A million-dollar idea yours for the taking
I have no idea why this difference in the behavior of men and women has come about, and I do not particularly care. It is not even that big a deal in terms of personal annoyance, as I am merely bemused by it and am rarely in much of a hurry.
But look at it from the store’s point of view. I figure all the fumbling adds an average of twenty or thirty seconds to every checkout transaction. On the one hand, this gives the checkout clerk a few seconds to relax between customers, which is probably good for her health. On the other hand, it is costing the store money. As a result, stores are installing more and more self-service checkout lanes (which I detest); and this cuts the number of human checkout clerks (the reason I detest them). If customers would behave a bit more efficiently, they could help save jobs for clerks, right?
So here is your assignment: Figure out the best, most customer-friendly, most effective way to gently educate women to approach the checkout lane with discount card and credit card in hand, ready to scan or swipe—without annoying the customers. Should it be a sign? Probably not, as people do not generally read signs. A flashing display on the credit card machine or register? Maybe. I don’t know the answer. But if you can figure it out and sell it to supermarket chains on the basis of how much money they will save, you can make a bundle. Send me ten percent when you do.
P.S.: I did not say, above, that all men behave one way and all women behave another way. I was careful to say that in my experience most men behave one way and most women behave the other way. If your observations vary from mine, I would be interested in what part of the country you are in. If you wish to disprove my hypothesis, I would be delighted to read the results of your study after it is published.