I loathe the Self Checkout machines at my supermarket. Because I live in a highly populated area, they are usually the only lanes without 15 people already queued up in them every time I visit the grocery store. (Why I bother shopping at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday when I still have to wait behind a half-blind old woman paying with 47 coupons, I'll never know...)
I hate the invention of the Self Checkout for many reasons:
- These machines are not more convenient. Even if I have only three things to purchase, invariably one of these items "Does Not Have a Barcode" and I have to call over the Self Checkout Checker to punch in the mysterious produce code that only they have memorized.
- The weighted bagging system (meant to deter the theft of organic Fuji apples, I'm sure) is always yelling at me because I either have or haven't placed my items on the scale at the appropriate point of the checkout procedure. Today, for instance, I placed my bunch o' bananas on the scale, and the machine said, "Would you like to skip bagging for this item?" Well, this made me very confused, since I had already placed said bananas in a bag. So, I removed them from the scale and into my cart, upon which the machine rudely yelled, "Item removed! Wait for assistance!" I had to look around abashedly for the Checker to come to my aid for the second time in one transaction...
- I have no clue how to efficiently bag my own groceries. Pimple-faced teens have been joylessly doing this job for me my entire life, and as a 30-year old, I have no desire to replace them at this task. Even with a college degree, I cannot seem to figure out how to pack my groceries into any less than 17 plastic bags. And even with my perishables carefully separated, my gallon of milk will invariably break half a dozen eggs by the time I get them home. (I think it may be collaborating with the jarred pickles and canned corn, ganging up on the defenseless tomatoes as soon as I shut my trunk...)
- I enjoy receiving good customer service. I especially like my neighborhood Vons for the excellent customer service the Checkers provide. Most of these people have worked at this same store for the entire 5 years I've shopped there, and they are always extremely helpful and pleasant. I even got a free pineapple once because the Checker thought I would like to try it first to make sure I liked it!
In conclusion, it's not Self Checkout if you need to call over a Checker at least 3 times during your transaction. Today that's exactly how many times Ed, the Self Checkout Checker (get the oxymoron?), had to type in his top secret management code for me to finish my transaction. And imagine if I was buying booze! For the love of Ed, let's do away with these ridiculous machines, and put in another good old-fashioned Checkout Lane! It will provide more jobs for wonderful, trained supermarket employees. And I can go back to spending my time reading gossip magazines. Because what else are you to do while waiting for that damn woman in front of you to cut out all of her coupons... By the way, did you hear that Courtney Cox and David Arquette split up?