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In Line And Out Of Line, Part 17

, , , , , , , | Right | March 22, 2021

I am no older than thirteen when this happens, so I haven’t learned to speak up for myself yet. My dad is recovering from surgery, so I am running a lot of the household errands, including the shopping. 

I have just finished getting what we need and join the queue for checkout. The woman in front of me has a baby in a pram and a toddler so I am giving her a fair amount of space to manoeuvre.

I am just about to move up to the cashier when another woman with a trolley full of stuff blocks my path and then starts loading her stuff onto the conveyer. I might have thought she just hadn’t noticed me, had she not made eye contact with me and then looked away like she was pretending not to have seen me.

Me: “Excuse me, there’s a queue.” 

She blanks me and keeps loading her stuff up. The cashier apparently doesn’t hear me, but the mother in front of me does.

Mother: “That girl should have been next.”

Woman: “No, I was next. The kid can wait.”

The woman reaches a point where it will probably be quicker to put her order through than for her to unload it all again and let me go first. Both the cashier and the mother look over at me. I feel really embarrassed so I just shrug. The mother gives me a sympathetic look and moves off.

Then, another cashier starts opening a lane and calls over to me.

Other Cashier: “Come over here, sweetheart.”

I oblige, feeling really grateful but still very embarrassed that I don’t have the courage to speak up. The cashier pushes my shopping through very quickly and keeps me chatting the whole time, clearly trying to making me feel more at ease.

Then, I hear the original cashier at the other till say:

Cashier: “I’m sorry, the whole system’s just frozen. You’ll have to go to another till.”

I looked over to see the woman grumpily reloading her shopping and getting in line behind me. It was only a small victory, but it made me feel just a little better.

In Line And Out Of Line, Part 16
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 15
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 14
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 13
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 12

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