Minor Strangeness

Floyd1

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
432
Likes
709
Points
93
This morning I decided to 'screw my courage to the sticking-place', and pay for my Co-op supermarket shopping via the self-swipe boothes (this usually ends in tears, but I had my options forced for me through circumstance).

None of the traditional isles were open, and the queue at the kiosk stretched all the way back to the late Triassic, with alcohol/tobacco&hope addicts.

I dutifully put my bags-for-life into the bagging-area, swiped my membership dividend card, and began cautiously swiping my grocery items and newspapers across the chastising terror that is a self-service aisle. I was doing so well, right up until I reached the point of swiping the newspapers, whereupon the alarm went off with the warning "please wait, an assistant is coming" (this, of course, gives your fellow suffers an opportunity to see what prophylactics/pharmaceuticals/hallucinogens/bladed weapons you're trying to steal). Anyway, this interruption was just because the Co-op AI was unwilling to accept that newspapers weigh as little as a newspaper.

At last I was at my end...only to be presented with the words we all know and love "No Cash Payments! Cards only!". Suicide seemed a rather extreme mid-week response, but preferable to the prospect of having to reverse my bagpacking efforts, thereafter to join the end of that queue of addicts.

I briefly prayed to the Gods of Co-op, and had a sudden burst of possible redemption....on the screen, right-hand side, was a cryptic button marked "Pay with Member Benefits".

With a beating heart (I am currently alive) I pressed this button, to find that my 'Membership Balance' was £24.28....

And of course (but you knew this already) my totalised nett cost of all items was...£24.28.

Even after two-for-one, multisave buys, discount offers....cost to me was £0.00

So I pressed the 'Pay With Membership Card' button, snorted my derision at AI shopping, and stumbled out of the shop knowing that this time, I had won.

And I nodded to Derren Brown as he winked at me by the exit.

(ps this last bit was made-up, it was actually Dynamo, the Co-op can't afford Derren)
I've never used a co-op self service, but use my local Sainsbury's a lot. They're usually ok, but what really drives me to despair is, as I often (alright, always) need a member of staff to confirm I'm over 18 (for the wine), I have to call one over. On approach to said self-service there are usually one, two or sometimes three members of staff hanging about talking who are there just for that reason. They also have a glance in people's trolleys/baskets as they turn up. As I start to scan my few items, as soon as I put the wine through the scanner I often see, out of the corner of my eye, the staff walking off to attend to some other vastly more important business leaving me to stand there trying to get their attention for 5 minutes. This doesn't happen all the time, but far too often nonetheless. It's enough to make you give up wine. But not quite.
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,567
Likes
7,727
Points
284
Why do people hate them?
They are improving- but it's still far too challenging an experience. The automatic electronic words "Please Wait- an assistant is coming" are heard far too often. Not just for lightweight maybe-they're-not-right items, just anything.

I find self-scanning to be a weird experience.

I've only ever tried being an electronic gunslinger in branches of Tesco, but I don't ever seem to reach the level of 'Trusted Customer'....I've done it maybe four or five times, but the system still insists that I'm not to be allowed to leave the shop without an annoying recheck by some petty smug gauleiter who has undoubtedly the easiest job in the whole damn store.

They just stay stay lurking in that strange little self-scan corral, doing absolutely ziltch, until some poor untrustworthy patron (just me) comes along. Nobody else ever seems to get checked, seruously.

And why do all supermarkets insist on having about 60 (yes) of these electronic customer-use scanning guns. There will never ever be 60 people simultaneously wanting to shop via self-scan, unless there's a major panic buying spree, such as caused by a zombie apocalypse. In which case I shall be nicking one of those barcode scanning guns to act as a self-protection sidearm against the Undead....zombies are no match for a two-for-one manager's special zap between the eyes.

@Bigphoot2 - had you seen this news item in the 'Tullie'?
https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/...r-plans-ahead-of-possible-rise-of-the-undead/
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,567
Likes
7,727
Points
284
My internal recollection of the north-east coast of England is strangely-flawed. I keep thinking Scarborough is much (much) further north than it really is. In my mind, it's in Northumberland, just a little south of Berwick/Alnwick. And I've somehow always thought that Whitley Bay and Whitby were the same place.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

My joints go out more than I do
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
2,407
Likes
4,593
Points
154
Location
Walking alone through the afternoon traffic...
My internal recollection of the north-east coast of England is strangely-flawed. I keep thinking Scarborough is much (much) further north than it really is. In my mind, it's in Northumberland, just a little south of Berwick/Alnwick. And I've somehow always thought that Whitley Bay and Whitby were the same place.
Along a similar vein; whenever we've taken a train into the nearby city, I'm always surprised on the return journey, to find us passing a particular landmark because my 'internal map' of the place suggests that in order to pass it, we would have to be travelling East, when in fact we are travelling West.

It's as if my 'internal map' of this city is upside down. Yet I've no idea why that should be the case. It doesn't happen anywhere else (I should point out that I don't have a particularly good sense of direction, but I usually just feel 'lost' rather than feeling 'upside down' as it were).

And the other thing is, that no matter how many times it happens, and how many times Mr Zebra tries to explain this city's layout to me, I still get one heck of a jolt whenever we pass the landmark that, to my mind, we shouldn't be passing.
 

Floyd1

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
432
Likes
709
Points
93
Along a similar vein; whenever we've taken a train into the nearby city, I'm always surprised on the return journey, to find us passing a particular landmark because my 'internal map' of the place suggests that in order to pass it, we would have to be travelling East, when in fact we are travelling West.

It's as if my 'internal map' of this city is upside down. Yet I've no idea why that should be the case. It doesn't happen anywhere else (I should point out that I don't have a particularly good sense of direction, but I usually just feel 'lost' rather than feeling 'upside down' as it were).

And the other thing is, that no matter how many times it happens, and how many times Mr Zebra tries to explain this city's layout to me, I still get one heck of a jolt whenever we pass the landmark that, to my mind, we shouldn't be passing.
I can usually tell (roughly) which way NSEW are just by a 'feeling'. However there was one place I used to drive to that threw me out for some reason. After looking at road maps to see where I was going wrong, I would think I'd got it sorted, only to have the same disorientation next time I went.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,123
Likes
3,340
Points
169
Location
York
I actually drive a till as my day job. I spend somewhere around 7 hours a day behind it. I KNOW HOW THEY WORK.

So can anyone explain why I cannot use a self-service checkout, ever? Whatever I do, whichever shop I am in, we always end up with the stand off situation of the machine telling me there is an unexpected item in the bagging area, or that I need to put my bag in the bagging area or whatever, even when there is no such area or issue, and I end up shouting at the machine "this is my JOB godsdammit!!"
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
37,848
Likes
25,433
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I actually drive a till as my day job. I spend somewhere around 7 hours a day behind it. I KNOW HOW THEY WORK.

So can anyone explain why I cannot use a self-service checkout, ever? Whatever I do, whichever shop I am in, we always end up with the stand off situation of the machine telling me there is an unexpected item in the bagging area, or that I need to put my bag in the bagging area or whatever, even when there is no such area or issue, and I end up shouting at the machine "this is my JOB godsdammit!!"
Are you able to confirm whether fewer people have been hired because of these infernal machines?
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,123
Likes
3,340
Points
169
Location
York
There aren't any in our rural community. I only come across them in the city.

We're supposed to be getting self service tills when they build our new shop, but no redundancies are planned as a result, as far as I know. Most shop floor work is shelf stacking and stock control, not working the till, so probably not.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
37,848
Likes
25,433
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
There aren't any in our rural community. I only come across them in the city.

We're supposed to be getting self service tills when they build our new shop, but no redundancies are planned as a result, as far as I know. Most shop floor work is shelf stacking and stock control, not working the till, so probably not.
OK, thanks.
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,048
Likes
5,606
Points
279
This thread seems to have drifted away from it's intended purpose. So I'll insert this here. Mods feel free to move it.

This is a hypothetical situation based on future (very near future) AI.

Man applies for a job that requires concentration. He gets turned down. This happens a few times, so in the end he manages to meet with one of the companies reps and asks him why, as clearly he is very qualified.

Well, says the rep, to be honest, it's your drinking that bothers us.

But I don't drink.

Well, we have it that you go into Aldi every two days and buy a bottle of vodka. That seems excessive, would you not agree ? And it must effect your judement.

Here is what happened. He used his card to buy the Vodka. And AI tracked him through the transaction.. The companies bought data on all people who applied for jobs. security cameras confirm he is buying vodka.

Far fetched ? Not really.

I go to Aldi for a bottle of Vodka every two days. But I don't drink; It is for someone else who always gives me cash to get it. But to save myself having to draw cash from an ATM during the week, I keep the cash and use my card.

The Aldi check - out machine doesn't know I don't actually drink the Vodka.

As AI will be gradually building a dossier on all of us, it is easy to see how many could be tripped up by things like this.

If I buy weed killer and Diesel, am I a farmer with a lot of weeds or a person making a bomb ?

Maybe you were involved in a driving accident. Robo Lawyer trawls your files and sees your alcohol purchases and uses that info against you.

We are into dark times.

INT21.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
37,848
Likes
25,433
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
This thread seems to have drifted away from it's intended purpose. So I'll insert this here. Mods feel free to move it.

This is a hypothetical situation based on future (very near future) AI.

Man applies for a job that requires concentration. He gets turned down. This happens a few times, so in the end he manages to meet with one of the companies reps and asks him why, as clearly he is very qualified.

Well, says the rep, to be honest, it's your drinking that bothers us.

But I don't drink.

Well, we have it that you go into Aldi every two days and buy a bottle of vodka. That seems excessive, would you not agree ? And it must effect your judement.

Here is what happened. He used his card to buy the Vodka. And AI tracked him through the transaction.. The companies bought data on all people who applied for jobs. security cameras confirm he is buying vodka.

Far fetched ? Not really.

I go to Aldi for a bottle of Vodka every two days. But I don't drink; It is for someone else who always gives me cash to get it. But to save myself having to draw cash from an ATM during the week, I keep the cash and use my card.

The Aldi check - out machine doesn't know I don't actually drink the Vodka.

As AI will be gradually building a dossier on all of us, it is easy to see how many could be tripped up by things like this.

If I buy weed killer and Diesel, am I a farmer with a lot of weeds or a person making a bomb ?

Maybe you were involved in a driving accident. Robo Lawyer trawls your files and sees your alcohol purchases and uses that info against you.

We are into dark times.

INT21.
That is beginning to happen in China.
Totalitarians love having this technology.
 

Tempest63

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
667
Likes
1,529
Points
149
This thread seems to have drifted away from it's intended purpose. So I'll insert this here. Mods feel free to move it.

This is a hypothetical situation based on future (very near future) AI.

Man applies for a job that requires concentration. He gets turned down. This happens a few times, so in the end he manages to meet with one of the companies reps and asks him why, as clearly he is very qualified.

Well, says the rep, to be honest, it's your drinking that bothers us.

But I don't drink.

Well, we have it that you go into Aldi every two days and buy a bottle of vodka. That seems excessive, would you not agree ? And it must effect your judement.

Here is what happened. He used his card to buy the Vodka. And AI tracked him through the transaction.. The companies bought data on all people who applied for jobs. security cameras confirm he is buying vodka.

Far fetched ? Not really.

I go to Aldi for a bottle of Vodka every two days. But I don't drink; It is for someone else who always gives me cash to get it. But to save myself having to draw cash from an ATM during the week, I keep the cash and use my card.

The Aldi check - out machine doesn't know I don't actually drink the Vodka.

As AI will be gradually building a dossier on all of us, it is easy to see how many could be tripped up by things like this.

If I buy weed killer and Diesel, am I a farmer with a lot of weeds or a person making a bomb ?

Maybe you were involved in a driving accident. Robo Lawyer trawls your files and sees your alcohol purchases and uses that info against you.

We are into dark times.

INT21.
I drink the Vodka. Does Aldi do any decent Vodka?
 

Bad Bungle

Dingo took my tray bake.
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,317
Likes
3,451
Points
154
Location
The Chilterns
I've never used a co-op self service, but use my local Sainsbury's a lot. They're usually ok, but what really drives me to despair is, as I often (alright, always) need a member of staff to confirm I'm over 18 (for the wine, .
What was even more annoying when I used to shop at a small local Budgens, was that the girl on the service till was under 18. Every bottle of alcohol, regardless of your age, had to be OK'd by the Manager out-back.
 

joeosker

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
83
Likes
135
Points
39
Several days ago Mr Zebra and I were driving home from a trip out with ZebraPup. It was evening, about maybe 6:45, 7pm and sunny with clouds. Mr Zebra was driving, and I was gazing about at the sky (as I tend to do). All of a sudden, through the windscreen, I saw something very fast move from about mid-windscreen across to the left. I glanced through the side window, expecting to see it (there were no trees or buildings in the way) but there was no sign of it.

My immediate thought (you know, the sort of thought you have in a split second, before you rationalise things) was that it was one of those 'rods' that purportedly would fly about in the air. I can only describe it as cylindrical, perhaps 1 inch or so in length (as viewed, obviously much longer than this in actuality) and a sort of milky / pale brown / transparent sort of colour.

Now, it definitely wasn't a bird. I mentioned it to Mr Zebra (he hadn't seen it) and proceeded to look at the birds flying around to see if I'd just been mistaken, but none of them looked anything like this thing, and perhaps most importantly, none of them were anywhere near as fast. (In fact, as I watched the birds immediately afterwards, I was struck by just how slow they seemed, compared to this thing). It wasn't a bat (probably too early in the evening anyway, and didn't have that jerky sort of movement that bats have. It also wasn't an insect or a reflection of any kind.

It was very fast. It took less than a second to clear the half of the windscreen that I saw it go across (I don't know where it came from or where it went). It was just there for a split second, moving right to left, in a straight horizontal line. I'm not good at estimating distances but I think it was sort of just above tree height. (tall conifer forest trees). If it makes any difference, we were driving roughly East at the time.

It has me stumped.
That rings a bell with me , saw something similar about 6 months back , the description is spot on walking my dog aroud 9pm the road turns sharp right , houses on both sides and a factory wall facing me , the thing came into view right to left in a dead sraight line and disappeared between the houses, it didn't match , bird, bat , or drone , and was silent
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
27,397
Likes
26,278
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
I can usually tell (roughly) which way NSEW are just by a 'feeling'. However there was one place I used to drive to that threw me out for some reason. After looking at road maps to see where I was going wrong, I would think I'd got it sorted, only to have the same disorientation next time I went.
My current job caused me that sort of problem for a while. One particular place I have to visit seemed to be the wrong way round somehow. I'd somehow though tI was approaching a landmark from the opposite direction.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

My joints go out more than I do
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
2,407
Likes
4,593
Points
154
Location
Walking alone through the afternoon traffic...
That rings a bell with me , saw something similar about 6 months back , the description is spot on walking my dog aroud 9pm the road turns sharp right , houses on both sides and a factory wall facing me , the thing came into view right to left in a dead sraight line and disappeared between the houses, it didn't match , bird, bat , or drone , and was silent
Wow! I was hoping that someone else might have seen the same thing. I haven't seen it again since (and we've driven that same stretch of road several times). Did you just see it the once? Interesting that the one you saw was going in the same direction, too. (i.e. right to left).

I can still picture it in my mind and it still puzzles me as to what it was.



My current job caused me that sort of problem for a while. One particular place I have to visit seemed to be the wrong way round somehow. I'd somehow though tI was approaching a landmark from the opposite direction.
Hmmm, I wonder why some places have this effect on us? And even then, only on some of us?
 

Austin Popper

Emperor of Antarctica
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
647
Likes
1,138
Points
134
Location
Colorado, where the gold is still elusive
T'other day I was in the garden with Simbah the cat. It was about 15 minutes before Techy was due home.

I suddenly heard him call out 'Hello!' from the back door, as he does when he arrives home and realises I'm outside. Simbah also seemed to hear him because she jumped up and ran off apparently to greet him. I went too, and we both felt puzzled when he wasn't there!

He didn't arrive home for another 15/20 minutes. We both have a phone tracking app which bleeps when the other's just round the corner, so I'd felt surprised he'd been able to sneak up on me. He hadn't though.

So I dunno what we both mistook for Techy's voice, but it must've been a close match to fool the cat!
I had exactly the same thing happen years ago. It was a few minutes after 5:00. I was in the basement fooling around with a bike or something when the dog and I heard Ms Popper say "Hey" from the top of the stairs. I said Hi and that I'd be up in a minute. Then it was very quiet upstairs. We went up to find the house empty. Ms Popper arrived shortly after, having just walked home from work. I had very distinctly heard her normal greeting at the usual time. Weird. The dog did not run up to greet her, which seems odd now that I think about it, but he heard something.
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,048
Likes
5,606
Points
279
Tempest63,

I don't know, I don't drink it.

But from my rip-roaring, hell raising days (he wishes), I would recommend Stoliknya. Aldi doesn't sell it.

INT21.
 
Top