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The archetypes of supermarket self service at the Erindale Woolies

By johnboy - 15 July 2009 36

In our earlier discussion of the merits of self-service at supermarket checkouts in Canberra Woody Mann-Caruso has devoted some time to the different characters inhabiting the self service lines at the Erindale Woolworths.

I enjoyed it enough to give it some light editing and a reposting as its own story. So here they are:

Which self serve archetypes do you hate the most? (Choose two)

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    Broccoli Man:

    Broccoli Man believes there is a tiny person in the checkout. By waving his broccoli in front of the machine, he shows it to the tiny person who (a) can tell that it’s broccoli and (b) can tell exactly what it weighs. Isn’t technology wonderful? Broccoli Man is endlessly disappointed when he puts the broccoli in the bag only to get an angry beep. Rather than trying something different, Broccoli Man just does the same thing over and over and over again until the attendant shows him how to Look Up Item. Then he tries to scan the next non-scannable item.

    Trolley Woman:

    Trolley Woman has eleven thousand items in her trolley. Trolley Woman is determined to scan each and every one in a particular order. See, Trolley Woman is rummaging for something at the bottom of the trolley. Now she looks at it. She looks at the bag. She looks at the item. She looks at the bag. She realises her error – it is not the shampoo’s destiny to be scanned now. Back in the trolley, and more rummaging.

    Homeschool Mother:

    Homeschool Mother lets her two very special children with their very special home haircuts and their very special home-knit Jesus Jumpers take turns picking what they want to scan, then watches them fight over who gets to scan it, then lets them fight over who puts it in the bag. She does this for all four hundred Sanitarium carob products in her trolley. God bless them all.

    Premature Lad:

    Premature Lad doesn’t wait for the green light. He wants this done as fast as he can. He scans and scans and scans and throws it all in the bag, then frowns at the red light. His wife frowns, too. I don’t wonder why one little bit.

    Alphabet Man:

    Alphabet Man knows how to use the ‘Look Up Item’ button, so in a way he’s ahead of Broccoli Man. However, he doesn’t know what ‘alphabetical order’ means, and so scrolls up and down the screens looking for ‘apples’ after ‘asparagus’.

    Retina Dysfunction Girl:

    Born with the rods and cones in her eyes upside down and with a dodecahedrol lens, she cannot find bar codes on objects. Any object. Ever. Watch as she turn the Just Right box round and round and round and round. “It’s on the bottom,” I cough helpfully. “Thanks,” she says. Then she does the same thing with the next Just Right box.

    What Line Dude:

    What Line Dude figures that there are six checkouts, so there should be six lines. Here, he’ll just start line number two right at the front, and the thirty people in line number one can just got f*** themselves.

    You Serve Self Serve Lady:

    YSSS Lady loves the convenience of the self-serve checkouts. She particularly loves making the attendant scan and bag every single one of her items for her, because she doesn’t know how it works.

    Random Slot Guy:

    Random Slot Guy puts his money in the EFTPOS machine. The change slot. He tries scanning the money. He’s confused. His girlfriend is unhappy. Again, we know why.

    Transformation Man:

    TM has pulled the stems off those gourmet tomatoes. He presses Look Up Item and selects the cheap tomatoes. He rings up that bag of $12.99/kg snow peas as $3.99 green beans. Those $7.99 Lebanese cucumbers are $2.99 zucchinis. He doesn’t seem to get caught. Once, the attendant stops him. “Sorry,” he says, “wasn’t thinking.” The attendant smiles and says it’s OK. I think this is why I hate him the most. That, or because he has his new HSV parked in a disabled space and he isn’t.

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
The archetypes of supermarket self service at the Erindale Woolies
Thumper 3:20 pm 15 Jul 09

hehe, excellent post.

Enny 3:11 pm 15 Jul 09

The funniest I saw at Erindale woolies was the guy who scanned a bag of potatoes, then ran off with them as soon as the security/assistant lady got called to help someone at a register… Transformation Man Mach II.

Jim Jones 3:04 pm 15 Jul 09

That’s about the best post I’ve ever read.

I am premature lad!

sunshine 2:54 pm 15 Jul 09

thanks for this one JB – gave me my lol for the day AND went shopping at the local Woolies and put everyone in their little labels whilst waiting in line for my turn. Actually made shopping fun for once.

rosiered 2:27 pm 15 Jul 09

pml! that has made my day. too funny

Reprobate 2:26 pm 15 Jul 09

screaming banshee said :

Izzyduck said :

s-s-a – you need to wait for the light to change from red to green after you have bagged an item, then you can remove the bag to your trolley & start to fill the next one.

There’s a light?

+1!

Oh, and Woolies pleeeese ban the trolleys from the self serve line!

screaming banshee 1:21 pm 15 Jul 09

Izzyduck said :

s-s-a – you need to wait for the light to change from red to green after you have bagged an item, then you can remove the bag to your trolley & start to fill the next one.

There’s a light?

Loose Brown 1:04 pm 15 Jul 09

GOLD WMC!!!!

But you forgot New Australian:

New Australian approaches the self serve in a timid fashon. Watch as it becomes apparent that New Australian cannot read or write in English. Listen as the machine provides New Australian with totally undecipherable gibberish. New Australian stares uncomprehensively at the machine, and then around at the other five New Australians doing the same thing at every other self serve point.

Izzyduck 12:58 pm 15 Jul 09

s-s-a – you need to wait for the light to change from red to green after you have bagged an item, then you can remove the bag to your trolley & start to fill the next one.

chewy14 12:49 pm 15 Jul 09

I am Transformation man, without the HSV.
Come on,
if the checkout chick doesn’t know the difference between truss tomatoes and normal ones then why should I?
And i really did think i put normal button mushrooms in the bag and not swiss brown or shitake’s. Honest.

s-s-a 12:45 pm 15 Jul 09

seem to be missing, competent git, who walks up the machine, everything works first time, takes his items and walks away with a smirk on his face at everybody else’s issues

He is missing because he doesn’t exist!?

LOL at most of the descriptions.

And on a serious note – can someone please tell me how to get a full bag out of the “bagging area” so I can scan more things without incurring the wrath of the lady inside the machine and having to ask the attendant for help???

ahappychappy 12:42 pm 15 Jul 09

Hahahaha @ Homeschool Mother and What Line Dude. Love it!

Made my day!

Thoroughly Smashed 12:42 pm 15 Jul 09

Unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure of observing the self-serve checkouts anywhere. I was wondering whether the system could be gamed for cheap veggies, and it sounds like I haven’t been disappointed.

I suspect Transformation Man, being an HSV owner/driver, is on that basis already fully qualified to use that disabled parking spot.

johnboy 12:33 pm 15 Jul 09

LlamaFrog said :

seem to be missing, competent git, who walks up the machine, everything works first time, takes his items and walks away with a smirk on his face at everybody else’s issues.

Maybe if he could get to the front of the line…

LlamaFrog 12:28 pm 15 Jul 09

seem to be missing, competent git, who walks up the machine, everything works first time, takes his items and walks away with a smirk on his face at everybody else’s issues.

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