Saturday, November 24, 2007

The longest waiting in queue.... for just 5 items

I went to NTUC to buy some bread, canned foods, and some other personal items. Didn't carry any basket to carry the items, because it wasn't much to carry, it was like 5 items. So, after my shopping i proceed to make payment. Ok, it was a peak hour, peak hour as in it was Friday, I know some ppl already got their pay early, so basically a lot of ppl in there.

I was in queue and it was a long line. And like everyone else, I was looking for a shorter line. And just my luck, the counter next to me just opened. So I proceed to it, but before I could, an old couple, with their truckload of items, just whizzed in. In my heart I went, "Quick feet for a couple of old people". Anyway, I wasn't bothered about that. I know NTUC cashiers are pretty fast in doing their work.

The frustration starts to set in when some of their items didn't reflect in their cash total, so a rescan was needed. OK, frankly that was still fine. Sometimes technology doesn't work well. Then after like item after item after item. I started to look at my items and said," Gosh, I just need to purchase these 5 items." Shook my head and breathe to calm myself down. I started to look around for another queue but I was next in this queue so I was stuck in a predicament.

In the midst of all that scanning, some lady just came by the other side of the cashier to ask her a question that just got repeated but came out differently each time.

Lady: "Excuse me"
Cashier was scanning items: "Yes?"
Lady: "How many do I have to buy to use NETS?"
Cashier: "Huh?"
Lady: "I mean how much should I purchase?"
Cashier: " You mean what" (Still scanning)
Lady: " It's 5 rite?"
Cashier: "5 items? You want to buy 5? Ya can..."
By this time, the cashier was confused. She was still scanning the items but looked at her a few times to figure out what she is trying to say.
Lady: "No, 5 dollars"
Cashier: "You want to buy 5 dollars?"
Lady: "No, I mean 5 dollars to use NETS rite?"
The cashier stopped and looked at her.
Cashier: "You want to use Nets ah?"
Lady: "Yes."
Cashier: " Ya, 5"
Lady: "Ok thanks"
Cashier continued scanning.

That has got to be the most unneccessary conversation I have ever heard.

Anyway, after like several minutes waiting for her to finish scanning their items, packing them into plastic bags, etc. I thought it was done. All they need was to make payment.

But nope, the old lady started to fumble out a bunch of receipts from her bag. I dunno what tat was for, but I presume they could have some kind of discount or something. So anyhow, the cashier had to count the number of receipts. This is where it got really frustrating just looking her count. I know the old couple was looking at her counting, so was I and so were the people behind me.

She counted...... then she MISCOUNTED! Ok ...., then she counted again, and this time she couldn't flip the receipts correctly because the paper was so thin and glossy that she had to recheck each flip to see any that she missed. Even then she still wasn't sure of herself. And she recounted again! I was like "D#$%!"

Finally, she got the number of receipts right after wetting her fingers with some moist pad around her counter. Why didn't she thought of that in the first place.

So I thought, "OK pay pay pay! Just make the
bloody payment!". And then you know what, the old lady handed her A NEWSPAPER CLIPPING. Again in my heart, I went "@#$%" . Of course, the cashier asked her what it is. The old lady said something about a discount on a few items.

They were conversing in Mandarin but I know from their expression and some of their words that she was explaining to the cashier and the cashier was asking her back where she got it and she told here where and when, the cashier asked her why didn't give it earlier....
oh you know how it goes. The explanation just went on and on. Basically, the cashier was clueless and she had to read the clippings, did some numbers on the machine, reconfirm with the old lady,bla bla bla........ all that for just a newspaper clipping...... Sigh.... And all that while, the old man was holding on to his UOB blue card and his NTUC member card, with an upside down smile on his face. And I am next in line, going in my heart, "Just give her the cards!!!"

When he finally handed the cards to make payment, he looked at the NETS machine closely and punched the pin number slowly. Ok, fine, I know your vision ain't clear but please, just press the RIGHT pin numbers. I can hear him pressing the buttons one by one and seeing him pressing the numbers, with a squint in his eyes. Then when he pressed 'Enter', there was a pause..........


Ah! The sweet sound of the receipt machine. The transaction was successful. And after receiving his cards and receipt, they left with their truckload of items.

Delighted I was, it was short lived. When I placed my items on the counter, she was stamping on the newspaper clipping! There were 3 images on the clipping that had to be stamped. Next, she proceeded to flipping through the receipts , stamping EACH ONE OF THEM!

Ok nvm, I just bear with it. I am already here, just do what you have to do. After, she scanned the items, I proceed with payment. Transaction was successful, I received my items and receipt. When I turned to leave, I realized the first queue that I went to just got a lot shorter than mine.


What a way to end the work week......

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