Does anyone else hate these things? I suppose this is the way many stores are saving money but I hate it. Okay, I don’t mind them so much when I only have an item or two but it never fails that whenever I’m buying large items, like a case of water or a 50 lb. bag of dog food or multiple cases of diet Coke/Dr. Pepper/Cherry Coke that the only lanes opened are the self-checkout, save for one which undoubtedly already has 2 people with full shopping carts. I HATE having to lug all of that stuff out of the cart and scan it, especially because the actual cashiers don’t do that! No, they have scanners. Maybe they need to follow IKEA’s lead and have scanning guns at the self-checkout lanes. I could get behind that possibly. I do like the scanning guns.
Another thing I hate is when I’m trying to quickly scan my items only the stupid bagging area isn’t recognizing the item as being in the bag so now the screen says, “Unexpected item in the bagging area” and it won’t let me continue until the person supervising the entire area clicks a key or waves a wand or something. That happened to me multiple times recently. Sometimes (many times!) this happens more than once during a single transaction. It’s right up there with the scanner not recognizing the bar code.
I am also not a fan of weighing fruits or vegetables in the self check-out lane. I don’t know why; it’s not like it’s difficult. I just don’t like doing it. I feel the whole point behind the self-checkout lane is to get you quickly through the lane. When you have to look up the item or key in an item count you’re slowing things down.
Know what else? I hate how some of the bagging areas are so sensitive. Because stores are going to these lanes more frequently it’s not always a 12 items or less situation. If you use more than one bag some of those bagging areas get touchy and sensitive, crying that you’ve removed items or some such nonsense if you move a bag over so that you can begin filling another one. Guess what you need now? That’s right. A cashier.
Plus, one of the last times I went to the store and had to use one of these things Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was on sale. You would think this would be a good thing. Unfortunately, as I get up to the checkout lane I realize the sale price is only if you have a store card. Well, damn! I used to have a card. In fact, I still have a card to one of their affiliate stores and that probably would have worked had I had it on me at the time. Because there were no lanes manned by actual people and my brother had disappeared on me I ended up paying full price for my ice cream instead of being able to fill out a form for a new card. It’s not the end of the world but it is an irritation that could have been avoided if I had gone to a checkout line with a real, live person.
Have fun trying to buy alcohol at one of the self-checkout lanes. Or ice. You still need a real live person for both of those. Just last night I was buying alcohol. None of the express lanes were manned by an actual person; at this particular store the cashier enters your birthdate into the computer so I ended up having to stand in line because I knew I was just going to need a cashier anyway. Plus the self checkout lanes were extremely busy. Naturally, none of those people in line had only an item or two; and naturally, none of them said, “Oh hey, Ms. Alcoholic there buying 2 bottles of vodka and a bottle of wine, please go ahead of me.”
I’ve gotta be honest. I’m not seeing the upside to these self checkout lanes. Again, I’m sure they’re wonderful if you’re only buying a few items, or, more importantly, everything goes absolutely correctly. Otherwise, I say bring back cashiers!