Military Grocery Shopping

I went grocery shopping at the commisary on base with my sister and her friend. It was like taking two six- year- olds to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory:
"Did you see that one? Oh my gosh!"
"Yes! And the one beside it! Do you think that's his car?"
"Maybe! Go ask him!"
"YOU go ask him! Ah, he's looking at us, don't look don't look!!"
"You know what? If we meet him, he could introduce us to his friends, and they could introduce us to their friends, and we could meet a whole lot of gorgeous guys!! Eeeee!!" Gag me with a spoon.
Anyway, we made it to the store and got through shopping, even though I had to stop and go to the previous isle and retrieve them from the heels of yet another soldier, and made our way to the registers. I did what any normal (civilian) shopper would do: picked a register and got in line. A couple of minutes later, the woman in front of me turns around and says "The line starts back there." I looked and saw three overflowing-cart laden shoppers glaring at me.
Running the length of the isle in front of the registers are lots of pallets of sodas, crackers, etc. with a gap about half-way. That's where the line started. Oh, so that's why I had to squeeze between a pallet and shoppers in the express lane to get to a register.....
So I meekly wave to the other customers and scoot to the end of the line under the rude glare of the guy at the head of the line holding a clipboard. Wait, a clipboard? This situation just went from stupid to assinine.
First, you have to wait in line to wait in line. Second, when you get to the head of the line, you must wait for the guy with the clipboard to make a few marks on his secretive paper (I tried to sneak a look) and give you your register assignment ("You may wait in line three, ma'am"). Third, you wait in line at your pre-destined, picked-especially-for-you-based-on-the-characteristics-of-your-personality-that-we-
observed-from-your-facial-expressions-and-choice-of-parking-space. Finally, you get the privilege of buying your groceries. What gets me is the clipboard guy gets paid (he had on a uniform) and the sackers rely on tips (they didn't)!! Whose butt do you have to kiss to get THAT job? Does he get paid per assignment? Are there penalties if he assignes a patron the wrong cashier and they tussle about a coupon? Does he get assigned a line when he shops or does he have free pickings? What is his job title? Do you have to have a degree?
Of all the anal retentive features of the military, this one tops them all. I can't even come up with any more to say about the subject. If anyone has any answers, feel free to leave a comment.

No comments: