Self-Checkout: just another empty promise.

I’m walking around Walmart making one too many laps, trying not to be obvious that I don’t know where anything is by myself. And officially I can’t stop to ask anyone because then they will see that I did in fact come to Walmart on a Saturday night to buy a bottle of cheap wine, Lays Kettle Cooked Chips, a Lean Cuisine and a box of tampons.

I finally have everything I came for and I’m ready to make my quick exit so I can get back to my perfectly lifted bed and Netflix opened to “Pride and Prejudice” that are waiting for me.  I think to myself, “Sharp right, self-checkout! In-and-out, no interruptions.” Now, if my life were a T.V. comedy and a narrator with a smooth, sultry voice was giving a play-by-by of my day, it would be at this point that said voice would say, “Ah, but alas, she was so very, very wrong”.

Self-checkout in theory is a mind-blowing invention that teases you with convenience. But in reality it is just as time-consuming and annoying, if not more, than regular checkout lines. First, because everyone is so obsessed with self-checkout, there are lines just to get a station! Then, you get a pop-up on the screen every second because you didn’t but the item in the bag right away or you didn’t want to bag the item. And god forbid you pick an item that doesn’t have a barcode and you either have to look it up or wait for an attendant to come over and put in a “special” code for you. This also reigns true for coupons. WHY DO I HAVE TO HAVE AN ATTENDANT CONFIRM MY COUPON?! Is the barcode on it not enough? You also have to “wait for an attendant” to come check your ID if you want to buy alcohol which also defeats the quick and easy purpose.

Lastly, if you are like me and prone to disaster, then there is always a glitch in the system and the light above the station turns red or starts to flash and you have to sit there and do what the pop-up says and wait for an attendant all while trying to remain cool and collected but really internally you’re like: “omg why does this always happen to me”. ya, same.

So in the end, even though you went in with the expectations of not making even the slightest eye contact with another human being on the trip, you leave the store interacting with an attendant just as much as you would have if you waited in the normal line. And as an added bonus you are now worn out from cursing technology under your breath the whole time.

I’ll leave with this: if any of this resonated with you, then help me in trying to save the jobs of all the 16 year-olds out there who are just trying to make a little money to buy gas or movie tickets for their date on Friday or whatever it is that 16 year-olds do these days. Save yourself the stress and just use the regular checkout line.



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