You may find yourself in the following situation: You’re at the grocery store standing in front of one of those new-fangled self-checkout aisles, wondering, “Am I capable of operating this machine in an efficient and useful manner?” If one or more of the following statements apply to you, you might want to pass on the automation and head on over to the Express Checkout aisle:

  • The difference between the words ‘Internet’ and ‘Email’ is negligible to you
  • You’re easily flustered by fancy specialized terms such as ‘Debit Card’ and ‘Scan’
  • You have caused more than one technical support person to weep openly in the past year

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re now ready to check out your own groceries, and in the process send millions of high school students to uncertain economic futures. But wait, there’s just a few more questions you need to ask yourself to see if you’re ready for this exciting process!

  • Do you have 2 months worth of groceries in your cart? If so, self checkout is probably not for you. You should probably find some other way to punish yourself and those around you. Consider parking your cart sideways in the bread aisle blocking everyone’s path. That should do the trick.
  • Are there two of you present? One of you should really consider bagging while there’s scanning still going on.
  • In a similar vein, please make sure you have your shopper’s card out and ready once you get to the front of the line. I know digging around in your purse is enjoyable, (I’ve heard one often finds hard candies and old tissues in there!), but this act can be accomplished while further back in the line. So, instead of reading about how Courtney Love is actually Elvis’s love-child, please take time to prepare.
  • If you bought a 50 lb bag of dog food that now has to be lugged and rotated on to the scanner and then somehow miraculously fit through the belt verifier, a regular checkout line might be your best option. Just a thought.
  • If you are not sure of the names of the produce you are attempting to purchase or feel uncomfortable trying to identify them by photo representations, leave it to the professionals.