No more curbside pickup!

Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-thru by Evelyn Simak is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Enough with ordering food and curbside/in-store pickup. It’s a gamble every time you choose this option. Nothing is more frustrating than driving up to the eatery and the doors are locked, then having to jump in the line that snakes around the building. They’ve got your money, now what, try to get a refund? Had this happen several times at Popeye’s specifically. They offered to give me a credit for my next meal and then the app crashed and I had to call my Apple Master Card and get the refund.

The last time I went to Chick-Fil-A I chose the window pickup because they are usually pretty efficient. Once I got in line I noticed people parking, walking into the restaurant, and then walking out with their orders. Not just picking up orders, but going inside, ordering, and leaving.

In this day and age if you have a lobby and it’s locked, then I’m not eating at your establishment and just making my version of your food at home.

Self Checkout Rules and Guidelines

Buying lettuce in a grocery store by Jakub Kapusnak is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Self-checkouts are far superior to express checkouts because you don’t have to interact with humans and let them handle your goods. Follow these simple tips to get in and out and back to your hobbit hole in no time.

No light items

Items must be heavy enough to register on the scale. Kool-Aid packets are a great example. Purchasing Kool-Aid also shows you make poor decisions, so getting in this line probably reveals this.

No Alcohol

At this point in our technological world of grocery purchasing, there is no DNA test or retinal scans to prove your age. If a cashier has to come over to verify your age you are in the wrong line. Plus you need to buy your booze at a liquor store so you won’t run into someone from your bible study class and pretend like you are just making beer chili.

Respect the Item Limits

Self Checkout is not for full buggies, crazy couponers, or hoarders filling the fallout shelter for the coming apocalypse.

Know the Code

It needs to have a bar code! If you buy produce at least know the item number. If you have to tap your tuber by touch screen, pick a different line.

Items need to fit

Trying to lift a 60″ plasma TV onto the self-checkout scanner is obviously not going to work. If the item is too large to fit on the scanner, you have failed us. Call the manager to be escorted from the premises.

Don’t move bags to your buggy

Some robot-scales get angry when you remove items from the bagging area. This only shows you have too many items to be in this line. Everything you purchase should fit in the bagging area. It is even better if there is a handheld scanner and you can leave all the barcodes up in the cart.

Credit, Debit, or NFC Only!

No cash, no checks, no gift cards. I’ve tried (all except the check). Debit cards are great: swipe, enter your pin, grab your bags and receipt. Watching someone smooth out a crinkled dollar and feed it into the money bot orifice, makes me want to fling soup cans at your face.

Improving on Supermarket Express Lanes

Supermarkets have hit a log jam when it comes to express lanes. They seem like a good idea but they are fatally flawed because they only have one rule: Item Limits (which are always violated). Here are a few new rules that supermarkets should adopt to increase the performance of Express Lane.

High-Performance Cashiers and Baggers

Cashiers that are knowledgeable of what they’re doing go a long way. Would it hurt a cashier to smile and at least pretend to enjoy employment?. Express lane workers should be like the Navy Seals of cashiers. It’s frustrating when a volunteer senior citizen works the express lane and considers bar codes “the mark of the beast” and laser scanners “apocalyptic weaponry”. Baggers need to know that bread, Clorox, and ground beef shouldn’t co-mingle in a bag.

Accept only Debit Cards

Nothing is more frustrating than seeing someone whip out a checkbook to pay for five items. Cash is clumsy and no one can do simple math anymore. No gift cards either, 100% of the time there isn’t enough money to foot the bill, so that causes longer waits for your decision to write a check, pay with cash, or find your debit/credit card. Even credit cards take too long because people forget their own names and how to sign them.

Surcharge for going over the limit.

There should be a 50% surcharge for each over-the-limit item and increases incrementally for each item you go over. This will stop people with 100 items from getting in the 20 items or less line when their grocery bill goes all Fibonacci on them.

No Impulse Items

Remove all the candy and magazines so that people will pay attention when the grocery belt is open for them to place their items. Who cares what celebrity is overweight or having an out-of-wedlock baby with an alien.

No Cigarette Purchases

No lung candy since we are not allowing any other candy purchases in this line. Nothing is worse than someone finishing up their two-item purchase and then remembering they need a soft pack of reds. The cashier takes minutes opening the case and bringing back the hard pack which causes great anger in the customer. This cigarette volley goes on as you watch customers in other lanes with full carts leaving the store.

No “Valued Customer” card signup

If you already possess this card and have it ready then you are free to use it. However, don’t query the cashier entering five phone numbers because you forgot your card.

When your neighbors weed problem affects you.

I understand it requires much effort to maintain a lawn. However, if your yard is 90% weeds and it begins to creep over I think you could take care of your overgrowth. You could also take care of your clippings. I understand where the property line falls, but how much effort does it take for one small pass of the mower to compensate for your clover neglect. I guess I will have to be extra careful when I apply my weed and feed so as to not damage the precious clover that you are eager to share.

How to: The Art of letting people down.

This is not a situation of you making a plan and then canceling if something better comes up. This is a situation where both parties don’t have solid plans and they both release their schedule at the same time. Yeah, it happens.

People just don’t know how to say no. They also don’t know how to say yes. Heck, people don’t even say maybe anymore, they simply don’t respond. If you have two conflicting plans on your calendar and both are very important then someone will be disappointed.  If you are required to be at both places who do you let down? What is the best method? Do you tell them early and hope they understand or do you wait until the day of the event?

If you inform them early you run the risk of them slathering on a thick layer of guilt about how their event is not important to you. If that happens here’s what you do. A few days before the event, tell them that someone in your family died. Ask them again if you are still required to be there or if can you go bury your family member. Either way, you probably want to break off that relationship.

What is the filthiest thing in the bathroom?


I vote for whatever this thing is. What is the purpose? To help you tear the toilet paper off the roll? How much trouble are people having if they can’t tear toilet paper?

I doubt this thing ever gets cleaned and is constantly caressed by poop fingers. I guess the flush handle is really the nastiest item in the bathroom. If you don’t clean it every day, you will now. You’re welcome.

How to win at Conference Calls

No roll-call!

Start with “Who’s on the call”, that way everyone can start talking over each other. You could also let everyone announce themselves once they beep in even if they are five minutes late and someone is already talking.

Arrive Early

Condescend as people join with phrases like, “Nice for you to join us” or “We’ve been waiting so we can get started”. You know, sayings to make them feel bad

Don’t use the mute button

Yell at your other coworkers to keep it down. If you work from home yell at your family. But if you must use the mute button, use it as a stall tactic so you can think of something to say when you are called upon.

Have a snack

If some schedule a call during breakfast hours (8am to 9am) or really anytime after, have a nice crunchy snack. Don’t forget to leave your mic off mute.

Arrive Late

Tell everyone you just got the meeting notice even though it’s been on the schedule for days. You could also blame it on another meeting or that you were “heads down” working on a tough problem. Be prepared for passive-aggressive statements

Make sure people can see your screen.

Don’t trust the technology, after you share your screen make sure you ask the important follow-up question “Can you see my screen”.

Question the Question

Ask a follow-up question anytime someone tries to call you out. Redirection is your ally. Always blame your faults on an insufficient functional spec or someone not on the call.

How to pick a Wal-Mart Shopping Cart

Bandaid with a hair

I think Walmart is the only company that doesn’t maintain its shopping carts. They’ve come up with a trick that will encourage you to endure the punishment of wobbly wheels for the shopping duration. The trick is they cover the solarium with a bunch of uneven stone tiles. You won’t notice the wheels are busted until you’ve been distracted by a Walmart elder and the lure of cheap candy, bananas, and detergent before hitting the smooth surfaces. They figure that you’ve traveled all this distance from the corral and you won’t walk back to get another. You might risk offending the elder and get scolded: “Well, back in my day, we had to strap saddle bags on a mule when we wanted Doritos from the five and dime, I think that buggy will do you just fine sonny boy”.

Sometimes you get lucky and there aren’t many buggies in the corral at Walmart.  This gives you a bit of a smooth surface to do a little test run to see if all the wheels are straight. I’m sure Wal Mart will catch on to this, and extend the rough tiles into the buggy corral. It’s really only a matter of time before Walmart becomes just a rough uneven terrain of shopping on dirt floors. Then you won’t notice there are no wheels on the buggy at all.

I can’t believe we are wearing watches again


Watches are quite annoying and I was hoping they would eventually go away. I think it’s hilarious that marketing has tricked people into wearing watches again. For me, the smartphone did away with the need for a watch. I grew up wearing Ironman triathlons and the rubbery plastic band would begin to reek of rancid cheese after any sort of pre-pubescent physical activity. The watch would also pull the hairs out of your arms if had one of those metal Cylon accordion bands.

But here we are in a smartphone era and watches are still selling. Why are watches so popular now? Because they’re stuffing smartphones into watches. Brilliant! The only watch I currently own is a SkyCaddy Watch that tells me how far into the woods and tells me it’s time to give up looking for it.

How to shop at Aldi

Don’t pull from the short stack

Since we’ve been shopping at Aldi we’ve saved a bunch of money. Here are a few things to take note of while shopping at Aldi.

Bring a Quarter

Even out the cart corral, don’t pull from the short stack. You should always keep a quarter in your car, or bolt cutters. Sometimes Aldi will have two sets of carts, but one corral is empty. I feel bad for the person who has to sacrifice their quarter to start the link chain. If someone gives you a cart, pay it forward to someone else. Once you get your buggy, don’t start going through your purse or wallet, get out of the way and go inside.

The Entry

Don’t linger near the front door in amazement at all the food stuffs. Some Aldi’s place all the junk food near the front.  I wish they would move the junk to another aisle because the entry is clogged with people deciding on how to ruin their innards. At least they don’t use corn syrup or synthetic colors now (some items).

Brand loyalty

This is not a place to shop if you are brand loyal. Almost all their foods are copycats and they taste just as good. Everything except the “Ranch” tortilla chips, you just can’t beat Cool Ranch Doritos, I think it’s because Frito Lay still uses red dye 40.

The Meats

The pork loin and ribeye steaks are tasty and a very good deal. The carne picada is the absolute worst. They also have some very good unprocessed lunch meats for sandwiches. BTW, isn’t a pig unprocessed lunch meat? Too bad they don’t have wild pigs roaming the store.

The Produce

This is the only thing I don’t like about Aldi, everything seems like it’s on verge of rotting. You have to eat it quick or it will spoil. I’ve heard they are fixing that though. We will see.


Be prepared to bag your own groceries at that long counter near the exit. Try to fit all your groceries into one bag and walk through the parking lot like someone in the Arnold Strongman Classic. You can buy a bag from Aldi or bring a trash bag. When you unload them at the house, put the trash bag in the receptacle. After you have used the groceries, put the trash back in the bag you bought them in. The circle is now complete.

Be helpful

Offer to take shoppers’ carts back for them. You can determine someone’s greed by how upset they get on losing a quarter. Hopefully, you can time it just right so that you can exchange a cart for a quarter in the parking lot so you don’t have to walk back to the storefront.

Hope this helps…