An Open Letter To Stores With “Self Checkout” In Western New York
I actually remember a time when stores only had cashiers ring up the customer's groceries. I'd love to go back to that.
Dear stores that have moved to "self-checkout,"
I'll admit, I can see the value in it. I remember when I was a cashier back in my high school days. My manager said to me that some stores were thinking about going to "self-checkout" registers and I couldn't even imagine how that would work.
You mean to tell me that people will come to a store, pick out their groceries, scan their own items, pay the register, and never have to interact with a store employee the whole time unless they want to?
I have to admit, it sounds brilliant. The change is always perfect. You don't have to staff as many registers, and people can move in and out quickly. There are only a couple of problems with it.
1.) The biggest problem is that it takes away jobs. When I had this job in school, it was perfect. I got the opportunity to interact with people in my community, it kept me sharp with money exchanges, and it gave me a paycheck. I understand that you might be saving money in payroll, but I'm not sure that's always a good thing.
2.) This is my biggest problem with it: We are not your employees. You paint the picture as if it's a convenience for us. But aside from people like me who were actually trained on a register, most people don't have a clue how those things work. They take longer to make it through them, and yeah...sometimes they make mistakes. When I see that stores are now issuing "citations" to people who are making mistakes while ringing out their own groceries, I can't help but think, "why in the heck do they have to ring them out on their own anyway?" Want to make sure every item is scanned before it goes out the door? Put someone at a register.
3.) The only reason people choose "self-checkout" in the first place is to avoid the lines. Many stores will only staff a register or two with a cashier and the rest is all "self-checkout." So if you're going during a peak shopping time, you're either stuck behind the mom of 6 who has 3 carts of groceries, or the 20 people in the self-checkout line. How is this saving anyone time? I literally went through a self-checkout on Sunday with 2 items only to find 4 employees directing people to the open registers. Do you need 4 people to direct traffic?? Why aren't the other 3 employees on an express lane? It was insane.
I'm not saying you should do away with them altogether. Some people have no problem with them and they buzz through the lines faster. But you can't do away with regular cashiers. It's turning your store into a nightmare to go to.
A person who hates standing in lines so you can save money
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