Below you will find a picture of one of the greatest examples of terrible User Interface. I can easily find better things to do with myself than wait for a computer interface to update. I worked at longs for nearly three years, and after about 2 weeks of checking I was the fastest in the entire store. I was known for this and with little failure I could get a line of 3+ people clear, paid and out the door in a handful of minutes.

The image is of this new fad, automatic checkers (ACM’s as they are called) in my neighborhood Luckys. It’s hysterical to me, how many people are more than accepting of these, breaking rules that I thought didn’t even exist. Ill detail a few of them in a moment, but first I want to try to decipher their purpose. Why are these ACM’s there? Why would a store want these? Late in the evenings and early in the morning there are often only a select few employees in the store. An ACM Station allows one checker to oversee 4 slots. This allows people to move at their own pace and so when there is a run on the lines the checker doesn’t have to call anyone since there are four stations to be worried about.

The problem is that people aren’t all at the same level, so they have to cater to the LCF. Touch Screens, Large buttons and lots of pictures makes for a very simple interface, which to the lay person im sure is very helpful. Coming from the all star checker of his store into this establishment has brought one huge flaw into view: you have to pause between scanning your items. This limitation is put into place to ensure there aren’t multiple reads when a dumbass is using the machine; scan beep, wait three seconds, scan the next one. You end up watching the screen to allow you to move forward. Imagine if your computer acted like this, and try to tell me what you want to do with it doesn’t rhyme with rowing it out a window.

responsiveness.jpgFrustration aside, here are some guidelines/rules for this shit that seem to help me blow off steam

  • don’t use the automatic checker if you have more than a couple or a basket full of things.
  • don’t use the automatic checker if you are with a group of people.
  • don’t use the automatic checker if you are looking for help with something.
  • If you don’t know what the item is called, and how to spell it, don’t use the automatic checker.
  • If you aren’t interested in getting out of the store in the next 5 minutes, don’t use the automatic checker.

In other words, if you are a dumbass, don’t use the fucking thing. The frustration is back, sorry. I cant explain what must go through a person’s mind when they walk up to the check out and see 3 lines of people and choose to try the auto checking route because there are only two people in line over there, without noticing that they are only carrying two items apiece, while they are pushing a huge cart chock-full-o thanksgiving goodies. Sure It’s okay for you to use it, but don’t be surprised when everyone starts drooling on the floor as their jaws fall the fuck open. Get real.

And for fucks sake, you have to realize that checkers are paid to check, and you aren’t. If you aren’t smart enough to figure out the machine you don’t deserve to be using it.

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