Okay, I admit it. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to amuse me. Thus my little story of Move Your Muffins! While recovering from shoulder surgery, in the midst of our global financial crisis and a month away from a nail-bitter of an election, there’s this:
After my early morning walk the other day I stopped at Stop and Shop to pickup two muffins from the bakery for Betty Ann and me. Since all of the regular employee assisted check-outs were jammed, I stepped up to the automated self-checkout area. These are the ones that look like a cinch to operate until you have items without barcodes….like fresh muffins.
After aimlessly flipping around the touch screen looking for a little picture that looked like the muffins I was trying to purchase, I glanced to the front of the store to see if someone could help me. Funny how they can tell when a customer has that dazed, stupid or clueless look on their faces. Out of nowhere a young lady emerged and says, “Can I help you, sir?”
I wanted to ask the store associate, “where are your muffins?” But I thought that might not sound right, so I asked, “Where’s the bakery section on this screen?” And with a finger and two taps, she says, “Right here.” And of course by now I’m feeling totally stupid because the bakery section was in a line of tabbed selections on the bottom of the screen all along. “Thank you,” I said.
I placed my bag of still warm muffins on the machine which of course prompted the screen to start talking to me. “How many muffins do you have?” “Well, that’s a personal question,” I said to no one in particular. But I pressed “two” on the screen, thinking that would be the end of what seemed like a silly conversation. Next, the lady with the Swedish accent who was hiding inside the screen said, “Please place your muffins on the belt.”
Please place my muffins on the belt? “Honey,” I said, “There’s no way these muffins would ever fit on your belt!” And and was just then that I saw out of the corner of my eye the store associate and realized that she had been listening to me talking to the machine all along. She scooped up my purchase at the end of the belt and plopped them into a bag, giggling. As she handed me my purchase she said, “Have a nice day, sir. Enjoy your muffins.”