New year, old tricks

I like recycling. I think it’s a great idea and I’m into it. What I like better than recycling is the reduction of my own personal carbon footprint – don’t leave monitors on, switch lights off when not using them and don’t leave the television on standby. One particular favourite of mine is either the reuse or non-use of stores’ plastic bags.

I shop with a rucksack so that I might pack my groceries in it rather than suffer my hands slowly being sliced into by cheaply made and omnipresent plastic bags (like hanging from tree branch or blowing past your feet in the street). As a species, the imperative is to lug heavy loads on our backs as our ancestors demonstrated and not to voluntarily sign up to a supermarket-sponsored portable rack. I like having my bones and tendons lengthened by the traditional methods of calcium or iron infused from a healthy diet, not through these bastard means of torture.

I also like the idea of helping yourself. Not self-help, but being able to do things on my own without someone either having to do it for me or even just scrutinising each miniscule task as I seek for their approval so that I may move on with my jolly day.

To that end, I therefore applaud these new self service lanes in supermarkets. Scan your own items, pay your way and even bag it up yourself – or not.

I had the good fortune to use such a self-service lane this weekend and packed my items into my aforementioned rucksack. After three items had not been placed in the supermarket’s own bags, I was told to wait for a “supervisor” who would grant me “permission” to continue scanning and packing my own God damn groceries in my own God damn bag. And even when I was allowed to continue my insanity, it was met with puzzlement as to why I wouldn’t want to join them in their plastic revelry.

What confounds me about this system is that it’s items I’d already scanned and (one could quite innocently assume now that they were ‘in the system’) I intend to pay for. Had I secreted away three bottles of Dom Perignon and two lobster that I did not scan into a branded plastic bag and was infact stealing them for a banquet here at the Palace later tonight, I imagine there would no fucking problem.

Three things then:

  1. There is nothing ‘self’ about self-service systems.
  2. They were actively preventing me from purchasing food until I was given permission to continue.
  3. They don’t care about the planet.

There are two outcomes my mind, in it enraged state, can form from these facts: they are either trying to rule the world (badly and at a really low level) or they want to destroy it.

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