Let me preface this by saying I’m not the world’s most patient woman.
An old boss of mine used to tell me that I was the most patient woman in comparison to her and I have to admit I feared for her after that. When I use technology, I expect it to work. If I’ve fluffed it up—made a mistake—then I’m happy to wear it as a badge of ditzy honour, but if I haven’t, then I get… frustrated. Easily.
When I worked full-time last year, I had a reputation for talking at my computer, and not always nicely. I was rarely angry with it, merely verbalising, in semi-hushed tones, my lack of appreciation for its recalcitrance. Yesterday at the supermarket, though, I nearly lost my sh*t. Big time.
I know why Self Service Checkouts exist. In theory, they are quicker (cue throes of laughter), with shorter queues. Some people don’t like having to deal with the Checkout Attendants. I like shopping on my own terms, so Self Service Checkouts suit me—I can fly through at my own pace. When they work properly.
And they rarely work properly.
My first mistake was to go shopping on a 38 degree day. I don’t deal with heat at the best of times. Husbando would rebut this passionately, and say that this, my friends, is an understatement.
At the supermarket that shall remain nameless [but it starts with C, has 5 letters by it and Manu swears by its wares] I had a smallish trolley of stuff.
I pressed the “Shopping” button (adorable interface by the way) and there my pain began.
Every second freaking item, I had to get the attendant to swipe her magical Store ID to fix it. I know how to operate these things, but it rarely stops the attendant lecturing me about how to balance the incoming and outgoing groceries or whatever it is they’ve perceived I’ve done. This does not a happy customer make. I wouldn’t mind if I had made the mistake, but there was so much random in the errors yesterday—I shouldn’t have used the barcode on the avocados, but rather should have entered the number of items; at one point, the system had to approve my friggin’ bag. Shit sorry, didn’t realise I had to have a special type of BYO bag.
I started off frustrated, but by the 8th interjection, when the weighy thingie didn’t work, I said (I SAID it, OK loudly, but I didn’t shout. Not exactly):
“Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?”
All the people in the queue and at the checkouts stopped to look at the impatient douche losing her shit at the self service checkout. The Zombie Hunter in me wanted to go all Rick Grimes on this checkout’s arse and come out the other side covered in cable juice. Selfservicide—the abject taking of an electronic life.
What is your biggest technological frustration?