I really don’t trust self-serve checkouts. Everything about them is wrong.
I hate things which remind me that, fundamentally, all labour is able to be replaced by robots. Sure, there’s no love lost between me and our ‘droid nemeses but I don’t like to be reminded about this struggle when I’m trying to get my groceries.
More specifically, I hate the blinding, confusing lights. I hate how cramped the areas are. I hate how it makes demands in its cold, ‘I will kill you while you sleep’ voice. I hate how nothing makes sense. I tried to buy a nashi fruit the other day and had to scroll through all of the fruits before I found it under ‘pear – nashi – white’. I hate how you have to pack your shopping bag in a certain way in order to use the system properly.
But most of all, I hate how it still needs a supervisor to hover about the machines in case you need to pay by card. Given that I live in the future and rarely use cash, this is basically all of the time. It is faster for me to use the old system and, quite frankly, I prefer to speak to a real person.
It’s a haunting glimpse into our future: machines doing things for us and forcing us into incapacity. First, it was the bank clerks. The last time I went into the bank was in 2002. Now, it’s the check-out chicks that have been made redundant by technology. It’s only a matter of time before the more routine work of lawyers and doctors are outsourced to machines.