Douchebag at The Self-Checkout: Daily Telegraph Columnist's Idea of a Good Time Is To Pretend Being an Old Crazy Custy and Work The Nerves of Everyone in The Store
Just came across this piece of work in today's newspaper, where the columnist's idea of amusement is to make a sport out of pretending to be confused about the self-checkouts at the supermarket, wasting the assistant's time and patience under the excuse of old age. Simply despicable behavior for someone who should damn well know better.
MY latest hobby is being confused about automatic checkout registers down at the supermarket with all the other old guys. Actually, it’s more than a hobby. It’s practically a sport. There are two ways to play: competitive or recreational.
I prefer competitive, because recreational is mostly reserved for the really age-advanced who sometimes struggle to remember the score.
The aim is to gain the highest number of store assistant visits to your particular machine. The other day, for example, I was looking good on four visits — mostly for inexplicable baggage zone violations — when a rival oldster suddenly hit the jackpot.
He’d forgotten the name of a certain vegetable he wanted to purchase and therefore couldn’t look it up on his machine’s produce list.
This resulted in three separate assistant visits as between them they struggled to locate the mysterious item.
“It’s some kind of onion. A fancy onion,” the man ventured, leading to the eventual detection of an onion sub-menu. A few more screen taps and the magic word “shallots” finally appeared.
Scores are kept according to a strict honour system, because otherwise it would be too easy to game the process by feigning incompetence and drawing easy visits. There is no room for underhanded shenanigans in the Checkout Confusion caper.
It’s important, too, to play at the appropriate level. I’ve learned from bitter experience not to compete with Checkout Confusion champions.
They will wipe the floor with you, and also any milk or prune juice they happen to drop.
It’s easy to tell if a genuine champ is in the vicinity. Just observe the assistants’ expressions.
If they look especially harried and furious, a master is at work. In those circumstances I generally just keep shopping until things calm down and my own substandard blundering is ready for display. The really great thing about this sport is that you’re absolutely certain to get better at it with age, at least until you hit the recreational level. Those guys just can’t keep up with progress.
Here's the thing about my store: us, and the other store downtown were the first ones to have self scan machines.
These particular ones are - well, the latest program is about two and a half years old, but there wasn't much difference from this one to the previous one, so I'll say that they are at least five years old.
About six months ago, another store in my town got the third self scan unit, which I believe is slightly different. But for a while, ours were the only ones in the city. Yet I have people who use them every single week and still can't figure it out.
As for the spoken plus written instructions for them, when it speaks, it's just repeating what's on the screen. *shudders* I hear it in my sleep.
--Self Scan Queen
Self Scan Hell:
My store's machine doesn't have a button for adding bags. I wish it did. Instead, we have to put the bags on the scale and HOPE they weigh enough to register.
If they do, it asks if you're using your own bags. If not, you're fucked - because as soon as you add the first item to one of your bags, it *finally* registers.
Of course, then it's overweight and the machine locks down until it's cleared. *sigh*
That said, I LOVE THEM when I just need 1-2 things on my lunch hour. Zip, boom. I'm out!
But when other custies come in with an entire CARTLOAD and try to go through those, I want to SLAP them. HARD. REPEATEDLY.
To be fair, some machines don't work quite the same as the machines at the 3-4 other stores in the same area. So it's easy for custys to get confused since every store has different rules and different levels of paying attention required.
Mixing spoken instructions with on-screen instructions with signs is a bad, bad idea for custys. They just aren't going to know they're supposed to be paying attention to three different channels of information at the same time, even the well-meaning ones.
I hate those robots, honestly. Every single time I use one it freaks out that I put the item that just scanned correctly into the bag, like you're supposed to. It either a) has the wrong weight programmed and thinks I put the wrong thing in or b) can't recognize the weight of a very small item and thinks it isn't in the bag.
The clerks at that store are so used to it they don't even ask or look at what's going on, they just hit override.
I see it as a bad thing to have only the self checkouts open, even after the normal business hours.
I operate them, and after 10PM for two hours I am the only thing open and I have to sign my register numbers into the self checkout, so I can not open a register. There are certain types of orders ($300 plus or WIC) that are easier on a register.
Then there are people who should never under any circumstances be allowed near my self-checkout machines due to the fact that they can't read basic English or Spanish (we have both on there) enough to figure out what the machine is telling them.
Like the guy who insists on putting his own plastic bags on the machine (adding extra weight we use the scale system version) and it tells him to remove the last item, if he would just press "use my bags" first I wouldn't have to fix him for his seven orders.
He is a coupon guy and even though all the orders are different, he still wants his coupons to be rung though in a certain way.
Then there's the lady who will come to self-checkout during the hours we have cashiers open and curse at the machine and everyone around her, then at me if I am helping someone else who asked for my help first.
I tried to get the office people to kick her out. Their solution? Appeasement.
My solution now? I see her coming I call the one that appeased her down to self-checkout.