DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

Phase II Usability, ENG 525 class, and a trying grocery stop...

This morning, I prepared for my 4:00 meeting with the NCSU Usability Testing folks, who I met with at 4:00.

My afternoon, up until time to leave for that meeting, was spent reading always arduous, often arcane, scholarly papers and book chapters about sociolinguistics. I continue to waffle about dropping this class.

My meeting with the usability folks was okay, but not great. I wish Mike and Amanda had been present to augment the discussion at times. I also feel like the project is less "planned" than it could be.

However, I got enough information to allow me to plan, and execute, phase two of the usability test I'm going to do for them, so I need to just "let the rest go." I'm a contractor to, not an employee of, the group.

Class continues to challenge me, chip away at paradigms and beliefs I have about language, and to pique my intellectual curiosity. After the first 45 minutes of the class, I was on the "I'm going to drop this," side, but by the end was thinking, "I can learn a lot in this class, and be three credits closer to my degree."

After my three-hour class, I stopped at the Harris Teeter at Cameron Village on the way home, where I got in a checkout line with two parties in front of me. Or so I thought.

The first party consisted of two NC State students — both guys, younger, so I'd say freshmen or sophomores, one blond, one brunette.

The next party, and the one directly in front of me, consisted of two women, who seemed to be just friends, or perhaps colleagues, and a guy who seemed to be "with" one of the women.

So, the boys in the first party are in the middle of checking out, and the blond guy leaves and comes back with some hot dog buns, which he adds to the cart. The cashier stops midway through their cart, totals it, and the brunette pays for it.

She starts back up, and while she is ringing up this "section" of the order, which is presumably the blond's, he walks away again, and comes back with some ketchup before the cashier stops once again. There is still food in the cart. This time the blond pays for the order.

By now, I've shifted back and forth about four times, and have exhaled heavily two or three times.

The cashier starts ringing up again, the few items left in the cart, and she tells the blond boy who is still standing in front of the cash register the total. He holds out some dollar bills, and she says it's not enough. The blond looks at the brunette who is not offering to help out. They have some back and forth talk, which I couldn't hear, but it was obviously about who is responsible for this "third order."

I shift again. I exhale again. I look at my watch. I roll my eyes.

The blond finally takes out a credit card and swipes it. It gets rejected. He swipes another card.

I look at my watch again, and actually tap on the scratched glass a couple of times. Robert, you know what that means.

The next card "takes," and they are finally "through" with their three-in-one order.

One of the threesome in the party in front of me leans over to the cashier as she starts with their basket. "These items in the seat here? Would you put those in a separate bag for me? You can total everything up together, but I need these things bagged separately."

At this point I take deep breaths and for some queer reason I wonder, "Have I taken my blood pressure pill today?"

The customer is yammering the entire time the cashier is now bagging her groceries, and the cashier finally says, "You have to hit 'Yes' on the swiper for the transaction to finish."

"Oh, yes, of course. Did you put that stuff in a separate bag?"

I had to bite my tongue from yelling, "YES, SHE DID, WHILE YOU WERE YAMMERING."

At this point, this so-called "second" party (which is technically the fourth party I have unwillingly been invited to attend) in front of me finally ends.

I put my two baguettes, pound of pepper jack cheese, two cucumbers, and can of Pam Olive Oil Spray on the scanner and I say, "This is all one order and it can all go in the same bag." I left off, "Goddammit."

The cashier laughs out loud, and I continue, "I'm just saying. That's a lot of drama about some groceries."

"It's like that all day long here," she says while still laughing.

I say, "Well, I'd have to take some of these people and shake 'em."

I checked in by phone with Robert on the way home.

At home I caught up my blog entries, doing Saturday's, Sunday's and this one.

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