Men crumble under supermarket checkout pressure

By Colin Allcabs
Consumer correspondent

Men admitted last night to crumbling under the pressure of filling their bags efficiently and quickly at supermarket checkouts.

While women can pack away with no fuss whatsoever, men become flustered as the first goods roll across the scanner and down into the packing area.

With a queue of impatient customers waiting in line, and a checkout person scanning items at seemingly lightening speed, men are soon overwhelmed by a sense of inadequency.

As nerves hit crisis point, they bungle trying to prise open the top of plastic carrier bags – causing scanned items to clog up to the extent that the checkout person has to stop working. Meanwhile, women in the queue begin tutting, pointing and shaking their heads.

A man forces a brave smile after another humiliating checkout experience

Builder Chris Green, of Mildenhall, Suffolk, said: “I’m quite good at speeding around the supermarket selecting all the goods I need. But once I’ve filled my trolley and head for the checkout, my problems begin.

“Men are just not programmed to be efficient when it comes to packing the bags. We even struggle to open the things. Women seem to be able to pack the same type of goods together in the same bag – so a bag for cheeses, another for meat, a couple for veg, and even separate ones for toiletries.

“But us men end up cramming everything together just to try to speed up and avoid the glares of other waiting customers.

“My mates are the same – we end up with a bag that might have toothpaste, wine, a joint of beef, cream and crisps all together. I dare not even think about what happens to the eggs.

“And because we try to cram so much in each bag to speed up, they invariably split when we lift them back into trolley.”

A spokesman for leading supermarket Fresco said: “We are aware men are incompetent packers and get into a bit of a state about it. We have now trained our checkout staff to be patient with them – but we can only ask female customers to be patient.”

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