A Great New Invention

I have been bothered more than usual, of late, by the unsanitary conditions present in grocery stores or other places that I shop.  This is a continuing theme that some may recognize from my last post, and fueled in large part by the growing popularity of reusable shopping bags.  This week I made a discovery that has provided some relief – self-checkout.

Self-checkout may not be that new, but I have avoided it in the past.  I tried it a couple of times when it was new in my area, but I kept overcharging myself.  I didn’t get a refund either because I wouldn’t catch the error on my receipt until I arrived home, and then how was I going to prove what had happened.  For the sake of my pocketbook, I have, therefore, been avoiding the self-checkout lines.  The only times in the last five years that I have broken down and used them are when I have been in a desperate hurry on my lunch hour from work, and I doubt that that has been more than three times.

Then something wonderful occurred this week.  It didn’t feel like a good thing at first, but it turned out to be a blessing.  I picked up everything on my list and headed for the checkout lines, and all the lines were long.  Under normal circumstances, I would have had plenty of time, but now I was concerned about getting back to work on time.  (Maybe some of you will remember that rushing can sometimes result in debilitating injury.)  As I did not have a large number of items, I realized that I did have self-checkout as an option.  I didn’t want to do it, but it seemed like the best choice under the circumstances.

I decided to do it.  I went over and got in line behind a customer that had only a couple of things on the diminutive counter, but then I realized that it was clothing that I was certain had just come off the person’s body in a dressing room.  (This was a large department-style store.)  That line was out.  I darted across to another line where a man was just leaving.  Perfect.  Since my last attempt at this, I learned from a store clerk that I had been scanning objects incorrectly, which contributed to the difficulty I had experienced previously.  I began scanning my groceries in the proper manner, taking them directly from the cart to the scanner to the nice, clean plastic bag.  I started to get a rush.  This was great!  No filthy counter, no clerk to swing the bags against his or her body – the pros just kept adding up.  Another bonus:  no one looking over your personal stuff and wondering why you’re buying so much rubbing alcohol.

This is a fantastic discovery.  I tested it by going back later in the week, and the experience was just as good the second time.  If I have to limit my number of items and go twice a week to use self-checkout, it will be completely worth the inconvenience.  I didn’t feel like I had to wipe down everything I purchased.  That makes up for some of the inconvenience.  Self-checkout lines should be mandatory in every store.  What would make this perfect would be cart liners.  Every cart should come with a removable liner.  If someone would invent biodegradable bags, then everyone would win.  Does anyone want to go into business with me?  Anyone?  Eli?

About admin

I am a female in my early 40's who has been dealing with OCD since age 10 and a fear of germs since 14.
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2 Responses to A Great New Invention

  1. Eli says:

    Removable cart liners! Great idea! The liners can be printed with store advertisements and public service announcements, such as “The Importance of Washing Your Horribly Contaminated Hands.” And for affluent customers looking for high-end products, let’s offer a shopping cart that incorporates the high-temperature technology used in self-cleaning ovens. Of course, we’ll need to include signs that read, “Please remove any groceries, purse, cane, children, and Chihuahuas before activating self-cleaning feature.”

    As to biodegradable plastic bags, we will need to engage a research team of world-renowned scientists to address this, so that reusable bags and fees for paper bags won’t be forced on us by the politicians. As you know, paper bags are considered biodegradable because they break down within a few years while plastic bags need decades and may even require exposure to oxygen and sunlight to break down properly. But really, the person having fun at the park built on top of the land fill doesn’t want his leg suddenly sinking into the ground because of biodegrading substrata. The biodegradability of bags is typically a concern for people imagining they are helping the environment by dragging around their foul, unwashed reusable bags, normally kept in the filthy back of their gas-guzzling Swollen Ugly Vehicles.

  2. Odin says:

    Self-checkout is the only way to go! I don’t understand why you’d ever do otherwise, I’ll happily go an hour out of my way to go to a store with self-checkout. It’s the way of the future!

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