If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

But They Don't Checkout

One of the best things to come along in the last few years is the self-checkout line. They solve so many problems...if only they'd stop changing the interface. But more on that later.

Today they solved a problem I would have had years ago. In my basket was a gallon of milk, two jars of peanut butter and a baker's dozen bagels. Can I get on the "10 items or less" line? What if I had a dozen cans of tuna, would that make a difference? Well, those problem days are gone with the advent of the self checkout.

Last time I used one, I'd swear that bagels were listed under produce (or maybe it was some produce/other thing). I pressed "produce" and it asks for the PLU which is that number they stick on most produce these days. There used to be a look-up sheet on top of the screen (which had the number for bagels) but that's gone. There's no button for "bagels" or "bakery" or even "no PLU code". I press "cancel".

"Do you want to cancel your order?"

What? Of course not. WTF? But before I have a chance to look over the choices, the Self Checkout Overlord swoops in. She's probably thinking how stupid all these people are that can't even use a simple computer!

She hits a few buttons to get back to the main screen, then the "no bar code" button (I missed that before). Up pops a screen with several icons. They are in alphabetical order: "Bagels" (aha!), "Bakery", a few others, "Rolls", maybe nine or ten total but I didn't get a good look at them all. Things were happening too fast. Certainly though I handle things from here.

No, no, you're too stupid, thinks the overlord.
Overlord: How many have you got?
Me: A baker's dozen.
Overlord: How many is that?
Me (somewhat stunned): Uhm, 13.
Overlord: Oh. (beat) Well, if you buy 12 you get 1 free, so we'll just put in 12.

Then she presses "Rolls", hits 1-2 on the keypad and heads back to the Eagle's Nest to watch out for the next idiot.

I'm still in shock. I notice on the screen it shows "Rolls, 12 @ $0.42". Although I know bagels are $0.49 each, I'm certainly not going to do anything that would have me interact with Self Checkout Overlord again. And not just because the mistake was in my favor. Had it been the reverse, I would have paid it and felt lucky to get out alive.

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