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In line at a grocery store

Topics/tags: Miscellaneous, short

The other day, I was at a grocery store [1]. I thought I’d chosen a quick line, but I was wrong. I’m not sure why, but the customers ahead of me were slow. And the cashiers shifted right before I came up. The person next to me seemed to be having a similar experience; her cashier even disappeared for a moment.

What made it worse was that new lines kept opening up, but the people who had arrived after us managed to claim those lines.

I took a deep breath and remembered an exercise that I once learned: Rather than picking what looks to be the fastest line, pick the slowest and accept that it will take time. I’d say that it’s a zen thing, but I’m not sufficiently knowledgeable to make that claim. But I accept the general principle: It’s only a few extra minutes, don’t let it bug you.

The person next to me was clearly growing very frustrated. So I looked over, shrugged my shoulders, smiled, and said,

Patience is a virtue.

It was the right thing to say. She got less tense. I got less tense. And, well, we got out of there eventually.


[1] That should not be a surprise; I’m in line at a grocery store on many different occasions [2].

[2] It’s fewer occasions this year. Since I’m on leave, I’m not responsible for food for meetings and other events. And the need to get reimbursed makes me less inclined to shop for the College.


Version 1.0 of 2018-10-06.