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Self Scanning Grocery Checkout- Is it Really Progress?

Have you ever used the self-scan when checking out your groceries? Man, what an experience. I usually do my shopping early in the morning before my two cups of coffee have had a chance to wear off. The stores aren’t too crowded and I can power walk up and down the isles tossing food in the cart left and right. I stop occasionally to put on my extra pair of eyes to make sure that I’m not buying a cart full of trans fats and sugars, otherwise it’s smooth sailing.

I love to food shop; nothing to try on, kids are in school so no distractions. A very pleasant experience.

To make things even better, there are now the self scan isles. Whoa, I must be in heaven. I get to play out my childhood fantasy of being a cashier. Back then you actually had to touch the keys on the cash register, hear the cha-ching sound. Afterwards, you had to be able to correctly count out change (but I digress). In addition to living out my fantasy, I also get my morning workout of lifting scanning and bagging at breakneck speed (coffee does that you know).

I’m ecstatic to be able to take the contents of my cart, scan the little black lines accurately past a little 5 inch square window and then toss the groceries onto the conveyor belt. I’m in heaven until… WHAM, like a brick, a very loud female voice erupts from somewhere behind the little scan window “PLEASE SCAN YOUR ABC STORE CARD…SYSTEM PROCESSING…YOUR CARD HAS BEEN ACCEPTED…PLEASE BEGIN SCANNING…

Yikes! No one has yelled at me like that since the time my mother caught me lighting a fire under my baby brother while he was in his high chair! Eeeooouuussa! Where is this screaming wench? Come on out from behind that scanning window. I’ve got a little something for you, it’s a wonderful product called duct tape. C’mon, show yourself.

Not being one to cause a fuss, I obeyed the loud computer voice and begin scanning. Hmm, I’ll start with the peaches…beep (the sound of the scan) TWO NINETY NINE…SAVINGS…FIFTY CENTS…PLACE YOUR PEACHES ON THE BELT. I turn around to my neighboring isle, Did you get that? Yes, they’re on sale. Everyone in the store knows I bought peaches. Beep FIVE SIXTY NINE…PLACE YOUR BATTERIES ON THE BELT.

Okay, I finally try to get used to the screaming banshee in the computer when my organic grapes won’t scan. PLEASE REMOVE YOUR …ITEM…FROM THE BELT…HELP IS REQUIRED. Argh!! I look up and down the isle for help and help is nowhere to be found (I’m feeling pressure, the line in back of me is getting longer). Ah, the heck with it. I’ll forgo the…IF YOU ARE FINISHED SCANNING PLEASE PRESS FINISH AND PAY. How rude! I’m in the middle of deciding what to do with the grapes. Urgh!

I ditch the grapes and keep scanning until the blaring voices says THE BAGGING AREA IS FULL, PLEASE BAG YOUR GROCERIES BEFORE SCANNING. Of course as I stop to bag, the impatient obnoxious loud voice screams IF YOU ARE FINISHED SCANNING PLEASE PRESS FINISH AND PAY (why I ought a…)

Groceries bagged, I continue to scan my items until my cart is empty. I press the appropriate button to terminate this little adventure as yelled to me by the computer. YOUR TOTAL IS ONE HUNDRED SIXTY TWO DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-SEVEN CENTS. Ok, my discreet little shopping trip is now front page news.

I scan my debit card to which the computer voice booms, PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE PIN PAD (no duh, you mean you don’t get to yell at me further?) I take care of the payment. THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT ABC STORE, DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE YOUR RECEIPT.

Can’t we mute these things? Aside from the fact that I place My Two Cents on the world wide web for everyone to see, I’m really a very private person. I wish the self scan computer woman would realize this!

That’s my two cents and I’m sticking with it.

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