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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Idle curiosity
delirium happy
Poll #883917 Checkout quandry

Imagine this scenario, if you would. You're in a supermarket. You've just finished filling your trolley or basket, and are heading over to the checkout to pay. At the checkout, there are two lanes you might reasonably take. One is staffed by someone you find physically attractive. They appear cheerful, with a smile on their face and a gleam in their eyes. However, this one has a longer queue. The other one is staffed by someone who looks haggard, grouchy and miserable, but has a shorter queue. Which one do you go to?

The cute one with the longer queue
The grouchy one with the shorter queue
Whichever one I go to, the person in front of me will take forever

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I agree that age is the key factor, although strictly on practical grounds. I'd go for the grouchy one, on the assumption that the cute one is probably 17 and will therefore have to waste time calling a supervisor over to approve any alcoholic drinks that are among my purchases, whereas the miserable one has probably been working there for the last 20 years and acquired ninja-like lightning-fast barcode scanning skills in that time.

cheerful + smiling vs grouchy and miserable.

Cute is an added bonus. Of course, if the queue was vastly different, then no contest anyway.

When I'm checking out I'm doing so because I want to pay and get out, not as a social event, so I go for the shorter line (or, at any rate, the one that looks like it will take the least amount of time).

Besides which, cheerful and smiling may also mean that they chatter a lot, thus being slower.

Actually neither. Whenever available I go to the self-checkout lanes, unless I have an item guaranteed to require clerk assistance (such as R-rated DVDs, where they will be forced to come over and confirm that I'm over 17). Given the options in your poll though, I'd go with the cheerful-looking clerk as it's more pleasant and getting through the line is guaranteed to take ages no matter which I choose.

Good luck finding a self-checkout around here... I've only seen one once, and it wasn't even on the same continent as I'm currently in!

They're fairly common around here, at least in the places where it's important to me to use them (that is, grocery stores, where I'm generally purchasing quite a few items at once). They haven't got them at the drugstores or (obviously) little locally owned specialty shops, but if I'm buying anything at all in those places there's generally only one or two items and also generally no one else there causing me to wait for a cashier. Plus the cashiers there are almost always friendly, unlike the large, soul-sucking grocery stores.

Hi, babbling inanely. Hope you don't mind! :D

The cute one, though mainly on the basis that grouchy-looking checkout operators tend to be thoroughly unsympathetic about packing speed, not wanting to put the crushables in the same bag as tins, leaving 6-packs of fruit juice in the trolley because previous experience has taught you that the conveyor jams if you put more than two in close proximity, digging correct change out of wallets, not having an all-your-data-are-belong-to-us card, that sort of thing.

And surely everyone knows that supermarket queues are one of those Markov wossnames where common sense gives way to the law of sod, anyway ;)

I don't actually pay attention to the clerks, just at the length of the line.

Ditto. I think the only time when I do look at the clerks before getting in line is when I'm buying underwear. I don't like buying it off men :x

While sure, I'd prefer the cheery/cute one, shopping usually puts me in a vile mood and I just want to get out and get home as quickly as possible. Or sometimes I don't want to be sociable at all, so the surly one might even be preferable.

I cant believe how non romantic your flist is! The cute one of course! And I would think of a suitable compliment to drop while I was waiting :)

I don't care about cute, but I prefer cheery. Social interactions are hard for me, and I'd like someone who isn't going to get irritated if I can't make out what is said or take extra time or otherwise have some small snag in the procedure. It does help that I'm obviously disabled, so most people are more willing to be patient, but that doesn't mean they won't still find it annoying, and I don't like causing annoyance when I'm just trying to get stuff done because stuff needs to get done, even if I am disabled.

I normally don't even notice the clerks at first - I'm very strategic in supermarkets, starting out looking for the shortest line(s). If there are a few that appear close to length, I check out what the people in those lines are buying and what they're doing (if they're reading the tabloids while waiting, that's a minus. If they're on a cell phone, forget it). Then I look at the cashiers, not particularly for cuteness or cheerfulness, but for whether I've dealt with them before.

Of course, I usually don't buy more than 10-15 things at a time, so I either use the self-checkouts or the express lane if there's a bunch of morons clogging those up.

i am teh awes0mez cashier

Imagine this scenario, but in a housewares and linens store.
I AM the cashier. The smiling, cheerful, cute one.
And, invariably, people go into my line, rather than my less-smiley part-timer's line. This pisses me off, because g-ddammit, I have other things to do for my job than ring the assclowns out. I am disturbingly good at acting cheerful even when I want to strangle people. Oh yeah, I'm totally suited to be a teacher.

Given the option, I do my supermarket shopping at 3am. At which point there is one line, no waiting. However, when I do my specialty-grocery shopping, I go with the shortest line, and say nice things to the cashier. Most common conversation:
Cashier: Hi, how are you tonight?
Me, channelling Holy Grail: I'm not dead yet! ...how are you?
Cashier: *usually gets it, laughs* [honest answer about how night is going]
etc, etc.

Um, yeah. I'm immensely dorky, but hey, if I can make a fellow cashier's miserable evening a little better by engaging with them, I will. :)

Typically, I take the grouchy one, and be extra nice in hopes that I can help make them less grouchy.

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