Thursday, May 17, 2007

Self Check Out at the Grocery Store

So at most grocery stores nowadays they have stations where you can scan, pay for and bag your groceries without the aid of a store employee (well, assuming you don't make any mistakes--not a safe assumption). When I first started using these self service stations, I thought they were *just perfect* for people like me--people, that is, who dread brief, unnecessary social interaction with strangers whom one may never meet again.

Surely I am not alone in this feeling--why else would people be using the self serve station? It would be less work to have someone else scan and bag one's groceries. The self service station is ideal for people who have only a few items, so the line is short and moves quickly--but that's already the idea behind the "10 items or fewer" lane.

And that's just the problem: the line doesn't move that much faster, because people make mistakes and the machine rejects their coupons or crumpled dollar bills, and they end up standing around waiting for a store employee to come and help them anyway. And sometimes they're just slow.

But the worst of it is that you have all the most anti-social people in the store--all the people who, like me, are prone to embarrassment in social situations, trying to escape interaction with the checker, only to end up having even more embarrassing interaction with other customers who are either before or after them in line. This was the case the last two time I used the self check out lanes. So maybe I won't use them again--unless there's no line, I suppose.

1 comment:

BenjyWay said...

No, no! Preposterous! I forbid you to use the self-check lane until you are no longer concerned about talking to strangers!

If you're afraid to talk to people, there is no way you can do anything for them. You'll never know they're in need!