20 items or less?

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Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454
20 items or less?

The Great Vagina (sorry I don't know your real name!) reminded me of something that happened to me a few weeks ago at my local Walmart with her last thread about groups separating into two lines to see which one went faster.

I had only picked up a few things, probably seven or eight items, and gotten into the 20 items or less lane. I had my kids with me so I really wasn't paying much attention to who was in front of me when I entered the lane, but when I got them all wrangled together and quiet for two seconds, I looked up and saw that the people in front of me had an ENTIRE CART of groceries! Now, they only had four or five items, but they had about tons of each of those items... as in they had about 25 jars of baby food (the same kind, applesauce I think), 5 bags of diapers (same brand), fifteen cans of formula (the same brand)... you get my point. Did they think that because they had the same item, just over and over, that it justified them being in that lane? Are people really this stupid, or were they just clearly taking advantage of the short 20 items or less line (because we all know that at Walmart you're lucky if 3 out of their 25 lanes are actually open, even on a Friday night!)? I didn't say anything to them like I wanted to because I'm just not a confrontational person. What makes this worse is that the Walmart employees ARE NOT allowed to make them go to another line (you better believe I asked the clerk when it was my turn to be rung up)! Anyway, what are your thoughts on this... what would you do?

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

I've always taken "20 items or less" to mean just that - not "20 brands or less". It really bugs me when people do what you described.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

They bought 15 cans of formula at once? That is super weird.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Well since they can't even be bothered to get the sign correct (it should be "20 items or fewer") how can you expect them to adhere to it?

OK, OK, I think they were just taking advantage of it and improper grammar or not, the line is obviously for people with fewer then 20 items total.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

This type of situation annoys me, people need to learn to read signs (regardless of proper grammar!).

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"Potter75" wrote:

They bought 15 cans of formula at once? That is super weird.

It's 2 weeks' worth. When I was on WIC we used the voucher for 30 at a time.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

IMO, it should be 20 scans or fewer. They shouldn't have to scan identical items repeatedly. I once bought 175 identical spiral notebooks at Target for the school year. They scanned each one separately.

I bought 3 lemons today (sold by the unit) and 2 tomatoes (sold by weight). Is that 2, 4, or 5 items?

Even though the receipt will show items it isn't always as they would be counted. If I buy a bottle of soda or a television it's going to scan as 2 items because of the recycling charge.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Potter75" wrote:

They bought 15 cans of formula at once? That is super weird.

That is not unusual. I used to buy a months worth at a time so I was not always at the store. And when I was on WIC, that was the only way you could do it, is one month's supply at a time.

I am the weird person that counts everything in her cart before going through an express lane.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Okay, I did this before. It was not intentional! I was at a new store, a foreign import store, and they had one of these lines. I bought a lot, and just got in the shortest line. I've never seen one of these lines in my country before, and only noticed the sign when I was packing my bags after having paid. Maybe this person was as unobservant as me?

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I probably wouldn't have said anything, but I would have been annoyed.

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

IMO, it should be 20 scans or fewer. They shouldn't have to scan identical items repeatedly. I once bought 175 identical spiral notebooks at Target for the school year. They scanned each one separately.

I bought 3 lemons today (sold by the unit) and 2 tomatoes (sold by weight). Is that 2, 4, or 5 items?

Even though the receipt will show items it isn't always as they would be counted. If I buy a bottle of soda or a television it's going to scan as 2 items because of the recycling charge.

What?!? They scanned each one? Why couldn't they just scan one and then do 175 @ whatever price?

When I buy formula I always buy a whole bunch at once (because the only place I can buy the freakin expensive alimentum is at walmart and I hate going to walmart), the cashier never scans each one.

Oh and I think you bought 2 things. The tomatoes count as one for such since they are weighed. I assume the lemons were in the same bag and they would have rung them up by doing 3 @ $1... or whatever.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

I've stood in lines that were not 20 items or less with a cart full only to be persuaded by the cashier in the express lane to come over as she was open and no other customers with small amounts were seen at that moment. I've also gone into express at Walmart with more than the maximum allowed when the other lines have been so long and the self-checkouts keep me even longer than the long lines because they rarely work well at ours. If Walmart won't open more lanes, then I don't have the patience to wait either. However, I typically respect the sign and I won't say anything to anyone else who goes through with a higher number as well. It's not one of those things that really bug me.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

It depends on the tore whether they have to scan each item or they can scan one and then put in a number. Soemtimes the owner/manager wants each item scanned to prove that there are said number of items. Which is why if you have 30 of one item you should not go in the 20 itemsor fewer lane and assume that the cashier can just ring up one and manually enter the number. Or ask before getting in the line.

Also, I ahve no problem telling someone nicely "I am sorry but did you know this is the 20 items or fewer lane?". You don't haveto say itin an a$$hole way or be pissy about it. Sometimes people just don't notice or like blather, don't know. I've gone into a line like that not noticing and no one said anything until I got up to the cashier and after she rang up my stuff she said 'next time look at the sign!" I told her thatI apologize but I really didn't notice it because I just had gotten some bad news and next tiem she should just mention it before hand instead of being rude about it after.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

It's 2 weeks' worth. When I was on WIC we used the voucher for 30 at a time.

Wow, I had no idea. I thought a can lasted like a week, or a month or something. Learn something new every day!

As to the debate, I just don't care. 20 items is 20 items, not 20 types of things. I'd either mention it or just go to a different line. Certain things just don't get my blood pressure up, this is one of them. Its their karma.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Potter75" wrote:

Wow, I had no idea. I thought a can lasted like a week, or a month or something. Learn something new every day!

How wonderful it would be if that was the case. One can of formula lasts 2 to 3 days depending on the age of the child. Formula can be $200 a month.

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

IMO, it should be 20 scans or fewer. They shouldn't have to scan identical items repeatedly. I once bought 175 identical spiral notebooks at Target for the school year. They scanned each one separately.

I bought 3 lemons today (sold by the unit) and 2 tomatoes (sold by weight). Is that 2, 4, or 5 items?

Even though the receipt will show items it isn't always as they would be counted. If I buy a bottle of soda or a television it's going to scan as 2 items because of the recycling charge.

I never though of this scenario, but I think I agree. Though, I think the sign/lane are intended for 20 actual items and would count each item in one's cart as such. I doesn't bother me if people are close, but some people are clearly just taking advantage of the shorter line at the expense of people who actually meet the 20 item limit. I think it's kind of douchy, but not something I would waste too much energy on...I think the universe takes care of people like that. Karma and all. Wink

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

How wonderful it would be if that was the case. One can of formula lasts 2 to 3 days depending on the age of the child. Formula can be $200 a month.

Exactly. This is why I'm so thankful that BF is working out for me this time. I had to formula feed all three of my other babies on account of having to be back to work after just 2 weeks PP and my supply dried up. I'm back to work this time around as well, but I have educated myself on how to keep my supply up and seen a LC about pumping adequately! I know I spent at least $120 per month on formula before... if not more. I was smart about it this time though (I don't qualify for WIC), I signed up for Enfamil and Similacs coupons online and they not only send me those but actual cans of formula! I have about 15 cans stored away just incase something goes wrong with my BF, and if I don't end up needing them I'm going to donate them.

Going back to the main point of the thread, I think what bothered me the most is that Walmart's empoyees are not allowed to say anything to the customers about it! Do you think that's wrong? What's the point of having those lanes if people are not going to respect the purpose of them?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

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Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

It's 2 weeks' worth. When I was on WIC we used the voucher for 30 at a time.

WOW! I had no idea. I'm like Melissa, I guess I always though a can would last like a week or two. I think of it like coffee - for that size of a can I can go like 6 mos... (lol)

Anyway, to the OP - I agree that it should be 20 or fewer items, not 20 or fewer brands. Although I will admit that I have sometimes gone a little over when I was too lazy to count and figured I probably couldn't have more than 20 items (I always use a hand basket unless I'm really going all out, and I always make the assumption that "surely I couldn't fit more than 20 items in here and still carry it right?")

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

WOW! I had no idea. I'm like Melissa, I guess I always though a can would last like a week or two. I think of it like coffee - for that size of a can I can go like 6 mos... (lol)

This is interesting to me. I have always seen those billboards trying to prevent teen pg saying how much a baby costs. An 8oz bottle takes 4 scoops of formula. If a baby eats every 3 or 4 hours, that is a lot of scoops of formula.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

This is interesting to me. I have always seen those billboards trying to prevent teen pg saying how much a baby costs. An 8oz bottle takes 4 scoops of formula. If a baby eats every 3 or 4 hours, that is a lot of scoops of formula.

Really if all that info was on a billboard I' m not shocked I didn't get it. Even if I did bother to look at them, thats a hot load of math on the fly Smile I had based my math on $100/month. But if its $200 month WOW I have "earned" $10,200 over the 51 months of nursing going on here. They better be some fine, fine boobs.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"Potter75" wrote:

Really if all that info was on a billboard I' m not shocked I didn't get it. Even if I did bother to look at them, thats a hot load of math on the fly Smile I had based my math on $100/month. But if its $200 month WOW I have "earned" $10,200 over the 51 months of nursing going on here. They better be some fine, fine boobs.

Now imagine if you had multiples! Biggrin

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Well, now I'm trying to justify a boob job with the money we've saved......hmmmm......

I will say that once I had an entire cart full of stuff. I mean loaded, packed. And the cashier called me over to the 20 item line bc there was nobody in it. I declined politely and she insisted....and I'm not kidding as soon as she started scanning 3-4 people got in line with their item or two. I felt like such an ***.....but I swear, she TOLD me to do it repeatedly. I apologized to the people behind me......and I"ll never be coaxed again. Wink

In general though, I find it rude when people do it.