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Skip Bagging Lose Patience

Updated on April 18, 2007

"Skip Bagging" - Don't Get Me Started!

As someone with little to no patience on a regular basis, I really like the idea of self-checkout but the reality is that it just sucks. It seems like it's going to be so great and yet today as I was standing there trying to use this system, scanning and re-scanning and scanning once more, having it tell me there was an unexpected item in the bagging area, suddenly the red light went off high atop my head and yet no one seemed to care so I just hit - Skip Bagging - Don't Get Me Started!

That's right for every can of tuna (five for four dollars) the, "skip bagging" button would come up and wouldn't go off no matter how hard I threw the cans in the plastic bag. Over and over again I threw the now dented cans in the bag hoping it would register that I had actually put them in the bag but oh no, of course it didn't. I even thought about sitting on that little fucking platform hoping my weight might be similar enough to a can of tuna (shut up, stop laughing). I looked into the laser reader so many times I think I gave myself my own lasix surgery today at the supermarket. So what else could I do? I just started hitting that "skip bagging" button for everything to make it go to the next screen but that meant I had to hold everything. I was looking like one of those bad variety acts from 1950's television, stacking cans of tuna in one arm, looking for the code on my onion and hitting the keypad to continue with the other, all to the non-amazement of the line of seven hundred people that had lined up behind me. But of course due to all of the "skip bagging" presses, I had locked myself out of the system and like the police pulling me over, the large red beacon started spinning about overhead to indicate I was a troublemaker. The woman standing at the podium, pulpit of technological groceryness looks over to me and I say almost guilty and pleading, "The cans of tuna weren't registering right so I just kept hitting "skip bagging". Sorry, no I didn't mean to throw that can of tuna at you. I'm Jewish and gay and we gesture a lot and having these cans in my arms really cuts down on my ability to communicate." She says very loudly, "It wasn't the tuna, sir, it was the mixed green pre-washed salad. <big sigh> I'm clearing it for you now. <eye roll>" All I could think was, what if I was purchasing hemorrhoid cream or something and she just yelled it out that way?

Needless to say, I was frustrated, mortified and having a little trouble seeing (probably due to the self-lasix). I couldn't get out of that store fast enough. Now what really pisses me off about this whole thing is that I'm one of the people who actually KNOW how to use this system. I can look up codes and do even the most advance procedures on that machine, I mean to tell you I rock on those things. But due to computer malfunction, I know everyone behind me thought I was one of those first-time users. Who by the way, they should have a line for the moron first-time losers, I mean users who seem completely oblivious to everyone behind them as they look at the keypad as if someone from NASA has asked them to enter the launch codes but hasn't given them the actual codes so they just have to keep pushing buttons trying to crack the code like Russell Crowe in that Pretty Mind movie.

I can't take it I tell you. They make it seem so great, the whole self-checkout thing but they don't work. What I really think is that the cashiers, in fear of losing their jobs to machines just every once in a while walk past and kick those machines to tilt them like a pinball machines or smear some Vaseline on the readers so that they won't scan properly. I know that eventually someone like me is going to crack and just rip that machine apart.

And who do they put at the pulpit of technological scientology? It's always the most bitter of the cashiers, I presume the one who didn't memorize the code for kiwis and is now stuck at the self-checkout having to act as if she wants to help you. Rest assured she doesn't want to help you. She's caught between not wanting the machines to work so that she can go back to working the registers and crucifying my name as she tells me about the four cents I saved and asking me if I need help out to my car with my one bag of groceries that cost me $37 or having to actually help people because the machines keep breaking down. Basically, this person is screwed but see I don't care about her I care about me. Me, with my many cans of tuna juggling act, me, with the announcement of my groceries to everyone in the area, me, with people thinking I'm an amateur. The only way to avoid all of this is to order online and have the groceries delivered and then I can really "skip bagging" - Don't Get Me Started!

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