This is how to get in the fastest line at the supermarket checkout - it's math and it works every time

Do you always take the slowest line at the supermarket checkout? Here’s what you need to know to put an end to making the wrong choice!.

This is how to get in the fastest line at the supermarket checkout - it's math and it works every time

Do you always take the slowest line at the supermarket checkout? Here’s what you need to know to put an end to making the wrong choice!

We have all experienced this very uncomfortable situation: when we are shopping in a supermarket and it comes time to queue to pay, very often we choose one of the slowest lines and we see the others moving further. quickly as we next door. How frustrating to have made the wrong choice!

It must be said that it is not really easy, as there seem to be so many parameters that escape us in this difficult choice. Should we rely on the cashier's speed, the dynamism of the people already in the line and the number of elderly people, the filling rate of the shopping carts in front of you or simply the number of people in each line?

Imagine that there is a mathematical answer and objective arguments to this terrible problem. This was recently given on TikTok by a famous mathematician, Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón, presenter of a popular science and humor program on the Spanish channel TVE. He broadcast a video dedicated to this question, giving THE answer based on math.

The scientist based himself on a specific situation so that everyone could plan concretely. “When you are at the checkout at the supermarket and there are two lines: one with a few carts, but full, and another with a lot of carts, but with very few things inside, which one should you choose? you?" he asks.

The answer from Sáenz de Cabezón is very clear: “Mathematics tells you that it is better to take the line that has the fewest carts, even if they are very full.” And the explanation is based on the analysis of all the time lost! "What is really the process that wastes time? Well, it's the payment. In reality, getting the products to the belt is fast, but it's the payment that delays everything and can generate problems,” according to him. The mathematician concludes: “We must therefore go to the queue where the process that wastes time will occur least often. It is clear: it is better to have a queue with few carts, even if they are very full, than a line with a lot of carts even if they are almost empty,” he assures.

Of course, the reasoning only applies when taking into account the number of carts. It is also useful to perceive the rhythm of the progress of the line, that is to say whether the movements of people at the checkout go more or less quickly. You must also ensure that there is not a technical problem at one of the cash registers, such as a refill of papers in the bank card payment machine. With all of these things in mind, you'll make the best choice next time at checkout!

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