8 thoughts on “Inconvenienced”

  1. Hurrah!! I love it! You actu­ally made me laugh about some­thing to do with Morrissons!!!

  2. It will be a few weeks until I can laugh about the whole, sorry epis­ode. But — you know — one day at a time…

  3. Nice. I do near-daily battle with the auto­mated check­outs at the Kensington Sainsbury’s. The thing to real­ise is that they are machines — and they can be out­smar­ted. (I once heard Disney’s head Imagineer, in a talk on AI, pro­claim that ‘we have a word for a little bit of intel­li­gence — it’s called “stu­pid­ity“‘.)

    There are a lot of little tricks, but I’ll share just this one: find the heav­iest item in your shop­ping (for me that’s always a 2kg bag of ice); get it, and your cloth shop­ping bag, in hand; scan the item, drop it in the bag, and bang both on the plat­form. Generally, the addi­tion­al weight of the bag will be inside the pro­grammed tol­er­ances for some­thing heavy (like a bag of ice). For good meas­ure, make sure you’ve got your next heav­iest item to hand and ready to go — scan and bung this in quickly and, with the Sainsbury’s machines at any rate, they don’t have time to con­sider care­fully the weight dif­fer­en­tials and con­clude that you are a thief. After that, you’ve won.

    This may sound like a lot of work, and it is. But it beats hav­ing each and every of my food items handled by a guy who is also wip­ing his nose with the inside of his hand every 15 seconds. And who won’t accept pay­ment for the gro­cer­ies I simply want to buy without first com­plet­ing a lengthy inter­view about rewards points pro­grams and cards there­for and wheth­er or not I’m col­lect­ing school vouch­ers. (Do I LOOK like I’m col­lect­ing school vouch­ers?)

    As we have it in my coun­try: “You pays your money and you takes your choice.”

    Oh — it also pays to devel­op a friendly rela­tion­ship with the staff mem­bers who loiter nearby. Eventually, of course, you will need a key turn.

    Forward to McMurdo,

  4. Excellent tip about the heavy item and the bag, Michael — if only there was some­where to put the bloody bag to start with. Maybe I can do some­thing involving mag­nets…

  5. Ian, that was hil­ari­ous. Thank you.

    I think you meant “cèilidh” though.

    My tips: all pro-shop­pers know the sushi is with the “wraps” which is with the takeaway sand­wiches which is often near the news­pa­pers and fags. Also, I think your com­ments about how super­mar­kets are layed out in cer­tain pre­cise ways to influ­ence shop­pers habits is actu­ally (sadly) true. I vaguely remem­ber some doc­u­ment­ary about it (or maybe just some inter­net art­icle.…)

    Try the Imperial March instead of the Raiders one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL5ksq3iF8w) espe­cially at the auto­ma­gic check­out.

    I actu­ally quite like the auto­ma­gic check­outs now I have sussed them out. Don’t you dare put any­thing on the out slot before you place your items. I usu­ally take “bags for life” and dump them unce­re­mo­ni­ously on the floor beside me until using them as described by Michael Stephen Fuchs above. I was chas­tised by the loiter­er staff mem­ber for mak­ing a mess once though and told to carry them or put them in the “in tray”. I hate hav­ing to have my booze pur­chase val­id­ated by some spotty teen­ager though. Couldn’t we have a cam­era recog­ni­tion sys­tem that looks at the grey hairs, the lines on your face and look of wear­i­ness in your eyes? Maybe Microsoft’s Project Natal could help.

    Do you think that enjoy­ing use of the auto­ma­gic check­outs is a sign of OCD?

  6. You need to use their plastic bag post scan­ning but once fin­ished decant your items into your can­vas bag and leave the plastic bag in situ

  7. @by_tor:

    Aha, the Imperial March — that might be more fit­ting. (Though recently I’ve been hum­ming the elec­tro­synth-orches­tral theme to Dune.)

    In my defence, Marks and Spencer don’t put their sushi in the same place as the news­pa­pers, though I am slowly grow­ing accus­tomed to Morrison’s habits.

    I love the idea of a cam­era count­ing grey hairs, just so we can have the kids dress­ing up with wigs and flat caps when they want to buy beer…

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