Let’s Not Bring Full Shopping Carts to the Self-Checkout Aisle

This morning I went on 97.5 the Fanatic with Jason Myrtetus to talk about the latest installment of the award-winning 50 Hot Takes column.

Included in the story was a take we both felt passionately about, a take that goes like this:

7. Don’t you dare bring a full shopping cart into the self-checkout aisle.

This is a total violation, and here’s why:

The self-checkout aisle is the spiritual successor to the express lane. Back in the day, you had a human cashier operating this lane, but you were only allowed to bring 10 or 15 items through, while people with full shopping carts went into the normal lanes. This was a way to speed things up and help folks on quick trips get in and out of the store.

Over time, the express lane was phased out as self-checkout technology improved. But the idea was the same; it was always supposed to be about convenience and brevity. You scan a few items on your own, bag ’em up, and get back to your car. These weren’t designed for full shopping carts, but people did this anyway because they just liked the idea of scanning their own items and bagging their own groceries and/or not having to talk to a human being.

On the Fanatic, Jason introduced what he calls the “three bag rule,” which goes like this:

It’s a fantastic way to address this problematic situation. You use the bags provided and keep things moving.

Just for clarity, I’ll give you an example of what is allowed and what is not.

In this photo here, the young woman is given an allotment of three bags:

She has just a small amount of items, so she can fit her purchases into the three bags and quickly go about her business, leaving the station for the next customer. This is the proper way to use self-checkout.

This here is a violation:

This is a full cart. Clearly this woman is not going to be able to fit the coffee, soda, marshmallows, salt, and ramen noodles in three bags. She is going to have to fill up the allotted bags, put them into her cart, and then continue pulling items OUT OF THE CART to proceed with scanning.

This kind of behavior is selfish. It holds up the line. It keeps people with a reasonable amount of items from getting through the self-checkout aisle in a quick and easy fashion.

Therefore, in order to be better citizens, we must all adhere to the rule.

The three-bag rule.

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