The wait seems endless.  The checkout line hasn’t moved in 10 minutes.  Why did you pick this line?  But you can’t risk jumping into another queue that may be slower.  Tick, tick, tick.  Maybe you don’t even want this sweater.  Would it be quicker to bail and buy it at home online?

The retail checkout line may be tedious any time of year, but it is worse during the holidays, when stores are packed and people are more likely to wait it out to meet a Dec. 25 deadline than walk away empty handed.

Nearly half of U.S. consumers say they plan to shop online this holiday season.

I’ll tell you what really bugs me.  When in the fast take out lines with a maximum of six items, the person ahead of me has double that number.  When I have the guts, I usually say something.  Also when the person ahead of me rummages around her purse looking for change and delaying everybody else.

Do you ever shop online?

Can anything be done to speed up shopping lines?

Do shopping lines bug you?


  1. 1

    I do shop a little online, but I was disappointed, by an item being cancelled- 1 of 3 pces and if I wanted to make another choice, I’d have to pay the shipping again…NO!

    Canada should take a few lessons from the USA on how to move people along.

    Shopping lines don’t bug me. I don’t line up very often, or for very long.
    I try to get things done early to avoid the lines because I have zero patience for that!


  2. 2

    I never shop online. Too many ways it can go wrong with no remedy.

    As for lineups, I will put up with one for as long as I have the patience. But when I see a dozen people in one line, three closed registers, and floor staff standing around with their thumbs otherwise engaged, I will simply put everything down and leave.

    Patti is right about the attitude of Americans vs. the attitude of Canadians. In the States, if there are more than three people in a lineup, someone will usually open another register, even if that someone has to be the store manager! In Canada, they just look at you as if you’re crazy. I blame the unions.

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Never thought of the unions. You may be right.

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    There are unions for shop clerks? Are you sure? I chalk it up to an attitude that someone somewhere else will take care of it. Americans know that good service translates into earnings. Canadians MAY figure they are paid regardless.

  5. 5

    Yes, some shops have unionized clerks. And union regulations will say that register clerks man the registers and floor clerks man the floors and inventory clerks man the inventory and NEVER will you EVER do what is not yours to do! You can be turfed out of the union (and thus fired) for taking someone else’s job! Yes, even when they are not themselves available.

    And woe betide any management personnel from doing a union task!

  6. 6

    I like shopping in the US. Right on about the cash registers, the management and employees are flexible. Lineups go in fits & starts, usually.
    Remember that Big Box store commercial where the clerks would spot a customer and run in the other direction…?
    The only place that engages the customer immediately is Home Depot. I’ve given up on the others, and have been in several different HD stores in the past months, needing goods and advice as we’ve renovated. Never disappointed.
    I think it could be unions, and a lack of training in customer service. They are not taught that it’s the customer who pays their salaries.
    When I cross that threshold into a store, I want someone to come up to me and say “Welcome, now how can we help you unload some of your money?” Ha ha

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    I Christmas shopped for the first time this year. I have four kids. There are not enough hours in the day to do all that Christmas shopping. I shopped a few more items today at the mall. One small complication is that my oldest is born on Christmas, so I have to buy double the items for.

    My big aggravation with online shopping is finding out most of the stuff I wanted was “out of stock”.

  8. 8

    Those poor people with birthdays on holidays. We have a friend who is late 60;s and has NEVER had a birthday party- Hers is Dec 31st. Our church decided to throw a surprise party for her, and make it an early games night, NY;s eve.
    Everyone should have at least one party! My daughter loves her birthday more than anything…it’s all hers.
    and Suzanne: Poor Mom delivering on Christmas Day.

  9. 9
    SUZANNE Says:

    Since I’m French Canadian, we open the gifts on the 24th. So my daughter gets her birthday cake on the 25th.

  10. 10
    Neil McKenty Says:

    My birthday is December 31. It gets suppressed by the Christmas season. That’s just fine with me. I’m not big on my birthday.

  11. 11

    I’m not “big on my birthday” either. It’s in mid- January and I have been snowed out or snowed in so many times that I had to develop a “care-less” attitude early on or risk having my heart broken.
    I gave up totally, on my 14th birthday, which was on a Friday night, school dance & I came down with the mumps that afternoon! Ah SH–!

  12. 12
    Jim Says:

    What about the poor soul who was born on the 29th of February

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