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Hand Baskets vs. Push Carts

Heard in the checkout line yesterday at Harris Teeter. I had walked up with a hand basket full of groceries. The bagger and cashier were both women.

Me (to Bagger): I won't need a cart for those bags.

Bagger: Are you sure?

Me: Yes. I'll be fine. Thanks.

Bagger (to Cashier): He sure did fit a lot in that hand basket, didn't he?

Cashier: He sure did. But men are like that.

Me: What do you mean?

Cashier: It's all about how much they can fit in a hand basket. I've seen men walk out of here with 12 bags of groceries from one hand basket.

Me: I can relate to that.

Cashier: Women are the opposite. Me, I can have one bag of marshmallows, but I want that push cart.


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I remember grocery shopping with you about 400 years ago in Fremont. We had twenty plastic bags to bring in from the car. You made a big show and lecture about being able to carry them all in in one trip. I was impressed. But the experience also planted the seed of a counter-philosophy: There's always time to make two trips. I tell this to my kids when I want them to slow down and do a more careful job. I tell it to myself when I realize I'm rushing something. It's a mirror image of "There's never enough time to do the job right the first time, but there's always enough time to do it right the second time."

You know, it's entirely possible that in the, oh, 90 seconds or so we saved by only making the one trip in from the car, we came up with some amazing idea that later played a part in some new product we worked on, and so as a result, legions of users owe their daily productivity to us making only the one trip.

Or not.

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