Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And Then I Smashed it with a Sledgehammer from Aisle Five

On Tuesday morning I prepped my coffee maker to deliver the bitter liquid that facilitates my perky morning demeanor. Without it, I'm a complete bitch. I can provide reliable references upon request. Imagine my surprise when I turned it on only to discover ten minutes later it was sitting there doing absolutely nothing and just being stupid. Thank GOD we have the Senseo as a back up. Right, Honey? Ahem. So, later that morning I made the trip to Walmart to purchase a new one. I know I know Walmart. But seriously, with gas at just under five dollars a gallon and Target and Best Buy clear across town, I went the quick and easy route. Never fear. I got my comeuppance for visiting the evil empire; it's called the self-checkout lane.

But it's not just a self-checkout lane. It is how Walmart gets its jollies. By watching mothers of three play chicken with this steely beast contraption before it freezes up and calls for help. It is an illusion of convenience. When all the other lanes runneth over, it is an oasis of "Hey you! Yeah you lady! You look smart. Try me!" And you fall for it. And other people follow you thinking, "If she can do it, so can we!". So you pile your coffee maker, three new lunch boxes, and two boxes of Capri Sun onto the conveyor belt. None of which fit into the plastic shopping bags at the end of the process. And you're unaware of just how important...nay vital, this last step is.

You're thinking how you don't need any of those bags anyway and how they're cluttering up landfills and clinging for dear sweet life to bushes along highways nationwide, and how you're doing the world a favor by skipping this step. I scan my first item. BEEP. Accepted. I place it in my shopping cart. WRONG! FAIL! The contraption asks, "Skip bagging process?" and I press the screen. I scan the next item. And the next. All met with the same sequence of events. Until finally the machine has a grand mal seizure, pouts, holds its breath and turns blue, flashing the menacing message: PLEASE WAIT FOR ASSISTANCE TO OVERRIDE SKIP BAGGING! And I start praying: "Please Jesus God just let me get the hell out of here and I'll feed a homeless person on the way home if I happen upon one so help me amen".

The people behind me start shifting their weight while standing there. I can HEAR their eyes rolling and I'm afraid to turn around. But I do. And I tell the lady behind me, "I'm waiting for assistance"; pointing at the screen like a dumbass ... and there is something behind the impatient look in her eyes. It's FEAR. She knows she's next and she's just caught a glimpse of her immediate future. And I want to warn her, "Run! It's too late for me. Save yourself! Think of your children! Why don't you love your children? THE CHILDREN!"

An employee appears, presses some code on the screen, and I'm once again left to my own devices. With three items left. My heart is racing, my arms are shaking, and beads of sweat spring forth on my forehead along my hairline. My daughter reaches for a plastic bag. "DON'T TOUCH IT!" I shout at her. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU'LL MAKE IT ANGRY!" This sends her into a dither because why's mommy so mad?

Then I was done. All I had to do was pay. One final step. So I press "debit card" on the screen and swipe MY CREDIT CARD! Then crap fell out of my ass. The sonofabitch machine pauses. Paaaauuuussse? Pause. I start to cry a little. Then it was all "Haha! GOTCHA! Have a wonderful day and please visit our pharmacy on your way out your Xanax is waiting". Then I burst into flames.

60 comments:

1blueshi1 said...

If only EE WOULD give us Xanax on the way out, that's the only I would ever visit the self checkout aisle again. Well, and also the times Granny gives me her credit card to use, so I don't have to show my picture id to the cashier. Oh, wait, I don't have any picture id UNTIL TENNESEE GETS OFF THEIR ASS AND MAILS ME MY RECIEPT ON THAT SPEEDING TICKET so I can go to statie's office and get my license back.
I loved this entry, so funny. Reminds me of trying to get the kids registered for school yesterday. I didn't realize I would crave liquor so badly while still on elementary school grounds.

hulagirlatheart said...

Self checkout-trumped only by the obnoxious buzzer and geriatric door police that sweep down on you because you failed to swipe your new Backstreet Boys CD over the security bar while checking out.

Marmarbug said...

I am LMAO! That was so true! So true!
I hope you like your new coffe maker!!!

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

Well written post. a good read.

And I HATE self check out. I actually refuse to do it. I was in Home Depot recently and ALL they had open was the insane self check out. Did I use it? Nope. I found an orange vest and said I need to check out. He said 'well here is self check out' and I said like a 3 year old "NO. I will not do THAT'....so they opened a register. And I smiled. Because darn it....the store makes a profit on my business to pay for things like EMPLOYEES right?

Lisa Milton said...

Those suckers are tricky. Poor kid touches it - the scales in the bagging area get my kids every time - and you get a visit from a clerk.

And a pause.

A long pause.

Please drink your coffee in peace this morning. You deserve it.

Amy said...

This was freakin' hilarious!! And I almost spit out my coffee over the whole - and then crap fell out of my ass!!!!

And while it was a mistake to use the self-check out, the first mistake was to visit Wal-Mart!! I refuse to go there - and it helps that where I live Wal-Mart and Target are literly in the same parking lot!!!

Thanks for a great laugh!

g said...

You're so incredibly funny!!!

BTW the last time I visited Wal-Mart, everything I bought there fell apart within two days of purchase. Literally everything.

standing still said...

Poor walmart. Everyone hates him, and no one wants to play with him. Probably because he's a fu*k stick and can't find his way to pay a livable wage to his employees. The day I cross the threshold of a Walmart is the day someone is carying me in a cardboard box because they're looking for a rubbermaid container to store my cold black ashes.

Threeundertwo said...

You are that person who is always in front of me, aren't you?

Hilarious.

TheMama said...

I have yet to get through a self checkout without employee intervention.

I ventured in to a certain home improvement store one day, and had TheBoy with me in an umbrella stroller. He was apparently too close to the bag area. I kept getting an "unknown item in bagging area" message. I finally yelled, "It's my KID!" in frustration and a nice lady in an orange apron made it all better.

I suspect our pictures are now on a secret list kept behind the counter.

Allie said...

The evil empire that is Walmart sucks again. I always get sucked in to using the self checkout just to realize that it's not really self checkout because you need the little blue vested demons to shut the machine up after you say skip bagging too many times, or you're buying something that you have to be the proper age to buy (i.e. glue or spray paint). Aaaaah! Ok breath. Sorry about that. I hate that Walmart is basically the only place to shop in this stinking town. The end.

Madame Queen said...

Well, at least you weren't in the self-check out lane with an ENTIRE CART FULL OF GROCERIES like I have seen some people do. Yes, you (and I don't mean YOU, Tootsie, but the general you) may be able to do it faster, but I have yet to see someone try it without the damn thing locking up. It just cannot handle that many things that aren't bagged. And what the hell do you do with all those other bags that don't fit on the two little shelves they give you? You can just pile them up around you and hope you don't get buried in the avalanche.

Mrs. Parks said...

Arrghhhhh, the ONLY thing worse than Wal-Mart is self-checkout!
Remember this lesson and never...Never attempt this on your own again

Ann said...

Okay NOW I really am beginning to wonder if there is a Reality Show being filmed at EVERY Walmart Self Check-Out, because for the fecking LIFE of me, I think you need a PhD, MD, DVM, BSN, BFA, PE to operate that little fucktwad.

I'm sorry, I had to get that out. I thought I was alone, I now feel I have sisthren in the matter. Unite.

Madge said...

I am DYING. I hate Walmart. Hate their self-checkout even more. But my mostest favorite thing of all?

When the people WORKING the self checkout stand behind their little kiosk and stare at you WHILE YOUR MACHINE IS SAYING WAIT FOR ASSISTANCE.....

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

My coffee maker? It is working fine. I was drinking my second cup when I read this post. My monitor? Not so fine. Has coffee all over it from spraying out my nose while laughing.

Oh, and, Tootsie, you NEED to know this if you go back there again: It is called The Walmart by the people who go there often. Just wanted to be sure you know the proper lingo so you can shop under the radar.

anymommy said...

I usually lurk and read in my reader, but this is hilarious. I hate those things. I'll stand in line forever to avoid them.

ms-teacher said...

I generally use the self-checkout at our grocery store and seldom run into problems. However, there have been a few times where I have questioned my sanity in thinking I would get through quicker than going to the cashier who only had one person in his line.

Thanks for the very funny read!

Moms In The Right said...

You. Crack. Me. Up. I love you!

Undomestic Diva said...

I don't care if the tampons are 12 cents cheaper. This is just further proof that Wal-Mart is evil.

Jennifer H said...

My kids are wondering why I'm laughing in here!

Self-checkout is terrifying. Terrifying, I tell ya.

I loved the part when you looked at the woman behind you and saw the fear in her eyes. I have so been there.

The Girl Next Door said...

"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON"T TOUCH IT - YOU"LL MAKE IT ANGRY" SNORT!!!! Yes OMG Yes. My teenagers hate waiting in line worse than when they were smaller and INSIST we use self checkout at Home Depot. Please oh please tell me WHAT at Home depot fits in that tiny collection spot? Of course, Daughter managed to get us out of there just to spite me. But yesterday when my colleague and I were at CVS? You know we stood in the 300 people line and ignored that flashing, empty, "self checkout" beacon....

Insta-mom said...

I have to point out that I think your deal with God was somewhat unfair. I have family living in the same lovely valley as you and I would swear there is a city ordinance banning homeless people.

scargosun said...

Yeah what is up with the bags you don't need at the self checkout. None times out of ten if you are using that evil thing you are not there with enough stuff to warrent bags.

Jennifer H said...

I had to kirtsy this. So everyone should go vote it up! The link is too long to post, but you can find it on the Up and Coming page.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I thought you were going to say your head exploded.

AGSoccerMom said...

roflmao........my son stuck his face down on the screen and it started blinking and said DO NOT RECOGNIZE ITEM!. Dang and I was wondering how much he was worth.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I hate those damn hoity self-checkouts. But, I'm thinking the first mistake was going to Wallyworld.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Next time, try bringing your own bags from home and see how the machine likes it. You'll end up cuffed and headed down town, I bet!

Melissa said...

LOL! I have so been there. It's like you described every self serve lane I've ever been in! Sheesh!

kg said...

As someone mentioned, try using the self-checkout when you have an age requirement on said item -- like the non-rated Ricky Bobby DVD that was a christmas present for my sister. Oy. I had to wait almost 20 minutes (so not kidding) for a blue vest to help me. The one person assigned to the self checkouts was being held hostage by someone doing some kind of exchange, help with large item checkout, paying by Euros, etc. You would think with a store that big there would be maybe one other employee who could cover the front. Ha, Ha, Ha. I'm so funny. I should have just walked away.

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

OMG - YES! I have never gone through one of those things and had it work. I especially love when my kids are climbing all over the bagging area and the machine keeps saying "UNAUTHORIZED ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA." Xanax indeed!!

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

Oh... I just read the comments and I see that I'm not the only one whose kids are unauthorized items! I'm going to Kirtsy now!

Mrs. G. said...

I'm laughing with you, not at you! Great post!

katydidnot said...

puh. dumb walmart.

Kristen said...

I had a similar situation at the grocery store and I wound up being so pissed off and frustrated that I signed the credit card signature pad "fuck you."

Can I say fuck on this blog? I hope so because I just said it again.

EEEKKK!

Maria said...

Thank you for being so brilliantly funny - you made my night

I shop at the evil empire Walmart. I boycotted it for years b/c of their horrible treatment of their employees. Two kids later, working p/t - it's the only way for this Momma to make ends meet ;-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My belly hurts, really HURTS from laughing.

Jamie said...

Xanax works, honest!

But, they (hypothetical Dr. and Pharmacy) watch a person (hypothetical person) really closely when she (hypothetical, of course) is taking (totally hypothetically) the beloved chill-pill.

Or so I've heard...

lapoflux said...

I concur with the reality TV show thing... there are days when I am convinced someone has to be filming me for the entertainment of others.
Hope your coffee is just fine tomorrow morning - caffeine free morning = bad bad bad

Swirl Girl said...

Self- check out at my local Ralph's grocery store is quite the challenge as well. At first, I thought they were there for convenience of the shopper. That proved to be wholly untrue. Then, I thought they were put there and I felt sorry for the employees who were out of a job because of the machines. Then- I realized that it actually takes more employees, since these things never work and the cashier is still needed to unjam the machine, find the code for produce or help the moron with the full cart to scan their items.

Just today, I went through one with one item - and wanted to put in exact change- it not only screamed at me, but ate my money without crediting me, and then wouldn't let the cashier person (who was snickering BTW - biotch) correct the problem.

Somehow, the WALL-E life is looking better and better to me....

OHmommy said...

You are soooo funny. I can't stand those self check outs.

laughingatchaos said...

Oh God, no kidding. I'm about to start taking duct tape shopping with me so I can attach the boys to the cart while I check out. "NO! Boys! Don't breathe on the machine! NO! Don't look at it either! My God, just bow to it, feed it money, and let's get the heck outta here!"

Formercitygirl said...

Just found your blog. Love this post. Love/hate relationship with Walamrt here. Hate Walmart but prices for baby food, diaper, formula, etc. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Target. Did I say that I LOVE Target? 'Cuz I Do. I LOVE Target.

Stacie said...

I laughed so hard at this i'm crying....need togo to
Walmart and buy Kleenex....

Katie said...

Only thing better than dealing with large items in the checkout is dealing with greeting cards. Try getting the scale to recognize those! So traumatized after one incident I don't buy cards ANYMORE! Ever! Too bad for you, my eight children. Take the check and be happy!

Sue J said...

LOLOL, I was curled up reading this. My daughter and I went to Big W, and they had these machines. I wasn't game to go through with my stuff, but my daughter did. She said, 'If you don't put it in their bags it makes you start all over again'. I think she bought something that wouldn't fit in the bags, too. I'll bet the office staff are peeing themselves, watching the fun and games. I would be too!!

Sue J said...

Of course, you know what the next step in all of this is, don't you? We will all be put on a roster to do night-fill!!!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

THAT STORE IS HELL.

Please don't go back; I'm praying for your consumer soul.

Ellyn said...

That was a hoot. Thanks for the laugh.
I have lived that story many times. I always fall for it too.

Lulu said...

Then crap fell out of my ass...I love it! WalMart self-checkout SUCKS! I swear they set it up to look all convenient and great, but they secretly don't want anyone to use it. It's a total ploy. Blasphamy.

Muddlin' Mother said...

Oh maaaan,.. once again you have so totally made my day! You are the 21st centuries Erma, my girl. Keep it UP!

Susie said...

My mother-in-law always asks the people at the store if she gets an employee discount for using self check-out since they actually pay people to be cashiers. Just a self check-out tip - put your items on the carousel that holds the bags (but not in the bags) and the machine will be fooled. It all works by weight. Then you just take your stuff and go, assuming that the machine doesn't take your card. For a little extra fun - press cash and pay them in dimes.

Colleen said...

the sad thing is that the WalMart self-check-out lanes are better than the ones at Home Depot or the one grocery store near me. *rolls eyes*

Bonnie the Boss said...

I had to wait a minute after reading that to get myself under control and wipe the tears from my eyes. Great discription.
I was reading the other day at queengoob.blogspot.com about wallmart, she gave the perfect discription of that shopping Meca.

"None other than the dreaded life-sucking parasitic desperado…..Wal-Mart.

I despise Wal-Mart. It leeches tolerance, kindness, and patients out of all humanity. It turns sweet, blue-haired ladies into the vampiric creatures of small children’s nightmares. Its horror descends upon the unsuspecting leaving nothing but bloody stumps and appendages behind. It’s every human being’s nightmare come to life in 3-D Technicolor. It is hell."
I just had to share because I thought you might enjoy it.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Sadly, still a timelier and more pleasant experience than the ya-hoo's that check you out at my wal-mart.


KEEP BELIEVING

Texan Mama said...

I am so LMAO. I love the comment about your daughter, "DON'T TOUCH IT YOU'LL MAKE IT ANGRY!!!" I have said the exact same thing to my own children at the check out line. It's so tempting... they want to play "store" but after about 3 items I'm yelling, "DOn't touch it! Let me do it! Just go back to pulling items off the shelf!!!"

Black Hockey Jesus said...

I wanna like those machines because, you know what, check out people hate their jobs and lives and I hate them. But you're right. Those machines are crazy. And I wish xanax wasn't a prescription drug. I wish you could just buy one of those energy drinks and some xanax. Who do I write?

foolery said...

Oh jeez Miss Tootsie, I hadn't read this before. It's absolutely wonderful. And I think if I had read it before a weeks ago I wouldn't have understood, because I saw my first self-checkout aisle EVER (at Lowe's) a week ago. I was fearful of the technology, especially with two short people in tow. Now I know I was right.

This was priceless (clicked over from Buenos Burritos, by the way).

-- Laurie @ Foolery

Texasholly said...

I just had to come back and read this again. So funny.