Today I foolishly decided to break from the office at lunch time and head to Costco.
I figured it would be easy because it is just down the street from work. I only needed Splenda, Irish Spring Soap (for Dan), raisins, coffee creamer, and gum (just the necessities). Since I only had to go to a limited number of areas within the warehouse, I thought I could breeze in and breeze out.
And, I also decided I was going to be nice to everyone just like my hero, Laurie Notaro, who writes fabulous memoir-ish essays and in one particular book attempts to like everyone – even the people at Costco! Since this is my first Costco trip of the New Year, I thought, I too, could make a concerted effort not to roll my eyes at the charming folks at Costco and make it through the entire pilgrimage without swearing under my breath.
It would be a nice, easy trip to Costco.
What I failed to remember is that there is no way for one to do anything simple at Costco. There are no easy parking spots. There is no easy way to careen through the aisles to pick up a few things. There is no easy way to check out and make it back to your car without being at least somewhat traumatized.
However, I was determined, so I attempted to dash between the Oblivious Slow Walking People (and I mean that in the kindest way possible) with my huge Costco-sized cart (I thought I could just carry the items, but then I remembered I was at Costco where things are…well…big).
I completely bypassed all of the samples, generously leaving ample cheese wedges and little meatballs for my Costco cohorts. Since I have made many journeys to Costco, I mapped out where I would find my items, so I could move fast. I even decided not to let myself get distracted by any other items not featured on my list, so I would not get off track.
However, it proved difficult to squelch my strong desires to “shop,” and I did run across a delightful display of cherries, which I thought would be nice to get, seeing as I forgot my lunch, and I could use the cherries to supplement whatever I could scavenge for at the Government Center cafeteria.
Pleased with my find, I proceeded to find my remaining items.
As I made my way from the back of the store to the front, I was hindered several times by Costco shoppers who abandoned their cart in the middle of the aisle, mesmerized by a display of Kellogg Cereals multipacks or stacks of cases of soup. And, several people blocked the aisle completely, saw me needing to go through, and yet continued to block my way. But, it was okay because I was being Kind at Costco, so I patiently waited for them to pick out jumbo cases of mayonnaise and proceeded on my quest for the checkout area.
The checkout area is a little like a Vegas casino game of craps or something like that because you have to make an somewhat educated projection about what line will go the fastest, which I base on several factors, such as 1)amount of items; 2)type of items; 3)age/number of children present; 4) whether I think the payer will use a debit card or try to pay with a third-party post-dated check; and 5)whether I think the payer and the cashier speak the same language.
When I thought I made a good, educated guess on the fastest lane, I jumped in line. And, to my surprise, I must have made a good guess because the line moved smoothly along. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, thinking that my idea for good Costco Karma and being nice to be people must be repaying me with good line-picking fortune.
And just when I thought I would make it to the exit without any issue, the cashier lady who was putting my items in boxes in my cart broke the carton that contained my delicious cherries, exploding the whole lot into a box inside my cart.
“Oh, ma’am, I am so sorry,” the bagger/cashier lady said as she scooped the cherries back into the carton with her hands. “Do you still want these?”
Umm…no. I absolutely do not want to consume cherries that spilled out of their carton, into a dirty cardboard box, and picked up with hands exposed to the conditions in Costco. I would need to wash them off with Clorox.
But, I was practicing Kindness at Costco, so I politely told her, “no,” in fact, if she could just take them off my bill, I would be on my way. She obliged and sent me forth with a cash repayment.
So, in the end, I made it out with what I intendeed to purchase, but I will have to wait a good long time to go back, so I can replenish my ability to practice Kindness at Costco.