I recently started working at a locally owned grocery store in my area as a cashier, and I’ve learned that the worst thing is when you’re in charge of the self-checkout lanes. Now watching the self-checkout lanes sounds easy, right? All I have to do is stand there and watch, wrong. I’ve comprised a list of things I’ve noticed and pet peeves.
1. Big loads
The self checkout is not always the fastest way to get out of the store. I constantly see people come through with large orders and it takes them longer because they have to lookup every single bakery/produce item. It’s easier and hassle free if you go through a lane with a cashier, because we have all those PLU numbers memorized and can go through a giant order a lot faster.
Plus, then the bagging area doesn’t get crowded and the employee in charge of the self checkout can help bag your items and other customers as well.
2. Not removing carts
Most people leave their baskets at the self checkout and I’m okay with that, but are you really too lazy to take back your own cart?! My biggest pet peeve is when a customer leaves their cart in the self checkout lane when they leave. You’re heading past the cart carrel as you leave, take your cart with you!
I understand people who are in a rush and need to get out of there as fast as possible, but being rude is not tolerable in my book. I’m a person too, and I don’t like being treated less because you’re in a bad mood.
4. On the phone
It’s just plain rude.
5. Leaving your receipt
Just throw it away. My job isn’t to remove receipts every transaction, because you couldn't throw it in the trash that is at the end of the lane!
6. When the machine doesn’t work
It must be my fault, because I’m in charge and obviously have a magical control over the systems. Just be patient, and I will come as soon as I can to help the situation. Most of the time, people just don’t follow the instructions given by the machine, because they are in too much of a rush to listen.
Also if it doesn’t work the first time, try again, don’t hit the machine.
7. Not aware of your surroundings
A lot of people don’t read, or listen to the instructions given by the self checkout machines. When people swipe their debit/credit cards that forget to push the pay button and select which payment option they want. So they stand there, looking at the machine and swiping their card over and over again wondering why it’s not working or taking so long.
8. It HAS to go through the scanner
Some places give you the option to not bag the item, but at our store it has to go through the scanner. I’ve seen too many times where people scan their wine bottles and then carry them to the bagging area. Trust me, they won’t break if you lay them on their side. The machine NEEDS the item to go through the scanner so it knows it’s the item you say it was.
Working self checkout isn’t all bad. I do interact with some of the kindest people. I’ve struck up interesting conversations and have been complimented several times about how lovely my smile is.
The self checkout isn’t always that bad, sometimes it’s very busy and hectic and then other times it’s dead.
So the next time you’re at a store and decided to go through the self checkout, remember your manners and that we will try our best to get you out of there as fast as we can, and help you to the best of our ability. Your experience depends on you.