If you are like many, using a self-serve checkout beats long lines. But if you have a hearing loss, they can be problematic. Why? Not all instructions for completing a transaction appear on the screen.
This post was inspired by a conversation between my husband and a friend about how much they enjoy the self-serve checkout stands. When asked if I use them, I explained that I don’t use them unless I’m with someone. Otherwise, they are too intimidating.
Once too many times I am stuck at one of the self–serve check-out registers because the electronic voice over the box says something I cannot understand. For example – a voice that barks, “please insert your method of payment in the slot below.” But nothing shows on the screen indicating now is the time to insert money or a credit card and where to do it. I just loathe that when that happens. When it does, I have to wait until an assistant, hopefully standing close by, can come over and help me. Hopefully, that assistant doesn’t have a thick accent that I cannot understand. So I avoid all that awkwardness and just stand in line. Have you had this experience?
The creators of the self-checkout registers would do all of us a favor by making sure ALL instructions for a transaction appear on the screen. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had challenges with understanding voices coming over small speakers. Whether in a drive-through restaurant like McDonald’s, a speaker box at an apartment building, or a self-checkout register.
It is interesting the many ways having a hearing loss impacts simple tasks in day-to-day living. It is usually an awkward situation that proceeds that awareness. All in the day of being hard of hearing.