I am a BIG fan of the self checkout lanes at the grocery stores. Ryan says they will eventually lead to the mechanization of the world, and the downfall of the working class, but that really doesn't matter to me since they keep me from waiting in lines and making small talk. Yes, I'm that shallow. Sue me.
I have gotten to the point where, if there is a lane open, I can get out the store in under five minutes with a full cart of groceries. I have produce codes memorized. I know where the bar code is on every product. Once I get in the zone I am one with the machine. I know how to trick it so, when I put in a small item that doesn't weigh much, it still registers and let's me keep checking out. I am that good. I am so good, in fact, that I have a proposal for grocery stores: make people take a test of use before they get to use the self check out lanes.
There really is nothing worse than standing, waiting for a check out station, while some novice tries to find their produce codes while looking through pictures, or tries to figure out why their reusable bags keep setting off the call for an associate. Really, it's like watching someone try to drive a car when they are not sure how to turn the key. We would never let those people drive, so why should we let them scan fruit?
Oh, and after they take the test everyone who wants to use the self check outs should have to sign an agreement to make life more simple for their fellow shoppers. They should agree NEVER to let their kids scan for them, no matter how much "fun" they think it would be. They should agree not to buy cigarettes, since it means the attendant has to go get them, and the lane is out of use for that time. They should agree to grab only fruits and vegetables with code stickers on them, so they don't have scroll through pages of codes recommendations. Oh, and they should agree NEVER buy ice or stamps.
If shoppers break any of these agreement the people in line behind them get one free punch each. Or, in order to avoid lawsuits, maybe the store could hire a "designated puncher." Maybe they could use the cashiers Ryan claims will be put out of work by the self check outs...