Today seemed like the ideal day to more completely immerse myself in 21st Century consciousness pertaining to shopping techniques. All systems were eager and up for the challenge. Focus – good. Concentration – strong! No line… and I deemed the stars were perfectly aligned.
I was determined to master the self-checkout in the grocery store! On one or two other occasions, I had attempted to connect with the 21st Century by mastering this simple act, but had met with limited success. Heck, I’ve somewhat mastered an Android (whose very name originally terrified me) so what could possibly be so difficult about checking out a few measly groceries? Wish I knew!
Positioned squarely in front of the machine, I did indeed figure out how to open the screen. Victory. From there on tho, things deteriorated rapidly. Slide the item and get it into the bag; what could be so hard? Something in the ‘slide’…’bag’…’quickly’ …. scan, bag next item – threw me. Anxiety oozed on in and I suddenly wondered were the stars really perfectly aligned for this odious task?
Next item, a simple 1 pound bag of cherries. I scanned and the screen shot back a whopping $8.69. Yikes! Okay, so they were Organic cherries, but I think I could buy a whole tree for that much money. “No!” says my inner self…”you are not getting those cherries!” Fine, but how do I undo the purchase? I push the HELP button, realize a line is now forming and little ‘angst beads’ suddenly are running helter-skelter over my forehead.
The dear, very young HELP person arrives. He must have a grandmother that he loves because he was painfully kind, which we all know is rare these days unless you have a grandmother you adore! His fingers went like lightning as he keyed in countless codes to “un-do” the bag of cherries. In a conspiratorial whisper he said he wouldn’t buy those cherries either at that price.
Thankfully, he looked in the cart and noticed a cantaloupe that had no bar code. More lightning fingers on the screen to enter in the unknown price. Mission accomplished and off he sails into the wilderness. Bravely, I ignore the growing line and my angst beads of sweat and firmly I remind myself: “I can do this.”
The darling machine then announced that I didn’t want to bag the next item. Why it decided that is anyone’s guess. I DID want to bag the item! Okay…. remain calm.
Mr Machine seemed to suddenly grow more impatient and annoyed with me than I was with it. (Notice, please, I was now addressing ‘him’ formally as Mr Machine. I’m fairly certain it was a ‘him’ – a ‘her’ machine would perhaps have been gentler, I think.)
In Mr. Machine’s impatience, he began to go into ‘lock-down mode’; he was not accepting another purchase. Need I say, I had more ‘stuff’ to check out. And the line…ohhh, the line!
As hope and calm were fading, out of the ethers comes Helpful Person Number 2. She must have gotten the memo from Helpful Person Number 1 to be kind to this struggling lady. (Perhaps she has a grandmother she loves as well, one never knows! This was not the time nor the place to ask about her family tree.)
Her fingers, too, moved like lightning; must be part of the job requirement – “fingers that move like lightning or don’t bother applying!” Thanks to her adroit fingers, she managed to somehow reboot Mr. Machine. I was left to my own devises to rekindle my relationship with Mr. Machine and finish checking out my goodies. (Who even wants the ‘stuff’ by this tenuous point?)
The drive home provided ample time for me mop my brow and reflect on what had just transpired. The good news is that it felt as if I had lost 5 pounds in ‘angst beads.’ The bad news is that I am absolutely not one step closer to integrating myself correctly into 21st Century shopping-consciousness. I may just skip this level altogether and head straight into Cosmic Consciousness. Sounds like a perfect plan!