Self Check Out
Let's talk about those self-checkout counters at the grocery stores. I could be the noble person and say how those self-checkout lanes deprive people of their livelihood. I should stand up and shout about how stores are going for profit over people. That they are cost cutting and sacrificing employees who are already underpaid and overworked.
All of that would be true in my mind.
But I'm going to take the low road and tell you why I HATE self-checkout.
It's annoying. It's time wasting. It rarely works.
Those simple reasons are enough to make me get into a line that is 10 people deep when the self-checkout area has no one.
Let's just go through the motions, shall we?
You pull up to the self-checkout lane with your cart. Most checkout lanes are for 10 items or less. (I rarely have 10 items or less). It makes sense because there is nowhere to put your items. You have to take your item out of the cart, scan it and then put it in the bagging area. If you are using your own bag, you have to click an icon before you begin all this...Don't forget to do this.
Now after you have two or three items in the bag, you are pretty much guaranteed to get the dreaded "unrecognized item in bagging area" light. Now you have to stand there and wait for someone to come by and correct this for you. And you have to wait...because it's one person overseeing several of these kiosks. They scan their card and then you can go on. Until it happens again. And the odds are that it WILL happen again.
Or...you will fill the bag and need to move it to start a new bag. Once again the self-checkout kiosk doesn't like this. Flashing light and wait for someone to come help you again.
What is you have an item from the salad bar? Or specialty item? Then you have to look up the item. Should be easy, but it's not. And finding the code that you need on the bottom of a container that is clear plastic? I must be getting old (ok, I AM old) because finding it/seeing it is truly harder than finding Waldo. (You DO remember Where's Waldo, don't you?)
Coupons? They get stuck when you try to feed them into the machine.
Paying with cash? Better make sure the kiosk you are in takes cash. (Not all of them do...what a joy it is to figure this out AFTER you've gone this far.)
I *thought* the whole idea behind self-checkout was to make the process go faster. To make it easier. In theory, it may be. In reality...it is a nightmare! Even when I have ONE item I end up needing help.
It's pretty clear...we are NOT at the point with technology where self-checkout actually works to our (the consumer) benefit.
So while I'd like to say that I'm standing up for the employees when I ignore the self-checkout lane, the truth of the matter is I'm trying to save MY SANITY. And get a smile and a little conversation in the process as well.