Friday, February 26, 2010

Please Place the Item in the Bag

or Why I Hate Self Checkouts

It started out like any other day.  I was out and about running errands with the kids in tow.  We had already done the grocery shopping, but I remembered that I needed to make a sugar free dessert for a family gathering.   I needed one box of lemon flavored sugar-free Jello. 

I stop at the next grocery store.  It's not my usual grocery store, but I only need one thing.  "It's going to be a quick trip," I tell the children. We only need one box of sugar-free lemon Jello.  We go in.  We find the Jello.  We go to the checkout.  We're making record time. There is one lane open.  There are several very full carts waiting in that one line.  My spirits fall, but then I see it.  It's the self checkout.  It lures me with its promise of a quick purchase.  Alas, it had done me wrong before.  I recalled the trying to weigh the bananas incident of months past.  But this time would be different.  This time I only have one item. 

We approach the machine.  It greats me and asks for my customer loyalty card.  I scan the card and am rewarded with a pleasant beep.   Next it asks me to scan my item.  I scan.  It beeps.  It asks me to please place the item in the bag.  I place the item in the bag.  It asks me to please place the item in the bag.  Um, it's already in the bag.  I try to ignore it and push finish.  It says PLEASE PLACE THE ITEM IN THE BAG!  At least I thought it was getting louder.  I push finish again.  It says PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE CHECKOUT.  Here comes the cashier looking at me like I've done something wrong.  She tells me I have to put the item in the bag.  I show her my little box of Jello in the bag.  Apparently it was too light to register on the scale under the bag.  Meanwhile Princess Pink and Wild Thing are entertaining themselves by chasing each other in circles.

The cashier clears out the machine and rings my little 50 cent purchase at the front.  I am then reprimanded for attempting to use the self checkout on a light item or anything that doesn't need a bag.  I hang my head in shame and walk my family out of the grocery store.  As we exit, I notice that the once full line for the regular checkout is much shorter.  If only...