Lost in the Supermarket

Hoping for better luck at supermarkets this year. Have avoided them so far.
At the end of last year I’d found myself trying to enforce a personal boycott of the new self-serve checkouts.
No way would I use one of them, I said to myself: somewhere along the line, they would mean the end of someone’s job.
Then, I found myself standing in a long queue at Marks and Spencer with just a sandwich in my hand.
The self-serve option beckoned and I took it. I was in a hurry, I told myself.
But, walking off, I realized I’d failed myself. Somewhere I heard a computer click. Another shopper had chosen self-serve. Another nail knocked into the coffin of the poor old human alternative.
Then, on a visit to Tesco, I went from breaking one of my rules to breaking one of their’s.
Rushing again – honest – I turned a trolley of goods into the wrong checkout.
And I had half unpacked before the checkout lady pointed skywards to a sign telling me I was in the Ten Items Or Less queue.
Oh, the shame!
The till worker took time to etch a look of contempt into the inside of my eyelids.
I left wondering if those self-serve checkouts weren’t so bad after all.
Finally, I returned to Marks. With a few snacks, I hit the queue.
My arm was tugged. “Is that all you have, sir?”
I hesitated, aware of what was coming next.
“Yes,” I said. My fate was sealed.
I was led to the self-serve. There was no way I was putting up a fight and blotting my copy book there as well.
“Have you used one of these before, sir?”
I tried not to sound pompous and undoubtedly failed.
“I try not to because I’m sure in the end they will cost people’s jobs.”
“Good point,” she replied, but was still smiling professionally as I guided the barcode of my BLT across the little screen.

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