I don’t have a problem with the self-checkouts as a system (except when they freak out because you brought your own canvas bags). They are usually quick and convenient, and when I’m only going in to the store for one or two items is the perfect way to get in and out fast. Plus, I’m able to bag items properly myself – a skill many cashiers and baggers seem to lack these days.
No, my problem is with the people who bring a giant cart full of groceries to the self-checkout. Congratulations, you just destroyed the entire point of the quick and easy self-checkout system. Now people have to wait for you to slowly and painstakingly scan each item one at a time and place it in a bag. Inevitably the computer thinks you are stealing items because the sensor doesn’t think you’ve placed it in a bag, or you’ve added something you haven’t yet scanned, and won’t let you continue, adding more time and requiring the employee to come and override the issue. Meanwhile, the three people behind you with a box of cereal and milk are waiting. Not to mention most self-checkout kiosks only have two or three bag holders, meaning you aren’t going to have enough room for all your groceries so you take up still more time trying to figure out how to jockey empty and full bags around without making the computer and the sensor angry and stopping you again.
If you are full-fledge grocery shopping and have a cart full of items, it’s much more efficient to go to a regular cashier’s lane and have them scan them ten times faster and be bagged by the bag boy/girl. Often if there is no bagger I’ll start doing it to help the cashier and speed up the whole process, because you know, I’m a nice guy. So next time you’ve got a cart full of groceries and start heading to the self-checkout – don’t, because I’m going to be there stuck behind you giving you dirty looks.