Wednesday, January 31, 2007







"Item removed from bagging"

"Please rescan item."

"Beep, please rescan, Beep, please rescan,.."

"Contacting Clerk, please wait"

Ah the sounds of express self scan check out at my local grocer, Jewel.

I live for that self scan express lane. Granted it never seems express because there is always a small issue that comes up. But I've become quite the savvy self check out- girl, woman, person, thingy.

Where does Jewel find the "VOICE" for the self check out? What a fun job that must be. To be given a script of nonchalant phrases to read over a microphone.

I'd like to do that.

I'd like to walk into a store and hear my voice announcing "contacting clerk, please wait."

Or better yet on one of those voice phone systems.

"To speak to a representative press 1"
"I did not get your account number either because you weren't speaking clearly or there is a poor connection, please re-speak your account #."

I'd like to do that. Seems simple enough!


I do my grocery shopping alone! But in order to accomplish this, I leave around 5:30 in the morning. There's nothing more calming than walking into a grocery store as the bakery is just pulling out it's first morning bread and cinnamon rolls.

Oh the smell!!!!!!!

And the amount of people in there-usually just myself and on occasion the "morning forgot my lunch career woman" running into the store quickly to pick up her daily dose of POMegranate juice and organic turkey with pine nuts.

But usually it's just me and the same employee staking out the "self express lanes" should an issue arise and that voice belts out, "contacting clerk, please wait." Oh yes, and the the morning stock boys which are generally maybe one or two.

Today I'm walking down the cereal aisle and I can hear the conversation of the two store stock boys/men/employee's. The one guy is talking about how he did his own taxes the night prior, and how he's getting back,..wait for it,...$279.oo from the IRS.

It made me sad.
He was so proud of himself. I could hear it in his voice. How he enunciated the fact that he "did his own taxes" and then made such a big deal about how much his return was,like he just struck it rich. The other guy listening to him didn't say much from what I could tell. But then the do it yourself tax accountant said, "I have to go back and check just to make sure, cause I didn't finalize it." It was as if his dreams were stomped on. Suddenly the confidence and the pride of it all was washed down the drain.

At least that's what it seemed like. I mean for all I know he could have 6 kids and claim as much on his check as possible in order to make ends meet. Or maybe he doesn't have the necessary software to aid him in itemizing his return.

I can't explain it, but it made my heart ache for him. I wanted to go down aisle by aisle and say to him, "wow, that's a lot of money, it's always nice to have a good return."

But I didn't. Remember, it's 5:30 in the morning, and when there is next to no one in the store besides you and the am shift- conversations that appear to be on the next aisle over, generally aren't. I eventually tracked down the self proclaimed accountant down on the tuna, condiment aisle..5 aisles down.
By then the two guys were discussing whether or not they're going to come into work monday morning if the bears win. AH HA!

So I continue on my peaceful journey of shopping and am nearly finished!

Remember, I live for the self check out. There's something liberating about scanning your items across that red infrared beam that screams LIFE IS GOOD! As the voice from beyond reminds you of how much it's costing you and what discount you'll receive by using your jewel card.

Approaching the self check out, the same morning guy is there-remember, he's always there. Standing at his throne. Proud. Proud to be in charge of voiding an error with a turn of his key on the self scan express check out.

Unfortunately as like the other day when I was there, he views my items in the cart and says, "I can take you over there on checkout 1,there's quite a bit of items you have there."

I wanna do it MYSELF!

I want to feel like I'm on my throne.
I know how to do it.
I know the different buttons for Granny smith apples and Granny smith apples in a bag.
I know the process.

I want to be recognized for the fabulous way I glide those cans across that scanner.
For the speed and precision I display as I bag those jars of baby food.

But, he's being helpful!
So I say, "Are you sure?" "I have no problem managing this on my own."

Needless to say I end up at Check out 1, he scans the items, the voice tells him how much I'm spending instead of just exclusively directed at me. Yet, not willing to accept defeat, I begin to bag my own items, subconsciously hoping that he'll be aware of it and offer me a job as head bagger for the tremendous job I'm doing.

He doesn't.

I go to the same grocer. About the same time every other week.
The same guy is there.
The same thing has happened the past two times.
But the guy acts as if it's my first visit there.

I wonder if he's thinking, "what kind of fool loads up her cart at 5:30 in the morning and enjoys self scanning?"

Hmmm, I wonder.
But until then I'll continue my morning shopping attempts in the hopes that I'll have that time to shine with the self scan check out express exclaiming, "You saved $10.15."

Welcome to Crustybeef.
I am a scanning freak.


Anonymous said...

I love going to the store that early in the morning. It is so peacefull. Great read. very entertaining. I want to learn more about and your kids and your husband. What is the reason you started this blog? just curious.


Thanks for the compliment ANON,.
to answer your question, "what was the reason I started this blog,.." was due to the fact that I'm an at home mom and felt completely detached with the world. I good friend of mine designed his own website and I asked him what was involved with that process..he mentioned to me about starting off in baby steps,..hence blogging, and then going from there. So, taking his advice I googled blog and the blogspot was the first one on the page,...hence the present.
Plus, a family member of mine suggested writing because at the generation of the blog I was experiencing some serious mood swings and writing has always refreshed my soul in the past. I hope this answers your question and I hope you'll come back for more reading.

Anonymous said...

What makes me sad for this bloke in Jewel is he thought he RECEIVED something back from Uncle Sam.

He doesn't know that the government has been holding that $279 all year when he could've invested it.

Not too bright a fellow. Take the money now, save or invest it carefully, and you'll be ahead in April instead of getting this nebulous gift.

It just ain't no gift.