This is a rant. You know those shiny new (well perhaps not that new anymore) self-service tills that have been popping up all over the major UK supermarkets? No? Need a visual?
Yes they look great, but right now I’m not loving them. I know I could just not use them, and then I would have nothing to moan about, but you see, these tills make me use them every time I go shopping ‘for a few bits.’ I pop into the supermarket when it’s late, so that it’s quiet, and see maybe two people queuing at the regular till, I start to join the queue, and then the self-service tills call to me. ‘Hey, hey, over here… Yes, that’s right. Look at us, so shiny and new and queue-less.. Come to us, we can save you time.’ But they lie! I go over, press the ‘I bought my own bag’ option (or equivalent) and place my bag in the bagging area. Suddenly the till turns on me. ‘Unexpected item in bagging area.’ I look for someone to help (I thought the whole point was that they were self service, and needing someone to help kind of defeats the object, does it not?), and am reminded that there’s an ‘unexpected item in bagging area.’ Yes yes I know, and it’s my bag, that I explicitly indicated I would be using! Eventually, someone comes along and helpfully scans his staff password in so that I can continue. I scan a couple of items with no complaints, then after scanning a carton of eggs and carefully placing it in my bag, I get: ‘Please place the item in the bagging area.’ Er… I just did. I take the eggs out and place them back in again, and am then asked whether I actually want to bag the item before I can continue. ‘But I just bagged it, twice!’ I want to shout, and maybe even add ‘You enticed me here with your shiny newness and promise of efficiency and all you’ve done is give me grief while those who queued up with their shopping over there have been and gone!’ but it’s not really the done thing to scream at inanimate objects so I just get on with it, internalise my anger* and then go home and write a blog about it.
Ok, rant over. Normal service will be resumed shortly.
Here’s a reason to queue for the other tills next time:
*Ok, maybe ‘anger’ is a bit strong, ‘mild irritation’ would probably be more accurate.