Sunday, June 3, 2012

Self Check-Out Scanners

            Do I want to stand behind five people in the regular line, or can I remember how the self check-out stuff works?

            I stood in between the two checkout lines at Home Depot clutching my new Delta bathroom towel bar trying to decide.  A man with a full cart pushed it up to the regular checkout line.  Now there were six.  The decision just got easier.

            I walked over to the self check-out line and stood behind a young mom with two little girls.  The mom was pushing a cart loaded with a large bag of fertilizer and a 100-foot roll of garden hose.  A little girl about 18 months old sat in the cart seat watching her four-year-old sister down on the floor dancing next to them.  Their mom studied the touchscreen and pushed “Begin.”

            I meant to watch the mom, but the dancing four-year-old was much more entertaining.  As she spun around, her little sister in the cart began giggling.  Suddenly a rack of gum and candy caught the dancing girl’s eye, and she stopped spinning.  She walked over to the rack, squatted down, and began studying all the goodies laid out just for someone three feet tall.

            Back at the cart her mom struggled to lift the bag of fertilizer over to the scanner.  She dropped the bag down with a “thunk” and turned it around in front of the scanner trying to align the magic lines with the light.

            “Bleep.”  Successful scan!

            Her four-year-old daughter had decided on the candy she liked and picked up a roll of gum.  As her mom struggled to lift the bag of fertilizer over to the side of the scanner, the little girl reached in with her roll of gum.


            Totally oblivious of the extra merchandise she had just purchased, the mom turned back to her cart, hoisted the roll of hose out, and held it in front of the scanner.  Back in the cart, her 18 month-old reached her hand out for some of her sister’s gum.  Big sis was not at all interested in sharing and pulled her gum in close. 

            “Uhhhhhnnn,” little sis wailed, reaching down for the gum.

            Big sis ran over and picked up another roll of gum.


            Mom’s garden hose successfully scanned.  She struggled to lift the roll of hose over with the fertilizer just as big sis held the second roll of gum in to the scanner.

            “Bleep.”  A second successful sneaky purchase.

            Should I say anything to the mom?  Will she notice the extra candy?  How long does it take to get the bored 18 year-old female employee with the rose tattoo on her shoulder over to cancel the candy purchases?  I really want to get out of here.

            I didn’t need to worry.  The mom hit “Pay” and saw four items where there should only have been two. 


            Cassie was busy opening her gum.

            “What?”  Even at four years old, Cassie has already mastered that innocent, questioning look I’ve seen a million times.

            I started laughing.

            “I’m sorry,” I said.  “I’ve never seen that happen before.”

            “She’s never done that before.”

            I guess Cassie’s mom was in just as much of a hurry as me.  She reached over, took the two rolls of gum from Cassie, and put them in her purse.  She called Cassie to follow her and pushed her cart out of the store.

            I moved over to the screen and pushed “Begin.”  A dad with a little boy was standing behind me.  I’m pretty sure the little boy had been watching Cassie.  I pulled my cart closer and positioned myself and the cart to totally block access to the scanner. 

            I may be a little shaky on using the self-checkout scanner, but I think the little kids have it all figured out.  Do you think that's why Home Depot has a rack of candy down on the ground right next to the scanners?

1 comment:

  1. That is truly a funny event. I wish I could have been there.