Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Self Checkout

    In my time, I have come to believe that the self checkout machine down at your friendly local grocery store is indeed the most diabolical machine ever devised by man.  It serves very little purpose in my mind.  In order to avoid having to pay the wages of like four bottom-of-the-rung employees, stores are putting these things in that just drive customers mad.  Have you ever walked through the store and seen big long lines at the normal checkouts but the self-checkouts are all empty?  There's a reason for that.  Well, a bunch of reasons.

It just looks like something from an evil doctor's office.
      First of all, for unmanned checkouts they still need to be manned.  There is usually some sort of customer service representative floating around to help people and solve problems, because invariably there will be someone who needs help or has a problem through no fault of their own.  I was one of those people the other day, because I am always one of the problem people.  The self-checkout was yelling at me the other day because I didn't want to put my items into bags.  Actually, I did want to put my items into bags, but for whatever reason I had already removed the bag from the machine's "bagging area" where it senses stuff and set it on the floor, so as my Baby Doll was scanning the items I was sticking them in the bags on the floor.  For each item, the machine freaked out and told us to put it in the bag or select the "I don't want to bag this item" option.  The last two items were drinks - a Powerade and a sparkling water.  We wanted those to drink in the car on the way home so we wouldn't want to put them in the bag, but apparently that is not cool in the mind of the machine.  And apprently once you've chosen the "I don't want to bag this item" option a few too many times in a row the machine gets pissed.
     So it locked itself up, and told me I had to have a security code to unlock it.  Well, this may surprise you Company, but even though I am a media mogul I don't have the security code to every grocery store computer system in the known world.  So I needed the caretaker to...oh...I don't know...take care of my problem.  The issue with that was that she was busy with one of the other kind of people.
      That's right, on the machine behind mine and to the left (back, and to the left; back, and to the left; back, and to the left; thanks Oliver Stone) there was a lady trying to use the self-checkout who did not know how.  And she was, for whatever reason, unable to read the fairly easy step-by-step onscreen directions.  Therefore, the lady that I needed to help me so that the machine WOULD ALLOW ME TO PAY FOR MY SHIT couldn't help me because she was busy helping another person who couldn't think.  That, as you can imagine, pissed me off a little bit.  No, scratch that, it pissed me off a lot.  So once the lame brain was all finished, I was able to flag down the store lady, who unlocked the machine.  The point is that the machine shouldn't have locked up on me.  It is devious and diabolical.  It is actually making it more difficult for me to pay for the things that I want.  I should have just taken the drinks and blamed the machine.
        So it is my contention that the self-checkout offers false usefulness, because it looks like it is going to get you out to the car and on your way home faster, but it just serves to bog you down, anger, and upset you.  Therefore, I believe that it is a good candidate for the most diabolical machine ever devised by man.  Because it makes it more of a pain in the ass for you to lose money.  That is just plain dumb.  And so is the machine.


TJB said...

I hate hate hate self checkouts. 100% agreed with you. :)

Six said...

Dave, it seems that similar to the person behind and to the left, you had problems following the simple directions as well. I think the machine even shows a picture of how to put your items in the "bagging area." Sure, there are the occasional hiccups, but for the most part, I LOVE the self checkouts. That way I can avoid the long lines and buy my single item of Metamucil and be done with it quickly. My biggest complaint is when all of the self checkout lanes have someone in them, and you basically have to pick your horse - which one of these incompetents is going to finish the arduous task of scanning, clicking and swiping with the least amount of trouble. If you can't figure the shit out, go stand in line with the rest of the dummies so someone who's been trained to perform these higly-sophisticated tasks can help your dumb ass get on with your life. No offense.

Big Dave said...

Six -
Okay, you are right, I couldn't follow the very clear instructions about how to put my item in the bagging area. But being a human I am able to learn that when you don't put it in the bagging area a box pops up that allows you to opt out of that part of the program. So that is what I learned and wanted to do. But there WAS someone having to make the choice of retards behind me, and that was pretty funny.