Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I Like To Check Myself Out

There was a time when I avoided those "self-checkout" kiosks like the plague. Now I actively seek them out. I always thought that by using there self-checkouts that I was taking away someones job. It maybe so but I would rather not go through the bullshit of dealing with a talking human anymore.

I was trying to purchase a bunch of bananas at the Copps grocery store and I busied up to the self-checkout when it asked me for my produce code. Ha! I actually remembered that I would have to know this code and I entered the digits on the touchscreen. Then..."Pistachios $6.99#" came up on my screen. I looked around for a clerk for assistance but there were none to be found. With my morale reaching a new low, I sulked over to the manned checkout.
So now I'm in the "Express" lane which is now 20 items or less. ??? It used to be 10 then 15 but is now 20. So it's either this lane or the "full service lane". I stand my ground.
It shouldn't be too bad of a wait with just an elderly lady ahead of me. But what's this? SHE HAS MORE THAN 20 ITEMS! MORE LIKE 40! THERE HAS TO BE 10 CANS OF SWEET PEAS ALONE! "The secret is to stay cool", I tell myself as I check my watch.
"Are those your bananas?", the clerk asked.
"Yes", says me.
"You should put a bar in between so it doesn't get mixed up with hers"
"They're all the way at the end, it's pretty easy to tell."
So finally he scans and then the elderly lady decides to take out her checkbook. After taking about 2 minutes to fill it out she asks, "What was the total again? I want to write it for $20 over."
"It's $37.39"
So she hands him the check, he processes it and then says,
"Oops, you wrote it for $57.33 so you'll get back $19.94".
Oh man here we go! Apparently all this New Math wasn't covered in her period school back in the day so there a multi-minute discussion about how and why this happened, how she wanted a $20 bill to put in a card and how she HATES having to carry around all that coin in her purse. I'm in between openly fuming and frantically searching for $.06 in my backpack just to get the ball rolling.

So after 10 minutes or so, it's my turn.
"Just the bananas?"
"One second", he says and replaces the paper in the printer.
"Do you have a Copps card to use today?"
"Do you want to apply for one?"
"I have one I just don't want to use it."
I'm obviously vexed and hurried but we have to play the game.
"That will be $1.14"
I hand him a $5 bill.
"One second, Marjorie! I need quarters!"
God Dammit!
"Paper or plastic" says the girl at the end of the checkout.
"Neither. they're already in that little plastic bag"
"But do you want a bag with handles?"
"NO! I'll put in my backpack"
By this time the guy finally gets my change but doesn't hand it to me until he tears off the receipt.
"Thank you for shopping at Copps"
"Have a great day!" says the bagger girl.
I start to make my escape.
Jolted I turn around to face the clerk when he says...
"You have 2 coupons"
Our eyes meet, we hold a stare and somewhere off in the distance a dog barks. I nonchalantly walk back, gaze at the 6 or so people waiting in line behind me, grab my coupons, exhale and saunter off.
The coupons? Why they are for cottage cheese and Vagisil...