WorthyD's Guide to the Self-Checkout Line

January 01, 2011

I'm generally a "keep to myself person" when I'm in public. When I'm in a super market, I try to get out as soon as possible, avoid eye contact with other people and avoid small talk with cashiers. The self-checkout line has been the greatest thing for me EVER!

The self-checkout line can also be the most annoying and frustrating thing ever.... How? Why? User error, impatience, and general lack of paying attention. So I'll stop rambling and present you with (in a giant h1 tag!):

WorthyD's Guide to the Self-Checkout Line!

AKA: How not to piss-off the people behind you in line

Here's a fair warning. The Queen (my wife) and I just waited in line for 20 minutes due to two people who where unable to simply follow the first step, so I'm a LITTLE on edge.

The machine is smarter than you

Pretty simple concept. It's a better machine than you give it credit. Most of your frustrations are your fault. Get over it.

Know the steps

You scan an item. The machine beeps. Put the item in the bag. This is where MOST problems are. The bag station has a scale on it. It will wait until it feels the weight of the item. It knows about how much it should weigh. There is a red light on the scanner that will turn green after it registers. THIS is when you can scan your next item or remove your bag and put it in your cart.

Lets go over that again: Scan, beep, bag, WAIT FOR THE GREEN!!!!!!!, remove bag, and continue.

Be patient with the touch screen

The machine kinda needs to warm up when you start pressing the screen. There is a tone when you touch the screen. If you hear the tone, your touch registered. I'm almost positive that if you touch the screen again, that touch will register for the next screen. So if you press the "Start Now" button twice before the screen changes, the second touch will put you in the item look up screen before you know it.

No security boxes or cables

High end electronics and video games have the boxes or cables around them. You'll have to wait for the self checkout attendee to unlock them. It takes too much time. Checkout at that department instead.

Not a two player game

The Queen and I have tried to double team the self-checkout to speed things up. You end up going faster than the machine. It doesn't work and will cause many arguments. MANY ARGUMENTS!!!!

Plastic makes it possible!

If you are going to pay with cash, make sure they are crisp bills!!!! Do crumpled up bills work in vending machines? Heck no! Do yourself a favor and use the card. Plus, you never know when the machine will run out of cash. This happened to me once and my buddies ended up waiting in the car because it took so long.

Treat it like an express checkout.

You will end up with a floor full of bagged groceries if you show up with a full cart. Most of these stations don't have conveyor belt and there isn't the rotating bags of doom to hold all of your bags. The local one only has a two bag station and a shelf that holds a carry basket.

No Coupons!!!!

Coupons always break the rules of a speedy checkout. I'll pay you the 75 cents you'll save by using them to hurry up and get out of my way.

No Price Checks!!!

By using the self checkout line, you forfeit all rights to dispute price. If you're buying a bunch of clearances/sale items just use the regular checkout.

Keep it simple stupid!

Great advice, hurts my feelings every time. Keep produce items to a minimum. No giant or awkward sized items that wont fit in the scale area. No propane exchange, bags of ice, bags of mulch, or any other items that require assistance or you don't physically have with you at the time of checkout.

©2020 Daniel Worthy

Opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions of my employer.