Part 4 -Self-Check-Outs


Part 4

We try to consolidate and only do grocery shopping twice a month to save money by not purchasing more than we need.  We go to the super center where we can expediently obtain everything we need in one convenient stop.  This is a story about our last adventure of shopping.  We had a long list of items so we used the rest rooms before we got started.  Both the men and the women’s rest rooms needed serious attention.  This was early in the day on a Saturday morning. 

It took us over an hour to locate everything we needed.  A lot of this had to do with the fact that a lot of the shelves were not stocked (confectioner’s sugar, razor blades, mozzarella cheese, to list a few) and we had to ask or wait for someone to bring them out from the warehouse.  I consider this a bit unusual for mid-morning on a Saturday. 

As we made our way to the check out lines, we saw that there were five out of twenty registers opened.  We proceeded to one of the self-check-out registers.  I prefer to bag my own groceries, so it worked out well.  We spent another forty-five minutes or so, scanning, waiting for the attendant to push buttons when the computer voice instructed us to “please place item in the bagging area,” and bagging and loading the groceries back into the cart. 

We had four items left which were price match items.  This meant the attendant was needed.  We pushed the call button and a few minutes later a young woman came to assist us.  The first two items were carrots and cucumbers and she did the price override and put them in the bag.  The next item was sweet potatoes.  When she put them on the scale something malfunctioned.  She pounded the buttons and then put her hands on the scale and rested with her head down, for several minutes. 

We weren’t sure if she was having a nervous breakdown or just crying.  Finally I asked her what the problem was.  She began to push buttons again and said something inaudible and again with her head down, and hands resting on the scale, not talking, not doing anything for several minutes.  She did this one more time before a patron in need of assistance with her self-check-out came over and asked for her help.  As the cashier went to assist the other patron, she screamed, “Bobby!” right in front of us to help.

Ten minutes passed and finally “Bobby” A.K.A. Jerry Garcia, the store manager showed up.  Okay, it really wasn’t Jerry, but he had a long, gray braid and I could have sworn he was wearing a tie-dye tee shirt.  He started pounding on the buttons and plugged some gadget into the scanner.  After pressing buttons for a couple of minutes, he told the cashier she would have to re-scan everything.  He never spoke to us once.  We had been in the store for two hours and fifteen minutes at this point.  She called us over to a little quick check out and says, “Pass me the stuff and I’ll scan it.”

Excuse me, but you’ve got to be joking?  Pass you the stuff?  Are you serious?

Apparently they couldn’t override the computer to get the items we had already scanned into the system to go over to her register.  It was as if we were starting over with our check out as they all needed to be rescanned in order for us to check out.  Instead of going to a regular register and putting the groceries on a belt and scanning them in a neat and orderly fashion, we stood at this little quick check out passing one item at a time out of the bags to the cashier to scan and repacking into the bags.  We had 107 items. 

While she was scanning the items there was a young man standing their conversing with her and making comments about the items we were purchasing the whole time.  At the end, there was no apology for the inconvenience.   It was quite the adventure.



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