I was stunned. She thought I was discriminating against her for being "old." I had barely seen her face, did not know her age or think of her as "old," and was not thinking about that at all. I was concerned about not appearing to discriminate against an African American, but more importantly, I just took the first empty lane! I was mostly trying to save time. The cashier in lane 13 apparently did not realize that I could not actually see that her lane was empty as I approached the checkout counters; because of the "tunnels" of impulse items, I could only see each lane as I came up to it. I had taken the first empty lane.
|In this photo, I returned to the scene days later. Lane 14 is not open this day, but you can see that one cannot see the cashier over the displays.|
I sheepishly told my cashier, "I just took the first empty line." She just smiled.