Labour schmaving

It occurred to me while using the automated self-checkout machine in Tesco today that I patiently accept a degree of shit from labour-saving devices that I would on no account put up with from people. Why should this be? The following is exactly what would have happened if a person had treated me like the machine in Tesco did.

Scene: A Tesco checkout, early afternoon, silken sunlight pours through veiled windows, etc.

Me: Hello

Assistant: Place your first item in my hand.

Me: Um. Oh, all right. There.

Assistant: This is a box of 40 Clipper Fair Trade English Breakfast Tea Bags, reference 067696686…

Me: I know what they are. Would you mind just putting them in the bag?

Assistant: …69236096996979 #37 £1.29

Me: Yes, that’s right. Listen, I’m in a bit of a hurry…

Assistant: Place your item in your bag.

Me: Can’t you do that?

Assistant: Place your item in your bag.

Me: All right. Jesus.

Assistant: Place your next item in my hand.

Me: For Uck’s sake. There. Your hand is full of bananas. Happy now?

Assistant: Place your next item in my hand.

Me: I just have done. What’s the matter with you?

Assistant: Place your next item in my hand.

Me: I think there’s something wrong with your hand. Look, if it’ll make you happy I’ll take the bananas out of your hand and put them back in. How about that?

(Replaces bananas in assistant’s hand.)

Assistant: Point to the item you have put in my hand on this chart.

(He holds up a card with several pictures of fruit, vegetables and cakes on it.)

Me: But it’s bananas. Don’t you recognise them?

Assistant: Point to the item…

Me: All right. There. Look, this is the picture of bananas. It’s the one that looks like some bananas.

Assistant: This is an all-butter flapjack with chocolate chips and yoghurt-style frosting.

Me: No it isn’t, it’s …

Assistant: (Shouting) WARNING! THIS PRODUCT MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF NUTS!

Me: But it’s a small bunch of bananas.

Assistant: Reference 98759863214580346806598361945 #21 Bakery goods £1.10

Me: It’s some bananas, you nobhead, not bakery goods.

Assistant: Take your item out of my hand and put it in your bag.

Me: But you’ve done it wrong. That’s some bananas, not a flapjack.

Assistant: If you have made a mistake please say “I have made a mistake”.

Me: But I haven’t, you enormous flake of sphincter. It’s you who gets flapjacks and bananas confused.

Assistant: Take your item out of my hand and put it in your bag.

Me: All right. “I have made a mistake.”

Assistant: Take your item out of my hand.

Me: What? Fine, let’s do it your way.

(Puts bananas in bag.)

Assistant: (Loudly) You have put an item in your bag that you have not paid for. Remove it from your bag.

Me: (Takes bananas out of bag.) But what shall I do with them?

Assistant: Place your next item in my hand.

Me: Oh for shit’s sake. Fine. This is a small bunch of bananas.

Assistant: Point to the item you have put in my hand on this chart.

Me: But it’s bananas! A small bunch!

Assistant: Point…

Me: All right. There! Those are the bananas! The yellow picture!

Assistant: This is an all-butter flapjack…

Me: It’s some fucking bananas! It’s bananas! I pointed to the bananas!

Assistant: …with chocolate chips and yoghurt-style frosting.

Me: But …

Assistant: (Shouting) WARNING! THIS PRODUCT MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF NUTS

Me: (Sobbing) It’s bananas. It’s just some bananas. Isn’t it? … I mean, isn’t it?

Assistant: Reference 98759863214580346806598361945 #21 Bakery goods £1.10

Me: (Voice shaking, putting bananas in bag) It must be a flapjack. A small bunch of a flapjack.

Assistant: Would you like to pay now? Say ‘Yes please!’ or ‘Not right now thanks, I have some more products that I would like to purchase!’

Me: No. That’s it. Just my box of 40 Clipper Fair Trade English Breakfast Tea Bags and my small yellow bunch of a bakery flapjack with nuts in it. There are other things in my basket, but I’ve realised that I don’t need them.

Assistant: Say ‘yes please!’ or …

Me: Shut up! For god’s sake, shut up!

Assistant: …or ‘Not right now thanks…’

Me: OK. Yes please. Yes please.

Assistant: Do you have a Tesco Clubcard?

Me: No. I hate Tesco.

Assistant: Say ‘Yes I have a great value Tesco Clubcard!’ or ‘Not yet, but when I see the delicious discounts on offer I might just change my mind!’

Me: Not yet, but when I see the delicious discounts on offer I might just change my mind.

Assistant: There’s an exclamation mark.

Me: Sorry. …’!’

Assistant: Place £2.39 in my hand.

Me: Yes, of course. (Counts out exact change into assistant’s hand.)

(The assistant puts the change in the till and gives 5p back to Chris.)

Me: Oh, thanks.

Assistant: Place £0.05 in my hand.

Me: But you just gave that back to me.

Assistant: Place £0.05 in my hand.

Me: But… Never mind. Here you are.

(The assistant hands the 5p back.)

Assistant: Place £0.05 in my hand.

Me: What have I ever done to you?

Assistant: Place £0.05 in my hand.

(Chris blows on the 5p, rubs it on his leg and gives it back to the assistant. The assistant puts it in the till.)

Assistant: Place £0.05 in my hand.

Chris: I have done. You just put it in the till, you fucker.

Assistant: Place £0.05 in my hand.

Chris: Right, I’m going to beat you to death with this German sausage.

Assistant: Tesco’s Finest German-style pork bratwurst.

Chris: That’s right. Take that!

Assistant: Ow. (Reels backwards, clutching his head) Reference 8695263845602698…

Chris: And that!

Assistant: Aaaargh. (Spits out broken teeth) …68534669823 #12

Chris: And that!

Assistant: Waaarrrrgggghhuuhh! (Clutches groin, slumps to floor) … £2.49

Chris: And that!

Assistant: Uuh! (Lies on floor, bleeding heavily, opens one eye, whispers) Warning. This … product … may contain … traces of nuts.

 

Now why not try this?

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