Insanity Crash: "...a series of sequential actions to familiarise oneself with new equipment."

Check outs. Imagine having to sit in a check desk for the rest of your life. For some, that is not too hard to imagine, but standing there waiting for my items to beep, and them rush to put them in a bag, has become a more normal part of my life than I had ever wished, or expected, to happen. But within the confines of this rather 20th century way of buying groceries, however, I can revel in the fact that for a short while, four or five people have detailed commonality that intercedes almost all class boundaries.

Almost. We will come to that.

Two events have made me so surprised whilst standing at the check out I have almost started thinking, and should be of interest to those who like the little nuances of people, and the general collective mind of the good olde British Publicos. In more and more supermarkets, there has been an influx of new posts and one that has been the most over staffed is this new idea that us, the public, the consumers, the people who want to leave the shop as quickly as possible, can no longer decide on which one of the queue lines is the shortest, and which one will allow us to travel through and out into freedom. In Asda, these such persons are called Check Out Captains. So, whilst waiting in Sainsbury's yesterevening, I happen upon a rather stoked and clogged check out area, and pull into the closest queue. My idea is then I can gauge which one might go faster, and modify my choice, in a rather un British way of queuing. I know, hang me up to dry, but I don't mind - I think it is what texting is to the English language; simplified, shortened, more efficient, but annoying in every way to anyone who is slightly older, or considers themselves more wizened (when it comes to texts, I hate the text language used by those people). I am about to make my choice when a "captain" decides to intervene, and ushers me into a shorter queue, but not the one which I was going to choose. The shorter queue has a family putting their full weekly shopping through, and will takes almost 10 minutes to complete.

Now, what do I do? Do I stay with his choice, as he is the captain? Will I get a dressing down if I try to move, or should I just sit it out, and let him see the folly of his ways? In the end, I stayed in the shorter-but-longer queue, and was left behind as the queue I was looking to jump into raced ahead and out of the door. Next time, I might be a little more forceful. I wish people would stop changing the rules though.

The second thing I have noticed is those people who I have insulted in the first few lines of the post, who work in the mundane robotic positions, must have games that they play to keep themselves from going insane, as I remember I did try to do sometimes whilst working at The Link. One such game is to try and scan everything within a few seconds, then staring at me while I struggle to get items into the plastic bag, waiting for payment. In this circumstance I deliberately struggle with Milk, meats, and beer cans, double bagging them, or taking them out and starting again, just to annoy the cashier. We both know what is going on; I know she was taking the piss, and she knows I am taking my time. We say very little to each other.

"Got a Nectar card?"

They also ask "Do you need a hand bagging?" which I think is both condescending, patronising, and plain stupid. Of course you should be doing it!

The self service check outs are a step in the right direction, but online delivery? The internet once again removes all need for human to human contact.

Bonus Rant: In the check out, how do you know who is working class and who is middle class? It's in the bread: Wholemeal is middleclass, and ADSA Pricesmart Longlife White is working class or student.