Supermarket Self-Checkout

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by goofyfish, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. goofyfish Analog By Birth, Digital By Design Valued Senior Member

    Neat idea, or soulless civilization destroyer?

    I wonder if it's really a good idea to introduce something that lets us have even less contact with fellow humans than modern society already allows, turning the supermarket into an automat straight out of a Hopper painting. I'd call it yet another step down a path we've walked for half a century.

    Before there were supermarkets, people didn't have aisles to roam, collecting their groceries. Instead, they'd go to the store counter, and tell the person working there what items they'd want, who would then go and collect them, bag them, and ring them up. With the advent of supermarkets, the company had a much smaller workforce overhead to pay. The customer would then collect their own items, have a greater selection of items they could buy, and still pay less than before. They'd then take their items forward to be rung up and bagged. It was a big win, and the new mode pretty much pushed out all of the mom-and-pop markets. Later on, some supermarkets even got rid of baggers, in order to further reduce their costs. But others retained their baggers, because some people were willing to pay a bit more for their groceries for the added convenience.

    Now, with checkout scanner technology sufficiently advanced, some supermarkets are trying to reduce overhead yet again. And the ability or requirement for human interaction is again reduced. I ache at the cold feeling I get when I consider the shape this society will be in if we continue with trends such as this.

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  3. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Have you noticed that with scanner technology that you always seem to get the one item that has no bar code to read? That someone has to make a trip to go find the code while you sit and twiddle your fingers and wait. That everyone else behind you is saying to themselves, "Oh no, not again!"

    And when you need help to get that item from the very top of the shelves that it takes an act of congress to get help to obtain it? Oh, how modern and advamced everything is today. Grrrrr.....
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  5. kmguru Staff Member

    I understand what you are trying to say. I am all for automated checkout for the following reasons.

    1. It is not the best use of a human being to stand there 8 to 10 hours and scan goods. It is not good for your back and boring, doing the same thing over and over again like a robot.

    2. Most shopliftings occur by employees. Less employee, less loss.

    3. At any given moment, only 10% of the check out counters are open. So, it is a pain to stand in the line for the customers.

    Besides, I enjoy, when the machine goofs in my favor. In spite of self-checkout, KMart went Chap 11. Go figure....
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