Self-Checkout Hits a Snag

By Larry Teren

News item: Chicago area supermarket chain eliminates self-checkout lanes at nine stores.
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Crawling Under a Rock

My “crawling under a rock” moment happened yesterday at a big supermarket chain store- you know, the type big enough to have self-checkout machines.

It started with a typical walk through the aisles making note of items on sale. I’d compare them in my head to what the normal price was as well as what it typically sold for at competing stores. I thought I was done picking up all the things I both needed and wanted. But, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Like the proverbial pregnant woman, I had a yen for pickles, even though last I looked I was of the male persuasion and nowhere close to needing maternity clothes.

It became too convenient as the aisle I traipsed through contained condiments such as peanut butter, jelly, mustard, honey and, yeah- pickles. There they were- several different brands. My eye (the good one) immediately caught sight of one on sale at 2 for $5.00, which was a real bargain. Normal price would have been anywhere between $3.29 to $3.49. I grabbed a jar even though it was glass, knowing well my propensity to not grasp things so well anymore in my right hand. That’s what that damn carpal tunnel does to you. From my wrist to the tip of my fingers, it is a constant feeling of needle pins, the same sensation when you bump your elbow funny bone. Not only the out-of-body sensation, but there is a loss of sensitivity to touch.
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Impatience Management

Your honor, I admit I’m an impatient person and don’t tell me I have to control my anger. Just please listen to the facts. It’s about the frustration of dealing with idiots who don’t know how to use a self-service checkout at a supermarket. They stand there staring at the device trying to figure out how to pay. Or how to weigh the produce or input the correct quantity of apples purchased. Or how to find the proper description of the item if there is no scan-worthy bar code. They stand there scratching their head instead of asking for assistance. Like the one attendant for six self-service machines is going to volunteer to
walk over and accomodate them- yah right? Even the five other people in line with me applaud when I make a comment.
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