A memoir of musings, allegories and adventures covering my inspired life...


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You Betta Check Yo-Self!

Ahhh the conveniences of the modern age…how did we ever do without? God knew better than to create me during the 18th century. I’m a modern girl and I EMBRACE anything that makes my life easier and saves time during menial daily chores…well, almost anything.

Take, for instance, the self-checkout line…a dream come true for the impatient shopper right? More like a NIGHTMARE! Yes…apparently I am self-checkout impaired. What can I say? It just wasn’t my calling to excel in the checkout line. Had you asked the 8 year old me I would have whole-heartedly agreed that I was the checkout QUEEN…no wait…checkout PRINCESS (because the princess is ALWAYS more beautiful than the queen…Disney taught me that).

One of my favorite toys of all time was our cash register that had the three color coins and a cash drawer that dinged when it opened to provide the change. Oh how I loved the sound of that bell! It was the indication of sweet reward at the end of a transaction. It spawned a chemical reaction in my brain sending me to heights of anticipation rivaling the result of Pavlov’s dog experiment. Alysson and I would fight daily over who was the glamorous cashier and who was the lowly grocery shopper. I always won the role of cashier…it was my right as the oldest. Surely with all that checkout experience this new technology would be like putty in my hands…a world of convenience at my fingertips!

My arms were full of “quick trip” items and I was juggling to keep them from falling to the ground. “Who needs a basket, “I thought, “It’s really only a couple of items.” I approached the checkout area only to be greeted with line after line of people who apparently had all day to grocery shop with their coupons, their price checks on aisle three and their cell phone conversations. But wait…what was that in the distance? An oasis of time-saving technology, apparently known as the “Self-Checkout Lane”! Jiminy Cricket, THIS was for ME! And there was no one in line! It was like winning the lottery! Probably everyone else was too intimidated by change or technology or anything good for them. That’s okay…I’ll show them how it’s done!

Step-by-step instructions for use of the machine? No thank you, I got this!

SCO: Welcome! Please scan the first item.

Me: Well don’t mind if I do.

SCO: (after I scanned the first item and placed it in the plastic bag) Please scan the first item

Me: Wha? I already did.

So I removed the item from the bag, and proceeded to scan it again, because obviously my scanning skills were too ninja quick for this machine to process.

SCO: Please return item to the bagging area.

Me: Well make up your mind lady! Do you want me to scan it or return the item to the bag?

SCO: Please return item to the bagging area!

Me: OKAAAAY! No need to yell. Jeez!

SCO: Please return item to the bagging area!

Me: I already did! Can’t you see it there?!

SCO: Error…please wait for assistance. Error….

Just then I looked up, only to find a red light similar to those found on the rooftop of an AMBULANCE flashing as the machine repeated “Error…please wait for assistance…” Yes folks…for your red light special entertainment of the day we have Abby, the cashiering FAILURE. Was I being arrested for removing my item from the bagging area? This machine totally thought I was stealing the item I know it! She was out to frame me for this and I was NOT going down without a fight! I started frantically pushing the cancel button, then scanning another item. But that didn’t work so I tried putting all my items in the bag. Maybe if I gave her more stuff she would be satisfied…maybe not.

The old lady in line behind me rolled her eyes and moved to the next lane. Apparently I was holding her up from more important things. It took the store manager an eternity to get over to my station and turn off the alarms, reset the machine, and then “self-checkout” my five items for me as I watched. Then, par for course, my cash was not of acceptable quality to be received as payment by the machine, so I had to follow the manager to an open register where she accepted my payment.

All in all I’m pretty sure I would have saved time by waiting in line and letting a professional handle my purchase. Also, I’m pretty sure self-checkouts are of the devil!