I spend time in lines every day. It's one of the few occupational hazards of being a food blogger. And because most lines end with a single cashier (except for the multi-headed cashier monster at QuikTrip that is the single most efficient checkout in the universe) that means I have a lot of time to think about how things might go more quickly.
Truth is that we -- customers -- are the problem. Though we have nothing but time to prepare for the exact moment of ordering, it still seems to fluster so many. There are those of you on the phone, who seem genuinely shocked that we are occupying your mobile office while you check e-mail. Some of you suddenly discover you don't know what you want. Others, perhaps out of Midwest politeness, refuse to move forward despite an open register and a slight head nod from the cashier.
All of these are behaviors we can fix. Let's just pay attention and pick up the pace a bit, OK? Plus, if you can't change your line habits, you won't be very happy with my back-up plan.
The only other answer is to have the Transportation Security Administration run every store and restaurant in Kansas City. Our phones would be placed into tiny bins, severing that connection. And signs posted everywhere would explain why we need to have our order and credit card ready before we get to the counter.
But if TSA is running the show, we're going to need to do something about that no shoes, no service rule.
[Image via Flickr: rutlo]