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Jewish World Review March 22, 2001 / 27 Adar, 5761

Workstyle by Paula Bern

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Consumer Reports

Express lane miscreant ... wife needs a life -- Q: My wife recently asked me to pick up a few groceries on my way home from the office. No problem. I stopped at the supermarket and within 10 minutes was heading for the checkout line where a huge sign hung above the register reading, "Eight items or less and no credit cards."

Well, me and my little red hand basket pulled in line right behind a customer pushing a cart loaded with at least two dozen cans, a few loaves of bread and a couple or so gallons of milk. I glared at her and didn't say anything, waiting instead for the cashier to send the rude old gal packing. Did she? Absolutely not. The cashier kept us all waiting while she rang up every single thing the customer had and, even after finishing, never said a word. Shouldn't she have enforced the clearly-posted store rules? -Eli, Oxnard, Calif.

A: I've had this situation occur dozens of time to me, too - especially at large markets - and it makes me fighting mad. But it is up to the store managers to enforce the rule, not the cashiers. A competent manager will watch for customers who try to sneak through the express lines with loaded carts and politely tell them they are in the wrong lane. He doesn't want to alienate any customer, of course, but I'll bet there are plenty of us who will take our business elsewhere if they can't manage theirs.

Q: I'm a long-distance truck driver, which means my new wife is often left alone at home for four or five days at a time. She complains about feeling "abandoned." I suggested she find a job rather than spending so much of her time fiddling with crafts that she tries to sell at flea markets. At least this way she would see people. But apparently she would rather crochet things to sell while she watches soaps all day. Her latest idea is to rent an extra room we have to a former college friend she dated six years ago. She says it would not only give us extra income, but that she would have a friend to keep her from being lonely. Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. -Ray in N.Y.

A: I don't think you really need me to answer a question such as this. But since you asked, I think the whole idea is insane. I think your wife has to find at least a part-time job outside the house and, with it, get herself some sort of life of her own.

03/15/01: Explaining gap in resume ... therapist ... unemployed
03/07/01: Rude public...venegeful man...whining speeder
02/20/01: Computers and preschoolers ... rude bank customers
02/13/01: Hooked on subliminal tapes ...picking up the tab

Dr. Paula Bern has taught executive seminars at Carnegie-Mellon University. Comment by clicking here.


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