Sunday, April 25, 2010

10 Items or Less, Damnit

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...

19 comments:

Grimmleigh's Fiends said...

were you behind me @ the store today...cause I do ALL of those things (except the cigs)....from now on I will do them even more s...l...o..w...l...y, and with relish :D

LB @Wait, She Said What? said...

Perfect! I totally agree!

Our store even has the handheld personal scanners so you can scan as you put things in your cart. Then you stop at the self checkout, scan the barcode and the computer retrieves everything you scanned through the store. Then you pay. Everything is already in your cart and bagged because you did it as you went. It's awesome! Makes shopping fast, easy and painless. Best of all I don't have to deal with any cranky cashiers. Yay technology!

Riot Kitty said...

Fair enough, but what about when the self-check machines fuck up? I do most of my grocery shopping at two local stores, and just one has them - and it's constantly calling for a clerk to assist when I don't need assistance, telling me to place an item on the scanner or in the bag when I've already done so, and god forbid you forget to write down a bulk foods code (which they don't tell you that you need when you are scooping them into bags.) You can look up everything else on that fucking screen except the bulk foods!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'm a huge fan of bagging my own groceries. It drives the bag boys crazy but I figure if I'm paying, I'm bagging my stuff the way I like it done.

LL Cool Joe said...

I agree with RK, they do go wrong, a lot. Also I always buy booze, no I'm not an alcoholic, and you always have to get a member of staff to approve the sale. I find that it's not that much quicker in the long run.

Dual Mom said...

I think you have a brilliant plan!!

Something else we should do, ban all people that order BREAKFAST in the damn drive-thru at the coffee shop during morning rush hour. I just want my damn coffee and I have to wait for you to order 3 breakfast bagels. Get out of your damn car and order that inside!

just making my way said...

I have about a 75% success rate with the self-check out. For the most part, I consider them friends. Although I did want to take a baseball bat to one at Wal-Mart recently. But that might have been enhanced by the fact that I had to deal with being in Wal-Mart.

Badass Geek said...

I wish all grocery stores had self checkouts. I'd save so much time no waiting for the geriatrics behind the register to catch up.

melistress.com said...

Sometimes those checkout people aren't doing their jobs. For example, in college, my boyfriend and I were at Shopper's Drug Mart while one of those checkout people was on the phone talking about their weekend at the bar. They could see us standing there and still kept on with their very "deep and intense" conversation. We started running our stuff over the scanner on our own. That appeared to get their attention.

Self Checkout. Love it.

Allison said...

This sounds like a perfect and well-thought out plan. Right down to the designated puncher.

And just to be sure the designated puncher keeps busy, s/he should also have to keep an eye on the cashiered "express lane" and punch anyone who goes over 20 items.

I recently got caught behind a lady who had 100 kool-aid packets, but went through the express lane. Just because you can carry all your items in your hands does NOT grant you immediate access to the express lane.

I sighed and tapped my foot and rolled my eyes as best I could, but a PUNCH would have been so much more satisfying.

Kelly said...

I am thinking that the self check out things in Utah, must be more high tech then in Iowa. I dread them. I'd rather not go to the store at all. I am so with whoever was talking about bagging their own stuff! The kids at our local store like to put cans on eggs, and bananas on bread. I go into kill mode.

Emily-Ione said...

What's the trick with the reusable bags? Cause i'd like to cultivate my self checkout skills but the reusable bags hang me up every time.

Kim said...

I don't let my kids scan but I do let them pick out the bottles at the liquor store. Because I believe in literacy.

C Lo said...

I think the self check out needs to be something like 20 items or less. There is NOTHING more infuriating than watching some schmuck who decided to shop for the coming floods and is self checking out his two carts of groceries (YES I'VE SEEN IT HAPPEN!!!)

Summer said...

One more reason I don't do the self checkout lane. We're a walking fiasco. Like I need the added stress of impatient women who know the produce codes for lemons. No thanks. ;)

Aunt Juicebox said...

I detest self checkout. Mostly because 90% of people DON'T seem to be able to use it right. The store I frequent the most has them, but it's really hard to checkout if you have a whole cart full because they don't have much room on the bag thing.

Jules said...

I would like to be hired as the store's designated puncher.

Catherine said...

They should have a practice station where you need to scan 20 items in an allotted amt of time. If you do it, then you get a pass to use the regular self scanners. If you screw up on the real scanner then Jules can be the puncher but I would like to be the holder for the puncher.

Sam said...

Is your little visitor nigh? :) I think you have definitely been behind me. The self-check always sounds like a great idea, and then I end up feeling like Sisyphus.