Miscue While Scanning Doritos At The Self-Checkout Thwarts Introvert’s Plan To Talk With Nobody

STAMFORD, CT–Peace and quiet is all TJ Singh wants out of his downtime. Five days a week, he commutes into Manhattan for his job as an advertising consultant. More often than not, he’s sucked into small talk with strangers or familiar faces during his train ride. Then during the workday, TJ’s social interactions become increasingly common, including passing interactions with co-workers and frequent meetings with teams and clients. As an introvert, it’s all quite exhausting for TJ, and he finds it necessary to limit weekend interactions to recharge. 

When Friday night arrived TJ wanted nothing to do with anyone. He had plans to hang with his buddy Lars on Saturday, but this night was for TJ only. The only thing he needed to address before hunkering down with his bong was finding some goodies to snack on. This left TJ with two options: either hit his local grocery store, just a five-minute walk away, or walk fifteen minutes to the 7-11 with a self-checkout. He didn’t want to be out for long, but the opportunity to speak with absolutely nobody at checkout was enough of a reason for TJ to take the road less traveled. 

After making the trek to 7-11, TJ silently perused the aisles for a worthy snack haul. Doritos, of course, was his priority. From there, internal debates raged over Oreos, Starburst, Pringles, Snickers, and Arizona Iced Tea. In the end, he grabbed one of everything. TJ even took time sifting through the discount DVD rack, before eventually selecting Failure To Launch. He’d seen it several times before but the DVD copy included deleted scenes and commentary. What a night TJ was about to have. 

Moseying on over to the self-checkout, TJ completely avoided eye contact with the clerk. He didn’t want to give the guy an excuse to greet him or offer help. Head down, TJ began scanning the items. Everything was going smoothly until he scanned the Doritos bag. He placed it in the bagging area, as instructed, but the lightweight item failed to register. TJ attempted to lift the Doritos bag and replace it, but that only made the self-checkout machine think he’d removed a different item. It was a mess and TJ shuddered at the realization that there was no way out of this situation without speaking to the clerk. He thought hard about just abandoning his snack plan altogether, but TJ knew he’d regret that decision later.

TJ hesitantly walked toward the clerk, waving his hand awkwardly as he approached. “Hey, sorry, I think your machine isn’t working right,” TJ cringed in pain as the words left his mouth, his pitch much higher than intended. The clerk nodded his understanding and wordlessly made his way over to the self-checkout. The two exchanged small talk pleasantries while the clerk tried to resolve that malfunction. After ten minutes, he gave up and suggested TJ move his items to the main checkout where he could help complete the order. TJ did as he was told and left the 7-11 more exhausted than he’d been all week. Night ruined.