Posted by: Mike Ring | December 4, 2009

grocery stores now cater to the antisocial

The Giant close to our house has recently added a new shopping feature that does away completely with human interaction. They are hand held beepy scanner things that read barcodes from the items you want so all you have to do is pay at a kiosk and walk out without having said a word to anybody. It has made the grocery shopping experience completely impersonal and robotic. I think it is just fantastic. A lot of people complain that this will take jobs from cashiers. That might be true, but so far the only thing I have noticed is that it makes them more eager to help. Stores without scanners, or even self-checkout lines (yes I am talking about that shit pile known as Food Lion) have the absolute worst customer service I have ever experienced. At the one I go to, you are lucky to get a glance from your cashier, and if you do, it is usually backed with such hatred that you kind of want to just steal everything in your cart to avoid it — jail is probably better. They are also slower than a constipated 90 year old so a line of two people usually means a three-day wait. I actually had one cashier who was cussing out her boyfriend, or pimp, on the phone while scanning my food and took a break half way through to go tell the manager all about what a fucking dick faced jerk Jimmy was being and that low life son-of-a-bitch better have his friends out before she gets home he ain’t never gonna see her naked again (a thought that made me understand why people set themselves on fire). I was a little worried she would forget to scan my coupons. At Giant, this is never the case. Sometimes when I only have a few things I go to a real live human cashier just because they are so nice. This is more of what I am used to from growing up in the Midwest where people usually at the very least act like they give a shit.



  1. What a nice little, somewhat phallic, gadget. I have already been programmed to accept the sound of beeps at the checkout as reward for good shopping behavior. Now – I can beep myself? DIY operant conditioning – god those neuromarketing specialists are friggen geniuses!

    • and even better yet, when one of your purchases triggers an “auto-coupon” it makes a CHA-CHING sound.

      • of course it does – it is all part of the plan, man

  2. This gadget is a dream come true! Just imagine you have rewarded yourself with a day of doing nothing and speaking to no one, and suddenly realize you’re out of chocolate pudding and magic grow sea animals. Do you slap a smile on your face and go to the grocery store, or do you have a less perfect day than originally planned? Neither – you stay in your pajamas, zip to Giant, scan your necessities and go, avoiding eye contact the entire time. Yay!

  3. I like the new logo!
    I’m completely impartial, too.
    Are T-shirts next?

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