I am pretty sure that my Local Friendly Grocery Store is considering asking me to not return. Ever. In fact, me and the next two generations of my descendents. (Or at the very least will watch me with great caution if I ever return. Which is unlikely.)
You see, they have this handy little devices installed now that enable you to scan your own groceries. You never have to actually have any human interaction. (Perfect for someone looking like I did at that time.) They are there to make your life
hell easier. Or to unmask the hidden insane, slightly dangerous monster that is hidden deep within you. It is a scam. By terrorists, no doubt. Why do I say this? I just know. I mean, if it can make me turn into a raving lunatic (and we all know how sane I am), then it must be a conspiracy.
Case in point. Monday night, around 10:00pm, I realize there is no milk in the refrigerator. Gasp! Oh the horrors! You see, no milk means no morning cereal. No morning cereal means Mom has to cook. Mom doesn’t cook in the morning. Which would lead us to plan B, which is the donut shop first thing in the morning spending money that I don’t have on garbage food the kids don’t need. See why it is just a dire situation to notice there is no milk in the house? So, I realize that I have one of two choices. I can (a) beg and plead for my husband to go to the store and promise him anything in return or (b) go myself. Well, obviously any normal PMSing woman faced with those options would choose (b) and then make the husband pay for it later. (Am I right ladies?) However, I have already gotten ready for bed. Meaning: the make-up is off and the bra has been removed. (Men, you may not know this little fact, but once that bra is off, it is just cruel and unusual punishment to force a woman to put it back on. It’s just not right.) What to do? What to do? Of course, I just throw on an extremely baggy shirt, a cap and my best glare. (Like I said, if the bra is off, it just ain’t going back on!)
Arriving at the store, I just hope I don’t run into anyone and that I go unnoticed the entire time I am there. My one purchase of milk turned into about 10 items. I really don’t feel like having any human interaction, so I head my scruffy looking self to the U-Scan checkout. Remember? This is going to make my life “easier.”
*wommmp* (that terribly demoralizing pathetic beep it give when something doesn’t scan correctly)
Scan milk again
So I place the bread in the bag.
U-Scan doesn’t seem to think I actually did that.
U-Scan says, “Place the scanned item in the bag.”
“Dude. I already put it in the bag.” But I lift it out anyway and put it back in the bag again.
“Item weight does not match the weight of the item scanned.”
“Listen. It’s bread. See? Bread. You said put it in the bag, so I put it in the bag.”
“Remove unscanned item from the bag and scan it.”
“What? Listen here, I just scanned it and put it in the bag, then I took it back out and then I put it back in all because you said that you didn’t recognize the weight. There is nothing in that damn bag that wasn’t scanned.”
“Remove unscanned item from the bag and scan it.”
“Oh you are really starting to piss me off now. I am NOT scanning it again and you can’t make me.”
“Notifying customer service now.”
“Oh? Is that how it is? You’re going to tell on me? You big baby, tattle-tale!”
The night manager walks over and says in his very official, managerial tone. “What seems to be the problem here?”
So I reply, “Well, it seems your little computer here has an attitude. Accusing me of stealing or pulling some Scan and Switch con on it.”
“Did you place the item in the bag and remove it?”
“Yes. But IT told me to.”
After giving me quite the condescending look he replies, “Well, I will clear it out this time. You need to just rescan it and place it in the bag, please. Make sure you place it in the bag.”
“You’re kidding me right? Because seriously, this bread is about to become a weapon used against your little computer.”
“Ma’am, bread won’t hurt a computer. And please do not threaten our machines.”
So now I am more than a little irritated and looking, I am sure, more than a little insane.
“Here. Eggs. See? Eggs. A dozen. Do you think you can handle a dozen eggs or will that confuse your little processor?”
“There. Now you know who’s boss,” I mumble.
“Oh, so you’re jacking with me now, you little piece of crap!”
“Item not recognized. Notifying customer service now”
“You do and I will shove a magnet into your processor so far that your hard drive will crash and never be recovered again. Got it?”
Finally, I was ready to go, so I selected the “Pay for purchases now” option.
Cash, Debit or Credit it asked me.
“We’re sorry. That is not a valid option. Please select from the following list: Cash, Debit or Credit”
“Unable to process that request at this time. Notifying customer service.”
Mr. Manager (who is Very Irritated with the Crazy Woman) approaches, “Is there another problem, ma’am,?”
So, looking like quite the deranged person (remember how lovely I said I looked coming in here?) I replied, “Yes, your machine won’t let me pay with my debit card. I picked debit and that little bitch won’t let me use it.”
“Well, are you sure you chose Debit? Here, let me try.” So he pushes the Debit option.
Enter your PIN now.”
“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” I am beginning to froth at the mouth and twitch a little.
By now I am near tears, security is standing by and my milk is getting warm. I enter my PIN and all is well as long as Mr. Manager is standing there.
Smugly he says, as he is walking away, “See, it’s just a computer. It can only process what you tell it to.”
Yes, the glare I gave him could’ve –and in a perfect world would’ve– killed him. I finished up, picked up my bags and went to leave.
“Don’t forget your receipts and coupons.”
I reach to get them. The receipt has been mangled in the printer and the coupons are blank.
“Have a nice day and shop again with us soon!”
I flipped it off.
I swear I saw it grin.