The Self-Service Checkout

The novelty has now worn off!!

Once it was fun to pretend you were a check-out girl (BEEP!) and scan your own items (BEEP!). The kids enjoyed joining in (BEEP!) and hunting for the bar code, packing the bags whilst you scanned (BEEP!) the next item, then they'd feed the money into the little slot...

Now, it's just another chore.

There's LOADS of people in the "10 items or less" queue (some stores allow you 15 or even 20 items) trying to save time. And you can guarantee that many of these have sneaked an extra item or two into their basket. I've seen them. I've counted the items in their basket. You know who you are!!!!

So I scan my items, as quickly as possible, for that is what this facility is for... speed... in and out... but some items WILL NOT SCAN, for love nor money... so you have to stand around and wait for the one assistant who works on this section to come and swipe his Card Of Power across your machine whilst all the time you are getting glares from the other customers behind you in the queue.

And god forbid if you should try and buy alcohol!!! Again, you have to wait for an assistant (who, by now, has gone to help some other gormless idiot who can't scan an item successfully) to come and check you over and then type in a code to say that they believe you are over 18. I thought I'd enjoy being ID'd at the grand old age of 37 but, instead, it makes me shuffle around shiftily!!

You then have to try and manoeuvre it all into carrier bags on a shelf no bigger than baby changing mat. If you don't use this system: SCAN, BAG, SCAN, BAG, SCAN, BAG the system flashes up a warning sign and will not allow you to continue scanning until you make the very important decision of whether you want to place this item in your bag or not. You obviously have to make this choice whilst the item is on it's way from the scanner to the bag... you may have paused for a couple of seconds to ensure that your child is still somewhere nearby or to juggle your purse because you didn't bring your handbag with you or to breathe or something.

And when you try to pay you only have a manky old ten pound note that has seen better days.... torn at the edges, bent at the corners, tatty looking. And no matter how many times you try to line this note up in the machine, it spits it back out at you, inviting you to try again!!!!


In the meantime, approximately 8 people have swanned through the self-service till next to you with no problems at all. It's supposed to be easier and quicker, isn't it? So why am I always so bloody stressed afterwards?