Deborah Ross: Tills that make you do the work are evil

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, although we know the world to be an evil and unforgiving place full of malice and spite, I don't think anyone can appreciate just how evil, unforgiving, malicious and spiteful it is until they've trucked up to their local supermarket – Waitrose, in this instance; I'm middle-class and the other supermarkets frighten me; so much child-slapping! – and discover half the tills have been replaced with self-service checkouts that would take half the time if only they didn't take double the time and necessitate hours of crucial bag positioning. And why would I want to serve myself anyhow? Don't I see enough of myself every day as it is? As for "unexpected item in bagging area", isn't that all my hopes and dreams and self-respect tumbling out in one big whoosh? And why would that be unexpected?

I believe the rot first set in with those "fast ticket" machines in railway stations whose name suggests they are quite the fastest way to purchase tickets, although first you have to navigate the array of ticket types on offer: Single; Day Return; Day Return (With Railcard); Day Return (No Railcard); Open Return (Railcard Pending); Closed Return (Railcard on Spa Mini Break) Returning Whenever (Peak); Returning Tomorrow (Off Peak); Returning Last Week (Slightly Peaky); Returning With A Bounce In My Step (Not In The Least Peaky); Travelling While Wearing A Carmen Miranda Hat (Special Carmen Miranda Hat Concessionary Rate); Travelling With Aforementioned Hat Tipped At Saucy Angle (Before 9am), and so on. And then it will flash "bank cards not accepted" and reject all your notes and meanwhile? The person behind is cussing, the queue at the human ticket office has quadrupled, you've missed six trains, and your Carmen Miranda hat has lost its bloom, which means you now need a new ticket: Travelling While Wearing a Carmen Miranda Hat (Bananas Gone Off).

So this is why I intend to fully shy away from the self-service checkouts in supermarkets, and will make for the human at the till to whom, of course, I can moan about prices and request leaky items be changed – go on, ring that bell no-one attends to – before fumbling extensively for my purse and perhaps emptying my handbag contents all over the conveyor belt. Might you hold out too, and get behind me on this? Although not literally, obviously, as that could take forever.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lead Software Developer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler / Probate Assistant

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Telesales Executive - OTE £30,000

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This precious metal refining co...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Conveyancing Fee Earner

£20000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Conveyancing Fee Earne...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A 'match' on Tinder  

Tinder may have inadvertently hit its self-destruct button by charging older users more

Nash Riggins
A Yorkshire Terrier waits to be judged during the Toy and Utility day of the Crufts dog show at the NEC in Birmingham  

There are no winners at Crufts. Dogs deserve better than to suffer and die for a 'beauty' pageant

Mimi Bekhechi
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn