Originally Posted: 2005-03-17 9:30am

God, I HATE shopping at Costco

You might have seen me if you shop at Costco-Livermore. I'm the no-nonsense customer striding purposefully down the aisles, pulling products from shelves and out of coolers. If I seem in a hurry, it's because I am. I'm shopping for my business, so I'm working. And every minute I spend here is one where I'm not making any money. Consequently, I'm one of those rare Costco customers who is here to shop, pay, and leave in as little time as possible. The way I see it, it's customers like me who pay the bills, not those no-life borderline retards who spend hours munching on free samples, reading entire books in the literary section, and leaning on empty shopping carts like walkers, while socializing with the other leeches. Given the chance, I would take each of you aside, customer and employee alike, and explain to you why you make shopping at Costco my most hated weekly activity. See if you can recognize yourself on this list.

The Aisle-Blocker -- What's truly impressive is not that you weigh over 500 lbs and still manage to hoist yourself vertical long enough to shop at Costco. It's not that you have a sister/daughter/aunt/friend who closely challenges you for girth. It's how the two of you manage to position yourselves and your two shopping carts so precisely as to completely block an aisle ten feet wide, without the use of laser-guided surveying equipment. As you pant and snort your way down the aisle, stopping every five feet to catch your breath, you resemble nothing more than two dirigibles constructed from pea-green stretch pants. "Excuse me, wideload", I'm dying to say, "Would you kindly consider moving your fat ass six inches to one side so that folks who are actually moving can pass?" But I know from experience that it's just faster to backtrack and loop all the way around in front of you than to wait while you complete this highly strenuous manoeuvre. Others who fall into this category are The Elderly Relative (what kind of assclown brings a disoriented centenarian, confined to a wheelchair and unable to breath without an oxygen bottle, to a warehouse for an outing?), and the Mom With Eight Rugrats (hanging off the cart or orbiting unpredictably around her).

The Free Sample Buzzard -- Can we do something about the practice of leaving your cart sideways in the middle of the aisle while you rush off to stuff your face? Believe me, it only takes a second to push it to the side of the aisle, and no longer than that to move it back into the flow of traffic. I know the satisfaction of not acting like an inconsiderate asshat means nothing to you, so let me explain the benefit in a way that does. If you block shoppers like me, who just want to pass, we might be tempted to move in on "your" free samples, since we can't do anything else until you move. Now, you don't want *that*, do you? There's another odd ritual involving the free sample kiosks that I don't quite understand. It occurs while waiting for the next batch of samples to be prepared, and is like a reverse version of musical chairs. The Buzzards mill around the general area, nudging their carts along listlessly. The *bing* of the microwave is like the crack of a starters pistol, as the Buzzards abandon their carts in place and hurl themselves at the tasty snacks. It's too bad that you had to knock over The Elderly Relative in your mad rush, but who knows when Costco might be giving away free samples again? Maybe the concussion will knock some sense back into that bony old blue-hair.

The Cashier -- How am I? In a hurry. The fact that I am already filling out my check or packing my shit into the cart should make that clear to an experienced professional like yourself. Kindly focus your efforts on making sure that I don't have to be here one minute longer than is absolutely necessary. And please don't take it personally when I grunt a non-answer to your grindingly unfunny joke about the large number of corn dogs, French bread pizzas, and Philly cheese steak sandwiches I'm buying. Aside from the fact that I hear some variant of it every week, the last time I gave my stock answer -- "It's for my business" -- the cashier (male, of course) held up the box of Light Days he just scanned and asked in a louder voice than necessary if this was for my business, too. In addition, not answering you intelligibly slightly lowers the probability that you will make your pitch about Saving Me 2% On My Purchases! I know it's your job to ask, and you have -- nearly every week for the past two years. It's *not* your job, you smirky, window-licking frat boy, to smugly demand "Don't you like saving money?" when I decline your offer. Just shut your gub until it's time to announce my total, and we'll both be rid each other that much faster.

The "Bagger" -- I know you guys have your "systems" for filling my cart. I have a system, too, which is this: I want to leave with everything I've paid for. Not unreasonable, yes? So if you *are* going to set things aside to pack them more efficiently later, make sure everything ends up in the cart. And speaking of packing efficiency, how is it that I can pack a cart only up to the top edge, and you -- who have 500 times more experience packing carts than I do -- can hardly fit this into one cart?

The Final Indignity -- You, the receipt-examiner at the exit of the store, are the human equivalent of a car alarm. Ostensibly a crime-deterrent, you actually serve no practical purpose other than being an intense annoyance. Legally, I'm not required to put up with this charade; I can breeze right past you, and you know it. However, I don't want to bust your chops for this stupid ass-covering exercise that some some seat-sniffing ex-MP security dweeb from Costco Corporate dreamed up. I know that you are just doing your job and take more of the infantile level of shit than anyone else at Costco. So let's make an arrangement: I'll submit to stopping and handing you my receipt; you stripe it with your marker and skip the part where you pretend to check it against the contents of my cart.

And now...finally...all the crap is loaded into my van, and I am headed for THE EXIT. Could the sight of the Pearly Gates themselves produce such joy and anticipation? Now if only these two fat aisle-blocking cows, slowly waddling down the middle of the traffic lane, would get the fuck out of the way.

post id: 64200871

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