Self check-out counters – yay or nay

Our local grocery stores, most of them, are switching to self check-out counters. While they still have check-outs with cashiers, there are more of the self check-outs in the stores.

Of course, the giant conglomerate, Walmart, has more self check-outs than tellers. Which is to be expected. It’s a big chain all around the world, and there is the pressure for them to be the leaders in changes.

But recently, our local grocery stores have been renovating and adding the counters. At first, I was skeptical of them. I disliked the fact that I had to bag my own groceries (then realized that at most of the stores I shop at, I bag them myself anyway). And are they really faster than a cashier? I have debated back and forth about this.

Yesterday, I realized that in fact I LIKE them ! More than a cashier in fact. And I do not believe for a moment that so many people are losing their jobs because of them. I believe a few may have, but for the most part, I still see the same amount of cashiers and employees milling about the stores.

What changed my mind? Well, I had to make a quick stop in our local Food Basics store on my way to work. As I walked in, I noticed the “express lane – 10 items or less” had at least 8 people standing there. I went to get my items (I knew what I wanted to get and knew exactly where the items were). As I approached the cashiers, some 5 minutes later, the SAME PEOPLE were still standing in line with their items, and no one was using the self check-out lanes. There are 6 self check-out counters. Every one was available. So my thought was – well I could stand in line, and possibly be late for work, or I could zip on through the self check-out and be on my way with lots of time to get to work. Off I went. In a matter of 3 minutes, I had checked them out, bagged and was back in my car ready to go. I spent a total of 8 minutes in the store getting my stuff and paying and heading out. The same people were still standing in the express lane.

So my thinking is – if I only have a few items, YES I am going to use the self check-out. If I have a buggy full of groceries, then I will most likely use a cashier. But for those people making a stand and refusing to use them, who are you helping? You are all standing there, holding each other up, paying for your 10 items or less, and wasting valuable time – time is not forever. I choose to use mine carefully.

Okay, I know not everyone will agree with my thinking, and that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, or to perhaps “see the light” that it makes sense (at least to me) to be quick picking up a few things. But maybe, if you think of it as – how much time do I really have in this world to waste it protesting over something that will not change, no matter how much you protest – is it really worth it?

Thoughts to ponder…

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