Grocery Store Self Check Out: A Code of Conduct

Ok. Some of you may have tuned in for this morning's Twitter rant. For those of you who missed it, I had a bit of an issue with the self checkout at Giant Eagle this morning. Well, not an issue with the self checkout, but an issue with the person who was in front of me in line.

This has happened before. People think they know what they're doing, and they have no idea. A device which was meant to cut down on time in line has in recent weeks added to those lines. What's to blame you ask? A complete lack of concern for the rules.

Until now, the rules were unspoken. I think we all just assumed we all knew what to do, how to be considerate. Well, it seemed there are those among us who have no idea. And so, as a service to the public, I am going to disclose those unspoken rules. This is based on today's frustrations, and the sins of a great many people who came before...

In no particular order:

  1. The self checkout is not for mega orders. This one is almost more for your own sanity than the sanity of the people behind you. How can you possibly expect to scan and bag an entire months worth of Cheerios and Cheetos by yourself? I know, they have begun to label the self checkout lanes as "express" and...uh..."not express." But come on. We should all treat the self check out as an express lane, particularly if no one is on the other end helping you bag.
  2. If you have never owned a laptop/pc/desktop/calculator, you are forbidden from working the self checkout. I swear to you, I watched a woman once spend 5 minutes spelling the word "Apple." This is unacceptable! They claim these things are fool proof, and for 95% of the population they are. But that 5% is in love with the self checkout phenomenon, and it's driving me crazy. My suggestion: everyone should have to enter their e-mail address before being given access to the self checkout. That way at least you're pretending you know how to interact with technology.
  3. Under no circumstances are children to be allowed to operate the self checkout. I can hear some of you now. "It's an educational experience! It prepares them for growing up!" To you I say we don't allow children to drive, smoke, drink, vote, pump gas, or play the lottery. And that's all for good reason. They're not ready yet. If your child cannot tell the difference between a squash and a cucumber, they are of course forbidden. (Exception: If you find yourself in violation of rule #2, and your child has hacked into the CIA's facebook page, go for it.)
  4. Phones are not allowed. One of my favorite quotes of all time is on the Penguins Stanley Cup DVD this year when the Great Billy G. says "There are a lot of guys who shouldn't be chewing gum and doing something else at the same time..." Well there are a lot of you out there who should not be operating the self checkout and doing something else at the same time, and that includes a conversation with your aunt Marcy about how carrots cost more than they used to. Put your phone away!
    (Exception: If you are in no danger of violating #2, and you are witnessing rule breaking, you may pull your phone out in line to publicly admonish people on Twitter. This of course must come to an end the INSTANT you approach the machine and it asks you to scan your advantage card.
  5. If there are more than 3 people in line behind you, and there's even a doubt in your mind regarding your ability to navigate the self checkout without breaking the rules, proceed directly to the nearest regular line. Please. For the love of everything good and holy, do not attempt to learn how to use this nifty piece of technology the night before they're predicting "even more snow." Learn on a Tuesday. At 11. When no one else is there. Please.
Those are my rules. Did I leave anything out?