Self Checkout is EVIL!

Or perhaps it's just rocket science and none of us are working for NASA. I had the misfortune of going to the grocery store on Thursday evening after work. I was trying to avoid an extra trip in to town on Saturday. Apparently 90% of the local population had the same idea. Per the usual "rules" of retail, there were about five check-out lanes open, plus 2/3 of the self checkout lanes. I decided to forego the regular lanes, each of which had at least three customers with FULL baskets in them, in favor of the self check lanes, which only had 2-3 customers each and much less merchandise to check. This sounds like a good idea, right?


You see, Thursday is Demonic Possession Day for the self check lanes. (I always thought that Thursday was Sandwich Day, but apparently you can have more than one "holiday" at a time. Hence, Demonic Possession Day for self check lanes.) First, none of the items being checked out weighed what the computer thought they should, so there was a "bagging error". On. Every. Item. Being. Checked. This requires a customer service person to come by and clear the error. On. Every. Item. Being. Checked. You can imagine what this does to the speed with which a person can check out if they have more than one item. And everybody had 15+ items.

Finally the lane next to me decided to be nice and cooperate with its customer (a middle-aged couple and a man with Down's Syndrome). Although the man with Down's Syndrome didn't do any of the scanning, he did follow the directions for getting the currency and change back, which was more than I was able to do the first time I used a self-check lane. (Yes, I do have a PhD. No, I cannot remember left from right when there are people waiting in line for me and machines are talking. Bite me.) He carefully counted his change (also more than I bother doing) before handing it to the female half of the couple shopping with him. He also waited rather patiently while the couple struggled through checking out with their items. It would seem that the demons in the scanner are not completely heartless and only choose to afflict folks without disabilities, because once again the computer had "bagging errors" on nearly every item.

So, the lane next to me is fickle about cooperating. The lane I'm in decided to eat the credit card of the guy two people in front of me. A manager is called and I gave up on the whole self-check process when it took more than 7 minutes for the manager to come and dismantle the machine to retrieve the card. Instead, I spent another 15 minutes in a regular checkout lane before I was able to escape with my food for the week. I didn't look too closely at the frozen food to see how much it thawed.

I haven't decided if Thursdays are just a bad day for the grocery store in general, for self-checkout in particular or if self-checkout is just evil all the time. I rarely try using it, so this may be its normal behavior if you have more than six items and cash.

Caffeine Withdrawal Sucks
Well, I'm not getting as much done today as I had hoped. I got to feeling rather blah about halfway through the day and lost most of my motivation. Now I've got an upset stomach and a bad headache. I have had exactly one cup of coffee today, instead of the usual 2-3 cups. I'd have more coffee to fix the headache but my stomach isn't likely to tolerate that. I've been meaning to wean myself off the caffeine for some time now and occasionally make progress in cutting it out, but then I backslide. Given that I have headaches nearly every weekend, I think it's time to get over it and cut it out entirely. I don't have the time to have a headache and it makes me cranky when I feel crummy and don't get much fun stuff done on the weekends.

What did get done:
The pool is almost entirely vacuumed. I realized yesterday evening that I'll have to get into the pool to remove the weight from the steps, then climb out, dismantle the steps from the ladder and haul the steps out of the pool. This would be better handled as a two person job, but I'll have to do it on my own unless Calvin's Duplicator Box suddenly starts working. I am convincing myself that putting the pool cover on is a one-person job too. As long as I keep the cover floating and not taking on water, it ought to work just fine. I don't know that I'll get the cover on tomorrow, but I should be able to get everything but the cover done tomorrow. I also washed one load of laundry (have one more to go). I was going to bake a blueberry pie, but the berries won't be thawed until tomorrow.

Next on the list:
Cleaning up the detritus from the back yard. There are odds and ends of things just laying about, like the old pool pump. Time to get rid of the junk instead of saving it for who knows what purpose. It's cluttering up my deck and yard and it's annoying me. I have managed to de-clutter most of my bedroom. I have other clutter issues elsewhere in the house, but will have to pick and choose where I start on that project. I know from past experience that I'll run out of patience, motivation and energy before I finish a single clean-up project if I don't limit myself pretty severely. That failure to even clean up right just adds to the frustration and negative energy.

Landscaping plans are just about done for the year. I had thought about transplanting some things from the front flower beds to the poison ivy corner, but I don't think that will happen. I also didn't get the yard overseeded like I had wanted to do. I might seed a few thin areas but won't bother with a large-scale seeding. It's really too late for the grass to get established before it freezes.


Stefaneener said…
Tuesday. That's the day to grocery shop. And if you can swing it (schedule a "meeting"?) morning is the best, too.

At least when you're dragging four children along, it is.
jason said…
You are quite right.

Once, as a test, I went with the same amount of items (3) as a friend.
He went through the self checkout.

I waited behind a few people in line for the cashier.

I waited a good ten minutes for him after that.

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