Random Annoyances: Self-Service Tills

These hideous contraptions serve no useful purpose at all. They are not quicker, they are not easier and they exist only to make the whole shopping experience as painful as possible as you stand there with orders being barked at you in an embarrassingly loud voice by a jumped up checkout till.

Supermarkets and the likes of B & Q have been falling over themselves to install self-service tills so they can employ less people and increase profit margins by not only getting us all to do our own shopping but to bag the bloody groceries too. At this rate, we’ll all be asked to grow our own fruit and veg and pay for the privilege of doing so.

You will soon find that these self-service machines are about as reliable as a Met Office weather forecast. Inevitably, your items won’t scan, goods won’t be recognised or the money won’t go through or that special sale ticket item will have suddenly shot up in price by 50% and all the while The Voice is telling you to "please place the item in the bagging area" even though you’ve already done this fifty times to no avail.

At length, the machine gives up and flashes a light so the assistant can help although I’ve yet to encounter any assistant who made an attempt to help out a customer without having to be pestered first. And when you do seek out said attendant, you are forced to wait in a queue because of the 5 other people in front of you having exactly the same issue.

Meanwhile, the line of people at the traditional checkout that you avoided because you though it’d take too long had all their groceries bagged and paid for in no time at all and are now at home chuckling over all the poor gullible fools still frantically scanning their goods at the self-service tills.


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