If you knew it would be your turn in exactly 10 minutes, say, then you could use the time to check your shopping list, tidy up your handbag (well, that would be me), ring people on your mobile and so on.
Bob Hawkes, who runs Charlton Village Stores in Luton, says it's handy that his local Booker is just around the corner from him, but it irks him that he often has a long wait once he gets there. When he called me he had just completed his twice- weekly visit to Booker to pick up cigarettes, but then had to wait half-an-hour to pay for them. He says the trolley in front is often an unknown quantity because sometimes one customer will start putting trolley number one's contents through the checkout while other family members are still filling trolleys two and three.
There is an express checkout, he adds, but it never seems to be manned. He suggests that customer checkout staff should be better trained to inform the queue that the person in front will be a long time. "It's not a good shopping experience. It's about customer service at the end of the day."
I put these points to Booker a month ago, but still await a response.