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Mindless Self Indulgence: Shut Me Up

Self Serve Checkout Hell

Jb Self-service checkouts.

This idea was dreamed up in the bowels of some corporate entity who insanely believes that customers actually WANT to be their own cashier. They tell us that it relieves the workload on a cashier as well! Yeah... right... Now one cashier is responsible for 4 to 8 lines rather than one. Who sees the problem here? Raise your hand... don't be shy... anyone? anyone?

This afternoon I stopped by a local grocery store to pick up the absolutely necessary 12pk of Diet Coke that my lovely wife had texted me to pick up. I had already left work, but was apparently not free of retail hell for the day. After parking 2.5 miles from the store's entrance, I dodged soccer moms in oversized suvs and made my way through the maze of free-range shopping carts to the front door.

I was in luck! There, right by the door, was a giant display of Coke 12pks. I picked up two and made a beeline for the checkout. There were 20 lanes, but only two cashiers open. No problem... I easily fit into the category of  "12 items or less".

Unfortunately, so did a line of about 20 other people. That is when I eyed the self-service checkouts and switched lines. Mistake. Mistake. Mistake.Scanscreen

Of the six self-serve lines, only two were working. One lane had a man buying a cartload of green vegetables... slowly searching through the multiple screens and trying to figure out if he had muskmellon or honeydew. That looked hopeless, so I thanked the retail gods that I was in the other line.

That is when I noticed the problems that the she-demon ahead of me was having with her checkstand. Along with swearing and slamming of merchandise she kept locking up the machine... or should I say that her demon spawn was doing so.

You see, these devices require you to put your items into the bagging area so they can be weighed... they are not meant to weigh kids. A poor clerk had to keep running over to key in override codes. THEN the coupons came out... and the clerk had to run back over for each one. Meanwhile, veggie man was trying to figure out if he had baby carrots or petite carrots...

Finally, I got to the checkout. I scanned my soft drinks and tendered my sale. In and out of the checkstand in under 30 seconds. In and out of the store... in 30 minutes.

Hopefully Jiffy Lube won't start asking me to change the oil myself and still pay full price. 

Peace - JohnnyBob.



While in the self check-out, I've had people ask me: "Is this a credit or DEBIT card?" and "Do you know my PIN number?" SHEEESH!


I hate those self check outs that have the empty bags hanging above a scale to weigh your stuff after you scanned them to make sure that what you scanned is whats put in the bag, when the thing you are buying has no weight, like needles, and it keep locking up and asking you to "put the item in the bag" over and over. And you're right who is this easier for. I've been a cashier all my working life and I can handle it and move on, but honestly some of these folks act like they just arrived on earth and have never seen self check outs before, but they will stand there and fuck around and cause a back up until someone comes over and does it for them. Rant over LOL

Burger Bitch

I hate those things.
I especially hate when I grab one thing and people with cartloads of shit are in the 8 Item or Less lane and the self checkout.
In which case, if it's two dollars or under, I walk out with it.
Employees tend to not care/notice.


NOTICE: Customer must have I.Q. higher than Large Curd Cottage Cheese in order to use this machine.

BB- When I've run on a 10 item or less checkout and I get a customer with a crapload of stuff it annoys the hell outa me too but we usually have to let it through anyway cause they'll raise a royal bitch-fit if we tell them they have too much and then complain the management who'll make us ring them through anyway. So we just save ourselves the undeserved ass-whoopin. If they ask, on the other hand, I'll tell them it's for small orders only, unless I've got no customers and the day is me something to do.


I absolutely hate it when people abuse the self checkout. The idea is if you grab a few items, ring them through and run out, not if you grab the month's groceries for you and your family of 6 spawns. I had to wait behind someone with a cart full once, and they didn't know how to use the thing...they kept trying to hit the "skip bagging", and then putting it in the bag (which, of course, lead to the "unexpected item in bagging area" message). Seriously, it's far from rocket science, and it's not meant for large orders. Shouldn't be that complicated, but yet...they ARE customers after all.


The problem is the checkouts themselves in many cases. They have so many ridiculous features that are presumably meant to prevent theft but really just prevent proper operation. I've worked in a supermarket, I know how to use a register, yet there's always something that freezes up the system when I use it. Either the bag weighing thing freaks out because I have the nerve to use my own bag (my local supermarket doesn't have a 'using my own bag' button) or there's some item that doesn't scan. There's an 'enter UPC' option which I have used on a couple of items that just won't scan but once you enter it you need to wait for an associate to approve it. Best of all, they don't have any monitoring the self-scan registers so if the thing freezes up you have to wait forever until someone deigns to enter the code.

Now you might wonder why I don't just go through the line with the human cashier. Well that takes twice as long. I don't know where the store is finding these morons but my local supermarket has the worst cashiers known to mankind. Most have apparently never eaten a vegetable because they have to ask what every single one is. None of them have a clue how to bag groceries (bread on the bottom, gallon bottles in bags, random bags with one item) and handing them a reusable bag that doesn't have the stores logo on it is likely to make their head pop. Packing a different style of bag means you have to actually engage brain and that's a real issue for at least 80% of their employees. Usually I'll just go to a different market but if I just need to run out for a couple of things I'll brave the insanity


Supermarket cashier has to be one of the most thankless jobs in the world. Every one at my local S*****y is sporting a wrist brace while dealing with varying degrees of carpal tunnel syndrome.


Joe- I've got freakin issues with my wrist AND shoulder that is due to C/O but they don't belive me/won't do anything about it cause (aside from begrudginly following doctor note orders) it's a slowly progressing injury and I can't "prove" that the very first, original cause was due to something there. Well, lesee they're both caused and aggravated by long periods of stress, heavy lifting, and repetitive where else do I encounter that? Uhh...nowhere. Also it's a injury that has no obvious physical signs (like a 18 inch laceration, 3rd degree burns, or protruding bone shards) so there's some who think I'm outright faking. Yeah, yeah...let's stick a rusty ice pick repeatedly through their joints (cause that's what it feels like) and see how great they feel.


Spritzy, I too have had one carpal tunnel release and two shoulder manipulations. And you're right people think you're making up the shoulder thing cause it don't show on the outside and they can't really find it on MRI or X-rays. You have to find the right doctor, took me about 2 years to find mine. Adhesive encapsulitis or Frozen shoulder is what he called it.


Cubby- I've got the same thing!!! plus tendonitis, plus I'm predispositioned to nerve issues casue I've got NF. They've done Xray, MRI, Electrowave Therapy, Ultrsound, Lift/Strech Therapy, Ice pack, Heat Wrap, 2 or 3 meds (all had side effects that make me zonked and didn't help the actual problem)...going on over a year and a half and it still keeps coming back. Really sucks donit? And dispite all that doctor-stuff they still don't truly belive I'd really go get a $3,000 MRI just for kicks.

Fellow Slave

Just the thought of produce and a self checkout caused me to lock up and twitch.

I do the easy accessable stuff in the self checkout. Easy UPC, frozen meals, etc.
Closest produce done in the self checkout, the salad bar stuff. In and out form of payment at the ready.

I swear every time I do, the line monitor, i.e. the poor retail slave that gets tasked with watching the insanity, seems to have a cosmic sigh of relief that somebody knows what to do. Ha Ha.


I had carpal tunnel while working at the supermarket too. I was also pregnant and it's pretty common to get carpal tunnel while pregnant even without the repetitive strain. Had to wear a wrist brace and one of my bosses came over to ask why I was wearing it. I explained it was carpal tunnel and he cracked up. Apparently having injured employees is very amusing. I got lots of comments from customers too but mostly well meaning inquiries. Even customers get gooey at the side of a big pregnant belly ;-) I think the only time I got negative comments while pregnant was when this sexist old dude (I swear he had a mail order bride, a third of his age and maybe Filipino) told me I should be doing heavy lifting while pregnant. I was lifting a half gallon bottle of juice at the time and my dr said I could lift up to 25lbs.

Shop Smart....Shop S-Mart

You want to know what the most annoying thing is about those things....where I work we do have someone that monitors them, and we call them U Scans.

One of our machines recently had a temper tantrum, and the Credit/Debit reader went psycho so it quit working. Despite 6 signs that say "Cash Only, No Credit/Debit", including one that's taped DIRECTLY OVER THE CREDIT/DEBIT READER, people would go through day after day and attempt to use their cards with it, and then when we told them they couldn't, and pointed out the signs that they suggest we should put up, the answer we get...each and every time?

"Oh I didn't pay those any attention".


Home Improvement Whore

I despise working self-checkout. It's utterly boring, and I get pissed off at the people that walk right past the machines to me standing at my terminal and expect me to check them out. If they have something difficult to scan, or one tiny-ass thing, I'll usually do it, but most of the time I just say "Oh, this is self-checkout." and point to the machines. You'd be surprised how often they look shocked, like they completely missed the talking machines when they walked past. I've even had morons stand in line right next to the fucking machines expecting me to check them out. I don't like the self checkouts, but they have a purpose, and that's to keep me from having to deal with your ass.


Haha, I can so relate to this. It irritates that people can't respond to when the machine is telling you to put your bags back on the belt. They stand there and go huh, why isn't it scanning my next item. Then I tell them to put their bags back on the thing because it's weight sensitive.

A common occurrence though is when people get a dozen doughnuts and it asks how many you have. They type in 12. Then they complain when they see 12 dozen doughnuts have rung up.


Oh, I can relate to this all to well!

Often I have customers use the self check outs and come up to me (the SCO attendant) and say "These things are terrible, they are taking REAL jobs away!" and I always ask "Well why did you use it then?" and their response..."Well I didn't want to wait in a lineup, Duh!!"

Okay, so either you're going to complain that the SCO is taking away jobs OR you're going to complain that the lineup at the till is too long. Some people can never be satisfied!!


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