Today’s skirmish wasn’t much really. It started out so innocently. I chose self-check, the lines were shorter, it would be faster. Right? I would miss making idle chit chat with the cashier but I would gain time. Besides, maybe technology was taking a day off from being the bane of my existence.
The process started out well. I scanned my first item correctly and it rang up right. Then the trouble began. I couldn’t pry the plastic bag hanging next to the machine open. “Please place item in the bag,” self-scan technology instructed me. “I’m trying, I’m trying,” was my frustrated reply. Before I could get the plastic bag open, self-scan technology asked me to confirm via her screen that I did not want to bag this item. “But I DO want to bag this item,” I told SST(self-scan technology) I just can’t get the bag open. Can’t you be patient?
In the interest of getting along, I pressed the “I do not want to bag this item” choice so that I could scan my next item. Before I scanned my second item however, I succeeded in getting the bag open and deposited my first item. Well, this did not sit well with SST because I had already told her I did not wish to bag this item. Let the games begin. It was on now.
Scanning my next item and placing it in the now open bag, I noticed SST telling me urgently to “place item in the bag.” Problem was, I already had done this. “It IS in the bag,” I told SST in no uncertain terms. But she persisted with her request to put my item in the bag. So I took it out and put it in again. This did not satisfy SST in the least. I selected the “I do not wish to bag this item,” option while leaving my item in the bag so that I could proceed. Score one for me!
My next item did not ring up at the sale price shown on the shelf where the item was displayed. “You are wrong!”, I told SST, “this item is on sale.” But SST did not believe me, she would not change the price. I waited for the real person on duty to finish helping someone else who was also having trouble with SST. I explained the problem and with a key the real person forced SST to give me the promised sale price for my item. Take that technology!
I think this made SST mad. I say this because of what happened next. SST upped her game. When she thought my item wasn’t in the bag, she began telling me to “place item on the belt.” And she wouldn’t let me scan any more items until I complied. “But the item is already in the bag,” I reminded SST. “I don’t want to put it on the belt!” SST does not care what I want. She makes this clear to me when my ice cream and my dark chocolate bar will not scan. I cannot get the familiar “beep” no matter how many times I pass the bar code over SST’s scanner. She is turning a blind eye. She is standing between me and my favorite treats. Who does SST think she is anyway? My mother, telling me what I can and can’t eat? All this power is going to her head. (does SST even have a head? clearly she has no heart) Does she know how hard produce is to check out? code numbers have to be known and entered and then things have to be weighed. It’s a much more complicated process. Come on SST, just give me the goodies!
As I scanned my last item SST again told me to “please place item in the bag.” Trouble was, this was a twenty pound bag of kitty litter and it was definitely not going in that bag or any bag. I waited patiently for the “I do not wish to bag this item,” option to appear but for some reason SST seemed bent on having me bag this twenty pound bag of kitty litter. I could wait her out. SST had to give me the other option in a timely manner, didn’t she?
Well, I did eventually leave the store. But only after soliciting further assistance from a real person. You see, SST refused to give me a paper receipt after taking my card. This was unacceptable. SST was being totally uncooperative and holding me hostage. Thankfully the real person intervened on my behalf and SST coughed up my receipt. Game over. (for now) Next time I will wait in a cashier’s line. Real people trump technology every time.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, . . . ” (Proverbs 17:22)
hope this gave you a chuckle, sincerely, Grace Day