Just wanted to thank you for another thrill-filled adventure at the self check-out station today. I know, I know - it's my own fault. Every time I go there I tell myself I will never, under any circumstances, use the self check-out station again because saving a few minutes is not worth the resultant blood pressure spike/rage-induced headache/visions of death and destruction. But then the next time, there are barely any cashiers on (why would there be, when you have these marvels of technology to replace them?) and long lineups of cranky people, and, well, it's kind of like childbirth or aerobics; I forget the magnitude of the pain, and I think 'maybe it won't be so bad this time'. Because I'm a fucking moron.
It tells me to put my re-usable bags on the platform, so I do. It says press DONE when I'm, you know, done, so I do. Then it tells me that the large item I'm trying to scan needs to be scanned by the cashier. Except I didn't try to scan a large item. The cashier comes over and says maybe my bags on the platform set off the scale. You know, the bags the disembodied robotic bitch just told me to put there.
Anyway. I proceed with scanning items. There's the usual bullshit with the disembodied robotic bitch telling me to remove the last item placed in the bag and scan it when I ALREADY BLOODY SCANNED IT, and the disembodied robotic bitch taking her sweet damned time scanning stuff, like she's off deciding what colour she'd paint her robotic fingernails if she had a body, and then the out-of-the-blue, Kafkaesque demand to 'see the attendant'. The attendant - who stand at the center of the bank of self-checkout stations, ostensibly to monitor things and help out as needed - is, of course, busy chatting with two other cashiers, who I have clearly been mistakenly feeling sympathy for, being replaced by those evil machines and everything, because here they still are. So I push the button that says "Call Attendant". And the Attendant immediately fixes me with a vicious stare and hollers "Don't EVER push that button! All it does it jam everything up!"
Right. Of course. I'M the asshole for pushing a button that says CALL ATTENDANT, in order to... um.... call the attendant. I make questioning noises. She says "Well I don't know! I'm not a software engineer. They make a lot more money than I do." I suggest that maybe she could make a nice low-tech sign that says 'don't use CALL ATTENDANT button to call attendant, because if they don't make a sign and the button stays there, people will probably keep pressing it when they want to call the attendant. People can be douchey like that.
I've worked a lot of retail. I've dealt with a lot of bitchy customers. Normally I'm not one of the bitchy customers. I'm nice. I'm sympathetic. I'm ready to be on your side. If she had said "I know. They're idiotic. I hate them", she and I would have been TOTALLY COOL. We could have high-fived and gone out for margaritas. But no - she's drunk disembodied robotic bitch's kool-aid. She's one of THEM now.
And yes, I do realize I started this out as a snarky letter and that device kind of fell apart halfway through. I should have just gone with this:
Dear Allison: Don't ever ever use the self-checkout station again. It's worse than childbirth. And you can't even use stories of the pain to guilt it into bringing you cupcakes later on.