I've noticed a lot of people seem to have difficulties when it comes to the belt. You know, that black thing that moves your groceries from one end to the other so I can reach them and ring them in? Let me explain it to you.
First of all, the belt moves. It's supposed to. There's a laser beam at my end. When an item breaks the beam, the belt stops until I've cleared it again, then it starts moving again. It also has a timer on it. When the belt is empty, the belt will continue moving until either something else breaks the beam, or until it times out. Then it stops. It will not move again until the beam is broken, then cleared again.
Does that make sense? Good.
Now that that is understood, let me make the following suggestions.
Do not lean on the belt. Remember. It moves. It will move, even if you're on it. If you do lean on it and it moves, don't get pissed at me. It's supposed to move. That's how I can reach the rest of your groceries, remember?
Do not put your purse or wallet on the belt. Especially in the middle of your purchases. Your purse or wallet will move, too. Eventually, if you're not among those still attached to the purse or wallet, thereby getting angry with me when the belt moves and you suddenly go jerking off to one side, your purse or wallet will break the beam. The belt will stop moving. It won't move again until you move your purse or wallet. That means I can only reach so far to get your purchases. So while you're there digging through your stuff, trying to find whatever it is you're looking for, I am no longer able to ring in your purchases. We have a counter on the other side of the till, just for you do to stuff like that. Don't do it on the belt.
If you lean on the belt or put your stuff on the belt, you're also taking up the space needed by the people behind you. There's few things more irritating that ringing in all the purchases, only to find the customer has taken up the entire belt with their bags, jackets, arms, etc. Meanwhile, there's a line building up behind that person because all these other people are stuck holding their purchases, unable to put them on the belt. If the person behind you is carrying a 20 kg bag of dog food or an 18L bottle of water, for heaven's sake, let them have space on the belt!!!
Do not put your money on the belt. Or your loyalty card. Or your credit/debit card. The funny thing about the belt is that it's a big loop. Your flat credit cards, c oins and bills will not break the beam. If you're lucky, your card will end up on the counter beside my till, but more likely, it will end up under it. I do have a drawer I can open and retrieve items there, but keep in mind that the little drawer I have is there to catch stuff like crumbs and whatever else falls off of people purchases. That means I'm fishing your coins or cards out of all sorts of crud. There's also a chance that it will fall through somewhere else, and not be caught by this drawer. There's no way we can get at it then, without dismantling the entire counter. We're not going to do that. I can give you a new loyalty card, but if it's your cash, credit or debit card, you're SOL.
Use the divider bars. They're there to seperate your purchases from the people around you. If you don't use the divider bar, the belt will keep turning, and I have no idea if it's stopping at your purchases, or if it's the purchases of the person in front of you that had a gap in the middle. By the time they reach me, there is no gap. Unless you use the bar. If you don't use the bar, don't get pissed at me because I grabbed the next item, thinking it was part of the transaction I was currently ringing in.
Do not use your hand or arm. Yes, that will break the beam, but then you're stuck leaning to one side with one arm on the belt, and the other arm holding that wallet you were trying to get into, or still in the shopping cart because you haven't unloaded all your stuff yet. Use the divider. That's what it's there for.
If the empty belt is moving and you've only got one item, put it on the belt. It will move forward until it reaches me. Do not sit there stopping the belt with your hand, then removing your hand, only to desperately put it back again to stop the belt. If you just leave the belt, it will time out on its own. The more you stick your hand in front of it, the less likely it will finally stop. Not only are you making a fool of yourself, but you're causing the problem you're trying to solve. It won't time out and stop on its own if you keep doing that. Or here's a novel concept. If you leave your item on the belt, it will eventually break the beam and stop the belt on its own. Or how 'bout this. Use a divider.
Items that do not sit flat on the belt, or are transparent, don't break the beam. That means the 1 or 2L pop bottles that have little "legs" at the bottom. Or those plastic containers from the bakery. Or round things like watermelons. The belt takes a moment to stop, and in that moment, the item has moved enough that it's no longer breaking the beam. That means your 2L pop bottles get pushed to the end, where they fall over. Or your watermelon ends up stuck at the edge, rolling in place until something finally breaks the beam and stops the belt. Or that super expensive, Omega 3 dozen eggs that's double packed in transparent plastic ends up jammed against my till and getting crushed by the stuff behind it. Sometimes, I can spot this about to happen and stop it, but chances are, I'm too busy scanning and bagging your other stuff, or finishing with the customer in front of you. All it takes is to have another item beside the ones that won't break the beam to keep that from happening, or even just turning an item sideways. Or using the divider.
Did I mention you should use the divider? It's a very handy thing.
As for the other end of the counter... You know that spot I mentioned, where you can go through your purse or wallet? Where the debit machine is kept? And where I'm putting all your bagged groceries? Don't lean on there, either. Especially don't have 2 people leaning on there. If you're leaning on the counter and the grocery bags are piling up all around you, that should give you a hint that I need the space for your groceries. The counter isn't that big, and your upper body takes up a lot of space. Especially when you start tossing on your jackets, backpacks, or whatever else you're carrying.
Oh, and guys... I never thought I'd have to say this, but I've found that I do. HELP YOUR WIVES/GIRLFRIENDS WITH THE GROCERIES!! I can't believe the number of times I've seen a guy stand at the counter with his wallet while his significant other unloads the shopping cart, then takes it around to the other end and loads it all back in again. Then he pays for the stuff and she pushes the cart out as they leave. I've never seen a woman do this. Ever. I'm forever seeing guys do it. I've also never seen it happen when it's two guys shopping, only with one guy and one girl. Do the guys that do this think the fact that they're doing the payment transaction makes them exempt from actually touching the groceries? Do they have any idea how much it makes them look like lazy a$$holes? I always find myself pitying the woman they're with. Move your hieney, Buddy, and help load/unload that cart. It'll be done faster, and your significant other will appreciate the kindness. You'd be amazed how much difference such a little thing can make.
Enough ranting for now. I'll save the rest for part trois.
Have a nice day. :-D