When I went to the Mart of Wal yesterday, something was different. I had noticed when I went there the previous time that they had moved out most of the "20 items or less" (which really should be FEWER and not LESS, my inner grammarian insists) lanes.
On the one hand, I count that as a bit of a win; the 20 items or fewer lanes are deceptive to rule-followers like me - I will get in line with a carton of milk and a bag of spinach, and think, "This won't take long, because no one will have over 20 items," but of course there is some person who has 45, but is "in a hurry" and therefore has the "right" to use what is supposedly the express lane. I've actually said: "They either need to enforce the 20-items policy, or get rid of the lanes."
But, the loss: they put in self-checkout check stands. I suppose that's so they can have fewer checkers than they already have. I have bad luck with self-checkout stands; at least the ones at the Kroger's in Sherman always do the "Unrecognized item!" error. Or the "Wait, you didn't bag that!" error. Or the "You scanned too fast....no, wait now you scanned to slowly!" error (I exaggerate, but not greatly).
I will say my experience with the self-checkout, once I got to a working stand (more about that in a moment) wasn't too bad - except the attendant had to come over and tell me, "Don't push the "I'm paying with a credit card" button before scanning your card even though it tells you to." (There's something symbolic about modern technology in that statement).
The first stand I went to, though, even though its green light was on, it had an error message on the screen. I mentioned it to the attendant and she came over and tried to fix it. And it turned out that someone had scanned a bunch of stuff and not paid. (And while it's possible they gave up when it wouldn't accept their credit card and went to a "real" check station, it's also possible they went through the motions and then walked out with about $25 of groceries. If that keeps up, the self-checkouts may not persist for long).
Oh, and on the "20 items or less" - I posted this once before, but I will post it again, just because I love Weird Al for doing it, and because it's appropriate here.
The expression on his face at the end just cracks me up.