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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: I Hate Mondays! ~ Check THIS Out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Hate Mondays! ~ Check THIS Out!

Remember when the self checkout machines started showing up in grocery stores? They were the coolest things ever, like they were from }}}THE FUTURE{{{ (those symbols are supposed to denote an echoey voice). Yea, those things were great, at least the first few times I used them. Then I started to notice that they can be very rude and mean.

Sometimes I would start scanning some items and then next thing you know the conveyor belt reverses and the computer says "Pick up the item, and try again!" in a very stern voice. I never thought I'd see the day when a machine would get snippy with me. Or sometimes the computer would say "The bagging area is full, bag some items before scanning more items". Well, where's the bagging robot? Did he call off sick?

It did this to me one time after I had scanned my last item. It wouldn't even let me pay until I cleared the belt. So I went down and bagged everything and left. When I got home I unpacked all my groceries. Then I looked for the receipt so I could log it in my checkbook. I couldn't find it. Then I realized I forgot to pay. So I rushed back to the grocery store. Needless to say, they were glad I came back. They had my information because I had used my shopper's club card and they got my information from the computer. I had returned to the store just before they called the police. It kind of felt like a set-up, like the computer was trying to frame me. It distracted me and I'll bet as soon as I left the store without paying it started yelling "Thief, thief!"

So I try not to use them anymore. I'd rather interact with a person than a machine. People have become too disconnected from each other because of so many machines and gadgets. It seems the more we use machines, the more we become like them. We become desensitized, apathetic, routine, too logical...

One of the last times I used a self checkout machine was when I was in a hurry. I had one item and all the other registers had long lines. There was one self checkout left open. So I scanned my item and put it on the conveyor belt. Then the belt reversed and the computer said "Wait for assistance" I could have sworn it sighed before it told me to wait for assistance as if what it really wanted to say was "Wait for assistance you moron. You obviously don't know that I am an advanced piece of machinery and you can't just go swiping bar codes any way you like. You have to do it my way, with grace and elegance. I'm going to call one of my slaves over to show you how to do it the right way, now wait here." I'm pretty sure that's what it wanted to say.

I don't hate all machines but just like everything else, they can be used for good or for evil. There is actually a very pleasant ATM just outside the grocery store with a British accent. When I swipe my ATM card it says "Please enter your secret number." Delightful. I think self checkout machines were created with evil intentions though. There are some movies out there like the Matrix, Terminator, and The Notebook that are about machines rising up and taking over the world. Actually, I think I might be wrong about one of those movies. But anyway, these movies always depict some form of advanced technology that becomes self aware and then tries to take over the world. But if it ever does happen, it's probably going to start with a disgruntled self checkout machine.

But for those of you who might have Mechanophobia (the fear of machines), don't worry, just watch the videos below and know that we are safe.....for now.

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