A brief introduction of myself: I work for a popular grocery chain in Texas. My official title is 'cashier', but my unofficial title is "Self Checkout Slave" as I find myself scheduled to run the self-checkout more often than most co-workers (much to my disappointment). Apparently I'm "gifted with patience". If I ever find out who started that scandalous rumor....
There was one incident about a month ago with a woman I'll call Miss Priss.
Miss Priss I take it was not much for waiting - or listening to instructions. The concept of self-checkouts is simple: scan, bag, repeat.
To make it *ahem* user friendly, the computer always directs you to bag the first item you scan so the customer can get the idea. Miss Priss was apparently slow on the uptake that day, because after she scanned the item she set right next to the scanner rather than on the bagging scale and proceeded to try and scan her next item.
I took pity on her and reset the scale to skip the bagging process. After scanning the second item she decided to place both items on the bagging scale, which of course made it overweight and the computer directed her to place the item back on the scanner.
After hearing these directions, Miss Priss STOMPS HER FOOT in what I could only guess is a mini-tantrum and looks at me with an expectant glare.
Immediately I knew she was going to be difficult. So I reset the scanner again and thankfully the rest of the items went off without a hitch. The payment phase is where it turned ugly.
Our self checkouts require you to select your payment method on the register screen, THEN swipe your card on the hypercom before the payment can be finalized. The computer even tells you this. Of course, Priss was too busy for directions and stood there waiting for her card to go through for a few moments before I clued in on her slowness and asked her to select her payment method. This is where stuff hit the fan.
The register screen's calibration decided to go a little wonky, so when she selected "credit" it pushed a button on another part of the screen. It's a rare but known fluke and usually fixes itself after a few tries. Here's how the rest of the transaction went down.
Me:*Walks over and explains the situation and solution, apologizing profusely for the inconvenience*
Priss: *sighs and shakes her head*
Me: "I'll be happy to do it for you so you don't have to deal with the head ache." *starts pushing button*
Two tries into it.
Priss: "Forget it, I don't need this stuff anyway."
She then turns on her heel and storms out in a huff, leaving all her selections behind.
The best part?
Just as she turned the button press worked, and all that was left was the approval button on the hypercom. She ignored my attempt to call her back, and I was left standing there exchanging confused glances with a supervisor who was standing nearby.
God I wanted to press that "approve" button so bad just out of sheer anger that a 30 something woman would actually throw a tantrum fit for a 14 year old girl whose parents refused to by her tickets for a Bieber concert, but the image of her coming back and stomping that foot at a manager with my name on her lips led me to sigh in defeat and suspend the order.
Moral of the story: Impatient and emotionally underdeveloped people have no business being near a self-checkout.
--Self Checkout Slave