View Full Version : Sixteen should fall under "about fifteen"

05-24-2015, 09:12 PM
So the other day I stopped off at a grocery store on my way home from work. Usually I'll do the self check out, but I had a couple of coupons I was using so I decided to go through a regular lane. The one closest to where I was standing had a "About 15 Items" sign. I do a real quick count (not moving anything around in my cart) and come up with fourteen, so I get in the lane and start putting my items on the belt. Oops, there was some stuff that wasn't in plain sight, so I had a total of sixteen items (thirteen unique items)...but that shouldn't be an issue. As the cashier is finishing up the person in front of me, I pull up my reward card that is stored on an app on my phone.

Me: I have my *plus* card stored on my phone here. handing phone to cashier for bar code to be scanned

Cashier: Oh you can just give that to me at the end.
:confused: The reward card can be scanned at any point during the transaction, but usually I'll be asked if I have one at the beginning, but hey maybe the cashier thinks it looks more impressive to have all the lines with the cents off all in one spot *

Me: Oh, okay. set phone aside and grab the wad of unsorted cards in my purse to have my debit card ready to go

Cashier: Did you see my sign?
sign? What did I miss? Looking around...no sign that the credit reader is down...maybe something about donating to the charity of the month--nope nothing on that either...I'm stumped

Me: Huh?

Cashier gestures to the lane number designation with the "About 15 Items" underneath.

Me: Oh, yes I saw that sign. I have sixteen items. I had thought at first there was fourteen, but I miscounted. But still, sixteen would fall under about fifteen.

Cue catbutt face.

Look I understand how annoying it is when people go in the express lane with a cart overflowing but the lane wasn't fifteen or under...and it was fairly obvious at a glance that I wasn't way over fifteen items.

*I guess she hadn't ever seen a reward card stored on the phone where it could be scanned and thought I was giving her the phone number to look up.

05-24-2015, 10:08 PM
I've never see a sign saying "about x items", it's always "x items or fewer". And you were about 15 - one within is certainly acceptable and the cashier shouldn't have said anything.

Hey, one or two items over isn't a real issue - especially if like me you're paying cash and I rarely have coupons (when I do it's for the right item, right number of items and not expired). Four or five items over is a bit more problematical but still nothing to whine about. But 10 or more items over and I'm going to say something about your math skills, or actually the lack thereof!:rolleyes:

Food Lady
05-24-2015, 10:37 PM
Oh good grief. I wouldn't have even noticed you had that many!

05-24-2015, 10:45 PM
As much as I hate the speshul snoeflayke types who believe themselves above such plebian things as limits, I wouldn't have been annoyed at being behind you. The sign said "about" 15, which does NOT mean a hard limit of 15, it means approximately. One extra item falls well within that, IMO. I might have started getting irritated around 18-20, though.

Lace Neil Singer
05-26-2015, 11:14 AM
Back in the days of yore before the invention of the self checkout, there were basket tills labeled "five items or less" at the supermarket where I worked. If a person came to my till with six or seven items, I'd let it slide. Two items over the limit doesn't really matter overmuch, especially if, as which was often the case, they were small items. However, anyone trying to come thru the basket tills with a piled high trolley would be refused and told to go to one of the other tills.

05-26-2015, 04:26 PM
That fuzziness in the amount is probably why the store went with the "About 15 items" phrasing, so the 1 or 2 over wouldn't be a big deal, but they can still turn away the cart with dozens of items.

After all, the cash's usually have shelves chock full of "Spur of the moment" items they want you to decide to buy. If you get in line with 15 items and decide to pick up the magazine or chocolate bar, you don't want to be inconvienancing people by saying "Sorry, put that back or go somewhere else; you're over now."

05-26-2015, 05:47 PM
Heck, even if it's a hard limit, I never mind it if a person is one or two over, as it's easy to miscount things in a basket, particularly if some of the items are small. Basically, my rule is that if I can't tell it's over just from a quick glance, it's probably okay.

05-26-2015, 06:36 PM
And then you have things like a buy-one-get-one-free...does that count as one item or two. Personally,if it says 6 items and you're heading towards double figures,you move along...

05-26-2015, 07:55 PM
I'm all for enforcing rules so... You were completely fine with 16 items! "About" does not mean exactly or less than. That cashier is in for an unpleasant time if she tries to say that "about 15" means "15 or less" because that's just not true.

Mr Hero
05-26-2015, 10:55 PM
I remember an Encyclopedia Brown case where the solution depended a hard limit with the express lane. The case must have had a cashier like in the OP that's quite strict with limits.

the lawsmeister
05-27-2015, 03:27 AM
I remember an Encyclopedia Brown case where the solution depended a hard limit with the express lane. The case must have had a cashier like in the OP that's quite strict with limits.

I think I had that book too

I always wondered why the mean kid that he went up against from time to time would give in as soon as he was proved wrong. A couple of friends and I handed in a creative writing assignment for english class where "Dictionary Jones" (yeah we were super creative) got the shit kicked out of him after exposing the details of a local bully's plot to rip off the other kids.

06-03-2015, 01:34 PM
FFS. I will readily admit to getting in the "12 items" or "15 items" or less lines, with one or two over. Mostly only when all the other lines are long, with people with filled-to-the-brim carts. I'm quick, bag my own, and have my payment out and ready. So if someone gets into an express line, i never count how many items they have, if they seem to be right around the limit. LIfe's too short to be that nitpicky.

06-03-2015, 08:16 PM
Saw the "About 15 items" sign for myself and thought, "That is currently the stupidest thing I have ever seen a corporation put on a sign" and I've seen some pretty stupid crap in my time.

You know it's a really bad idea when the 13 year old looks at it and goes, "That won't be subject to abuse at all." I have a really sarcastic teenager, but he's looking into the computer tech field so it will serve him well!

06-03-2015, 08:51 PM
On a side note, every once in a while some person suggests (usually in that fake "good natured" tone) that we should have an express lane at the fabric counter. In my head I'm thinking, what good would that do?? One item can take foreeeeeever. Like someone has a large bolt of tulle and wants 35 yards, or a home dec sheer which has to be measured by hand, then rolled back onto a roll by hand.

And same goes at a grocery store. How many times have you been behind someone at an express lane who has two items. They argue over the sale price on item 1. They want a discount on item 2 because of a damaged spot. Then, just when you think the transaction is over, they want a rain check on an item which it turns out is specified as "limited to stock on hand, no rain checks."

So it would follow that instead of having item limits, it should be time limits. Except then it depends on cashiers speed, and you know SCs will blame the cashier just like they do everything else.