UNITED STATES—It is becoming so much of a trend in retail establishments that I have become quite annoyed to say the least. Do you go through the checkout or self-check? I prefer to utilize the checkout where I can deal with a live person. I am not a fan of the self-checkout. The self-checkout is becoming more and more of a trend at more retailers.
This week alone, I visited Target and I was stunned to see how many self-checkout lanes have now been implemented. Before hand when you went to the register, you had to deal with an actual person. That is no longer the case. And it really is quite annoying to say the least. Why? It takes far longer in my opinion to self-checkout than to deal with an actual human being.
Those devices are always faulty and then you have to rely on a human to fix the problem anyway. Guess what? You have one human having to deal with 4 to 5 different devices and there is no fun in that to say the least. In addition, it is not like these devices provide instructions for the consumer on how to properly use them. This is most frustrating at the grocery stores when you have to deal with produce. The produce has different codes and numbers and who can remember those things? I know I can’t, which leaves you in a situation where a person is spending 5 to 10 minutes looking up the code for one particular item.
Each time I go into a new retailer I see the self-checkout line longer than the register with an actual person. Making matters worse is that you’re starting to see the elimination of jobs in favor of technology. Look, whatever you have to do to cut expenses as a business I can understand to a degree. You know what I don’t respect, relying on technology to not be faulty, when we all know technology is not perfect, and you need a human to fix that technology.
Computers act up, computers freeze, devices malfunction and stop working, hell, electricity goes out. Then what? It is like as a society we do not prepare for worst case scenario because we assume tech is always going to work the way we want it to work because we expect it. It does not and our constant reliance on it will ultimately be our downfall as a society as a whole America.
I like talking to people, when you have the cashier scanning your items or groceries you get to converse, you’re developing your social skills and cues at that point. With self-checkout you’re not talking to anyone, and at the same time it takes longer to use those than someone who knows their job and makes things happen at a feverish pitch.
Trust me, I know what many of you are going to say, some cashiers are slow as hell, and that is absolutely true, but at the same time an effort is at least being made to try to make some things transpire and unfold to get you in and out of the store in the fastest time possible. That is why dealing with a cashier is more effective than a computer screen. However, the retailers do not see it that way. Any and every way they can cut costs that is precisely what they are going to do and people are losing their jobs as direct result of that mantra which is unfortunate.
Sorry to say we’ve had cashiers for years, the computer and the advancement of technology has just grown in popularity in the last 35 to 40 years. It is good to see those advancements, but I don’t want to see them at the cost of people losing their livelihood which seems to be occurring more and more as of late. In a minute, you’re going to enter a retail establishment and there aren’t going to be any people working at all it’s just going to be computers and robots and that is a scary reality.