15 Years In Prison After Cutting The Line At Walmart?

Here’s a strange story from southeast Missouri. Three years ago a college student was waiting in line at Walmart. Her cousin was waiting in another line that was moving faster. The college student, now a teacher who lives in Louisiana, joined her cousin in the “faster” line. This apparently started a confrontation with other customers (and eventually the police) that may cause the woman to spend 15 years in prison.

The AP reports that the shopper facing trial alleges that the entire incident was racially charged. Police reports say that the woman refused to calm down and leave the property, and allegedly kicked one police officer in the shin and split another’s lip while resisting arrest.

The woman claims that she never resisted arrest, but was jumped by angry cops who were “using racial slurs and telling her to go back to the ghetto.”

From the AP:

Ellis’ [The shopper’s] written account to the NAACP describes she and her cousin getting into separate checkout lanes before Ellis switched into the faster-moving line. The woman behind them had placed items on the conveyor belt, and Ellis alleged the woman pushed her when she tried to put her own items down.

Witnesses instead told police that Ellis shoved the woman’s merchandise back, according to court filings.

Ellis wrote that a security officer and manager were called over and that although Ellis said she wanted to pay, the manager yelled at her to leave the store. Police were called and arrived.

Officers eventually followed her to the parking lot, she said, using racial slurs and telling her to go back to the ghetto. As her aunt and uncle drove into the parking lot, Ellis said, the officers “jumped” on her even though she said she was not resisting.

She’s apparently been offered plea deals but has refused them on principle, preferring instead to face trial and possible prison time.

Leaving alleged racism/police brutality/possible extended prison sentence out of it, what’s the right way to handle line-cutters? Is it cool for someone to join their friend or relative in a faster moving line? If not, what should you do when it happens? If she was willing to pay, should she have been forced to leave the store?

Arrest at Walmart leads to charges of racism [AP]
(Photo:frankieleon)

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  1. WonderKatGoBoom says:

    Protocol would be to glance at the person you’d be cutting in front of and motion that you’d like to join your companion in line. If it’s just a few items, I wouldn’t mind being allowing someone to cut in.
    I’m young-looking and small, and in the South. My biggest problem with line cutters are when another lane opens and the last person in the next line jumps in, instead of allowing those who had been waiting longer. I also have experienced the elderly blanantly cutting in line, as if they have earned it.
    I generally let it slide. I avoid Wal-Mart, and Target seems to always have another open lane.

    • LMacConn says:

      @WonderKatGoBoom: I agree with this, if you just cut in, it is natural for the person to feel slighted, but if you motion first they will almost always be nice and let you.

      I have not only experience the elderly blatantly cutting in line, but also clipping my ankles with their cart while I was checking out and telling me to get out of their way. Maybe that was appropriate behavior in the 1940s, but it isn’t now.

      • burnedout says:

        @LMacConn: I thought this only happened to me!! I’ve had elderly people PUSH me with their carts to move me away from freezer cases they wanted to look in. If it wasn’t an old person I’d probably push back and say “I think the words you’re looking for are excuse me.”

        And line cutting – I haven’t had this at the grocery store, but every time I’m in the pharmacy some old person either just cuts in line or yells at me to wait while they get their meds. It’s insane!

        Last one – what’s with old people parking ACROSS multiple parking spaces?? If you can’t get it between the lines you shouldn’t be driving.

        ‘kay, I’m done.

    • korybing says:

      @WonderKatGoBoom: Same. I never mind letting someone in if they’re polite about it, and especially if they have fewer items than I do. A little politeness goes a long way.

      And even if they weren’t polite and just cut in, I hate confrontation so much that the worst I would ever do to them is just glare at them. Someone cutting in front of me in a check-out line isn’t worth getting upset about in the grand scheme of things.

    • zandar says:

      @WonderKatGoBoom: In danger of not adding much to the discussion, but…

      “Protocol would be to glance at the person you’d be cutting in front of and motion that you’d like to join your companion in line.”

      absolutely correct, in my mind. if you want to cut, explain yourself. Like you, I’m likely to go for it if it’s just a few items.

      Anybody who cuts and thinks the person behind them wouldn’t care is presumptuous and selfish. Anyone who cuts and doesn’t care what the person behind them thinks is a jerk, plain and simple.

      Decorum, people! It’s what makes humans special. At least we have the capacity…

      • DangerMouth says:

        Well, if it’s just you in line, and you allow someone to go ahead of you, that’s fine. But if you are in a line with others behind you, you have just made the same presumption and demonstrated the same lack of consideration for the people in line behind you.

        Anyone who thinks it’s ok to allow a cutter in front of them should do the right thing and take the cutter’s place at the end of the line. (when it’s not just you in line)

    • MrEvil says:

      @WonderKatGoBoom: I got no problem letting someone’s friend or party member cut in line at the checkout, so long as it’s not 3 buggies full. And generally speaking that’s not what you end up with anyway.

      Oh, and earlier today my dad and I were patiently waiting for a lady to finish browsing the clearance section of the meat case at the grocery store. Only to have some old bastard jump right in and stand there for 15 goddamn minutes touching everything. What’s worse is my dad’s an old bastard himself.

    • steveliv says:

      @WonderKatGoBoom: personally i think that when new lines are opened, it is first come first served. simply waiting in line in another register, doesn’t entitle you to a better spot in a newly opened line just because you have been waiting longer.

      • RogerTheAlien says:

        @steveliv: The onus falls on a well-trained clerk at a well-operated store to ensure that the checker opening the new line tells the person next in line at an already-full checkout line to come to the newly opened one. Stores that don’t train to this standard are not worthy of my patronage. And, I’ve made a point to tell customer service that they need to retrain their clerks. If I come back the next time, and the same thing happens, I talk to the manager, make a comment as to my displeasure, and tell them I’m shopping at such-and-such down the street from now on.

    • bohemian says:

      @WonderKatGoBoom: I have had the same elderly entitlement problem. Really rude behavior does not get excused just because you have a few decades on me. I always have to wonder if these people were rude, inconsiderate boobs when they were young.

      Most of the rude line cutters I have experienced are middle aged women.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      My biggest problem with line cutters are when another lane opens and the last person in the next line jumps in, instead of allowing those who had been waiting longer.

      @WonderKatGoBoom: I hate this especially since all the cashiers around here seem to think that’s how it *should* work. They’ll tell the person that just got in line that to go to come over to the register they just opened while I’ve been standing there for forever behind the person with 100+ groceries and all possible forms of payment.

      The one time it would have gone in my favor I told the woman ahead of me to go to the line that just opened up.

  2. htowninsomniac says:

    No, it’s not cool to switch lines unless everyone in the back of the line agrees. I normally say “the line ends over there” and appreciate the store’s support if the person who cuts in line doesn’t relent.

    Being forced to leave and banned from the store, regardless of whether she wants to pay or not, is adequate.

    • JPropaganda says:

      @htowninsomniac: The splitting of lines is completely fair game. You and a friend or relative wait in line and then go to the faster one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it unless the person has an absurd shopping cart full of merchandise.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        @JPropaganda: unless they aren’t paying together. if they are paying together and it’s only a couple items, sure go ahead.

      • anonymousryan says:

        @JPropaganda: It’s not okay if you’re going to make two separate transactions. If you join your friend in a line with people behind them and then pay all of it together that’s fine with me.

      • admiral_stabbin says:

        @JPropaganda: I disagree, too. How is attempting to game the proverbial queue system and causing other people to wait “completely fair game”?

        It wasn’t cool to cut when you were (hopefully) being taught how to stand in a line in Kindergarten.

        It’s even more uncool when you’re an adult and play such games with your own arbitrary standards (e.g. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with it unless the person has an absurd shopping cart full of merchandise.”). If you get permission from the people you are cutting in front of, then it’s completely fair game.

        Personally, I don’t care if you just need a pack of gum. It’s still cutting in a line, and be ready for people to respond however they do when they feel cheated. I’d imagine anger is a common response.

        I agree with FatLynn’s comment that if you aren’t purchasing anything that it’s a 100% non-issue.

      • Saboth says:

        @JPropaganda:

        Nope, sorry, don’t agree. If it worked like that, then you could get a family of 12 and have them all in each line with items. Then one person is ready to be rung up, and all 11 of the other people have to gather up their items, force their way out of their lines, force their way back into their “friend’s” line. Now…imagine if everyone in the place did this. And if you are putting people in the lines without items…then why are they in a line if they have nothing to buy?

      • Amish Undercover says:

        @JPropaganda: Two problems with your reasoning.

        (1) Other people choose which line to get into based on who is already in the line. You are screwing with everyone else when you cut into a line.

        (2) Is it then okay for two of your friends to hop in? What about three friends? Where is the cutoff? Any cutoff is arbitrary, so if you say some cutting is acceptable, you have no logical basis to argue against a large number of people cutting.

    • Rachacha says:

      @htowninsomniac: My wife and I will commonly hold a spot in two lines to scope out which line is moving faster, but we always make the selection on which line we pick well before we are ready to place the items on the belt. (Especially at Costco where there are usually 5 people waiting in line)

      We can avoid all of this simply by setting up a single line que where customers wait until the next available register is open. This way, if one customer had issues with the transaction it has no impact on who is served next

      • ShruggingGalt says:

        @Rachacha: The commissaries on base did that in the 80s/90s….I think it worked well.

        • Areia says:

          @ShruggingGalt: They were still doing it 4 years ago when I last went to one on a US base in the UK. Makes so much more sense. I think they even had someone at the front of the line telling people which register was open.

          Then again, I had a guy get really angry with me at a CVS because I was the last remaining person in what had been an impromptu single line for three registers. He wanted to know which register I was waiting for, and when I told him there had been one line, so whichever one opened up next he started ranting at me. Apparently being the second person in a line was much worse than getting to guess which customer finish first.

      • NewsMuncher says:

        @Rachacha: Fry’s operates their cash registers this way (at least at the Fry’s I’ve seen). So does Best Buy. You have a single queue line. At Fry’s there’s a little older lady (middle-aged and up – I’ve never seen a man or young woman) that directs you to wait until a new register opens up and scoots you along when it does. At Best Buy you get haloooed from the register.

    • coffeeculture says:

      @htowninsomniac: I switch lines so long as there is only one transaction occurring. It’s like if your kid ran up last minute with a bunch of stuff while you’re putting items on the conveyor belt.

      I do this all the time at stores (usually Costco with long lines). I’ll have a friend stand in line with our cart full of stuff and I’ll hit up the pharmacy/snacks area nearby and grab stuff.

      One transaction = ok. Straight cutting and turning it into two transactions = not okay.

  3. wgrune says:

    “Is it cool for someone to join their friend or relative in a faster moving line?”

    No. Unless you go to the end.

    • He says:

      @wgrune: If I walk up and hand somebody a CD or a pack of gum to check out with, would you object? What about 2 CDs? So long as it’s not a whole cart packed to the brim, you should probably just chill out.

      • YardanCabaret says:

        @He: This is reasonable. What was it that that study found out for checkouts. It’s something like 17 seconds an item but something like 1.5 minutes per person. So if it’s just a couple items being added to a pile it’s no biggy. If its another sale transaction then that’s just cutting and I will not stand for it.

    • Inglix_the_Mad says:

      @wgrune: Personally, I think it’s rude but it isn’t illegal. Nor should it be cause for all this drama.

  4. Porcupinesalad says:

    Doesn’t sound like an issue with line cutting. It sounds like an issue with someone thinking they can do whatever they want in public and get away with it. The store has the right to refuse a sale to anyone. The store is also private property, they can ask anyone to leave at any time for any reason. No she shouldn’t have been able to cut in line, no she shouldn’t have argued with the manager when asked to leave, no she shouldn’t have assaulted police officers while resisting arrest.

    • boxjockey68 says:

      @Porcupinesalad: Yes, she was very rude while cutting in line, she broke the law when assaulting people, and resisting arrest. Too bad, so sad. You play you pay.

      • rushevents says:

        @boxjockey68: I will NEVER understand why people freak out at the police.

        I have a good friend that got into an argument with the owner of a wedding dress shop. It finally deteriorated into an “Im not leaving without my refund!” so the owner called the cops.
        Everything was fine – my friends decided to leave once the cops arrived but then as they were leaving he yelled – Great police in this town! The best cops money can buy! (Add a little profanity for color)

        He got to spend the afternoon downtown.

        The cops had let him go. All he had to do was walk away but Nooooooo! Just gotta’ get the last word in.

        Moral of the story: be polite to the police and they will be polite to you. Work out any wrongs later at the proper forum.

    • Aisley says:

      @Porcupinesalad:

      Based on my personal experience, the bully that cuts in front of you in a line, will not care about anybody saying anything to them on their behavior. And there are some bullies out there that don’t even care about getting down ugly with the police. If your line at the register moves slowly, well tough cookies! deal with it.

    • jayphat says:

      @Porcupinesalad: Not to fuel the flames, but after you are asked to leave, at least in Ohio, it’s considered criminal tresspassing. That’s a quick way to go to jail for something dumb IMO. Although, I’ve done that a few times in my career simply because people are causing a scene. I lol alot when they cops put the handcuffs on and tell them “If you had left when they asked, this wouldn’t be a problem”

  5. The_Red_Monkey says:

    15 years in jail sounds about right for line jumping.

    Its not ok to jump line but just hand your crap to your friend to pay for and then settle outside. That does not make everyone so angry.

    So depending on what side is more true if she was resisting arrest I still think 15 years is too much considering the crime that she had committed to warrant an arrest.

    • bhr says:

      @The_Red_Monkey: the 15 years isnt for the line cutting. Or even the (potential) assault on the other customer. Its for whatever happened outside with the cops.

    • Brontide says:

      @The_Red_Monkey:

      This is a little clarification, she was arrested INSIDE the store for refusing to leave after creating a scene. She is facing a number of charges because she ended up resisting arrest and attacking 2 of the officers. Walmart has security footage so I’m having a hard time believing that officers would just make up the chain of events.

      [www.dddnews.com]

      The officer explained in the affidavit that once it became “abundantly clear” that the subject had “no intention of cooperating” with police, she was informed that she was being placed under arrest. At this time, the officer struggled to place handcuffs on Ellis because she became even more combative, according to police.

      The affidavit indicates that Ellis’ refusal to comply with the arrest resulted in two additional officers coming to the arresting officer’s aid. Ellis was described by these officers to be swinging, fighting, and kicking throughout the incident, while the three officers attempted to place her in handcuffs.

      According to the court document, during the incident, Ellis reportedly kicked one of the officers, prior to striking a second arresting officer in the mouth. Once subdued, Ellis was transported to the Dunklin County Jail where she was processed, booked, and incarcerated.

      • econobiker says:

        @Brontide: “Walmart has security footage so I’m having a hard time believing that officers would just make up the chain of events.”

        While the police probably have what ever footage that exists, please remember that Walmart’s security cameras are to protect Walmart and its goods not necessarily the public from crimes or support criminal investigations.

        Just saying…

    • Velifer says:

      @The_Red_Monkey: Wasn’t there a Heinlein novel with a bit like that, someone was shot for line jumping and the crowd/jury decided it was “murder in the public interest.”

  6. Jaynor says:

    I stand really uncomfortably close to line cutters in front of me… I’m 6’3″ and 300lbs. I like it if I can see the hair on the back of their necks move when I breathe.

    I figure the awkwardness of that situation is punishment enough for their crimes.

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      @Jaynor: I love this idea, but I’m female and smaller, so I may have to resort to odd mumblings and humming to up the discomfort factor.

  7. Razor512 says:

    It depends on what she did, if her cousin was on the other line and was close to the checkout (while like 20 people were behind her cousin) and she happens to join the line right behind her cousin, this this shows her as being a jerk and from my experience from students who do this at school on the lunch line, they are generally the more aggressive students who do this.

    As for the police problem, there should be some surveillance camera footage, if not then it is her word against the police officers and guess who the courts are going to believe.

    • NancyNally says:

      @Razor512: I’ve seen this reported in so many media outlets as if it’s a he said/she said story, and I don’t know why no one has mentioned that – there should have been security cameras all over that store and parking lot that captured the whole thing. There wouldn’t be audio to record the things she alleges were said but there should be enough video to tell if she was resisting arrest or if the police were justified in any force they used on her.

    • frodolives35 says:

      @Razor512: I saw this on tv last night. When I googled it I found a blog that had some of her college classmates who described her as loud and obnoxious and known to cuss.The tone of the blog did not sound like an ax being ground and they were appaled at how far this has been blown out of proportion. The defendent is really playing up the preachers daughter angle akong with the race card. It really does seem like this should never have esclated to the police being called to begin with.

  8. sickyd says:

    I think it is fine to have two people from the same party hold different places in line so that they can check out the fastest. Let’s face it, some cashiers are just plain slower than molasses and the time saved is huge especially when there are long lines. But if the lady, or whoever, is going to add another, separate party to the line by “joining her companion” then that isn’t fair, no matter how many or few items she has.

    • Hobz says:

      @sickyd: I completely disagree with this. The reason being is that the people behind the line holders may have chosen that line based on what the others ahead of them were going to check out.

      Eaxmple: Customer A and B (wife and husband) go grocery shopping. Customer A waits in one line with a cart full of groceries, Customer B waits in another with a pack of gum.

      Now when I go grocery shopping, I don’t usually check out in the shortest line. I look for the line with people carrying the least amount of items. How would you feel if you waited in line to check out and a woman with a cart full of food jumped in line because her husband was holding her a spot?

  9. Daveinva says:

    “Leaving alleged racism/police brutality/possible extended prison sentence out of it, what’s the right way to handle line-cutters”

    Jump them in the parking lot.

  10. diasdiem says:

    Cutting in line with a friend or family member in the checkout line? No big deal. Since being able to easily move to another line means they don’t have that much stuff, it doesn’t add much to my wait. Cutting in line to buy something that has a limited quantity, though, like concert tickets or a newly released video game or console, is asking for violence.

    • pulsar0510 says:

      @diasdiem: But I don’t feel that way, so why should you be able to make that choice for me if you’re ahead of me on line?
      The 15 years should be for the line cutting and then whatever they want to give her for hitting the cops.

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    If the items go on the same receipt, then generally it should be okay. Usually a friend isn’t willing to pay for 30 items, just one-two, and the time lost by others is minimal.

    That being said, if someone cuts and you’re not cool with it, a polite “I’m sorry, you must not have seen me here. There’s actually a few other people already waiting in line for this register” will suffice.

    • Micromegas says:

      @Loias: I doubt it would suffice in Walmart. It’s more likely to get you a punch in the face and loud, suggestive comments about your sexuality.

  12. dmolavi says:

    you do what they taught you in school (she’s a schoolteacher..) – you have to go to the end of the line, because all those other people were there before you.

  13. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I do this, and I analyze people’s behavior. In particular, I avoid the elderly, the hagglers and the indecisive buyers. With regards to what they’re buying, I avoid lines in which people are carrying a lot of produce (this ensures a lot of book flipping and inputting of numbers) or very pricey electronics (sometimes this requires a cashier to override the system).

    Usually when we split up and go to different lines, it’s because one person gets into a line and the other person scouts ahead to see whether there are better lines. Usually I’m the scouter because I’ve gotten pretty fast about looking at who is in what line and what stuff they carry.

    The ideal person to get behind is the younger lone male who has only one or two items. They don’t tend to haggle on price as much, and they are usually very resolute on their purchase (it’s not hinging on price). I don’t like being behind friends in groups because they tend to talk to one another. Couples are okay.

  14. duckfat says:

    I don’t like Walmart and try to never shop there but this case has nothing to do with Walmart. It seems like some people got into an argument and Walmart did the ONLY sensible thing by calling the police and having the people removed. They chose to fight the cops and others and thereby got some charges. This should not even be on Consumerist. I know we all like to bash Walmart but where are they at fault in this at all?

    • formergr says:

      @duckfat: In no way does this Consumerist post bash WalMart (for once!). Instead, it’s using the incident as an introduction for a philosophical question about shopping behavior– in this case, line cutting specifically.

  15. PsiCop says:

    If stores properly constructed their cashiering lines — i.e. by having a single queue leading up to all the registers, with customers peeling off to go to different registers as they become available — this wouldn’t be as much of a problem as it is now. Having multiple lines moving at different speeds only encourages people to shift from one to another if they perceive another is moving faster. A single queue eliminates that incentive.

    If they can do this in banks, in Wendy’s, at the Yankee Candle flagship store, and in other places, then they can do it in Wal-Mart, Kmart, grocery stores, and everywhere else. It’s really just a matter of whether the store wishes to do it or not. Many wish not to, because a single long queue is more apparently intimidating to shoppers. This is, of course, merely an appearance. In reality a single queue is much more inherently “fair” and therefore more respectful.

    Granted, a single queue won’t prevent outsiders from trying to jump in. But it’s easier to prevent this when you have only one queue; you can put up barriers or have it watched, etc. Multiple queues are much harder to control and observe.

    • ecwis says:

      @PsiCop: I don’t understand how that would work when there are 20 cashiers or so and about 100 customers. It would take up much more space.

      • Veeber says:

        @ecwis: The airport seems to be do this just fine. If we stack everyone perpendicular to the registers it shouldn’t be that bad. In your example each cashier should on average be 5 deep. Five shopping carts in a line, plus the surrounding people would block the lanes the same way.

      • PsiCop says:

        @ecwis: They’d cluster the registers closer together. Having them widely separated with space for multiple lines, is at least as space-hogging as implementing a single queue.

        • ecwis says:

          @PsiCop: At Walmart, the lines are already as close together as they can be. They would have to create more space so there would be somewhere for the line to form. This idea would work well if nobody had shopping carts but they do and it takes a lot of extra space.

      • scootinger says:

        @ecwis: Fry’s stores have a setup like this, typically with several dozen registers (although usually probably 10-15 are open), and it seems to work completely fine.

        • ecwis says:

          @scootinger: I’m sure the single line idea is great for some stores but Walmart is set up to allow hundreds, even thousands of people to shop at once. The single line system may work when the Walmart isn’t very busy. But when it’s packed, like during pre-hurricane stock-ups and such, I honestly don’t think it’d work well.

          If they put everyone in corrals, then the people in the line would have to walk the width of the Walmart as they progress in the line. The line of cashiers is pretty long so it’s be a lot of walking back and forth.

    • amhorach says:

      @PsiCop:
      This is spot on. Ecwis, you’re thinking about the space a single line would take up under the current register design in these stores, which is engineered to have a line behind each one. If they were to design them for a single queue, the registers could be closer together and the space saved there would be the staging area for the queue.

    • consumerd says:

      @PsiCop:

      Acutally there is a garden ridge near me that has this type of construction. There is one big line and they have it written to “Wait here for the next available cashier”. So if there is one working faster than the others or hitting small items, the whole line moves faster.

    • OneBigPear says:

      @PsiCop: The WalMart nearest to me has this sort of set-up and it works pretty well… I don’t go that often, but it seems like a good solution for them.

      And, cutting in is rude but 15 years seems crazy. Without knowing the full story I respect that she’s willing to stand by her principals and not take a plea.

  16. self-check says:

    Consider these situations:

    A: two strangers join at end of line.
    B: two friends join at end of line.
    C: first friend joins at end of line, and second later joins friend in middle.
    D: two friends join at end of line, one friend leaves and later re-joins other friend in middle of line.
    E: first stranger gets in line, and second later cuts in behind him.

    E is the problem, and if socially accepted, it would become rampant.
    If are near the end of the line, why not just cut in earlier? Thus,
    anyone attempting E should be publicly shamed.

    A and B are obviously acceptable, since they strictly follow the
    rule of only joining the line at the end. C and D are the main
    questions. Both are similar to B, and probably not that common, thus
    allowing them wouldn’t significantly impact one’s average time-to-wait
    in lines. One snag is that C and D can look like E if the friends don’t
    interact in a way that makes their relation obvious; others might see
    it as a stranger cutting in. So anyone practicing C and D could be sure
    to make their relation obvious to others, by exchanging a few words
    when one joins the other already in line.

  17. madog says:

    If it were a movie ticket line, or a soda line, or something similar that involves 1 item then I think buddy cuts is acceptable if both were there from the start. If the other party was running late and was having a place held for them in line then it is not acceptable.

    If it’s a line in a grocery store or someplace where each persons purchase can differ in amount then it is NOT acceptable. No, your 900lb friend in the crane can not join you in front of me in line to order 10 hamburgers, and not you can’t have your friend cut in line with 20 grocery items just because you have 1 or 2. I hate you all. Please die.

    That’s mostly aside fom the allegations and facts we don’t know about this particular case though.

  18. lalaland13 says:

    I read the article earlier and don’t remember seeing anything about store surveillance video, but I would think that might clear some of this up. Or maybe not.

    As far as line-cutting, if someone handed their buddy some stuff to get for them, I might be a bit irritated but let it slide. If someone wants to cut in front of me and ring up two separate transactions, that would not be fine.

    I don’t know what I would say, if anything. Might just base it on the situation and the shopper and how mean they look.

    I hope they can settle up something, because it sounds like both sides might have been at fault. No need for cops to get too aggressive, but she doesn’t need to start kicking people.

    • floraposte says:

      @lalaland13: My guess is that there is no surveillance video, since the event occurred in 2007 and nobody’s brought it out yet. Pity, as it would help clarify things.

  19. humphrmi says:

    I once had an elderly lady ask me if she could go in front of me, since she only had a few items. Thing was, the express lane was completely empty and my items were already all on the belt, rolled up to the cashier. I politely declined and pointed out the express lane to her. Nice that she asked; kinda odd that she didn’t just go to the empty express lane to begin with.

    I see the sort of situation described in this story sometimes – two people shopping together, then at check-out time they split up and whoever gets the fastest line lets the other person cut in. It’s rude.

  20. dijo10 says:

    It just doesn’t matter when rude people are involved.

    Personally, when I am in those lines, I have already wasted time shopping for whatever is in my cart, another 5 minutes will not affect me either positively or negatively. Life takes a long time to live. There are other battles to fight.

  21. JohnDeere says:

    i only go to walmart at 5am. the wierdos are much cooler looking then.

  22. fate47 - Meh. says:

    Walmart has security cameras.

    Cutting the line is neither against store policy nor the law, but if the lady was either ‘actin’ a fool’ or the police were displaying racism, the tapes/witnesses should be able to verify/deny the statements of either party.

  23. Schmeeky says:

    I wouldn’t mind letting someone cut in line in order to leave with their friend, except those people are the exact ones to fumble with coupons, require a price check, or pay by check. The act of kindness invariably backfires as the person you just let cut takes 2 or 3 times longer than anyone else to finish their transaction.

  24. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    ‘Go back to the ghetto’ What the ‘ell ?!?!?1?

    WALMART is a ghetto! I h8 that place. Chalk 1 up for racism! !:YAY:!

  25. SatisfriedCrustomer says:

    When I’m shopping with a friend, I usually get on line first, and then my friend puts on a red shirt and a name tag and walks to an empty cash register and yells “Can I help the next person please!” Everyone from in front of me usually zooms over to that new line, and while my friend pretends to “just be logging in/setting up/etc. for a minute”, I pay, and then my friend and I run out of the store together. Saves loads of time.

  26. justsomeotherguy says:

    What we have here is an irrational dipshit who ruined her own life. Cut in line, act like an entitled bitch, refuse to leave the store and cause a scene, and then assault the police… Her mother should have spent less time telling her she was god’s gift and special and told her to to be nice to people. These are the sort of people who make life less livable for the rest of us. These trite jackasses who explode because their sense of entitlement is rebuked…

    She should be caned and put in stocks to be publicly humiliated… Then I’m certain she’d learn the protocols of polite society. Prison will not rehabilitate this asshat, it will only mold her in ways what in the end will cost us all less.

    But since that isnt an option… Well 15 years of prison rape seems fair to me for being a asshat.

    • Brontide says:

      @justsomeotherguy:

      [www.dddnews.com]

      She is getting a trial for her irresponsible behavior that ended in resisting arrest and assaulting two police officers. There is footage of the event, but it’s not been released publicly.

      She deserves no sympathy and will be judged at trial by peers.

      • justsomeotherguy says:

        @Brontide: How was what I said uncalled for? She assaulted a police officer while throwing a temper tantrum. I’d rather see her caned to check her ego and then have her get on with life. But our legal system doesnt allow for this. What it does allow for is imprisonment with a strong chances of rape and a difficult future after release. I dont feel that’s justice, or that it serves society in any useful way, but when I see some smug egomaniac getting any kinda beat down in a mess they created for themselves I cheer. Actions of consequences; dont do the crime if you cant do the time… And arent a fan of rape.

        Maybe when I infringe on the rights of others, throw a temper tantrum, and then assault officers of the law I too will get my fair share of rape. Until then I will continue to choke on the freedom not being an egomaniacal asshat allows me.

        We’ve all seen these types of people, and they come in all genres. We often wish a house or truck would fall on them. They suck the joy out of life. I have zero sympathy for them. Dont be dick, be considerate to others, realize you are not all that important.

  27. MeCatLikesMeHamSanwich says:

    I really have a hard time believing that police officers would make such comments as “Go back to the ghetto” in a public place with witnesses. Even if they had, which I doubt, fighting while being arrested will never, ever, help your case.

    Don’t bite my head off but this sounds like a case of crying racism to get out of the assault charges pending against her.

  28. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    I hate it when people cut in. It just feels so rude to me: “I’m with my friend so my purchasing requirements are more important than your time.” If I’m out shopping with a friend and we split up, and his/her lane is moving faster, I join that lane at the end. Jumping in with a few small items bothers me less than an entire cart (which has been done to me multiple times, and I have politely let that person know that the line starts several people back) but still, it bugs me. We scout for lines, but don’t get in one until we find one that looks good.

  29. The Cynical Librarian says:

    This just sounds like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

  30. erratapage says:

    No one in Minnesota cuts in line. No one wants to risk “the look.”

    No one gives “the look” better than a Minnesotan. You know the look… the one that says you are a piece of organic detritous floating in a ceramic tank?

    If someone does cut in line in Minnesota, it’s someone from somewhere else who doesn’t know how cold it can get here.

    Or, maybe it’s just that it has never happened to me here. If it did, I’d side with the majority here, and give “the look” when it looked like line cutter was going to cause a second transaction.

  31. self-check says:

    Why is it rude for two people to take different lines, then later
    join in the line best? It would be as if they had joined the final line
    in the beginning; people in that line will wait just as long either
    way, and people in the other line will wait as long as if neither of
    the friends had joined it. And it’s not like these friends are getting
    something for nothing; for each minute that passes, they wait a
    combined two minutes. But the real reason I wouldn’t care is that this
    thing can’t happen very often in comparison to the total number of
    people served, thus a 100% successful elimination of the behavior via
    public shaming wouldn’t yield much improvement.

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      @self-check: When we go to Costco, as soon as we’re near the end of our gathering, I’ll go grab a spot in a line while my wife grabs the last of the stuff. Then she joins me in line.

      And, if I manage to get to the register before she gets back, I let people cut past me til she gets there. Have never had an issue with it.

    • floraposte says:

      @self-check: If it were as if they were in the line in the beginning, they’d have been in the line in the beginning. They weren’t because it’s not.

  32. RalphyNader says:

    I really hope the plea deal isn’t a small fine or probation. So now she will have to defend what she was charged for. And a good defense usually isn’t, “she pushed me as I cut in line”. Especially since no witness accounts for the events like she describes.

  33. fitzhume says:

    Shouldn’t the headline be “15 Years In Prison After Fighting With Police”?

  34. anneka says:

    She had left the small minded town atmosphere and gone to college where she had become used to being treated fairly as an equal and when she returned she forgot how to act like she knew ” her place” in Kennet, Missouri.

    From their perspective she is standing up good posture, smiling, good clothes on not acting head bowed ,no eye contact. We just saw the movie “Mississippi Burning” the other night. Yeah we know what goes on in Kennet.

    Furthermore, the problem is an economic issue. The Wal Marts in Boca Raton,FL or Sonoma, AZ or any other ritzy area of town don’t usually have long checkout lines that cause customers fighting with one another.

    Being a big Wal Mart shopper throughout the country, I find it strange that it is usually only the poorer communities where WalMart has a string of checkout counters at runing the entire front of the store, but with only one or two actually in service.

  35. malo-ji says:

    “She’s apparently been offered plea deals but has refused them on principal …”

    Principal who? Or do you mean ‘principle’?

  36. valthun says:

    I see this whole thing all the time at grocery stores, and similar places. I don’t have a problem with it. Its obvious they were all waiting in different lines to find the fastest one. The person in front will either leave, or the other person will join.

    As long as they aren’t trying to have two separate receipts I guess. Since the point is to just add to an existing list of items, its especially obvious when the person in front of you doesn’t have anything to check out with. Its not like someone wouldn’t just jump in line with their friend, like they just needed to go replace or get that one item, while the friend stands in that super long stupid line that occurs.

  37. morganlh85 says:

    If the people are paying TOGETHER, then they aren’t really cutting, they are just adding additional items to their order. Now if the person is doing a totally different transaction, that’s line cutting and it’s not cool. But really the best solution is to be silently pissed off…there’s no reason to cause a confrontation with potentially crazy people in a Walmart.

  38. not from around here says:

    I say: sentence her to 3 years cashiering at the Walmart she caused the problem in.

  39. Aeroracere says:

    I didn’t see anyone else beating the dead horse, so I’ll do it: Don’t go to Wal-Mart. I’ll bet real life money that these incidences happen more often (per thousand customers, or whatever) than at any other retailer.

  40. happyandblue2 says:

    As Dale Carnegie points out in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” cutting in line is a great way to meet new friends. Especially in prison I guess..

  41. trujunglist says:

    i never allow people to cut in line and immediately call them out for it. fuck you for thinking your time is more important than mine. this happened to me the other day at target with some obviously stupid kids. they said “oh, we didn’t know there was a line” and i said “oh, all these people here are just standing around for the fuck of it huh? what are you, a fucking moron?” they left.

  42. Geblah187 says:

    It’s not having to wait a few more minutes to pay for your items that is the issue … it’s the fact that the people who cut in your line are basically saying that their purchase/time/etc is more important than whatever you were doing, and they don’t care if it’s an inconvenience to you. It’s a matter of simple courtesy and respect.

    I always start out by saying something polite, but if I catch that note of defiance in their reply – I don’t hesitate to let them know exactly how I feel, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear.

  43. XTC46 says:

    anyone who cuts, without getting permissions, is rude, end of story. If you cut you are saying “Im too good to wait the extra few minutes in line, but everyone behind me isnt” and thats crap. If you are in a rush, and have 1 or 2 things, then ask if its ok. If you are in a rush and have a cartfull of things, plan better next time and deal with it.

    It sounds like she cut, was asked to leave, then had a fit. Ive seen this happen with people in stores when they dont get their way, they throw tantrums. Ive also seen people push cops when they try to restrain them. They act like a cop is a normal person who you can just shove away when they grab you to restrain you, they arent, that is resisting arest.

    If the cops were using racial slurs, they should be punished for sure, but if she resisted arrest, so should she.

    • anneka says:

      @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: thinking that line cutting is someone saying they are better than you, it sounds like very low self esteem. How would a person even come up with that idea? Sometimes people are just oblivious, think other people don’t mind because they wouldn’t in the same situation, in a big hurry for some good reason – sick relative at home etc.
      Wal Mart would never put people from the rich side of town in the situation of waiting in a long line. Maybe its Wal Mart who thinks you deserve to wait in a long line while umpteen registers remain closed.
      I guess this sort of thing gives them free publicity.

  44. TheKuudere says:

    I have a similar story that happened just yesterday. I work in customer service in retail and while we’re not really meant to act like a register to ring people up (we’re really there for returns), we can’t turn away people who show up wanting to buy stuff.

    Yesterday it was incredibly busy. I had lines all day, and all the other staff were too busy with their own tasks to help me out. But when it’s just returns, I can take each person in under a minute, easily.

    This woman comes by with piles of stuff to buy. She feigns that she has a question to ask me, then decides that’s justification enough to purchase her many things with me. There are about 8 people lined up behind her at this point. She keeps checking behind her, and I think this is because she feels guilty making others wait to do returns. That is not the case. She’s actually looking everywhere for her friend so her friend can cut behind her. At one point, she leaves the line while I’m still ringing, and shouts to her friend at the other side of the store to hurry up. The people behind are rolling their eyes, but there’s nothing I can do without insulting this lady.

    So then she calls her friend twice on her cellphone to tell her to get back to customer service so she can ring up her stuff with her. Finally, the friend comes up with a whole other basket filled. I’m just shocked. She has no regard for the people behind her at all. After over twenty minutes with her, I help the person behind her, who I discover is actually the pregnant girlfriend of a friend of mine. Yes, the woman didn’t care that she made a very pregnant woman stand and wait the whole time.

    The woman behind the pregnant woman was so appalled by everything, that I offered her a comment card to share her feelings with my manager. Which I made sure was left on my manager’s desk. Hopefully, incidents like this will eventually give me the authority to turn rude people like this away so they can go to the proper lines for checkout. Sheesh.

  45. oldgraygeek says:

    One of the best (or worst) things about having a concealed carry permit is that you don’t start sh*t with anyone, for any reason.
    Five years ago, my unarmed & younger self would have objected loudly. Today, I would probably just STFU unless I was at risk of financial loss or injury.

  46. guspaz says:

    Sigh, if the police are trying to arrest you, rightfully or wrongfully, DON’T RESIST. You’ll only make things worse for yourself.

    If you’re being wrongfully arrested, you may be able to explain yourself later. If you resist arrest because you feel like you’re being wrongfully arrested, you might get hit with the very real charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Even if the original charge is dropped, your actions during the arrest might stick!

  47. bigd7387 says:

    Unless she has video evidence of the Police using racial slurs then I would imagine it’s another case of their race as an excuse. This is the type of event that makes actual people who suffer from racism go unreported and abused. If she/they have proof then it’s uncalled for but if they don’t then they should be procecuted. I see people of every race everyday acting as if they are the only ones that matter. What ever happened to manners?

    • anneka says:

      @bigd7387: You sound so self righteous, never made a mistake, never lost your temper, always do what’s just right.
      Did you ever “imagine” what it would be like to be treated badly just because of chance – you don’t pick your parents or your color of skin. Wake up

  48. technoluster says:

    This story happened in my fiancée’s hometown. One of her friends from high school is a witness in this trial. I asked my fiancée about it and she said it is a big mess and no one seems to know the truth about what really happened.
    I saw a news report on this from the local CBS affiliate and they made it sound like the place is a hot bed of racial tension. This is just not right. It’s a shame how an incident like this can give a location a bad name. I don’t know what really happen, but I hope whoever is in the wrong, the police or the lady, gets justice served on them.

  49. outlulz says:

    I don’t mind two people waiting in two separate lines because I do it all the time. But there should only be one set of items between the two. If both people have items to checkout and one leaves another line to join their companion I may have a problem with it. But honestly, I’m almost never in a hurry when I shop and if the person asks if someone can join them I usually say yes. I don’t really care.

  50. GMFish says:

    God, learn how to write a headline. She is not facing 15 years in prison for cutting in line, but for starting a confrontation, possibly assault, and for resisting arrest. Those types of things are against the law, even in Walmart.

  51. msbask says:

    Pretty sure this has been pointed out at least three times.

  52. vladthepaler says:

    Ejecting her from the store is a reasonable response to cutting in line.

  53. Jabberkaty says:

    Not a fan of line cutters. If someone asks nice I’d be inclined to let them in. Mostly because they aren’t just acting self-important.

    I just don’t like the assumption that you can cut because you feel like you’re in a bigger rush than me, or that I don’t deserve even the smallest consideration such as asking first.

    Asking really does go a long way in my book.

  54. nodaybuttoday says:

    If the people are paying together, then I think it’s okay to cut. I kind of have to wonder if the woman is just playing the “race card”. I once had a woman in walmart yell at me because I picked up my purse when I left my cart, saying I picked it up because “she was black”. WTF? I don’t care what color you are, I don’t trust ANYONE enough to leave my purse in my cart. She ended up following me around and yelling at me for two aisles. Crazy people at walmart…

  55. MooseOfReason says:

    Misleading headline.

    If she went to prison, it would be for assault.

    Also, the trial hasn’t happened yet. 15 years is the maximum, which she is unlikely to get, in my opinion.

  56. masterasia says:

    I hate ghetto people.

  57. SwimDude says:

    I find that far too many people poke their nose in other people’s business. I was in Costco yesterday; I spent about $200 and made the mistake of putting my bottled water purchase onto the conveyer belt instead of leaving it in my cart. The checker 25 year old male, said I could leave it in my cart, but frankly I already had it on the belt and didn’t want to move it again. The Checker said to me I could leave the water in my cart 3 different times. I finally said in an annoyed tone, that I heard him the first time.

    The Checker then started to explain that he was just trying to be nice to me. Nice? I already had the water on the belt; please just finish checking out the people in front of me so you can start checking me out.

    This exchange between me and the checker prompted a man in the lane next to me, to made a comment to his wife that I was an “A**Hole”. Nice, my 13 year old daughter heard what he said. Just to be certain I heard Correctly, I leaned in to the man and asked, “Did you just call me an “A**Hole?” the man responded yes.

    Yes, I followed the man and his wife to their car, and proceeded to tell him that People like him are the reason America is in trouble. Many of you feel the need to stick your nose in or comment on things that are not your business. Basically, Folks, Shut the F*&^ Up! Mind your own business… The life you save may be your own…

  58. anneka says:

    Wal Mart has us all standing in line waiting to give them our hard earned money. Our money is good enough to make them top the list of ten of the richest families according to those yearly lists published by Forbes and Fortune. BUT- well our time isn’t that important to them – that is why they have rows of unopened checkout counters at the front of the store as we stand waiting forever, and gnashing our teeth at out fellow consumers. Is it right that we give Wal Mart our money & they send it to China where the Chinese steal our patents making reengineered junk copies of our stuff. When the local competitor is run out of business, what choice do we have but to work for an employe who pays their employees minimum wage, gives them minimal training & understaff the registers ‘cuz it’s more cost effective while they sit in Bentonville counting our hundred dollar bills?
    But wait, we blame it on the poor guy in front of us – yeah, that’s right, he’s the one disrespecting us.
    Thmink!

  59. mariospants says:

    I’ve almost gotten into fights over line budding in the past, and this sounds most egregious (sp?). If you miss the window of opportunity (i.e. you have to shove the succeeding customer’s shit back) then you’ve come too late.

  60. Vanilla5 says:

    My family is from Southeast Missouri – a town very, very close to Kennett (where this happened). The police are bored and do, indeed, use that kind of language.

    Should she have jumped line? No. Am I surprised that she was treated this way? Absolutely not, unfortunately.

  61. rellog321 says:

    I say the store was well within their rights to deny her service. She skipped someone and was asked to leave. End of story.
    I had an incident where an older man raced past us to cut in front of us as we neared the checkout line. It was all my friend could do to talk me out of confronting the guy. I hate rude people and have no problem making a scene….

    If people were less apt to allow this behavior, maybe it wouldn’t be so pervasive….

  62. sevenwhitehorses says:

    really? it is that important to some of you not to let a friend join another in a line?

    i think if you split up to get the fastest line it is fine to join your friend. but not to have a cart full of stuff where others have to all back up carts and such.

    HOWEVER, if they are already where people have their items on the belt behind your friends stuff, well you are just out of luck, you waited too long. pushing someones items back is just not cool at all.

  63. jenjen says:

    I don’t particularly mind the two people getting in separate lines to see which one comes up first, as others have said, when they are really shopping together. What pisses me off is where one person gets in line to the spot and the other person shops and brings stuff back to the cart. You don’t get in line until you are finished shopping.

    I really appreciate stores that use the one queue approach where there’s no guessing as to which cash will go quicker. Everyone gets their turn, and it’s all fair.

  64. edrebber says:

    The police claim they arrested her because “she refused to calm down and leave the property”. But then the story goes on to say that “Officers eventually followed her to the parking lot”. It seems like she was leaving the property.

  65. JollyJumjuck says:

    This clip from an episode of “Dead Like Me” deals with this sort of situation very nicely. The writing in that show was simply incredible.

    [www.metacafe.com]

  66. skitchparks says:

    is it 15 years for cutting in line? or because she supposedly resisted arrest and hit a couple of cops? I think the consumerist needs to stop making wild headlines that hardly reflect what is actually in the article.

  67. Moosenogger says:

    I don’t mind people joining their relative in front of me (I’ve done this with my mom, actually), as long as the new person doesn’t have 500 items to purchase. If it’s something small and will only take an extra few minutes, I’m fine with it.

  68. Brat2b4u says:

    As someone from Canada, generally we are polite and keep quiet on most issues.

    Most of us would not be confrontational in a silly situation like this.

    I must admit, though, I love U.S.-style justice.

  69. jrs says:

    So, I am an American living in Singapore – which often gets a rap for its tough legal system.

    But really – a possible 15 years for cutting in line?? Okay, the resisting arrest/disorderly charges might hold water. You have to wonder if a little calm professionalism by WalMart and the officers might have de-escalated the situation? Maybe take the woman aside, let her pay for her items and ask her to please show more consideration in the future?

    Maybe I am a sentimental fool, but the America I remember had a lot more common sense and calmness than we seem to exhibit at times today.

  70. zibby says:

    “Lady, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store.”

    “I’ll swallow your soul!”

  71. TCinIowa says:

    She’s not facing prison time for line jumping.

    She’s facing prison time for resisting arrest and assulting a police officer.

    My guess is that racism is involved, starting with the chaos at the line. I bet in southern Missouri a redneck with a stars-and-bars t-shirt and camoflage pants switches lines to be with his cousin (err, wife) the rest of the rednecks in line don’t make noise, but when a black woman cuts in line the SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN RIGHT NOW. From there it only escalated and the legendary fairness and color blindness of southern law enforcement took it from there.

    Sorry to be stereotypical, but the fact is stereotypes come from somewhere and the stupidest of our fellow citizens are especially on edge lately.

    If you have any doubts, go to peopleofwalmart.com and look at the pictures from the bible belt Walmarts.

    Hopefully the national attention this case is getting will override the local anger and everyone can apologize for overreacting. It’s not likely to happen since the cops won’t back down for fear of being sued and the woman shouldn’t back down because someone needs to stand up to bullying cops.

    I suppose the moral of the story is don’t cut in line.

  72. Covertghost says:

    The only time you can cut in line, is if you both plan on paying for the items together.

    Otherwise? March your happy ass to the back of that line.

  73. ModernTenshi04 says:

    For me, if the lanes have been packed, I’m not very tolerant of line cutters, as I’ve likely been waiting 20 minutes already. Should they not be too busy, and the person only has a couple of items (read: 50% less than me), I’ll likely just let them go.

    Also: cute girls can cut in front of me.

  74. SoCalGNX says:

    Other reports I have read about this state she shoved someone elses items out of the way to line jump. She was rude and wrong to line jump. Its not ok to do this – go to the end of the line. Too bad she chose to play the race card. 15 years would be idiotic but 90 days community service might be good.

  75. Xeos says:

    This story is not about line cutting, why deliberately exclude the major subject of the story?

    Anyway, line cutting is bad, but not kicked-out-of-the-store bad.

  76. cranke says:

    I hate it when people cut in line. Results were extreme, probably illegal, but bitch won’t cut in line anymore. Too bad her civil liberties were violated, too bad she lacks etiquette.

  77. squidbait says:

    To be fair, “Go on back home” DOES sound a lot like “Go back to the ghetto”.

  78. gengeo says:

    The race card was entered by the media. At that point the players lined up to take advantage of the national spotlight.

    read here : [geogee.wordpress.com]

  79. AngrySmoker1 says:

    What they left out of this is the fact that the young lady apparently shoved back the person behind her cousins stuff to make room for her stuff, which is quite rude. Then she got an attitude like she was entitled to do whatever she wants since her cousin was in line. I would not mind if she added a few things but you can’t just move people things that were in the line before you jumped in and then get an attitude with them when they complain.

  80. omphalos204 says:

    Missouri, clearly, is still a place with the KKK POLICES the citizenry. This is a disgusting example, of a small issue getting TOTALLY blown out of proportion, by an overzealous, racist, police department. And as far as “taking a plea” good for her that she instead chooses to bring the fact that police officers VIOLATED HER CIVIL RIGHTS AND USED RACIAL SLURS. Lets see those officers get handed their pink slips, before they create the sort of environment, faced by civil rights workers, decades ago.
    We don’t need to go backwards, we need to go forward, and there is NO PLACE for racism in police departments, where they are to uphold the LAW OF THE LAND, not the LAW OF THE CLAN.

  81. kent909 says:

    Another reason to not patronize WM. As if we needed one.

  82. O-Dog says:

    similar incident at the CNE here… My Mom is lined up for a ride and is cut by a rather large intimidating African-Canadian woman with her son. I was not there at the initial confrontation on but arrived shortly after the woman called my Mom a British bitch and pushed her. All the other customers took steps back and I feared for my Mom much older and weaker. I stepped in between and advised her she was under arrest for assault. One thing led to another with a lot of foul language from this woman in front of all the kiddies. I wanted to deck her right in the mouth! Being a former police officer I waited knowing my wife had already fetched the police. She fought with police yelling racial slurs and calling the race card herself. She was charged with Assault x 2, Assault Police, and Causing a Disturbance. She was found guilty but being Canada she got off lightly eh? 3 years probation and anger management. I seriously doubt police officers would say that. What could they possibly gain? When the oppressed become the oppressors? Take care in what you say, it could be more damning that your actions.

  83. nybiker says:

    @RPHP: I was looking to see if anyone else caught it.

  84. FatLynn says:

    @Loias: Ditto.

  85. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @FatLynn: I’m okay when it all goes on the same receipt. If it’s two separate transactions, it’s not okay, because it’s not just the items, it’s the extra time to pay for them.

  86. wgrune says:

    @JPropaganda:

    The only way I would agree with that is if they are paying together. If they are paying separately, no, its not right.@He:

  87. ktjamm says:

    @JPropaganda: The bottom line is it is rude. Regardless if its 2 or 200, you don’t cut into lines without knowing that people will be annoyed.

    otherwise this is just an exercise in determining “acceptable” annoyance.

    Bottom line. Rude people will still cut, people in the line will still be annoyed. But it’s nothing to lose sleep over.

  88. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    @JPropaganda:

    Have you considered that the 30 seconds you save by splitting lines isn’t worth being rude to the people you’re getting in front of?

    I see people split lines around here, but as soon as someone gets in line behind them they get out of that line (because bringing the other person into that line would be rude).

  89. craptastico says:

    @AbsoluteIrrelevance: once you’re at the conveyor belt, you’re committed. it’s too late when the person behind you already loaded their stuff on the belt

  90. LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

    @proskills: I like it too; I may have to try it. :D

  91. JohnDeere says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: well every time god kills a kitten i want kitten stew. and you are correct, you are not imdb.

  92. Kuchen says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: The Target I go to is really good about lines. Sunday afternoon is really busy there, and yesterday when I went, they had at least 12 lanes open and someone directing the shoppers to the less busy ones at the non-grocery side of the store.

  93. XTC46 says:

    @Scuba Steve: But sometimes it is a race. If im in a rush, I dont want to wait the extra 3 minutes for them to get through. And it seems that any time I allow anyone to cut, something happens. Their payment doesnt process, they need a price check, they need something that ends up taking much longer.

    It’s normally not a big deal, but the same logic that you are using to be ok with line cutters points out why they shouldnt cut to begin with. They think its ok to make me wait longer, but arent willing to wait longer themselves.

  94. WonderKatGoBoom says:

    @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: This happened to me EVERY TIME I chose a short line at Wal-Mart.

    Notice the past-tense… the “value” just isn’t worth it to me anymore.

  95. Blackfished says:

    @Brontide: I agree, and so does this one. I just finished up reading the story from [apnews.myway.com] and after seeing that, then reading this article, they grossly left much of the important information out. 15 years for cutting in line? No, 15 years for assaulting two police officers.

    As an African American male, I couldn’t be more tired of the “race card” being pulled up by other African Americans. It’s incomprehensible to see skin color so often used as a cop-out for one’s blatant disregard to society.

  96. StanTheManDean says:

    @idip:

    Absolutely, store have and do refuse service. Service=labor (or a task performed) and the 16th Admendment forbids slavery and servitude. Being reguired to perform a service (above and beyond the call of duty or what is provided to other customers) without proper compensation is the same as slavery.

    Refuse service can be for other reasons. Health and safety of employees or other customers is a very valid reason.

  97. sonneillon says:

    @idip: I don’t know about stanthemandeans 16th amendment argument, but a store can refuse service to anyone as long as they are not a protected class. You can refuse service because they are wearing wight after labor day or you just do not like the person if that makes you happy, but since that tends to make your managers unhappy and might make you unemployed it is perhaps best to avoid just kicking people out.
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  98. volcomvenom says:

    She could have just shop lifted and if she got caught she would have saved 5,474 days in prison! @idip:

  99. CupcakeKarate says:

    @JohnDeere: Stewing is really the only way to prepare kitten. It’s tough unless you cook it for hours. Puppy, on the other hand, is always tender and delicious.

  100. diasdiem says:

    @mac-phisto: And why the hell does the guy in the wheelchair get to go straight to the front? It’s not like he even has to stand!

  101. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    @korybing: I wouldn’t get into a fight about it, it’s not worth getting socked in the face over something so trivial, but oh would I burn holes in the back of their head with the Laser Eyes of Death.

  102. Cyberxion101 says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: Yeah, that was a little over-the-top, but I sort of find myself agreeing with the spirit of what he’s saying just the same. @_@

  103. Jaynor says:

    @lmarconi: You misunderstand me – I find doing this hilarious. Doesn’t hurt my blood pressure, just gives me a chuckle for the day.

    In other news – I also enjoy standing facing the back if I’m the last person on a crowded elevator.

  104. nbs2 says:

    @PsiCop: In stores where there is a broad selection of people, that may be the case. But, the problem comes back to the WM/grocery store high volume retailers that also serve as convenience points. Those are the locations where I suspect that the backfire scenario you present would occur on a regular basis.

    In a store like JoAnn’s, I suspect that the majority of purchase quantities fall within a narrow range of items.

    At a grocery store/WM, you have a larger floor plan that encourages purchasing of a larger variety of items, but the price competition that make the store a lower priced alternative to 7-11/CVS. This attraction of extremes wouldn’t be a problem if purchasing was spread out evenly. However, with the majority of purchases being actual grocery purchases, you end up with the majority skewing towards high volumes. As more folks hit the high volume threshhold, the express lane folks are stuck. Self checkouts appeared to have been an attempt to cut costs as well as cater to low volume purchasers (would you devote 3 aisles of self checkout with “10 item or less” tags otherwise?). However, those line have been taken over by high volume purchasers attempting to escape from longer lines, just as they did when the express lanes were born.

    Shunting people off to customer service is a viable option, but you then need to balance the actual service issues with those who have abandoned their place in line (if they have not been trapped by the line).

    I think the Maze of Doom is viable in the right location, but it is not an ideal solution for high volume retailers. It is too easy for low volume folks to get stuck.

  105. floraposte says:

    @Cyberxion101: I do think it’s probably inversely related to population density. Seriously backed up lines are pretty unusual here, and we don’t really do traffic jams either. So I don’t think there’s the big-city time pressure. (Don’t worry, there are drawbacks as well.)

  106. korybing says:

    @anneka: Yeah there’s nothing wrong with saying “Excuse me I think you’re cutting in line, the end is back there”, but if the guy is going to be a total jerk about it whatever, man. Let him be a jerk. I’m sure it makes him feel like a real big man. I’m not getting into a fight over my space in line.

  107. admiral_stabbin says:

    @lmarconi: I’m confused as to where this “one minute” thing came in. I didn’t mention an arbitrary time period in which it’s OK to be rude to strangers…

    I guess I’m the type that actively tries not to impose on other people…even if it is a complete stranger and only for one minute.

    I’m also not the type to get upset by such behavior. I wrote above, “I’d imagine anger is a common response.”. I meant that literally. My blood pressure is not affected by such common acts of rudeness…or even what I consider to be much worse (e.g. woman starts war dialing family members on her cell in front of me to find someone to transfer money since she can’t foot the $20 in groceries she’s trying to buy…I waited five minutes before I had to reload my cart and switch lanes).

    What it boils down to (for some of us) is the lack of common courtesy that is this type of behavior. It’s presumptuous to think that your forgetfulness for some milk is OK with the rest of the world because their time cannot possibly be important to them.

  108. RogerTheAlien says:

    @sonneillon: First off, probably shouldn’t use Wikipedia as a “legit” source. Ever.

    But I digress; just because a store/restaurant/customer-service-based business has a sign saying they have the right to refuse service to anyone, doesn’t necessarily mean they do. A lot of restaurants have these signs because it allows them to kick-out patrons that are recognized as past dine-and-dashers. However, a lot of things can move from legal realms to civil realms. So, if a store DOES refuse service, they’d better have a pretty cut-and-dried case as to why they did so. And even if they avoid legal proceedings, they’ll still have a potential lawsuit brewing for any number of reasons thought up by the refusee. So, it would behoove all customer-service businesses to be sure they’re making the right call on refusing service.

  109. PsiCop says:

    @nbs2: The problem is that multiple queues do not serve customers well … not in ANY setting … no matter the transaction size.

    The cold hard fact is that an alternative is needed. A single queue IS that alternative. Leaving things as they are, WILL NOT help. Lines WILL NOT magically improve if stores do NOTHING to change how they work. There is no “line fairy” who will show up someday and *poof* make the lines go away.

    One definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results. If this is the case, then continuing to use multiple queues is “insanity.” That’s right. I said it. It is INSANE. Period.

    I very much understand the resistance to this. I do. Honest. I get it. Really. I know it appears counterintuitive. I know it looks daunting.

    But the key words on those two sentences are “appears” and “looks.” That’s all it is … an appearance only.

    The reality is that a single queue is the most efficient way to go in every case. It just is.

    If you don’t believe me, try this real-world example reported in the New York Times:

    The single-line, bank-style system was quickly chosen for its statistical efficiency. Then, Whole Foods paired the system with possibly the largest number of registers in the city, more than 30 per store, and it hired an army of cashiers to staff them throughout the day (including “floaters” to fill in for those who need a break).

    The result is one of the fastest grocery store lines in the city. An admittedly unscientific survey by this reporter found that at peak shopping times – Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – a line at Whole Foods checked out a person every 4.5 seconds, compared with 19.6 seconds for a line at Trader Joe’s.

    It simply works better. If more stores would try it, they’d find that out … and you’d see it for yourself.

  110. the_wiggle says:

    @Jesse in Japan: yes. where IS that footage? hmm?

  111. deniseb says:

    @ben: If waiting in line for an extra 5 minutes is no big deal, then why doesn’t the line cutter just go to the end of the line?

  112. god_forbids says:

    @Blackfished: Ditto. I saw the article here first [www.foxnews.com] and was appalled at how unbalanced Consumerist’s take was. To wit:

    A college student in New Orleans at the time of her arrest, the 24-year-old Ellis now teaches in Louisiana, where she is engaged to a state trooper. She has said she feels trapped by “small-town politics” in Kennett, where her family lives.

    “What a shame the system can destroy a young person’s future like this because of bad cops,” Ellis wrote to the NAACP in April.

    The group subsequently held a rally in Kennett. Before the June 13 event began, police officers found threatening letters the size of business cards scattered along the route that said the Ku Klux Klan had paid a visit and “the next visit will not be social.”

    Dunklin County Prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff said the cards were removed and the source investigated but never discovered. He said he doubts the cards actually were from the KKK; he knows of no KKK presence in the area. A call to the KKK headquarters was not answered.

    As for Ellis’ allegations of mistreatment by law enforcement, Sokoloff said he’s “seen absolutely no evidence of any kind, apart from her statements, that those things occurred.” Kennett Police Chief Barry Tate did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    … She has previously rejected plea deals.

    “Why would you plea bargain if you’re innocent?” said Ellis’ father, the Rev. Nathaniel Ellis of Kennett.

    “This is not a matter of justice,” he said. “It’s a vendetta.”

    …Officer A.W. Fisher wrote in a probable cause statement that Ellis was given “every opportunity” to comply with officers and leave the property. He said she used an expletive in telling him she would beat him if he put his hands on her.

    Fisher said he then told Ellis she was under arrest, but she would not stop fighting while being handcuffed.

    Ah-hem. Obvious race-baiter is obvious.

  113. ElPresidente408 says:

    @PsiCop:
    I completely agree that a single queue line is much more efficient. However you also have to consider space restrictions. Whereas a Wendy’s customer may be able to navigate a zig-zagged line, try bringing a shopping cart into that maze.

    Ironically when you’d benefit from a single-line the most (ie Labor Day weekend sale at Walmart), is also when you have the most traffic and least amount of space.

  114. SadSam says:

    @deniseb:

    I’m not a fan of line cutting and I’m not a fan of people in general these days since so many are just plain rude. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, in part, to avoid these people.

    But if I’m the last person in the line and someone wants to join their party I am normally agreeable because I want to be nice and kind to people and hope that they will be nice and kind to others . But if I’m not the last in the line I don’t think I can waive the line jumping on behalf of the entire line – who knows what kind of rush they are in.

  115. sonneillon says:

    @RogerTheAlien: Yes I cannot use wikipedia in my MBA classes, but this is the internet and I needed a summery and did not want to spend more than 3 minutes doing it and it was not even the main point of my shpeal only backround information about protected classes.