Friday, July 22, 2011

Self-Checkout . . .Lemme do iiiiit

As many of my friends know, I can be a bit obsessive about my hobbies.  If I'm going to "try out poker" I'm going to study it like an academic and build my own poker table from scratch:

I've gotten pretty good at that particular hobby, if I do say so myself.  The point being that when I tackle an interest I actually learn something; occasionally I learn a lot.  I'm quite sure that I am not in the minority here.  When this happens however, it comes with a byproduct.  You end up knowing more than the guy in the store.

I simply can't count the times that I have walked into stores that allegedly contain informed customer service representatives, such as Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, REI etc., where I have had to explain TO THEM what a particular product does or what it is.  This isn't entirely shocking.  I mean I can't blame the 18 year old kid working the floor at REI for not knowing how many different flavors of Hammer-Gel that exist.  (I do however take issue with the fact that I ask for a specific product and they tell me it doesn't exist, when I know it does.)  That being said, as someone who makes a living leading and training, I find it ridiculous that they don't have a program in place to make the rep. more informed, but I digress.

When MSNBC published this article on Self-Checkout kiosks, many responded with how they hated them.  I guess the logic is that they are impersonal and some would prefer more interaction.  My personal opinion is that if many of these stores are going to retain their current policy of reps knowing little more than the catalog, I'm all for them.  I much prefer that than the semi-genuine interaction designed for the express purpose of getting me to sign up for the Wazoo Rewards program which gives me a 5 dollar coupon every 9 months in return for my demographic information.  At a minimum, having one of these at Best Buy would keep those knuckleheads from asking me about signing up for a bogus warranty program for an additional first-born child.  At REI it would keep me from interacting with some of the uninformed.  Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying I know everything, but I would at least like the option of getting in and getting out with no speed-bumps or irritations.  If I need help, I'll head to the local Mom and Pop store where I know their living absolutely depends on them knowing what the hell they are doing.

By Marcus with 2 comments


Well put and so true! Thank God for our local running stores!

What is there to miss in regards to social interactions with cashiers at the check out? If they would remind you of what you forgot to purchase, then maybe. But, as I see it, since "He who suffers, remembers," I'll just give you a good titty twister before you go to the grocery store next time. Long live self checkout (and local running stores).

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