Sunday, June 3, 2007

Not So Super Market

I, for one, greatly welcomed the advent of self-service checkouts in supermarkets. While I vividly remember being a hormonally motivated 16 your old myself, it was often annoying, to say the least, to wait for the bagger and the checker to tear themselves away from each other long enough to ring up and pack my stuff. With a couple exceptions, it has really speeded up my egress from the grocery procurement showroom. Further, I prefer to suffer my irrational anxiety regarding those card reader machines alone. I never get the card in correctly, and all the beeping makes me feel like a failure.

Many moons ago, before I discovered the joys of the debit card, I always used to pay with a check and write the draft for a larger amount so I could get change back. During one inauspicious trip to "Go & Buy" I did my usual, and waited for the young lady responsible for helping check writing hellions such as myself. She informed that she had no change to give me, and would be right back. I said, "oh never mind, just void it, and I will go through a regular line." She insisted she would be right back with change. Fifteen minutes later, I had grown incredibly lonely, my boyfriend’s ice cream was melting and his date was being to seethe. I just wanted this nightmare to end so I could go home and watch Die Hard for the billionth time with Mr. Chunky Monkey. So I dumped all my stuff out of the bags, left my register slip on the "self check" cashier’s stand to be voided, and went to a line with a cashier.

All went well, the checker and bagger appeared to be two heterosexual females who did not really like each other. They actually talked to me and did their jobs. Hot shit! Just as I finished collecting my change, so as to rent Die Hard, Miss I’ll Be Right Back appears. She insists I have stolen the items for which I just paid. I explain I left the slip for her to void, and that I have just paid for the items in full, which the two young ladies, and the people behind me in line, verify. Now what really fried my ass was the fact that Miss I’ll Be Right Back stood at the end of the check out lane in front to of my cart so I could not move. Very not cool. I told her she needed to get out of the way. After the terrified young ladies at the register called the manager, who never came, again, and the people in line all told the girl she was nuts, she still insisted I was going nowhere. Apparently she did not understand you can not hold people against their will, harass them, or otherwise impede their progress just because you are having a bad day at work. She would not move, until I gave her the death glare while simultaneously giving her the absolutely unmistakable instruction, in my most malevolent voice, MOVE. People, I’m a lover, not a fighter, but don’t fuck with me.

It occurred to me she was a very young person, and probably had no idea how bad she had just fucked up. She could not possibly have meant to hold me hostage or otherwise unwisely restrain me. She also could not possibly recognize how lucky she was that she was not at the moment having a shopping cart surgically removed from her ass. I went to the service desk and asked for a manager. One finally came. No wonder Miss I’ll Be Right Back took so long to come back with change, the lunatics were running the asylum. Mr. Absentee Management was very startled by our conversation. Not just that I did not want any coupons, or anything, or that I was not wanting to file a formal complaint, or call the police, but by what I said. I told him, "Thank you for finally responding to your page. I wanted to speak to you about an incident with one of your cashiers." I continued; "I do not want you to yell at her, nor do I want you to fire her. I want you to teach her how to do it right." I then explained I truly understand all the demands of the job, not to mention having no one to help you when you need it, by giving you the things you need to do your job. (Dig dig at the Absentee Manger who left all these little girls alone without supervision, direction, or the sanctuary or an authority figure.) Finally I pointed out that the young lady was very lucky I am not a crazy person. She could have been very badly hurt by a person who was less able to calmly deal with being restrained. The store needed to train its personnel not to jeopardize their personal safety for a few fucking groceries. I actually think he got it.

Ever since then I have had over all good experiences at the self check out. And I have actually had a lot of fun teaching numerous hotties how to maneuver the items so the temperamental scanners recognize them. One thing really gets on my last nerve though. I use the "Self Serve" line because I want to do it myself. I want to go as fast or as slow as I please. I do not want to discuss my payment method or my cash back amount with anyone. Most importantly, I do not want anybody touching MY stuff. I know where I am going with the stuff I buy, and I want to pack it in the way most efficient for me to mete it out. I know whose house I have to stop at first, not to mention, what I store together and where in my own house. And, last but not least, some people are gross. Don’t be sneezing on your hand, and rubbing your boogers, and then touching my fucking croissant. You dumb fuck, this is America! We have tissues! Back off! I am serving myself. If I want help, I will ask for it. And, by the way, where the fuck are you when I do want help? You’re up my ass smooshing my bread and asking me what I do with avocados. (Totally loved the guy behind me who nearly passed out trying not to laugh when I told you it was sex thing.) Please, when I am in the supermarket self serve line, leave me alone, and don’t touch my freaking stuff, dammit.

1 comment:

plain(s)feminist said...

...can I get in on this? When I'm in the self-serve line, DO NOT come and bag my groceries for me, especially if it means you are going to knock over my yogurts so that when I get home, the fruit is no longer on the bottom, or if you are planning to put each item in its own individual bag. And if I've brought my own bags, just back away slowly and leave me alone!