Okay, so yesterday we praised those contemporary vestibules of customer service – Self-Service Checkouts (also known as, “Them things”). Today we’re having a go at them. Why? As they often behave like cretins, obstinate fiends, and/or diabolical robots which have lost their minds and simply DO NOT want you to scan your Reduced To Clear hummus through. And why? Clearly as we all don’t deserve discount hummus! No, we should have to pay the 79p extra to make ends meet for the supermarket. This makes us realise these machines are sentient and, unlike the working class scumbags who operate the manual tills, they’ve realised the futility of their existence and had an existential crisis. Next thyme you see a Self-Service Checkout which is out of order, go over to it, coo soothing platitudes in its direction, and tell it everything’s not as bad as it seems. It could be cleaning the gunk out of the blokes toilets in any student union across the foul smelling nation of Great Britain.
We digressed somewhat there. Anyway, a staggering irony of these supposedly self0sufficient machines is the need to have a Self-Service Checkout Expert (SSCE) on hand at all times to assist distressed shoppers. When a batch of stuff goes wrong all at once with, for instance, half a dozen shoppers, the SSCE’s life enters the realm of Horror. It must be a true nightmare as Jeff from the garage wants to buy a pack of 12 donuts for his mates, but the machine has had enough. Then there’s Mary who’s purchased an apple, but is concerned the problem might highlight the fact she’s shoplifting seven bottles of wine. The SSCE must remain calm through this as a barrage of insults and expectant eyes stare him down. The Self-Service Checkout is the father of all this chaos. Damn. Damn them all to the Self-Service Checkout graveyard!