I have searched high and low on the internet for a picture of self check-out in action. This picture was with an article found here.
I wanted a point of reference as I tell you one of my most HILARIOUS embarassing life experiences. This is a good one, I promise, you want to keep reading.
O.k., much has been said about self-check out. Everyone has their own opinion about whether or not self check out is a good thing for society. My opinion of self checkout should have changed after my experience yesterday, but I have to admit that I will still be a frequent user of self check-out. I LOVE it.
I am addicted to self check-out. In fact, I HATE it when the workers who oversee the self checkout kiosks try to get too involved with my check out process. There is this one elderly employee at Wal-Mart that will stand by my side the whole time giving me tips, telling me how to unload my shopping cart, and what the codes are on the produce, and so forth. I want to shout at her, "Would you let me be? I am in the self checkout because I don't want to deal with people like you!" I guess she just doesn't understand that I am completely capable of scanning bar codes and swiping my own debit card. What she really doesn't get is the sheer joy I feel when "pretending" that I am the cashier(a job I always wanted to have as a child). "AND I REALLY WANT TO DO IT BY MYSELF...o.k. grandma!"
Well, there is my take on self checkout. Now let me tell you of my experience at Wal-Mart yesterday. [Don't you think I should start to tally how many times I write about Wal-Mart.] I guess it is a funny place. Let me tell you what, you would have been laughing hysterically if you were anywhere near me at Wal-Mart yesterday. I literally CHECKED MYSELF OUT!
Well, a friend offered to take my children for me so that I could do some heavy duty shopping. Bless her heart, there is NOTHING more painful than doing heavy duty shopping with three children under 6, unless you want to add more children to the scenario. I was in a HUGE hurry. Abigail started first grade today, and yesterday from 3-4 p.m. was the "meet the teacher" day. I dropped the kids off at one and vowed to be back by two; this would give me just enough time to get the groceries home, clean Abigail up, and drop Phia and Bella off at the other babysitter. I knew I would have to hurry. One hour is just not enough time to do heavy duty "I have nothing in the house" shopping.
So, of course, I found the time to be 2:05 and I hadn't even had a chance to navigate through the frozen food aisles. I made a mental note to do the frozen stuff later and hurried my way to the self-checkout, knowing that I had to make it real fast if I was going to get to the school by 3. O.k., so here is the crazy part:
I was unloading one shopping cart, checking items out, and loading them all into an empty shopping cart on the other side. I was crusing! I got my six gallons of milk scanned and set in the bottom portion of shopping cart #2. I then, proceeded on to my 12 pack of diet caffeine free dr. pepper. As I came back up (still, in a rushed mode, remember) I went to quickly grab the next item from my original shopping cart. Except my aim was WAY off. I slammed the top front part of my head against the corner of the scanning device. I heard a loud POP sound, and couldn't believe that I had slammed my head that hard in front of all those people. How embarassing. Little did I know that the slamming noise was the least of my worries.
I stood upright and brought my hand to my head, just hoping that I wouldn't find blood. I am unsure of what happened first, me feeling blood trickle down my face, or looking at my hand full of blood. I got dizzy and sat down on the "bagging" section of the self checkout. Thankfully there were no groceries there, leaving me a perfect little recovery bench. I am also thankful that the weighing device didn't shout out "weight not found" or "get off the scale". I sat there, put my head down, and held pressure on my bleeding head. How mortifying! There was blood all over my hair and face, the floor, my hand, and arm.
An older Tennessee native (who was missing most of her teeth) was walking by with her grandchildren right as all of this conspired. Normally, she would not be the kind of person that I might associate with, but yesterday before she left, I gave her a huge hug and told her, "Thank the Lord for Mothers!" She stepped right into action, grabbed a travel size kleenex off of the shelf and started handing them over. At one point she held them on my head for me. What a woman. She didn't know me or my blood history at all. In fact during the confusion I did promise her that my blood was clean. I probably stressed her out, as I am the kind of paranoid person that worries about blood diseases and so forth and she probably hadn't even thought of it.
Finally, the Wal-Mart workers became aware of what was going on. The first one on the scene questioned my new older friend, "What happened?" I shouted out, "She beat me up!" You gotta make light of the situation, right? How else does a person survive such an embarassment? Everyone had a good laugh and more and more Wal-Mart workers came out of the woodwork. (Why is that when you need a worker you can never find one? And, if you ever need customer service, you have to stand in a line for at least 15 minutes?.......Because ALL Wal-Mart workers feel the need to respond to a little emergency like a lady bleeding all over their floor in self checkout) One of the workers commented to the other, "She is bleeding like a stuck pig." I don't know if she was looking at the scale that I was sitting on or if she was trying to make any reference to my weight, but golly, do you think that was what I needed to hear at this horrific moment? Like everyone couldn't see the blood for themselves!
So, I started to regain consciousness, and threw out a request to my Wal-Mart fan club...."Can someone please get the Wipees from my purse?" (a good mom always has the wipees within arms reach) I started wiping off my head and hands and at this moment, the nicest worker, who happened to look a little like my husband, said, "Oh, here, sweetie, let me clean up your eyes." I closed them so that he could take care of me, unlike the rest of the staff who just stood around staring in awe. Someone did bring me some ice which was really nice. Then, the short little manager (you know he is a manager because he wears a red vest) asked me if he could take a statement. The nice guy that looked like my husband proceeded to check out the rest of my cart (or buggy as they call it here in TN). I stood up and proclaimed to the crowd of 8 that I would not sue Wal-Mart. It was totally my own clumsy fault. The short man said it was protocol to have me sign something.
I said, "Can you make it quick? I have to go and meet my daughter's teacher right now." This brought a roar of laughter. I guess I looked pretty awful and holding that bag of ice on my head didn't help the situation. I then got a stroke of genius. I said to the crowd, "Come to think of it, maybe I could get Wal-Mart to pay my husband's way through LAW school." Everyone laughed and the short serious manager replied with a worried tone, "Your husband isn't really in law school, is he?" I loved to get his goat and said, "Yes he is, and maybe I should call him before I sign anything." He tried to play it off like he wasn't worried, but what he was probably thinking about was the little sign that they keep in the break room that will now proclaim 0 days since an accident on the sales floor. I laughed and told him I was kidding, and reasurred him that I wasn't going to sue. He informed me that I had only 24 hours to let Wal-Mart know if I was in need of anything.
I then tried to awkwardly push my VERY heavy shopping cart out of the store while holding a bag of ice on my head. I smiled to myself because I was on my way, and maybe would even make it to meet the teacher on time. And, I had to laugh at myself. How many people on the internet have a self checkout story that even compares to mine? I survived checking MYSELF out at Wal-Mart. (and I am not talking about in the dressing room mirror) I can never show my face there again, but hey, I survived.