It’s Okay; We’re Confused, Too

, , , , | Working | August 19, 2020

I am shopping in a store which, due to the current health crisis, hs cleared the area in front of the checkouts and replaced the normal queueing system with a system of arrows both marked on the floor and on signs on posts.

I’m confused as the arrows seem to be pointing the wrong way. The four cashiers and the checkout assistant are all watching me approach; it’s a quiet day and I’m the only person wanting to pay.

Me: “Where do you want me to go?”

Assistant: “Follow the arrows.”

Me: “Um, this arrow—” *points to the floor* “—says to go this way, but that arrow—” *points at a sign* “—says to go to the other end. Do I come in this way?”

Cashier #1: “Just go where the arrow says.”

Me: “Okay, can I just come in here, then?”

Assistant: “You need to follow the arrows on the signs.”

Me: “Right.”

I start to walk to the other end of the checkouts, where the sign is pointing.

Cashiers #1, #2, #3, & #4: “STOP!”

Me: “Whoa, what?”

Assistant: *A bit aggressively* “You’re going the wrong way!”

Me: “Oh, for God’s sake. THIS ARROW—” *points at a sign* “goes THAT WAY.” *Points to the end of the checkouts* “THIS ARROW—” *points at the floor* “goes THIS WAY.” *Points ahead of me* “They’re pointing in OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. I’m the only one here. I’m ten feet from the checkout. Would you please tell me exactly where you want me to go?!”

There’s dead silence for ten seconds while all five of them peer at the floor and at the sign.

Assistant: “Um. Yeah, sorry. Go straight to [Cashier #1].”

When I finished checking out, the assistant was hauling the signs around so they pointed the right way. Thank God it wasn’t a busy day; it would have been chaos.

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