Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Express Yourself

You know, it used to be that the biggest cluster#@$ at a retail store was the "Express" lane, where, in fact, nothing is express. I think they just call it that so the sad sap of a cashier that gets stuck there feels special.

If you work in retail, here's a little hint: Being told you've been "promoted" to the express lane is like having the principal explain that you were so good at fifth grade she'd like you to do it again.

Once you've suffered through an express lane, you can see why they limit the number of items you can have in your order. If you had to watch your life slip away for more than 15 items you'd undoubtedly go apeshit and just start killing people at random...

...which would be easier because they probably have firearms for sale at the express lane. Heck, they've got everything else. Cigarettes? Behind the counter at the express lane. Seasonal merchandise? Express lane. Lottery tickets? Postage stamps? Right there...in...the...express...lane.

Here's a concept: How about having 15 items or less BEHIND the express lane? Let's give the mouth breather wearing his nametag upside down at least a fair shot.

But like I said, that used to be the worst experience.

Enter the "self checkout" lane:

Here, everyone gets to try to find the barcode and scan it over a snot-covered mirror, and I certainly agree that everyone should get to try it...


Here's my plan (thanks for asking). When you go to the self checkout lane you scan your license first, then the register checks your past attempts. If you can't find a barcode within 30 seconds, or if it takes you more and than 45 seconds to get the scanned item into a bag; or if you can't figure out that you can't lean on, let you kids sit on, or put your pet dog on the scale where the bags are the machine politely directs you to another lane.

Preferably an express lane.

Heck, if you really screw up, it could automatically print an application to work in the express lane.

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