August 3, 2011

Two random things

not related to grad school or my problems.

1. My local CVS recently installed self checkout machines, and they are trying to force us to use them. When you approach the counter, a pushy woman directs you to the self-checkout area like she's directing traffic. Often, nobody is even waiting at the counter.

I have two objections to self-checkout machines: First, they replace human workers who need their cashier jobs in order to feed themselves and their families. If we allow ourselves to be herded over to them like cattle, CVS won't need to employ as many people, and that's bad for the economy.

Second, I find them cumbersome and obnoxious, especially when I'm buying a lot of items at once. The time I got pressured into using a machine, I had so many items that bagging as I scanned wasn't working -- there wasn't enough room on the sensor, and if you place an item elsewhere, the machine freaks out that you're stealing. The pushy woman encouraged me to just pile them all on top of the sensor until I had paid, and then bag them separately. Great, that's efficient.

So I'm going to refuse from now on. I was caught off guard the first time, but now I'm prepared to say very sweetly, "I would like to check out at the counter." And if the cashier looks annoyed because he got summoned to the front of the store just for me, well, I'll know that I'm actually helping to protect his job.

2. Today, I got catcalled by a guy who followed me in his car. He rolled down the window, shouted things at me like "gorgeous" and "sexy" in that degrading, leering tone. I kept walking, and he kept slowly following me, finally pulling over just ahead of me on the street.

He then shouted something like "can I talk to you for a minute??" And when I said, coldly and without looking over, "No." -- he said "whhhhhhyyyyyyyy not?!" in this whiny, upset voice like a child demanding to know why he can't have a cookie. WHYYYYYYY?

Oh, I don't know -- maybe because you're a creepy stranger following me in your car and shouting degrading things about my body. WHY DO YOU FUCKING THINK?

I just don't understand.


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