So a couple of months ago I tried out the new self – serve checkouts at Home Despot. You know, the ones where you scan your own stuff. They even have evil blinky green lights to try and get your attention. Not like lately you don’t have plenty of time to ponder other things while waiting to get through a till in Calgary.
Now, Home Despot had four of these things, often empty or with one person using them during slow times. The ONE till they had open was lined up with people each buying half a house. So I was bound to try one of these things the first time I only had one or two items to scan. Since then I’ve used them a few times.
They work pretty good – a few things need improvement. 1) Better descriptions so you know what you just scanned. 2) A very obvious beep when you scan something, so I don’t scan things twice. 3) An undo, for when I still manage to screw up. Right now an accociate has to do the undo for you. 4) The interface kinda sucks. They put the signature pad way the hell over to the right, so you have to sign your credit card auth. and take two steps to the left to see if your scrawl is something you’d recognise as your own if it ever came down to a dispute. I don’t even what to think about signature forging with this thing.
Other than that, I love them and I hate them. I love the fact that I can get through the tills quickly especially if I have only one or two items. I hate the fact that shopping has gotten yet more impersonal. On the other had, I love the fact that shopping has gotten more impersonal because sometimes I just want to kill the person that is trying to serve me.
Fast forward to today. “I am trying to find Season 3 of Corner Gas” I tell the Wallrat employee. “You want season 3,” he burbles back, in a voice and manner I can only describe as a carbon copy of Peter Sellers from “The Party” (Think goofy Indian accent if you havn’t seen this movie). “Yes, Season 3”. He grabs something else that was season 3 yes, but not “Corner Gas”. “No, I want Season 3, *Corner* *Gas*” He goes to ask someone if they have this. I hear him get an explanation from the more senior Wallrat in the next isle that it will be with the TV shows, in the “C” shows, between the “B” shows and the “D” shows.
Okay. I’m guessing they’re out at this point, me having checked this already. But now I have to wait for Buddy to figure this out for himself, which is rather amusing to watch him recite his ABCD’s. He then proceeds to offer me CSI:Season 3. Deep breath. Look at shelves myself, this time checking the labels. “Look, it has spots Corner Gas here for Seasons 1 and 2, which are empty so you must be out of season 3 as well”, I explain to him. “Oh yes, we must be all out, bad luck for you then”. Right, birdy num-num, bad luck for me, good luck for you that I didn’t loose my cool.
Did I mention Wallrat is evil? Not only do they sucker me into buying stuff sometimes because it’s so cheap (Futurama, Season 1 $18) but then they make me put up with not being able to find shit because they can’t keep they’re stock in reasonable order (not the only store in town with this problem by far). Then I have to line up forever to give them my money.
You see where this is going don’t you? There I am waiting in line, and these blinky green lights get my attention. Oh no, Wallrat has installed self-serve tills as well. Do I go try them? Hmmm. I have a lot of stuff. Clothes. Might have problems finding / scanning the tags. Can’t see if there is a line or not, with the 15 tills between me and the self-serves. Plus I’ve got this bitch’n spot in line – only two people in front of me, with full shopping carts, but only two of ’em! I decide to give them a pass this time, however, I do check them out on the way out the door, so see what the lineups are like. Great. The self-serve tills are lined up too. I doubt I would’ve saved more than a minute of my five in line.
Well, now I just hate self-serve tills.