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The Policies Of My Administration: Twelve Items Or Less

What does this mean to you? It will mean no more than twelve when I take over (image via freecampingaussie)

When my administration takes control of the world, one of the things that you’ll surely notice is that I won’t take control of everything.

This revelation will concern those of you who know that the world will thrive under my leadership. And while you’re right to think that my policies will usher in a vastly improved society, I think that it will be important to leave certain things to you all to handle…with my guidance, of course.

The idea of leaving certain things to you to handle, with my guidance, is part of today’s policy announcement.

The Problem

Even I have to hit the grocery store now and again. When I do, it is often for just a few items. Those are the occasions that, like you, I take advantage of the express check-out lanes to get out of the store a little faster.

Now, those express lanes are usually marked with signs that say something like “12 items or less”. Right thinking people like you and I follow those rules because that’s just the right thing to do. We’re all aware that there is no legal sanction for exceeding the twelve item limit; common courtesy is enough to move us to the proper lane when we hit thirteen items.

Not everyone is as courteous as we are. Just yesterday, I approached the express lane with two bags of edamame. Unfortunately, a woman in the express lane who was checking out about thirty pieces of merchandise blocked my quick exit. Perhaps you can understand my frustration.

Or perhaps you don’t care about my frustration. If you don’t, you probably ignore the express lane rules too. It will be very important for you to take note of the policy section.

The Policy

click for my count von count obituary

The Count never went over twelve items in the express lane. (image via horrorpedia)

Things will change at the express lane when my administration takes power. I will give the people the power to affect that change. What that means, twelve items or less scofflaws, is that the people behind you in line will enforce the twelve item limit.

Anyone self-centered enough to exceed the terms of the express lane will face sanction by their fellow shoppers. Suggested sanctions include:

  • Verbal confrontation, to include mocking the violator’s ability to count and the parenting skills of the miserable souls who inflicted them upon decent society
  • The shopper immediately behind the violator may have the violator pay for their groceries OR  that shopper may seize everything that the violator has purchased
  • In the event that two or more customers are in line behind the violator, all who are inconvenienced may vote that the violator be denied the use of shopping bags and be required to carry his or her purchase out of the store one item at a time.

I’m aware that folks who would clog the express line with thirteen or even twenty-five items are self-centered ingrates who aren’t keen on accepting public shaming even when they’ve earned it. So, to help that sort of person learn compliance, I will mandate that the police arrest any express line violator who dares to resist the will of the people behind them.

Please note that resisting the will of the people behind them will include making ridiculous arguments such as “these were two for one, so they don’t count”. If more than twelve items will appear on the purchase receipt, the purchaser is in violation.

Citizens, the world will be a better place when I am running it. I thank you for your part in making it better when, together, we begin punishing these express lane outlaws.

For those of you who weren’t aware that I will be taking over the world, you will find a list of my policies here.

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46 Comments on “The Policies Of My Administration: Twelve Items Or Less”

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    When does your administration begin…

  2. I welcome you as my new leader.

    My friend tried that mess at a military commissary. The clerk rang up the first ten items on the conveyor belt, put everything else in the “return” basket and told her to have a nice day.

  3. You still get my vote. Especially if you decide to run for Mayor of Toronto.

  4. Betty says:

    This sets my hair on fire when people do that. Sometimes when I’m in the regular lane with maybe 14 items, a store employee will come over and direct me to the express lane and I’ll refuse. Because inevitably when they do that, 30 seconds later someone will get in line behind and start shooting dirty looks – as they should. As I would. And there’s no explaining that the store directed the move. It’s never believed.

  5. Debbie says:

    This happened to me just the other day. Fortunately, I was in line AHEAD of the violator, who looked supremely unconcerned with counting to make sure she hadn’t gone over the number limit. Perhaps your administration can rectify this. In the meantime, I think checkout clerks should have the authority to look the offender in the eye, point to the sign, and insist they take their purchase to another line!

  6. robincoyle says:

    I’m a fan of public flogging. One lash for every item over 12.

  7. What if someone—not me—mentally counted their items at 11, so she got in the express lane. Then as she—not me—is unloading her stuff, she realizes a couple tiny items that she completely forgot were in the basket suddenly puts her—not me—up to 14 items?

    At that point it’s too late to pack everything up and move, and she felt really really bad—I could tell. I could also tell she was the type of person who would never do that on purpose. Oh…and she was pregnant, so maneuvering her giant belly out of line would have been difficult. But like I said, it wasn’t me.

  8. I was a cashier in high school. It never failed that people would insist that I count their 25 bags of edamame as 1. See, it’s all the same thing, they’d say.

    Where does your administration stand on that issue?

    • omawarisan says:

      A 25 pound bag of edamame is one item, 25 one pounders are twenty-five.

      Where quantity is unified by packaging, we find one item. A beverage six pack is one, five 2- liter bottles of soda are five.

      People in line should support their cashiers when they take a stand.

  9. True to form, the 25 item shoppers in the 12 item line are oblivious to having done anything wrong. They grab the 2 or 3 sacks they need to carry all of their stuff, and calmly stroll out to their cars, which are parked crooked, taking up two spots. If they are using a shopping cart, they leave it abandoned where a slight slope or breeze can carry it into the virgin door panel of a sedan four spots away. They drive off, talking illegally on their cell phones without wearing seat belts or signalling to change lanes. Once home, they vote for the worst possible contestant on American Idol, and go to bed happy.
    Ohhh I know the type…

  10. I could not love this post more. Now, what is your take on people who claim that their twelve packages of American cheese counts as a single item? Beatings? Drawing/quartering?

  11. List of X says:

    Some people would argue that they are buying just one thing: groceries. I assume your administration will administer 20 lashes to these violators and refer to it as “one punishment”.

  12. Laura says:

    What’s your policy on someone who has exactly 12 items when they get in line, but then they decide to grab a candy bar or a chapstick or a magazine while they’re waiting to check out?

  13. Your administration is going to be one of fairness and following the rules. I like that. But I also like your brand of punishment – something that occurs right at the moment the infraction is occurring so that the offenders really do get a life lesson. Yes, make them carry their items out to the car, one at a time. And if it’s raining or snowing – even better. I’m making up my OMA for President buttons right now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s good to know someone of like mind is intending to take over.

    I’m ahead of the game. For years I’ve been verbally abusing those who misuse the express lane… and I’ve painstakingly trained my children to throw bits of gum at their backs.

  15. Blogdramedy says:

    I would have gone with ten.
    To match the number of fingers on both hands.
    For those who flunked math class.
    *grin*

  16. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I came home earlier today, all fired up after a trip to the supermarket for 3 grocery items. I explained my frustration to my wife hoping to calm dow by venting.

    With my 3 items in hand, I got into the 15 or less express checkout lane behind a woman (not a lady!) who had two shopping carts. She unloaded 26 items onto the counter and still had 7 more items in her cart.

    Before I could come up with an appropriate comment, the man behind me yelled “Hey!checkout man! what part of that sign over your head don’t you understand? the checkout man was clearly embarrased and furious. He just shrugged and kept working. The brazen woman never broke her stride and ignored everyone. She paid for the purchases and began to empty the 22 items from the 2nd cart while all of the customers behind her fumed.

    Suddenly a second woman (her companion) squeezed in with an additional item to add to the 2nd cart, paid her bill and never spoke or looked at any of us. Both women had a very intimidating attitude and acted as though they were prepared to play the race card if the matter went any further. Ignorance and audacity make powerful companions in this type of confrontation.

    After explaining myself at home, it was suggested that I read your blurtblog from yesterday which I had not seen. I await your administration with high hope……… nice work! I’m o.k. Now.

  17. Peter says:

    Yes. This is a good idea. Good enough that I would like to fund your campaign.

  18. susielindau says:

    What if they’re really, really tiny items like lipstick and eyeliner?

  19. Are there exemptions for this? Case in point: Cashier of the “12 items are less line” sees the other lines are full and invites someone, not matter how many items, to step into their line. I fill that is both efficient and common courtesy but I will leave that call to you.

  20. Pie says:

    I was once in a supermarket where a woman strolled to the express checkout section with a trolley – a trolley, where it clearly stated ‘baskets only’. She managed to slip past the man in charge of that section, as he was dealing with another customer. However, when he saw that she had already parked up to a counter and It was too late to send her packing, he made her take everything out of her trolley and put the items in two baskets – which she had to find. It was a Saturday afternoon and the supermarket was packed. You’d have a better chance of finding a unicorn at that time of day. A warm glow was felt by all who were either waiting in the queue, or already at a counter. Express checkout man was our hero that day.

    In a story not entirely unrelated to this post, a cashier in a London supermarket refused to serve a customer until she stopped chatting on her phone. The little madam’s feelings were so hurt that she went crying to the papers. The supermarket supported the woman and not the member of staff by apologising to her. Twitter was having none of it and kicked off big time. Eventually, the supermarket backtracked, saying they support all their staff, blah, blah, blah…

    Add people chatting on their phones whilst being served in shops as a policy. Please…

  21. I feel like I’ve read this before because I feel like I’ve said this before:

    Whose palm will I need to grease to get someone in your administration to change the sign to 12 Items of Fewer?

    Also, I didn’t get this in my reader. I saw it in a tweet when I checked Twitter because I may or may not have just incited the ire of Gene Weingarten by publicly declaring that he’s almost as funny as you.

    Since I’m all about making outrageous public statements, now’s as good a time as any to say that I feel stupid using the word “tweet.”

  22. spencercourt says:

    In Florida,the “final solution” to the problem of folks in the express line who shouldn’t be will one day be the same solution to “loud music” and texting on your cell phone in a movie theater….

  23. […] the footballer, they step aside and reconsider the course of their life. I envision red carding those who enter the 12 items or less aisle at the check out with thirty items, those who force me to yellow card them several times in a day, parents who give their children […]


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