Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Check Me Out!

Dear Random Lady at the CVS:


I wanted to write an open letter to you briefly after I observed you this afternoon at my local CVS. I had gone in near around lunch time to make a quick purchase a roll of aluminum foil and a birthday card.

I noticed you were in the process of using the self checkout kiosk. Those things are cool, aren't they? Kinda sorta fun to use, until they get all HAL 9000 on your ass. And yet sometimes they're great, and they allow you to avoid having to interact with an actual human being (which I'll admit, at that CVS is sometimes a dicey proposition).

See, here's the thing though: usually self checkouts are supposed to allow you to finish your transaction faster than if you had to deal with a real person.

You didn't have the same problems I did with the machine. In fact, from what I can tell, you had finished scanning your items before I even stood in line. Thankfully for me, I noticed that the line in front of this one checkout lady was only one person deep, so I stood there instead of behind you.

Lady, was it really that difficult for you to finish your transaction? Good gravy, I literally was halfway done with my transaction (slow checkout lady and everything!) while you were still at that machine! I noticed you fumbling around to try to sign the little pad (obviously you used a credit card -- I'm going to venture to guess that you didn't have the card anywhere near out and ready when you approached the kiosk in the first place, just to speed things up), then you spend something like two minutes tucking things away in your purse and gathering up your things. How many things did you manage to accumulate that you had to gather them up? Did you even notice that there was a guy behind you in line -- who only wanted a freaking Coke, for Pete's sake -- who was waiting on you while you just stood there like an idiot?

The self checkout kiosk has a functional purpose. It's meant to be used. And it cannot be used by more than one person at a time. Get in, finish your business, and promptly leave. It's not like you're in the aisle pondering your decision about which shampoo to purchase -- people can walk around you in that instance. But in this one, you are actually a colossal waste of space.

In and out, people. It's not that hard. If you're going to waste that much time in front of the kiosk anyway, you may as well interact with a human cashier.

No comments: