Self-Service Humiliation

I found myself in this bizarre nightmare a few years ago but I was reminded of the story over the weekend so I thought I’d share. Yet another reason I should not be allowed in the grocery store.

I was in the store grabbing a few random items and I decided to use the self check-out lane. This would be my first time. Bad idea. For starters, if I’m going to do all of the work I should get a small discount. Don’t you think? Second, who the hell designed these kiosks? Clearly someone with a sick sense of humor. Or someone who couldn’t hear very well.

I approached the kiosk and placed my basket on the shelf below the scanner. I reached into the basket and pulled out a bunch of bananas and placed them on the scale. The machine’s computerized voice screamed, “Please place your BANANAS on the conveyor belt.”

Holy crap, I thought. That was loud. I looked over my shoulder. Thankfully, no one was behind me in line.

I scanned the next item. The computer voice activated again. “Please place your SPINACH on the conveyor belt.” This time, the voice seemed even louder. I glanced down the row of self check-in kiosks. No one seemed to be paying much attention. I peered into my basket and panicked. I only had a few items remaining but I didn’t want them blared over the intercom. Reluctantly, I continued.

I scanned the next item. “Please place your STOOL SOFTENER on the convertor belt.” This time, the computer voiced echoed off the loose change machine that sat directly across from my kiosk.

Oh My God. I looked around again. Ninety-nine sets of eyes glared at me. I could feel my face heating up. I had no choice. I continued.

I scanned my last item. “Please place your PERSONAL LUBRICANT on the conveyor belt.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I groaned. It got worse. Much worse. As if now having twelve people in line behind me wasn’t horrifying enough, the kiosk rejected the item.

“Please retrieve your PERSONAL LUBRICANT from the baggage area and rescan.”

Customers began to congregate at the end of my kiosk. The show was just getting started.

I just want to go home. 

I rescanned the item. “Price check for PERSONAL LUBRICANT on kiosk 2.” And cue the flashing red light on the top of the kiosk. I wanted to disappear.

The only saving grace was that in the kiosk next to me was a short, well endowed older woman whose chest was literally resting on the conveyor belt. When she weighed her cantaloupes the machine screamed, “Please place your MELONS on the conveyor belt.” She and I made eye contact and immediately bonded.

Please tell me I’m not the only one this has happened to.

5 thoughts on “Self-Service Humiliation

  1. Finally, the wait ends. Your post is up 🙂 sorry to hear about your experience. Sounds absolutely mortifying! 😀 Good read, though. 🙂


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