Saturday, May 13, 2006

Am I Getting Faster or Are They Getting Slower?

I know I've lost it. I've been talking back to the self-checkout computers again. "I DID put it in the bag, you moron." It doesn't let me go on with my order. I got into this mess thinking that the lines were so long, that surely I could get out of here faster by scanning my own items. I wave over at the pimply, teenage cashier, who is deep in philosophical conversations with the girl cashier who's been eating too much chicken raised with chicken breast growth hormones. (Speaking of, and forgive my aside but WHAT is with these chicken breasts these days? In my childhood, those were called turkey breasts and big ones at that.) Finally, he resets my station and I go on.

Moving the barcode over the window, it beeps and I place the item in the bag. But it will not read the next item. I'm too fast for it. While I put my hands on my hips and give it my most withering look, it says "Please proceed with your order" in a disdainful voice, as if I am standing there picking my nose and not paying attention. In the meantime, 4 yo ds leans on the bagging area, upsetting the computer yet again. In her best arrogant elementary teacher voice, the computer admonishes me to "Please remove the last item from the bag and scan it before placing it in the bag." I caution ds to step back before the awful lady inside the computer comes out and gets him. He thinks it's funny and if he had a barcode, I'd scan him as a bag of potatoes and let him sit on the scale if he'd let me "proceed with my order".

Next, broccoli. Hit button "Produce. No Barcode" (it's scary how many four-digit vegetable codes I've memorized). I don't know broccoli, so I have to choose a picture. Vegetable, right? No, according to this computer, broccoli is in the lettuce group. "Oh, that makes sense, doesn't it? Right," I tell the screen. Then, chocolate. Now you'd think they'd have it set up so that you could key in that you are about to purchase 12 Hershey's chocolate bars, because after all they're on sale 3/$1 this week, and a person insane enough to talk back to an automated check-out station is on the edge of insanity and needs THEIR CHOCOLATE!! But no, you have to scan each one, and let the %$^&#$% scanner catch up to you each time. "Come on, COME ON!!" I urge the computer.

By now, the people behind me, holding their loaves of bread and jugs of milk, and waiting for my station are looking at me kind of funny. I've got the bags stacked up all over the place because you cannot remove them from the scale, and they teeter, ready to spill out onto the floor. I slam the bags in the cart, only slightly more aware of the squishable things than the regular baggers. Checking myself out hasn't helped to lower my blood pressure OR get me out sooner. Now, where's that chocolate?

1 comment:

pita-woman said...

Actually, you can take bags off of the "already scanned area", you just have to wait for the screen to return to display. I've had the same frustration, pretty much everytime I use it, but the cashier recently told me that I'm taking the bag(s) off too soon.
Or so I'm told.


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