Channeling Grandma


NaBloPoMo14DayTwentyThreeI am often shocked when I use words or phrases that are straight out of the mouths of the long-dead. The older I get the more I find that I am channeling, for example, my paternal Grandmother, as I blurt out such gems as, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The world is going to hell in a hand basket.” She loved that one.

I found myself trotting out this “oldie by goodie” the other day in response NOT to something horrific, but because I was faced with the difficult choice of being the eleventh person in the only “manned” line at the home improvement store or using the immediately available “self-checkout” line. Was the “world” indeed “going to hell in a hand basket” as a result of my having to scan a few items? No. No, it was not. Even as I said it, I knew I was slightly overreacting to the situation.

Self-checkout kiosks annoy me, though. They really, really do. For a variety of what I consider to be very valid reasons.

Primarily, I feel that by using them I bear some responsibility for the loss of human jobs. Who needs that sort of guilt when they’re trying to purchase something as simple as a gallon of paint or a tube of caulk? Not me, that’s for sure. Too much pressure.

Speaking of feeling pressured, another reason I eschew the whole self-checkout process is because I often encounter an embarrassing problem when I do so, that of operator error — the operator in question being me. I’m the person that always requires a manager to complete my transaction. I put my paint in the bag too quickly or I don’t bag my tube of caulk quickly enough. I don’t know. I’m never sure where I went wrong. They always tell me, but it’s hard to concentrate when all the bells and whistles are going off at my register — alerting store officials to the fact that I am either an idiot or that I am attempting to get up to some funny business with their merchandise. This is the one area of my life where I don’t mind admitting to being an idiot. (It’s certainly better than being called a thief!)

Finally, it irks me to pay top dollar for my home improvement needs and then be asked to do someone else’s job, you know, for my convenience. It’s not convenient for me. I wonder how folks would feel if, where I work, we required our customers to fish their own food out of the kitchen window while continuing to charge them the same price for their meal. I doubt we could sell that as a convenience. And yet, all the signs at the self-checkout kiosks tout that they are there to make the consumer’s life easier. Not this consumer.

I’m not a cashier. I don’t work at the home improvement store. If I wanted to, I’d go ahead and fill out an application. I’m sure they would be delighted to add someone with my attitude to their staff. On the up side, they’d probably teach me how to use the damn machines.

While THE world may not be going to hell in a hand basket, it often feels as if MY world is. Luckily I learned dramatic delivery and a few choice phrases at my Grandmother’s knee.

35 thoughts on “Channeling Grandma

  1. I hate self-check out, too. I always ask for help-I’m the customer after all!

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  2. I hate self-check outs and always ask for a person to help me. I don’t need to master it-I’m the customer!

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  3. Love it! You hit the nail right on the head with this post. So many things!

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  4. Oh, I love the self check-out and am annoyed when it’s not available. That’s when I think the world’s going to hell in a hand basket 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. angelaweight says:

    I love those old Grandma sayings. My granny always used to say “Well, I swahnee!!!” I never knew swahnee was a verb. I thought it was a river. Anyway, I hate self checkouts too. I feel like the machine looks down on me as a stupid human who isn’t smart enough to follow simple directions. Well, I swahnee. Maybe I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CaptCruncher says:

    I knew this was going to be good when I read the title!! You might appreciate this…. Once in the self check out line in Home Depot with my husband, I reached around him and before he could stop me, I chose Spanish on the language screen. Hey, it made just as much sense to him in Spanish as English.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OK, I must be the renegade here. I do love self-checkout (although I don’t like the idea of taking someone’s job). Which is not to say that I’ve never stood in front of the screen, completely flummoxed and needing assistance.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tamwarner says:

    I love old sayings. “That dog don’t hunt”; “reckon so”; “for Pete’s Sake” (who the hell is Pete?)

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  9. kimtb says:

    I am confused by self-checkout. It’s the store’s last opportunity for great customer service, why would they skip it? Oh…maybe because customer service isn’t their top priority? I’ll just take my handbasket and find a store that cares. Harumph.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. janieemaus says:

    I use self checkout when I’m with my grandkids. They love it. But what a strange concept it would have been for my grandparents.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I hate to use them! The only time I do is when there are no clerks. When I have used them, they never work…must be the machine!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. staciafern says:

    It is definitely a different world. I realize that, when I’m shuffled through 30 people dealing with Cell Phone company issues!. That handbasket better be pretty HUGE! 🙂

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  13. I LOVE this! I use the term ‘I don’t know him from Skippy’ often. I have no idea who Skippy is and neither did my grandmother. Hahahaaa

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Roz Warren says:

    I never use self checkout for just that reason — I don’t want to put actual people out of a job. The day my local supermarket goes all self serve is the day I start shopping elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • javaj240 says:

      My supermarket does not even have ONE self-checkout 🙂 Love it!

      There is a national grocery chain close by that — GET THIS — “allows” you to take a scanner and scan all of your groceries as you shop. I know people who love it. I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Are THEY paying YOU?” Seriously ridiculous!

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  15. Jess Alter says:

    I use self-checkout when the lines are oppressively long. As a kid, I wanted to be a grocery store checker. I also wanted to work at a full-service gasoline service station. Those service industry jobs just seemed exciting to me.

    Your post was interesting and funny. Hell in a shopping hand basket, brought to us by the self-checkout revolution.

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  16. Cathy says:

    I always wonder why the employee watching you trying to self-check is laughing inside just waiting for us to make a mistake.

    You sounded a lot like Erma Bombeck in this post, Jackie. Good for you, funny lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    • javaj240 says:

      Cathy, that is the highest of compliments. Thank you so much.

      If only Erma had lived long enough to be inept at technology — how much fun would that have been?

      And, yes, I’m sure the employees laugh at us — like I laugh at the boobs who cannot operate a pepper mill.

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  17. When self-checkout first appeared, an ex and I would make a game of it. We never did it right and it would turn out to be a hilarious event. (yuo had to be there) But now? I’m a pro!

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