Grocery Store Self-Checkouts Suck


I think I may be in the minority that I enjoy the grocery store self-checkout aisles.  Call me a curmudgeon, but I don’t like the annoying chit-chat that constitutes the agony of the old-fashioned check-out.  “Yes, hi – I’m fine and you?  Greeeeat.  No, I don’t want to sign up for your free gas card.  No, I don’t have a club card.  No, I want paper – not plastic.  No, I don’t want to donate $5 to the American Large Iris Foundation.  No, I said paper, please.  No, I don’t want help out.  Yes, that is a nice picture of your grandchild.  Oh, his irises are too big?  That’s too bad….”  I just want my shit, pay for it and get the hell home for Real Housewives of Crack Country already.

The problem is, the self-checkouts suck.  It’s almost as if they just installed them without ever testing them outside the lab or something.  There hasn’t been one time I’ve ever gotten out of there without some sort of problem.  The most ridiculous one?  When the first thing you do is put your nice, pseudo-green, 30% post-consumer waste recycled, reusable bag on the bagging area and the machine freaks out.  “UNKNOWN ITEM IN BAGGING AREA.  PLEASE REMOVE UNKOWN ITEM.”  WTF?  They don’t give you an option to say you HAVE YOUR OWN BAG considering they SELL THE SAME FUCKING BAG two feet from the checkout?*

The other stupid problems?

  • Things that are too light to trigger the bagging area scale, like fresh herbs or a box of tissue.  PLEASE PLACE ITEM IN BAGGING AREA!
  • Having to still get “checked out” by the attendant for purchases over $50.  PLEASE WAIT FOR ASSISTANCE
  • Having barcodes on things that are supposed to be input by PLU#, like grapes.   INCORRECT ITEM NUMBER
  • The PLU Lookup System – Scallions are only called Green Onions and under O, Green Peppers are under P, no cross-referencing at all. PLEASE TYPE IN ITEM’S CODE

And don’t even get me started on what the hell you are supposed to do when you get in that never ending conundrum of the UNKNOWN ITEM IN BAGGING AREA and PLACE ITEM IN BAGGING AREA circle jerk.   I guess all in all it’s better than having to deal with the busy-body check out lady and the creepy guys who bag the groceries.  But, for God’s sake, upgrade the system already!

*Here in Chicago, it depends on where you go if you get this completely idotic problem or not.  The Jewel added a “I’m Using My Own Bag” button about three months ago.  Brilliant idea! Dominick’s have yet to be able to program this wild and crazy funtion into their system (or so the attendant/babbysitter told me the other day when I had to wait ten minutes for someone to override the Bag Conspiracy Error on my machine because she was too busy arguing with a customer over whether the coupon she was trying to use was for 23¢ or 28¢.)