March 16, 2009

Thank You For Shopping

Our local grocery store is undergoing a renovation which translates to moving all the grocery items around so you can't find them, ripping up the floors every night so we walk on scraped concrete in the day, and filling one-third of the parking lot with fenced-in equipment, supplies, boxes and trash. It's a slight pain, nothing big, really.

Until I saw that they planned to get rid of three of the regular checkstands and put in those annoying self-help checkstands. Okay, okay for those of you who love them, let me guess why: no waiting in line, can control the pace, you love the annoying voice that narrates your entire transaction and you enjoy the game of Where Do We Put The Money, along with Where Does The Money Come Out.

I use these at Home Depot. A can of paint is not a big deal and the weigh machine is NOT confused that there is an item that has been moved to the bag. It doesn't ask you to place the item in the bag over and over.

But how is this good in a grocery store, where a jalapeno chili requires three screens of look-up and when all's said and done probably the bag it's in weighs more than the chili? Or if one of the PLU stickers is off of the zucchini (you get extra points if you know what PLU stands for, or even what it is when the annoying digital lady voice tells you to look for it) that you have to know to hit the pumpkin screen because it is, after all, a squash and then hit the squash screen again and then don't hit the cucumber screen but instead the zucchini screen and there's no way to fix your dumb error and you're really hungry and all you wanted was some vegetables (you lose extra points if you use the word "veggie" around me) to go in your salad and where's the REAL person?

She arrives and you just know she worked in a dental office before she came to work at the Grocer's and is firm, but pleasant and no nonsense and you wish you had gone through the checkstand with the tall lady with the hair that's upswept platinum and takes a half of a can of hairspray to keep it balanced while she enters your PLU codes and smiles the whole time even though her lipstick is outside her lip line and bright pinky-red, she's infinitely better than the digital lady voice saying for the third time, THANK YOU LOYAL CUSTOMER PLEASE TAKE YOUR CHANGE, and you would if you could only figure out where it is.


  1. I love how you have basically 2 long run on sentences at the end. When I have been stuck dealing with one of the self-check out machines, this is exactly how I feel. Everything seems to be happening in fast motion, yet getting help seems to take so long. I only use them when I have 1 or 2 things and I never use them for vegetables or fruit!

  2. The only place I love using the self-out machines is at Fresh and Easy. All of the fruit and vegetables are already labeled with a price scanner so I don't have to deal with weighing them.