimum of 1/2 hour at WalMart or a similar superstore, given the acerage and the fact that they often don’t have any more checkers than their smaller competitors. I can be in and out of a smaller place with a higher ratio of cashiers / customers usually in under ten minutes. Big difference on your way to work.

I only REALLY mind when I’m on my way to work, or to an appointment or something; long lines are generally annoying, but not so much that I think too much about them, unless I’ve gotta be somewhere by X time. And I allotted 15 minutes to Walgreens, and Walgreens is taking 20.

There’s a reason people go to Walgreens/CVS etc and not Wal Mart or some other larger, cheaper store…and it’s convenience. I pay more per item at Walgreens than I do at Wal Mart, but I’m in and out in a third of the time, so I’m OK with it.

So it ruffles my feathers when Walgreens has a line 10 people deep and only one register is open. I see you, Manager Guy; I shop here all the time. I know you have the capability to open the other line because you’ve done it before. DO IT AGAIN. :smiley:

If I go to Wal Mart or Best Buy or some other awful huge absurdly busy store, I’m aware when I walk into it that it’s a black hole and I may never get out. Thus I only subject myself to it when I have time to spare.

You’re on! :smiley:

Yes, I’m being a little sarcastic–I wish we had some self-checkout lanes. Instead of three checkers on three registers, they could put one of those people onto four self-checkout lanes and I wouldn’t always have to wait in LOOOOOOOONG lines just to buy shampoo and a bag of cat food!

I would say as a general rule this is correct, but you have to be careful.

I wanted to pick up a space heater and room humidifer. I saw an ad at Walmart so I went and got them. The Walmart in Chicago (city) takes me three buses to get to and isn’t in a great neighborhood. But a deal is a deal, right? I got home and had to go to Walgreens, and there it was the exact same heater and the exact same humidifier at the EXACAT same price. And Walgreen was only 2 blocks from my flat.

Serves me right for not looking huh?


Didn’t we fight a war to keep them out of the city? Did someone fall asleep at their post?

Wal-Mart is the worst one that I’ve personally noticed for this. I used to go to one when I lived in the first apartment with my husband, and even though we weren’t doing that hot financially and it was closer than other large stores, we started avoiding it. A good part of that was the hugely long lines. Between that and the dirty (in both the sense of being not well-scrubbed and in merchandise being all over the place) store at that location, it didn’t seem worth what savings you might get. It definitely looked like the store supported those low prices by understaffing the place.

I have a brother-in-law who only asks for Wal-Mart gift cards for Christmas. The last two years, I’ve just ordered them online and paid for shipping, rather than deal with Christmas shopping lines from hell there.

The two Targets near me seem to be really good about this. I went into one of them (which is fairly new, so maybe that’s why) on the weekend after Black Friday, and every single lane was open, and the lines weren’t too long. I’m not sure I’d ever seen every single lane open at a large store before.

I’ve also never been more than third in line at either Target. It’s great.

Although I haven’t had the problem since I switched supermarkets, I’ve got a sure-fire way to get put in a new/short line. It worked like a charm ALL THE TIME. I would take a magazine from the rack. Not thumb through it like I was going to buy it and was just checking it out first. But quickly find an article, any article, and start reading it, paying no attention to what was going on around me. Making it obvious that I was going to be there a long long time.

Sure enough… a front-end supervisor would take me to a shorter line or have someone start a new one. Guess it makes a bad impression on the other customers to see that someone is deeply into reading in line. :smiley:

Yeah, they snuck into my town too. Really. Like in-between mayors. The old one made the deal, didn’t get re-elected and the new guy didn’t catch on until it was too late. :eek:

It took me 2 years to venture in there. And no, their CDs were NOT cheaper than Target. And neither were the food products I test priced.

There is one on North Avenue near Cicero. It’s a rough neighborhood, last year three small business owners were murdered there by gangs. The store right at the corner of North and Cicero, the guy refused to pay “protection” so the gangbangers walked in and capped him one.

Part of the deal with allowing that Walmart was they have to give preference to hiring local people from that part of the city. There are other Walmarts just outside of the city limits, like there’s one in Niles on Howard Street.

What? Can you explain what you had to wait in line for? I’ve never waited in line ni the Public Libraries here.

We have self-checkout stations here, where you scan your library card & then scan each book. Plus you can go to the librarians desk if you want. Never more than 1 or 2 people in front of you there.

And hold books are on a special set of shelves near the desk, for people to pick up their held books. They used to be filed under your name, now a stupid new system has them filed under a long number (and not the same one as on your library card). Actually, that was one time I did see lines – people were standing in line to ask the librarian to look up their number, so they could then go back to look for their held books.

No self-checkout in the Chicago Public Library, so he was probably waiting to check out. Up until recently (like a couple of months) the hold books were behind the desk. Now we have them shelved where you can go pick them up yourself, but we still have to get checked out by the librarian (one of the few times a woman checks me out any more).