Slow down my beating heart

Tonight was quite the adventure in grocery shopping. I took Mom to Randall’s to take advantage of some of their “weekend only” sales items. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but the coupons that were expiring tonight on cereal combined with the sale just called my name. It kept mocking me. Taunting me. I had to respond. I bought 10 boxes of cereal. *laugh* Since I got them for $1.35 each, I don’t feel so bad. We really did need the cereal.

Randall’s again strikes again in the lack of open registers. It actually surprises me as they used to proclaim themselves great in customer service. What we see, however, isn’t so customer friendly. It isn’t just late at night either. Tonight wasn’t even super late. I’ve been in there at 6pm and had the same experience. They only have a single register open. OK, I can understand why if it is later in the night, but 6pm is going home time and people are running in to get “something quick for dinner.” So having a single register open leaves for unhappy customers when you have shoppers like me. It isn’t my fault, I know that. I would just hope that they would catch on, if only on a store-by-store basis. I am in there almost every single week and have the same cashier 90% of the time. You would think that they would catch on to the fact that they should have more than a single register open.

What’s the big deal? Well, it is only the “express lane” that is open. So when shoppers like me go in there, we have no choice but to get in a line that is clearly marked “20 items or less.” What am I to do? I don’t care if I get an “express checkout” I simply don’t want to have other customers getting upset, irritated, and pissy with me because of something that is (1) completely out of my control and (2) is not me causing the problem. I have the right to shop at the grocery store anytime I feel like going to the grocery store. Besides, I have yet to find an “express lane” that has “express service.”

Tonight was no different and we weren’t there at 6pm. It was about 8pm when we got to the register. Now I wasn’t the target of the pissed off faces that were quickly building up in line. I really did only have 15 items in my cart – 10 boxes of cereal, 3 bags of chips, and 2 Sunday newspapers (because that was all they had left, I normally buy 3). Tonight mom had the full cart. I kid you not the cashier saw the line building and building and building and did nothing about it. There were at least 3-4 people in line behind her. When people started being less than helpful, she finally called someone to “register 4” and this person took a while to respond. My goodness! So the tension continues to mount for these people.

The good news is that when you’ve been doing couponing enough to be saving enough money, you really don’t care what anyone else thinks. Period. Like I said, it wasn’t our fault that Randall’s has not gotten a clue in the last 18 months that they have customers that come in there with large orders and lots of coupons. Yes, we do tie up the line. We’re typically not in a hurry as we know it takes time. We are patient with our cashiers because they do try to make sure we’re happy with our savings.

Still people come unglued that they might be slowed down 2 minutes in line. They always take it out on the person that is in the “wrong lane” with the full cart. Come on people, it isn’t our fault that your store of choice is a blond in disguise. If you have a complaint, start with the store. Why is that the only lane open? Why is the cashier so slow? The list could go on and on. The issue is the store and its employees not the lowly customer who is just trying to make that every expanding grocery bill lose a few pounds week after week.

Tonight, however, the store and its short comings wouldn’t be enough. I let the whole “disgruntled other customers” roll off my back these days. There is no sense getting bent out of shape over it. Still, I expect that I’ll be able to walk to the car in safety. The parking lot is lit. The aisles on the lot are actually quite wide (2 lanes wide). There aren’t a huge number of cars in the parking lot usually, though there are clearly times when they are busier than others.

We must reminds ourselves repeatedly that the rain brings out the worst in all drivers. I think they should do a scientific study on that! I mean, they do all these other nonsense and pointless scientific studies, why not on the weather and how it affects driving?

It was raining as we were leaving Randall’s tonight. We had a full basket of groceries (top and bottom and haphazardly piled up). I grabbed mom’s umbrella to walk across the parking lot to get the car and bring it up closer to the door so we could load the groceries without getting too wet (hopefully).

As I am walking across the parking lot. I get this prompting urging me to “stop now.” I am maybe 8-10 feet from the back of my car. The prompting was so strong. I was literally unable to move physically. I was frozen there in place, one hand tight to my side, the other up near my side holding the umbrella.

I just wanted to get to the car and get the groceries so I could get home and eat. I was hungry. I was tired. My stomach was causing me pain issues (gas). I just wanted to go home. I couldn’t move. A car comes out of nowhere whizzing right by me. This car was not going super slow. Too fast for a parking lot when it isn’t raining if you want my honest opinion.

If I had taken another step or had swung my arm out, I would have been hit. The car was no more than a foot from my front! I just stood there, stunned. Unable to move. Shocked.

The truly sad part is that I know the lady saw me. After the fact, but she did saw me. I guess she pulled far enough past me that she saw me in her mirror and she turned and looked out the mirror with a look of horror on her face. Not that it mattered. She made no attempt to make sure I was OK or to apologize or anything else for that matter. She pulled into the parking spot next to my car and she made no attempt to be a decent human being. NONE! Would she have only noticed that maybe my heart was jumping out of my chest if I had put my body through her windshield?

That look of horror on her face means nothing to me. My heart raced for a good hour and a half before I was feeling normal again. It was truly scary to me. My mother stood there watching in horror. She said her heart was in her throat, she couldn’t make any sound.

So people, please remember that you need to slow down in parking lots. You really should slow down even more if it is raining. And if you have a close encounter with someone in the parking lot, be the bigger human and at least make sure the other person is OK. Don’t get so caught up in your own little world and in your own self that you forget that others have real rational feelings and fears.

To those of you who have failed to listen to promptings immediately, remember that that “still small voice” is there to protect you. Heavenly Father and all of his guardian angels are watching over you day and night, rain or shine. Listen when prompted to do something. You never know when the results are simple, but snatch you from your close encounters with danger.

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