Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Getting my own back on the self service check out...

Generally I avoid the self service check outs at our local supermarket. It never runs smoothly, for countless reasons: bar codes not being accepted on reduced items, the machine not liking library books already being in my own shopping bag, stuff being accidentally scanned twice, unexpected item in the bagging area...All of which then entails standing around waiting for an elusive shop assistant to come and bail me out.

Instead I prefer dealing with a human. (I am that annoying middle-aged lady in front of you in the queue who likes to chat to the shop assistant and pay with the exact money, spending hours ferreting around in the dark recesses of her purse for that final penny.)

Husband can't be doing with all that. He brings all his loose change home. Some of it goes in our Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal collection box and some of it gets dumped in a pot.




And every now and again, when I'm feeling stony broke and I've got just a few items to buy I empty the contents of the pot into a bag and take it to the supermarket and use it all in one go at the self service check out.

This was the highlight of my day today (I know, I know, I lead a very exciting life). A whole £5 of what feels like 'free' money!

It is not an activity to be done in a rush. I make sure I pick a quiet time in the store so I can savour feeding the money in a few coins at a time. It's like being at the penny arcades on a rainy day at the seaside, especially when the machine spits a few coins out.

Sometimes it all goes smoothly and my small act of defiance goes unnoticed. Other times the machine cottons on to what I'm doing and starts to get annoyed. It puts its cash gobbling conveyor belt into reverse and makes unpleasant mechanical noises because it knows I'm sticking it to The Man, to all those soulless automated procedures everywhere that put real people out of a job, and to all those Coinstar machines that change your coins into notes but take a fee for doing so. I won't be beaten. I always win this particular battle, however many shop assistants I have to enlist onto my side, and you know what? I'll be back with a bagful of coppers another time..

28 comments:

  1. I'm going to try this.....Payback....hehehe x

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  2. Ha ha! This really made me laugh as I know EXACTLY which store you are talking about! Only last Saturday ( on my second work related trip there) I did wonder where all the humans have gone to? I have lots of 1ps saved up so may follow your trick, although I also use the Coinstar change machine at Sainsburys.

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    1. I often think about the good old days before the two Co-op refurbs that we've lived through, when the tills were fully staffed. This evening there was only one lady in charge of the kiosk counter and the four self service check outs and no-one on the tills. Bonkers!

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  3. I have NEVER used a self service checkout but I'm now tempted to give it a try! Good post :-)

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    1. Good for you for being part of the resistance...

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  4. I do use the self checkout because I've learned most of the tricks to make it work smoothly. My husband, who doesn't go to the store as often, can't stand them for all of the reasons you listed. And fortunately, our bank has a Coinstore type machine that doesn't charge any money for processing. With all of that being said, the act of putting all of those coins into a slot sounds really appealing. I feel a shopping trip coming on.

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    1. Being a fellow lover of simple things, I think you'd enjoy it!

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  5. I have £10 worth of coppers lying around. Do you think I dare pay for my Christmas chocolates with it?

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  6. I loathe self service checkouts and refuse to use them (luckily the supermarket we go to makes a big point
    of not having any unlike the other one across the road - good on you Foodland!). I'll even stand at the library
    and wait for ten minutes to have a human check out my books. The only time I've had to use one was at an
    airport overseas (in Australia you still have a choice of human or machine).

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    1. I'm so glad you've been able to avoid the self service check outs and I really like your stance in the Library!

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  7. Oh that is WONDERFUL! You've made my day :) I must try this :)

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  8. Hooray! Kudos to you! I am going to do this also. The coin areas in those machines are tiny! if we all fill them then they will have to be emptied and then they need more staff. Down with Self Service I say!

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    1. Lol did this yesterday. £3 in coppers. The woman was watching me from a distance. the traffic light was flashing red and it took forever. Every time I have pennies and twos I am going to pay with those when I have a few pounds. dang things. Shouting they were, do you have a club card, thank you for shopping at tescos, urgh. Machines that shout for crying out loud. get rid of them already.

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  9. I agree with you about self-service checkouts taking people's jobs - but what a wonderful act of defiance!!

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  10. You have hit on a great idea...I must try this too!

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  11. I'm the opposite to you - I love the self-service checkout because it means I don't have to talk to anyone :) They do tend to hate other things being in the bags though, and then you have to call a staff member over anyway!

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  12. The self-service tills at the supermarkets don't like my many cotton bags. Nuff said!

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  13. Good for you! Yes, I frequently have issues with them! My local coop ones won't accept any of those money off vouchers- you HAVE to go to a person which isn't always easy! Tis most annoying. I did come looking for your Pause in Advent but this will do instead!x

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    1. I've had the same issue with vouchers - it took a long time even when the staff member came to help me as she wasn't sure how to deal with that one on the self service machines. Pause in Advent now blogged so I hope you return!!

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