No Intelligent Life

No Intelligent Life


I only had three items so I headed for the express self-checkout lanes. With only three things I had every right to be in a lane reserved for fifteen items or fewer. Although those words don’t stop a lot of people.

There was a woman with four items and a guy holding a gallon of milk in line ahead of me. As soon as I got in line behind them, they moved up to the check out. Right then I was thinking,

“I’ll be out of here in no time.”

I should know better. I’m constantly telling my wife to assume everyone you see is a complete idiot and if they’re not, you can be pleasantly surprised.

My eyes were on the guy with the milk since he only had the one item and was at the machine closest to me. I would estimate his age to be around 65 so this couldn’t be his first time using self-check-out…and he only has the milk.

You have to scan your card first before you can scan an item and in fact it explains that to you when you step up to the machine.

“Please scan your Giant Eagle Advantage card.”

I look up to see this guy swiping his card where we used to swipe our bank or credit cards before they had the chip. I thought to myself,

“That’s odd, I didn’t know you could do it that way.”

Then he scanned the milk and…

“Please scan your Giant Eagle Advantage card.”

See, the reason I had never seen anybody swipe their card is because….It Doesn’t Work That Way!

So now I watch as he swipes the card again, scans the milk and…you guessed it,

“Please scan your Giant Eagle advantage card.”

Now he’s starting to get flustered. But, it’s at the machine for not working the way he thinks it should. He’s not frustrated by the true culprit, the education system that has failed him miserably.

I hadn’t been paying attention to the woman with four items. As I glance over she had only gotten one item scanned for some reason. But, she was doing better than this guy. She was well ahead in the morons race.

Yeah I know, I could have gone over and showed him how to do it. It’s just at this point a feeling of calm seemed to come over me. I now wanted to see if he could somehow figure it out on his own. It’s like watching a rat in a maze. They know there’s cheese in there somewhere. They just have to find the way to get to it.

He was swiping his card for the third time as I noticed the woman at the other machine finishing up. At that point the machine should be able to say,

“Hey dumbass, did anybody ever teach you the difference between scanning and swiping?”

I went up to the now empty machine scanned my advantage card. As I was bagging my last item, I turned to see the milk guy had been standing there watching me the whole time. At least he was trying to learn. If I’d have known I was giving a lesson, I would’ve gone slower.

That’s when I finally broke down and told him,

“You have to scan the card.”

As I said it, I demonstrated the proper technique.

He went over and did it properly this time, but it was too late. The machine blew up and just started flashing. It’s like the Bat signal telling an employee to come save the idiot.

He was just standing there under the flashing light when I left the store. I realized it was too late for this guy. He was at an age where he should how to do these things, but was never able to learn.

I don’t know if he’s still there. Hopefully he figures it out before the milk reaches its expiration date.

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