“Please Wait For Assistance”

We ran out of the delicious grape juice we always drink on Friday, so EJ and I went to the store 30 minutes away where we usually buy it. When we opened our front door to leave the house, Danny shoved himself past us. He has been doing that a lot lately. We let him go with us.

At the store, we bought the delicious grape juice. We also bought paper towels and four gallons of water. We don’t like the water in our village, so we usually buy it. We would like to get a water purifier so we don’t have to buy water, but our To Do List is long, and the purifier isn’t at the top of the list.

Checkout Machine Photo: Big Dave and Company.com
Checkout Machine
Photo: Big Dave and Company.com

Since we were buying so few items, EJ decided to risk the self-checkout lane. You know, those lanes where you scan and bag your own groceries? I hate them. There is only one time (or maybe two) when we actually were able to get through the process without the computer indicating that we needed to wait for assistance. If we pay by check, we have to wait for it to be approved. Other times, if we move the bags even just a little, the computer thinks we have removed an item from the bag so we have to wait for the cashier to push a few buttons so we can continue. I don’t understand how I am supposed to bag a lot of groceries if I can’t move the full bags out of the way. Whatever the reason, we almost always have to wait for the cashier. I never use those stupid lanes, preferring to go through a lane with a human cashier, but apparently EJ is an optimist. He keeps trying.

So today, since we had just a few groceries, EJ said, “C’mon, let’s try the self-checkout lane.” So we did. I tried to slide the full bags out of the way so I could bag the others. The computer locked up, telling us we needed to wait for assistance. Meanwhile, the cashier was dealing with some situation at another lane. She could have pushed a couple of buttons and let us go on our way within seconds, but she talked on the phone to her manager and talked to the people and we waited and waited and waited. And waited some more.

I was totally annoyed by the robotic computer voice that kept saying every 30 seconds, “Please wait for assistance…Please wait for assistance…Please wait for assistance.” I muttered softly in a robotic voice, “Please shut up….Please stop repeating yourself” EJ told me that I really shouldn’t talk to the computer because it couldn’t understand me. I muttered that we should cancel the order and go to a checkout lane with A REAL PERSON. EJ said he’d wait if I wanted to go to the car. I decided to go because the computer voice was very, very annoying. I went to the car and waited with Danny, and EJ was out in about 10 minutes. On the way home, we talked. Although the cashier could have hit a few buttons and sent us on our way quickly, she was in her 60s and was no doubt handling a situation the best she could. I was glad I hadn’t let my irritation spill out. Both EJ and I feel that most people are just trying to earn a living for their family, and life can be hard. Who knows what they are struggling with in their personal lives?

But, I told EJ, PLEASE do NOT go to a self-checkout lane again when I am with him. I hate them. They take longer than the longest real cashier lanes, and those don’t have annoying computer voices.

Beautiful September August Day
Beautiful September August Day

After we got home, we unloaded our groceries and then went to get a pickup load of firewood. We usually buy from individuals who are selling it from their homes. We have three individuals we usually buy wood from. However, the first didn’t have any wood out yet, the second wasn’t home, and we didn’t have time to go to the third. We will have to wait for another day.

After EJ went to work, I went out to the garden. I have decided to remove the bricks from all the paths because I can’t keep up with weeding them. It will be less time-consuming to just mow them. I enjoyed the physical labor of digging up the bricks and carrying them to where I am stacking them. I enjoyed the coolness of the day and the slight breeze. I enjoyed the sun and blue sky and the leaves beginning to change color. It was an absolutely beautiful September day…in August.

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