20 Items Or Less, Revisited

My most recent trip to Walmart was a bit bizarre. The automated checkout machines and those attending them added to the weirdness, something I’ve mentioned a few times in recent months.

This most recent go-around, I have two minders watching me, as I’m the only person using their automation. Perhaps everyone else now knows better? I start using the price gun to scan everything off, and got reprimanded for not placing anything on the stand on the left of the machine. Of course, the last time I did things that way, the machine kept stopping on me, but let’s not the facts get in the way of the rules, right?

Now, both of them watch me like a hawk, and it’s rattling me a bit. It’s some weird combination of the Soup Nazi scene in Seinfeld, the scene where Ralphie Parker goes to see Santa Claus in A Christmas Story (with the teenage elves not pleased at the pace young Ralphie is moving at), and two drill instructors in the ear of one recruit at the same time in any Army movie.

I forget to run a package of ham thru the machine, and I had to stop and amend my purchases. I punch in the ATM code, and it’s the right code for one of my other cards, so one of the attendants takes the card right of my hands and starts perusing it with considerable impatience. Did I mention I was a bit rattled? I get the card back, shooting the attendant a dirty look.

Needless to say, it’s the last time I’ll use their automated system, unless I have no other alternative. They put those machines in, but yet they make anyone who tries to use them feel like a hardened criminal. Good reverse psychology, I suppose.


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