Sunday, April 3, 2022

Self Checkout

 My task is a simple one. Pick up a dozen eggs at the grocery store. Bring them home.

I am given explicit directions as to the aisle in which the one item can be found, even though I have shopped with my family here a hundred times.

I am more than a little anxious and  perplexed as I stand looking at all the choices. I have to be price conscious, so I reject the $6.49 option. But the $3.99 alternative must have some defect of which I am wholly unaware. Finally, $4.49, organic. I hope I can't be faulted for this selection.

Now comes the hard part. It is Saturday morning and there is only one cashier. There are three people on line, two with full carts. The self checkout line is empty. There is only one problem.

I can only imagine what the others must be thinking. Why is this idiot standing here?

I have 19 years of schooling. I have spent nearly 70 years wandering around this planet. How challenging could it be to walk ten feet to my right and do what millions without my sterling pedigree have done? Yet I stood immobile, frozen by my astounding incompetency.

I witness without seeing is the best way I can explain it. I have often been at this very self checkout spot while my wife or son performed their duet with the machine. But I might as well have been staring into a hole in the ground for the amount of information that entered my cerebral cortex.

Five minutes pass and I have moved up one position. Suddenly, it is announced that another cashier is opening up. I rush over, only to be too slow to capture the lead. The man behind me says "why don't you use self checkout?" 

Without thinking I blurt out "I have never done it before."

"Someone is there to help you" he advises.

And so I find myself in foreign territory, explaining my uniqueness to the nice lady. "You just do this and then that, put this here, take this from there and you're done." She might as well have been speaking Japanese.

When I walked in the door my son said he was proud of me. I had make a good selection and, wow, I had even used self checkout.

He should only know. But I am quite certain he already does.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha this is so good

PS Many of us go through this same thing on the selection. The self checkout though, well…..


Anonymous said...

This was definitely a LOL piece!
And soooo relatable!


Anonymous said...

Cheer up - maybe it’s a diehard Yankee fan thing.
….I live with someone who will stand on the same long line just to avoid an altercation with the self check monster!


HER said...

After living in NJ, I went through the same angst when having to pump gas by myself in MA. Kudos to you for taking the plunge into the unknown. Oh yes, and I am a diehard Yankee fan too.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I can sympathize as I have faced the same quandary


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the self service economy. Next step is they will eliminate the customer too, just automatically send you what they feel is right.

Anonymous said...

This totally cracked me up


Anonymous said...

So funny! But you did it! In the meantime, I'd rather wait until they revive the egg man delivery truck, as well as the milk man. --RE