This Should Not Be a Difficult Concept to Grasp

In the “Nanny State” that we live in, it seems like everything needs instructions these days. Sure, there are things where instructions should be necessary, like IKEA furniture, brownie mix, or passport applications.

Whole Foods figured that instructions shouldn’t be necessary for standing in line at their location on Houston Street. Standing in line seems like a simple concept. But unfortunately, I’m starting to think they might need to install a sign with instructions.

The checkout line is pretty self-explanatory at first glance. There are three lines. Each of them is color-coded. You choose a line and stand in it. When a number is announced (visually and audibly) on the plasma screen at the front of the line over your color, you proceed to that numbered register.


This is a very simple process. It should not be difficult to comprehend, but idiotic New Yorkers always find a way to screw things up. This procedure is no exception.

Earlier this week, I stood in the blue line. There were about six people in line in front of me. Both the red and cream-colored lines had roughly two or three more people in them. I figured I lucked out and took the quickest line.

After three rotations of numbers being called, the number 16 appeared in the blue color bar on the screen above our line. Without hesitation, a woman in the cream-colored line proceeded directly to register 16. When the next number for the cream-colored line came up seconds later, the woman behind her went to that register. The woman at the front of our line just stood there. She did not defend herself. She did not tell the woman at register 16 to get back in line. It all happened so quickly that I’m not sure she could have really snapped into action – she was simply stunned by what had just happened. So, my entire line got penalized for someone else’s stupidity, and I had to spend an extra minute in line.

This is not the first time this has happened. Nearly every time I go to Whole Foods, someone can’t figure out this relatively uncomplicated system. Never has anyone confronted a line-cutter in my presence. I presume that this is mainly because many Whole Foods customers lack the energy needed to confront others because of their vegan diets. Then again, since the customers aren’t smart enough to figure out that “organic” is pretty must just another word for “expensive,” they probably aren’t smart enough to figure out this whole checkout system.  If that bitch takes my register, I will take it back by force.

And if she gets hostile, I will take a wad of raw ground beef and throw it at her. That’ll learn ‘er.



Filed under General stupidity, Life in NYC

13 responses to “This Should Not Be a Difficult Concept to Grasp

  1. Amy

    See, I see it differently. Those hippie vegans all belong to food co-ops and go to green markets. They don’t go to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is all the rich pseudo hippie organic food snobs (think I have an opinion about this?) who feel better shopping at this store that most people can’t afford.

    The woman who cut in line probably did so because she doesn’t care about other people.

    The woman who didn’t say anything probably did so because she just couldn’t be bothered.

  2. And if she gets hostile, I will take a wad of raw ground beef and throw it at her.

    As long as it’s organic beef. Or free range. Or whatever Whole Foods does to make its raw beef twice as expensive as any other raw beef.

  3. I refuse to shop in Whole Foods just because of that ridiculous line system. Really, I didn’t move to NYC to be herded around like cattle while trying to buy some orange juice.

    Also, who puts a grocery store on Houston Street? That’s way too far from my apartment.

  4. shhiiiiiiitttttt. I get pissed about the same thing. Most of the time, someone gets distracted by the Kettlecorn popcorn on the display and misses her number being called.

    Oh, can we also talk about how some people like to buy about $500 worth of groceries at fucking 6:30pm when everyone is getting off work?

    And the people with clearly more than 5 items standing in the express line?

    And how the chocolate chip cookies are always sold out?

    And how it costs $2 to buy a fucking artichoke?

    Oh man, Whole Foods gets to me. Gets to me good.

  5. since the customers aren’t smart enough to figure out that “organic” is pretty must just another word for “expensive”

    and you were in there why?

  6. Amish: I was in there to buy beer. They have a pretty good selection of microbrews, and it’s about the only thing there that’s not completely overpriced.

  7. This is what happens when you think you’re too good for the A&P.

  8. “Whole Foods customers lack the energy needed to confront others because of their vegan diets”

    I just laughed out loud. Thank you.

  9. Courtney

    i love whole foods for being a block away from my apartment to meet my salad and seltzer water needs but yeah, new yorkers are way too stupid to figure out the “complicated” check-out system. And five items or less DOES NOT mean go ahead and wheel a whole cart into this line. The regular line is always shorter anyway.

  10. caitlynintherye

    My friend worked at Whole Foods for about 5 years and said that whenever they ran out of “organic” or “free-range” (whatever that means, I don’t eat it) they would just put stickers on regular beef and raise the price. No one ever noticed, or at least no one ever complained.

  11. that’s why i love the british system…the queue.

    you stand in queue. you stand quietly, and politely in a single line, and wait for the next open register. if one opens up, you do not make a dash from the middle of the line, they actually take the next person in line. if you try to dash, or if you make that break, some huge cockney taxi driver or, even worse, some nice lady in plummy tones, will say, “excuse me, back of the queue!” and you are glared down. if they manage to ignore the glares, and move up to the register, out of line order, the cashier simply refuses to take them at the register, putting their items aside, and calling up the proper person in the queue.

    the queue. the great equaliser.

  12. They actually do have instructions at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods. And sometimes they even have guys that stand with signs that say “10 minutes until checkout” like it’s a Disney ride or something. But in general, I avoid Whole Foods because it’s too overwhelming and you cannot be anywhere in the store without being in 8 people’s way.

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