I can still remember the code for garlic.
While boys or alcohol may have proved enticing for some, my teenage rebellion consisted of applying for a job as a "checkout chick" at the local Woolworths, despite my mother's concern it would detract from my studies.
When I got an interview, I had to confess what I had done. She reluctantly went along with it. I ended up working there for three years, mostly on Friday nights and Sunday mornings.
Sundays were the worst. We were understaffed and the trolleys were overflowing with giant family shops. I would groan and sometimes duck and hide as another one headed my way, full of giant cartons of soft drink that you could barely lift off the conveyor belt, and packs of toilet paper that would refuse to scan. Every Sunday, I swore I would write to Sorbent at the end of my shift to complain about the placement of their barcode.
When it was really busy, men my father's age would get to the front of the queue and vent their frustration at having to wait 30 minutes to get served. As a 16-year-old on $7.50 or so an hour, there wasn't much I could do about it. But it was a lesson in diplomacy.
I saved the measly money I made and, at the end of my first year, I used it to buy an SLR film camera. It doesn't work any more but I can't bring myself to throw it out.
When Woolworths brought in self-service checkouts, I felt guilty every time I indulged in the convenience, like I was betraying my own kind. That convenience - and guilt - is bound to increase with the new shop-and-go technology Woolies is trialing at Double Bay, which allows you to scan your purchases while you shop, with an app on your phone. The idea is you pay from the app, with your loyalty cards linked too, and just walk out.
Whatever remnants of the checkout chick brigade that survived the rise of self-service now appear under threat too.
The latest generation of teenagers might never get the opportunity to spend four hours on their feet, learning the art of earning a wage and enjoying the proceeds at the end of it. But at least no one will have to spend their Sunday mornings waiting 30 minutes to be served - or wrangling dodgy barcodes while a line of customers prepare to vent their fury.
Catherine Naylor is the Herald's deputy opinion editor.
Catherine Naylor is PM Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.