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    The Machine Runs On Punch-Lines Of Code

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (I am working the self-scans, bagging a customer’s groceries. The customer puts two small plastic containers filled with olives on the belt. The self-scan is programmed not only to mention the price of an item, but also to weigh some items, and let people know if their item should be placed on the belt or not.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please take your item to the bagging area.”

    (The customer puts both containers on the belt instead of taking it to the bagging area, and watches as the belt doesn’t move.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please take your item to the bagging area.”

    (The customer puts her hand on both containers and instead of picking them up and giving them to me, she pushes them down the belt causing the self-scan to freeze.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please stand by. Help is on the way.”

    (The customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “Why do you need to help me?”

    Me: “Because you pushed your olives down the belt. You never have to put these on the belt. Just bring them to me so I can bag them.”

    Customer: “Oh! When the machine told me to bring these items straight down, I actually had to do it? I didn’t have to put them on the belt at all?”

    Me: “No, ma’am.”

    Customer: “I thought this machine was just joking with me.”