…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
I despise self-service checkouts.
The first time I was badgered into using one while “all” the manned checkouts were manned. I was herded towards the beast by a member of staff who showed me how to operate it (I kept quiet about being a computer technician by trade)… she scanned all my shopping through for me, and fed my money into it – it wasn’t really self-service after all. I’m glad I was giving her some work to do – I felt sorry for her position, and the job she had been given, to direct shoppers away from the fellow paid staff in order to threaten her own job and that of all other checkout assistants.
On the second occasion at another supermarket it was some random late evening shopping and there were no manned checkouts open, so there was no choice but to use the self-service thingy – what a faff – and this constant nagging about an “Unidentified Object in the Bagging Area” that I didn’t realise at first was directed at me as it just sounded like the other background noises going on as other people clattered and beeped their way through their own shopping. The machine, it turned out, was objecting to me putting my rucksack down on it to get my wallet out.
1) I would actually prefer to queue to be served by a person.
2) I will do my best to avoid walking into a shop staffed by machines – if the staff have all gone home to bed then the store shouldn’t be open.
There is something very inhuman about living our lives like this, at the mercy of machines, with no human/social contact. I live on my own and I go shopping on my own. That brief 1-2-1 interraction with a fellow human being, even if it’s just to be asked if I need a carrier bag (which I never do) and to tell me how much I am to pay for my goods, I’m sure is quite important to me, and certainly to those with even less social interraction in their life. When I hand my money over it needs to be to a fellow human being – I need to see where my money (in the form of cash) is going, I need to see it going into someone elses hands, even if they don’t get to keep it all for themselves.