Self-checkout Blues

I guess I’m the maverick on this one but I don’t really care about WalMart’s self-checkout policy.  I don’t shop there that often.  My dealing with them is mostly online.  However, their self-checkout approach is a mixed bag.  If they’re going to trust me to tally and pay for what I’ve gathered from their labyrinthine conglomeration of aisle upon aisle of merchandise, then forget about that annoying exit patrol person.  That move makes the shopping experience negative on top of negative.

And for you youngsters, when automated mailings started to arrive years ago — the ones with the sealed envelop that required that you fold and tear off both ends — I complained bitterly.  I still dislike them as what they really are; a transference of yet another annoying task imposed on the recipient.  That’s where all this self-stuff started.

But, back to WalMart.  It’s only a matter of time (and thousands more complaints about self-checkout distrust) until technology catches up.  That is, every item in the store will have a passive tags that will automatically activate when channeled through the check-out lane.  Sensors will then simply count what you intend to purchase.  You’ll still be required to do the scanning, bagging and paying.  But if you intentionally or unintentionally fail to scan an item, the system will flash a message in bright yellow letters on the scanner itself, “Did you forget to scan something?”  It might even tell you what you forgot to scan.  If you persist in your naughty ways, the whole checkout lane will flash “Scan Failure!”  At that point, your embarrassment should be complete hence shaming you into being an honest shopper.

October 2022 – William Collins


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