Self-Checkout Smackdown.

Grabbed a quick lunch at Ralph’s near my office today because I had a limited time frame to work with and anything fancier would be pointless as the caviar at the local French bistro is not up to speed.  Okay, I made up the whole part about caviar and the part about there being a local bistro.  There is a really nice 7-11 kind of close.

Anyway, I always opt for the self-checkout option because I have a deep intrinsic belief that the sum of my higher education has, if nothing else, made me intelligent enough to ring myself out at a faster speed than a clerk who doesn’t care about my time.

Think about it?  The only thing that can slow you down is not caring.  It’s definitely a good scene.  It’s even better when you have that random time you show up and all you are buying is a handle of Maker’s, a box of tampons and five rolls of toilet paper.  Everyone looks at you like “have a good weekend, buddy” and you have to just slow roll it and give them the “oh, I will” smirk back.  In reality, you know why you need to purchase the tampons which explains why you need so much whiskey.  The toilet paper?  I mean, we’re human.  You can never have enough,

Anyway, today there is a woman having the hardest time checking out on one of these things.  I am about to help her when a grocery clerk comes to her aid.  The woman decides to berate the poor employee.  She gets red in her chubby face and miffs “these fucking machines don’t make checking out any faster.”

Now, being a total asshole, my only reaction to this is to seamlessly apply my years of tech savvy to checking out my entire basket in the time it takes her to finish her two items.  I am on a mission to make her feel stupid.  About halfway through my candy purchases (I’m like the short, white Lamar Odom) the woman catches on to what I am doing.  She speeds up.  We finish around the same time, but in fairness to anyone who saw me, I literally looked like the guy from the Matrix who is all proud that he was not born in the Matrix and thus has no metal plugs in his head and shit.  I am all over the place making it rain.  We take to the parking lot and now it’s this awkward waddle race going on.

If I just decide to sprint, I will look like a jerk.  I am a runner and this woman can’t work a fucking self-checkout machine.  That said, we’ve entered into some primal competition that thousands of years ago would have resulted in the winner getting to mate with the other’s eldest child.  In this situation, it’s really just a little suburban one-upsmanship.  Really, I feel like this woman went against the spirit of self-checkout, which is to NOT get annoyed with the employees of Ralphs.

Soon, we split ways with no clear winner.  I eat my lunch in the car so I can hear five minutes of sports radio regarding USC’s media day and the pointless Dodger acquisition of Scott Podsednik.  I think about what just went down and feel embarrassed.

I then go share it on my blog and feel even worse.  Thanks, guys.



Filed under Rants and Musings

6 responses to “Self-Checkout Smackdown.

  1. It’s almost like some people believe that self-checkouts are some form of Lemarchand’s Lament Configuration and refuse to use it properly out of fear that they will open that bridge to the ‘other world.’ Of course, we all know that other world is really that elusive time saving dimension you speak of.

  2. Emily

    I HATE the self check-out solely because of the weighted bag stands and the computer woman who yells at you (I don’t care how polite she is) for removing the bag before you’re finished checking out. Anyone?

    • Geoff

      I can’t stand that part. I’ve learned to work with it though. I don’t bother putting anything in bags until I’ve finished, I just stack it up on the other side of the scanner.

      I wouldn’t say it makes it any faster for most people, but it allows the store to have four people checking out with one bored and uncaring attendant watching (and verifying you’re 21 for booze).

      I think the grocery store makes for a great example of how it works and it doesn’t. I usually buy a fair bit of produce, and like most people, I don’t bother to memorize the SKUs for each type of parsley. Thankfully, some of the checkout people do, and I use them. If on the other hand it’s a case of beer and several frozen pizzas I’m happy at the prospect of avoiding one of the lines where the clerk is watching someone sift through a mass of coupons.

      I think of it like the autobahn. It lets people who can go fast, do their own thing. However everyone is still screwed by the guy in the left lane with his blinker on doing 50.

  3. I love the self-checkouts, but agree with the idea of the weighted stand.

    For some reason, when I’m at a grocery store with self-checkout, I always have some light weight product not recognized by the scale, which of course, causes a slow down.

    Do you think they really verify?

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