Sunday, September 9, 2007

Please put your item in the bag……

Does this blog have to always be about infertility? Because I have something to talk about that is unrelated. As you may know from the title, I want to share some thoughts on self check-out lanes. First of all let me start by saying, self check-out lanes: Great idea, poorly executed.

Great Idea:
How many of you have gone to the store only to experience a cashier, bagger, or both that are more interested in gossiping with their friends than doing what they are getting paid to do? Call me old school, but you are at work to work. Or you get in the line with the cashier that is slower than ice melting at the south pole……in winter. So to the talkers that can’t multi task and the and slow pokes…shut up, get out of the way, and let me do it myself…..brilliant! Now go have a Guinness.

Poorly Executed:
Where do I begin? How about with the title, please put your item in the bag. Ever notice the bags sit on little square pads that must be scales or something? Sensitive little suckers aren’t they? Please put your item in the bag. Huh, but I did? Let’s see….what did I just scan, oh here it is, take it out, put it in a different bag, whew, that’s better. Now what? Oh, I have 5 cans of the same soup, I’ll just scan one can 5 times then put them all in the bag, I see the professional cashiers do this all the time. Bleep…..there’s one, now why isn’t anything happening? Please put your item in the bag, oh never mind, scan-bag-scan-bag-scan-bag…..at least it’s good for the abs. Just yesterday I saw something I never noticed before, a little button pops up with “skip bagging” on it. Finally, screw you and your please put your item in the bag. So, I scan the next item, the bags are pretty full anyway, and I decide to hit the skip bagging button and place my item on the shelf, not in a bag. Unexpected item in the bagging area. What do you mean unexpected, I just scanned it, it isn’t in a bag and where else am I supposed to put it? So I pick it up, item removed from bagging area, please return item to bagging area. Please wait for cashier assistance. Great! I stand around waiting on the 2 other people who evidentially are as uncoordinated as I am before she comes to get my machine out of failure mode. All along there’s this touch pad just after the scanner that says touch item here after scanning. So I scan, touch the item to the pad, OK, well maybe I just brushed over it, but the item did make contact with the pad, I made dang sure of that. I’m getting pretty aggravated and determined to follow all instructions. Unexpected item in the bagging area, Please wait for cashier assistance. Noooooo, the very source of inefficiency this process is supposed to eliminate is back in the loop again. I guess you need to do more than just “touch” the pad as the instructions indicate, you have to push it down. So, when I shop alone, I am perfectly content to wait on the slackers and slow pokes. It saves me lots of frustration and usually goes faster than doing it myself. Jennifer never seems to have these problems so maybe I’m just an example of idiot proof something and someone will build a better idiot.

5 comments:

julie said...

haha SAME thing happened to me at Lowes the other day! My unexplained item was my purse that I sat down on the scaley thing ! GEEZ! Sensitive little suckers it right!

Val said...

Yes, there are plenty of quirks with these machines. I usually go to Meijer at lunch and try to use the self check out. Never fails that something pops up. And to top it off, they ALWAYS have this severely handicapped guy monitoring these four lanes AT LUNCH TIME! Not dissing the handicap folks--I know they need work too but come on! Sure they are frustrated also with impatient customers like myself. If doing shopping any other time besides lunch hour, I always wait now. Just easier--especially with baby in tow.

kate said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I can SO relate! I almost always use the self-check thingys at our local Harris Teeter, and they drive me nuts! I spent the better part of my early adulthood working in a fancy-schmancy grocery store as a cashier, so it's not like I have never checked/bagged groceries before in my life, but I still can't make them work right... I stopped this morning on the way to work to pick up a few items and it took me longer to check out than it did to shop. I stood there, swiping my "vic" card over and over again, while the machine spouted it's 45 minute long schpiel about scanning the card, and what to do if you don't have a card, and CUSTOMER! Scan the card, already, dammit! And .005 seconds after scanning the first item, it's shouting at me to PLACE THE ITEM IN THE BAG... Humans don't move that fast, you beast machine! And forget it if you put your purse down for two seconds to retrieve your "payment method"...

I came here from the Stirrup Queen's blogroll, and I'm glad I did. Your blog is interesting and well-written. I recently started my third blog (this one focusing on infertility, rather than the myriad other things I think too much about!). If you're bored, feel free to check it out: http://theonlybeeinyourbonnet.blogspot.com/. It's still small, but I'm working on moving some appropriate posts from other blogs, so it should grow a bit more soon.

Okay. Long comment over now...
-kate

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