Wednesday, November 19

Self-Serving - The NY Times charts the latest retailing trend, the self-service checkout lane. I found the story to be especially timely, given that I used a self-service register at Home Despot on Sunday. The interface for the system at Homo Depot is fairly lame: after scanning an item, you place it onto a scale to verify that the weight matches the UPC. So if you scan a lightbulb, but put down a can of paint, the system knows that you screwed up. I've used somewhat more intelligently designed self-checkout lane at Krogers in Dallas and Columbus, and once at the K-Mart of Thousand Oaks.

Like the Times articles notes, sometimes you just don't want to face a cashier, for fear that they might be lacking health care while you purchase your bon bons. For me, the best part of self-service would be not getting quizzed about my grocery selections. Here's a typical exchange - Cashier: "Wow, that's a lot of fresh herbs! Don't see many men buying that many vegetables!" To which I respond, "I'm a HOMOSEXUAL!" while flailing my arms.