Alright. I’m not going to name the supermarket that made my blood go over 100°C the other day! But OOH! I could just £*$&% the whole lot of them, I could honestly! While trying to attain one of their self-scanning devices, I found that my loyalty card had stopped scanning, so I had to put in the incredibly long number (SEETHE)! Then I went round as usual and everything was going well until the end, well it WAS a Saturday afternoon and there was a lot of ‘trolley rage’ (for trolley read ‘cart’ dear American readers). So finally, I arrive at the self-scanning checkout. I hadn’t realised that, at the end of my shop, there was one ‘impulse buy’ item that I had flung in the trolley without thinking. The young lady, for want of a better description, decided that she didn’t like the look of me before I even begun checking out. She came over with a shifty-looking stare. “I couldn’t scan this one item” I said, hoping for a bit of help, as something I did try to scan, failed completely. “Okay”, she said, “I’m gonna scan some of your stuff anyway” and she did. You would have thought I was the greatest unscanning shoplifter in the history of the world, when she discovered the one thing I HADN’T scanned. “OKAY” her voice suddenly rose by 13.5% volume, “I’m gonna have to scan EVERYTHING now” she almost shouted at me. “You’ve failed to scan this”! A tall but fairly young man suddenly appeared out of nowhere, positioning himself between me and the exit of this checkout area. While she happily scanned everything in the trolley and everyone around carried on staring at me and shaking their heads “Shame on him, how COULD he do such a thing”? “I’ve NEVER made a mistake in my whole life”! their constant, disaproving looks seemed to be saying, I asked sheepishly “Could I have some bags please”? We’ve just begun to be charged a whole 5 pence for a plastic bag here in the UK, but I didn’t mind this. The assistant barked at the young man who was enjoying his new-found position of security guard, “Okay, get him some bags”! “HOW MANY D’YOU WANT”? She asked, “Er, I dunno about 4 I suppose”? “RIGHT GET HIM 4 BAGS”! ANOTHER sorry, another order emanated from her otherwise tautly sealed lips. Having scanned everything in my trolley, she failed, much to her dismay, to find even just one more thing that I hadn’t scanned. “Right” she said a little bit quieter, “That was the only thing you’ve missed, you can pay now”. I paid quickly, stuffed everything in the 20 pence worth of plastic carrier bags and hastily made my way to the exit. Both of them stared daggers at me, while I ran this visual, stereophonic gauntlet of disapproval. I got out of the store and drove home like my life depended on it. (Within the speed limit of course, I’m not a getaway driver too)! Occasionally checking the mirror to make sure none of their secret security men were following me home.
I gave up using self-service checkouts years ago as, since supermarkets won’t pay me for doing the job of a checkout assistant everytime I shop there and they won’t hire more staff to do the job like they should, I would rather help the people who do do it, to stay in a job. I know they would love for all their checkouts to be self-service, but no way say I! Now of course, I can’t use the self-scanning ones either. It will be quite a while before I can summon up the courage to return to that supermarket, as they probably have hours of CCTV film of me shopping for magazines, sushi, pants (briefs) and chocolate and will no doubt, have alerted all the staff to my presence. I imagine my next appearance there will bring out the sniffer dogs and shifty-looking store security people, who will, no doubt, all follow me around like hawks!
“Code 10! Security alert in mens pants”! Oh the shame. THE SHAME!