Self Service

There’s a few things that get my goat in a supermarket nowadays.

I view people who put bananas and citrus fruits in plastic bags to take home with great disdain.  Nature already conveniently packaged them in utilitarian skins.  I dislike the people who seem to drag the side of their trolley (“cart” for people in other countries) rather than push it from behind which would be the optimal method of propulsion.

What I hate most, though, are self service tills.  I should split this in to two parts – I hate self service tills and I hate most of the people who use self service tills.


Let’s start with the latter.

  • When you have filled your trolley (“cart”) completely full with bread / cat food / individual bottles of water, go to an attended till.  They’ll be able to scan one and count the rest will save time.
  • If you have kids, don’t let them sit on the bagging area.  It works by weighing your stuff.  Your child has mass.
  • If you’ve never used a computer before, go to an attended till.
  • FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND PROPER, if you go to the section where you’ve been scanning it as you go round, ALSO PACK IT AS YOU GO ROUND.  THAT’S THE F*CKING IDEA YOU F*CKING F*CKWIT!
  • (Can you tell the last one bugs me?)

And now the tills themselves.

  • I have put it in the bagging area, you just haven’t noticed.  You also can’t hear me talk to you.
  • I was part of the random check last week, and the week before, and the week before that.  In fact, I had 5 straight weeks and 6 out of the last 7 where I was randomly selected for a security check.  I realise that there’s some debate over total randomness because there is a possibility to continually toss a coin to get heads, but these are unfair odds.
  • And this is the one that bugged me.  If you’re going to require someone to do these random security checks, actually have a member of staff there to do it.  I was at a self service till last week where I was chosen for a random security check but the person working there had gone to take something back to the electricals desk.  She did my security check which oddly happens before the age restricted stuff.  By the time I, at 33 years of age, had to find ID for a candle lighter, I had been at a self service till for 14 minutes.


Sometimes I wish people would say what they mean rather than what people would like to hear.  Self service tills are presented to the customer as a fast way to get out the supermarket.  In reality, the benefit to the supermarket is only having to employ one person to manage 6 machines.  It make sense that way.

I’m not usually one for ulterior motives.  I do remember, though, a colleague of mine noting nearly a decade ago that I was noticeably more cynical than I was when I started work.  Maybe it’s just that self service brings out the worst in me!


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