Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Hate Self Check-Out

Maybe it is because I have worked in customer service since I was 15 years old. Maybe it is because I crave interaction with people, not machines. Maybe it is because I believe people just deserve to have a job option. Whatever the case may be, I hate - no, I loathe - self checkout at stores. Hate it. I would rather wait in line for ten minutes than rush through the self checkout, because I just hate the whole concept so much.

There is nothing quite as annoying as standing in a long line at Safeway on a Friday evening to have my produce rung up by the one cashier in the store who is actually behind a cash register, while simultaneously watching 5 cashiers stand around staring at the four open self checkout lanes. Guess what, Safeway, nobody wants to weigh, scan, and look up the codes to the vegetables in the self checkout lane when you employ all of these people who have the damn things memorized!

This weekend, on our way to the pumpkin patch, Stace and I stopped at Albertons so I could grab a Pepsi and a croissant to share with Blake (I didn't share the soda, don't worry). I ran in, grabbed a fresh croissant from the deli, and headed to the checkout lane. To my surprise (and annoyance), there was not a single register open, just the self checkout lanes. I saw maybe six employees at the front of the store, shooting the shit, none of them helping anyone. Myself, as well as the girl at the lane across from me, who had grabbed a warm bagel at the same time I'd picked up my croissant, rang up our drinks and then kinda looked around, looked at each other, and stood there...how the fuck do I ring up a pastry on the self checkout lane? Fresh croissants don't have a barcode. Looking around, not one of the six available shit-shooting cashiers seemed to give a shit, so I shrugged and said, "eh, fuck it." Both me and the bagel girl paid for a soda and left the store.

Yes, I stole a croissant.

And I don't even feel bad about it. Fuck you, Albertson's, for your shitty customer service and for not having one single damn lane open so I could pay a human for my breakfast. And fuck you for taunting me with six employees and 15 checkout lanes, all of which are doing nothing but sitting there. I'll take this croissant just to prove a point: self checkout fucking sucks.

Recently at Fred Meyer, a clerk told me that I had to use the self checkout because he was stocking a shelf nearby. He was too busy to stop. Umm, ok, keep up the great customer service, Freddy's. So here I was, at the self checkout, getting a repeated error message for not bagging my shit properly. Fuck you, Fred Meyer, I scanned my shit and I put it in the bag...your machine is not working. So I wait for the guy who was too busy to stop to come over and assist the machine. He tells me that my item doesn't weigh enough for the bag to be able to tell that I had put anything in it.

Me: Well, its in there, its just eye liner.
Guy who was too busy to stop: Well it doesn't weigh enough.
Me: Well, I don't know what to tell you then.
Guy who was too busy to stop: The machine can't tell you bagged it, you need something heavier.
Me: I am only buying makeup, none of it is heavy.
Guy who was too busy to stop: long awkward stare.
Me: This is why I hate self checkout. You could have rang up my eyeliner ten times by now.
Guy who was too busy to stop: I can just override it I guess.
Guy who was too busy to stop: More awkward staring.

Seriously, fuck off. Your machine can't tell my shit is in the bag, because it is a machine. Stop trying to cut payroll wages by making me use a bull shit machine to ring up my fucking eyeliner.

It is not my job to go to the store and fight with a machine to pay for what I am buying. Fred Meyer can certainly pay a few people a measly ten bucks an hour to say hi, make conversation, I dunno, provide some customer service, to the people who are spending our money here. They're lucky I didn't just walk out of the damn store with my makeup.

I fucking hate self fucking checkout. I am not a grocery clerk. I don't want to be a grocery clerk. I want to go to the store and chat with someone while they punch in codes, weigh my veggies, scan my tampons, and ask how my day was. I want to stand at the register and be annoyed by the person standing in my bubble behind me. I want to have some human interaction when I drop $100 on produce, for crying out loud.

And if some giant conglomerate cannot provide me with some satisfactory service when I shop, I will just continue to steal my fucking croissant when I go to Albertson's, because apparently my 75 cents isn't that big of a deal - take it out of someone's wage and have them stock shelves instead of ringing up my eyeliner.